$Billions In Fraud & Waste, Who Will Stop It?
Leslie Dutton’s Full Disclosure Network has produced a video preview of its new two-part cable TV series on the LA Community Redevelopment Agency.
Six eight-minute YouTube videos will be available later this week that will include excerpts from the CRA’s Jan. 14 “special meeting” where the decision was made to try to lock up nearly $1 billion in local property taxes in defiance of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to abolish all CRAs statewide.
Here are just a few points covered in the one hour cable series.
- $931 million in L.A. CRA projects were rushed to the table by
Commissioners to prevent Governor Brown from using this money to fix
California’s debt problem.
- The Governor has proposed abolishing Community Redevelopment
Agencies that were supposed to be removing blight but are no longer
serving that purpose.
- Instead Community Redevelopment Agencies have morphed into a Subsidy program for politically connected Developers.
- Missing contracts for CRA grants, indicate corruption within the
LA-CRA agency that has admitted they are unable to cannot find
documentation for the grants.
Will Glendale Give Developer Rick Caruso the Keys to the Golden Key Hotel on Tuesday?
At 9 a.m. Tuesday, the Glendale City Council, sitting as the CRA, will consider a staff recommendation to give billionaire developer Rick Caruso an exclusive negotiating agreement that could lead to the use of eminent domain to seize Ray Patel’s Golden Key Hotel and redevelop it as retail shops as part of Americana at Brand
Patel has rejected Caruso’s $6 million offer for his 55-room hotel and submitted his own plan to upgrade and expand the hotel.
Glendale redevelopment staff has reviewed both proposals and provided a lengthy analysis in support of Caruso.
The city provided $80 million in subsidies for the Americana and the Council has indicated it wants Caruso’s development because it might help spark more business activity along Colorado at the south end of the shopping district.
Critics see the use of eminent domain under the 2005 Supreme Court ruling in the Kelo case that allowed governments take property and turn it over to private interests rather than government uses.
Hollywood activist Bob Blue wrote about the LA and Glendale CRA issue at CityWatchLA, calling them the “Poster Children” for abolishing all CRAs.
Ron Kaye’s Third Column for the Sunday News-Press & Leader
This little ‘piggy bank’ has stayed home
Gov. Jerry Brown wants to abolish redevelopment agencies statewide,
calling them “piggy banks” for local officials — a mild statement
compared to critics who see them as nothing more than “slush funds” that
all too often enrich developers with taxpayer dollars that should go to
schools, cops and other basic services.
If the governor gets his
way — a long shot given the ferocious opposition from cities and
counties — $1.7 billion would be saved annually and used to remove the
state’s $25-billion deficit and restore California to a sound financial
Burbank city officials have written the governor insisting the redevelopment agencies are vital to the city’s economic health.
officials, in an effort to keep Brown from getting his hands on their
redevelopment money, took it a step further. Following the lead of Los
Angeles, the city two weeks ago voted at a special meeting to lock up
$480 million in redevelopment revenues — more than half as much as L.A.
is trying to squirrel away.
“What do you lose if you take away
this tool? I don’t know what Glendale will be like in 20 years if we
don’t have this redevelopment money.”
That’s the point of view of
Philip Lanzafame, Glendale’s redevelopment chief, as he reels off a
long list of projects: the economic engines of the Glendale Galleria and
Americana at Brand, the adult recreation center, affordable housing, a
fire station, improved safety at a rail crossing, and infrastructure
investments along San Fernando Road.
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