Six weeks ago, the mayor and other top city officials, panicked at the idea Gov. Jerry Brown might immediately close the piggy-bank of taxpayer money that provided provided welfare to the rich in the name of redeveloping blighted areas.
So they ordered Community Redevelopment Agency officials to slam together in less than two days a ruse to lock up nearly $1 billion in money that otherwise would go to schools, cops and libraries among other basic services so they could continue subsidizing luxury office buildings, hotels, condos and entertainments.
A special meeting of the CRA Board was hastily called for Jan. 14 so it could dutifully approve a plan to turn over $930 million in property tax revenue to the city, abolish the CRA and create a non-profit to continue the rain of money on development projects, few of which removed blight or generated real economic benefits to the public.
Nobody in City Hall cared the meeting was illegally called or that the documents supported this scam were largely works of fictions.
But Hollywood activists Bob Blue and Aaron Epstein cared and he got a lawyer to send a “cure and correct” letter protesting which appears to have caused some second thoughts at the CRA and at City Hall.
Every week since Jan. 14, the City Council has put the CRA scam on its agenda as it is once again today. Along the way, the CRA took a second swing at the $930 million using somewhat less amateurish documentation.
On Thursday, the CRA take a third swipe at it but not because its previous actions were illegal. No way, say CRA officials in their letter to Blue’s and Epstein’s attorney Dennis Winston (CRA-LA Response Re 01-14-2011 Mtg.pdf).
that the Board‘s
approval … was
in compliance with the Ralph M.
Brown Open Meeting Act. However, in an
abundance of caution, the Board will consider revised recommendations regarding
the proposed Cooperation Agreement
with the City of Los Angeles at
its next regular meeting on
March 3, 2011 at 9:30
It’s funny if you think about it. The CRA acted illegally, defied the governor, showed its contempt for the public and public interest but it is going to redo the whole thing out of “an abundance of caution.”
If words have no meaning, integrity no value and the law is irrelevant, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone why the city is so broken and the public so angry.
You can attend Thursday’s 9:30 a.m. CRA Board meeting at the Garland Center, 1200 W. 7TH Street, 1ST Floor Auditorium, and read the full agenda here, the $930 million ripoff item here and the latest version of the projects list here.