Sometime Wednesday, the CRA’s Vice Chair Madeline Janis signed an announcement that yet another “Special Meeting” of the Board of Commissioners will be held today at “10 a.m. or as soon thereafter as practicable following the adjournment or recess of the regular CRA/LA Board Meeting.”
It was not until past 10 p.m. that Hollywood activist Bob Blue spotted the announcement with its skimpy details and sounded the alarm.
Who knows whether there really was proper 24-hour notice of what appears to be yet another legally questionable CRA special board meeting?
The purpose of the special meeting is for the CRA to abolish itself before the state Legislature abolishes all redevelopment agencies statewide — something that remains in doubt because “cities have mounted a fierce campaign to block the proposal, fearful at
losing control over billions of dollars that would flow to schools,
counties and public safety instead of civic projects,” the Sacremento Bee reported late Wednesday.
Item No. 1 on the agenda is awarding $50,000 more in a sole source contract to Donald R. Spivack for advice on how best to protect the pensions of the highly-paid staff who will be losing their jobs..
Having taken care of the interests of the staff, the CRA Board then will address Item No. 2: The sale of all CRA “personal property” — vehicles, computers, desks, office equipment etc — for $1 to the City of Los Angeles.
Item No. 3 will approve the transfer of all “real property” — land and building — to the city. No price is given.
Item No. 4 will dispose of the $56 million more of CRA’s cash to various city agencies — Public Works, General Services, Bureau of Engineering and Recreation and Parks — presumably to provide the money to pay the salaries of the soon-to-be-hired former highly-paid CRA staffers who will be continuing on as if nothing had changed since its $1 billion in taxes already has been locked up out of the state’s reach..
Then there are eight last-minute items funding at a cost of $16 million various projects around the city for various favored City Council members.
The final two items will be dealt with in closed session regarding what appears to be settlement of a pending lawsuit against someone named Eli Sassoon and a second legal matter referred to only as “one (1) matter of anticipated litigation.”
Having taken care of its staff, disposed of its personal property, real property and cash assets, the CRA will have made sure the governor’s plan to restore California to financial stability is dead.
Without the $1.7 billion in savings promised by abolishing all CRAs, the “schools, counties and public safety” will not get that money — money that provides the greatest benefits to the poor and needy who already facing sharp cuts in “work grants, copay
requirements for Medi-Cal patients and services for the developmentally
disabled” as well as “less money for childhood development, mental health and local transit.”
It seems a fitting end to the CRA — punishing the poor for the sins of the rich.
After all, it was an agency created to restore vitality to blighted neighborhoods and provide economic opportunity for the poor but spent most of its taxpayer dollars on luxurious palaces for the pleasures of the rich.
To hell with the poor, let them sell hot dogs at Farmers Field football games or sweep floors at Eli Broad’s art museum at Bunker Hill..