College Educators v. Developers

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Background. Redevelopment Districts were, in theory, methods of keeping monies local to try to develop areas that were depressed. Its critics complained that these dollars were coming out of budgets for schools, roads, etc. Supporters pointed to the best examples of redevelopment like downtown San Diego. Unfortunately, the program got a lot of criticism for abuse by cities. For example, Coronado wanted to declare itself a depressed area, and here in Chula Vista, a local developer used the city’s power of eminent domain as a tool to buy land in west Chula Vista. He would threaten residents telling them that if they didn’t sell him their property, the City would take it from them.

New Oversight Committee. Last year, the Governor eliminated Redevelopment Districts. Chula Vista, like other cities affected, decided to form a committee to oversee the dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency, transition the monies already collected, and decide which projects are to be finished. If the money is not used, it goes back to the state. That committee is called, the “Oversight Committee,” and it met for the first time on Monday, April 9. Even before it met, it received criticism because, as one person put it: the “Coxes get to appoint (four of the seven) members.” At the meeting, there were many questions (and a bit of confusion) from the members of the committee considering that they were appointed to a body that had just been created, and the rules are being developed.

Members. The members are as follows (Preceded by who appointed):

County Board of Supervisor Cox I: Paul Desrochers
County Board of Supervisor Cox II: David Watson
Otay Water District: David Gonzalez
San Diego County Board of Education: Oscar Esquivel
California Community Colleges: Wayne Yanda
Chula Vista Mayor Cox Appointee: Eric Crockett
Former Redevelopment Agency Employee: Janice Kluth

Educators v. Developers. Governor Brown wants the property tax money previously collected by redevelopment agencies returned to the state. In the meantime, the governor is proposing that the entire $147 million be deducted from the community college budget until the money is returned. Obviously, college educators are concerned about this, and some are even calling for the monies collected by the Redevelopment Agency to be returned as soon as possible. This pits college educators against the developers (and their “property right” supporters). The Southwestern Board of Trustees have already prepared for this shortfall but staff is worried about its impact.

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