Redevelopment isn't the only big-ticket item in Gov. Brown's cut-and-tax budget proposal, but it's getting more ink than
all the others combined. The LAT's George Skelton takes a look a mermaid bar on K Street.
"The new Sacramento mermaid bar is called Dive Bar,
of a relatively small downtown redevelopment project
that benefited from a
$6.8-million city subsidy. That also means a state subsidy, because local
redevelopment funds come from property taxes. And property
taxes diverted from
schools must be made up for — "backfilled" — by the state. That, in
turn, means less state general fund money for other
programs, such as
universities and healthcare..."
But is a mermaid bar — any
bar — really what tax money should be spent on when governments
to keep their heads above water? Maybe laid-off teachers can land jobs as mermaids."
Meanwhile, the locals continue their push to lock up
First, Santa Clara and the proposed 49ers stadium. From Lisa Fernandez in Mercury News:
"As a proactive measure, the City Council plans on
to "memorialize" official language into the stadium
etching in stone that leaders had been crafting the
proposal long before Brown
began looking at disbanding redevelopment agencies."
"We wanted to be clear in our language that this has
been planned out and under way for a long time," said
city manager Carol McCarthy. "We've been working on
this for four
Second, San Diego and Chula Vista want their hardware
store and affordable housing. From Wendy Fry in the U-T:
"National City is preparing to issue up to $45 million in
redevelopment bonds to pay for affordable housing projects
on the West Side,
street improvements on Eighth Street near the city’s business district and to
complete a joint project with Chula Vista to build
a Lowe’s home improvement
across the state are racing to protect as much future
tax revenue as possible
before state legislation that would eliminate redevelopment
agencies can be
passed. Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed to get rid of
such agencies, which are
aimed at eliminating blight."
Meanwhile, that other high-profile issue -- public pensions -- gets another look as the move to a 401(K)-style standard looms on the horizon. Ed Mendel in CalPensions tells the tale.
"The author of a bill in Congress that would result
public pensions reporting much larger debts expects
the same outcome as his
opponents — a move to switch to the 401(k)-style individual investment plans
now common in the private sector."
"As U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, spoke to local
government officials last week at a pension “boot camp” held by reformers, he said the federal action could spark
action by “folks on the ground” in the states."
In Sacramento, Republicans are demanding deeper pension cuts than those approved in last-year's budget agreement, reports the Bee's Kevin Yamamura.
"GOP leaders have yet to offer a formal counterproposal
Gov. Jerry Brown's budget to close a $26.6 billion deficit. In recent weeks,
however, some Republicans have suggested they might
be willing to consider a
five-year tax hike extension on the June ballot if pension
changes are part of
"In California, 70 percent of likely voters told the Public
Policy Institute of California last
January they would favor shifting new public employees
from defined pension
benefits to 401(k)-style plans."
And now from our "Courts and Cops" file, we learn about the Massachusetts town that is
fed up with police brutality lawsuits.
"Mayor William Lantigua says he will no longer pay
bills for police officers being sued, including the
bills for those officers
involved in nine brutality cases pending in U.S. District
"The mayor says over the past three years, the city
spent $1.2 million to defend officers in civil cases. Instead,
Lantigua says he
will hold to the police unions' contract, which says
the city only has to pay
the $5,000 retainer for a patrolman and $7,500 for a superior officer. Lantigua
says officers have two options when they are being
sued — to use one of the
three city attorneys or have their unions pay for the
"From Day One, this should never have been
allowed. We cannot continue to do business as usual,"
Might make a new David Simon TV show...