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News, Budget, City Government, Development, California

Santa Monica Deplores Gov. Browns' Redevelopment Cuts

Graphic for the City of Santa Monica
Art by Christopher Rosacker
Graphic for the City of Santa Monica

Posted Jan. 11, 2011, 5:51 am

Mirror Staff

As part of proposed state budget cuts, newly elected California Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed to eliminate redevelopment agencies statewide. The City of Santa Monica sent out a release today admonishing the elimination of the Santa Monica Redevelopment Agency, saying the cut would have severe negative impacts on the City.

“Redevelopment is California’s primary engine for supporting jobs, reinforcing the economy, funding affordable housing, and building infrastructure," said Rod Gould, Santa Monica's city manager, in the release. "With an unemployment rate of more than 12 percent, a massive infrastructure deficit, and state policies promoting infill development, California needs redevelopment more than ever to create a stronger and greener tomorrow."

Santa Monica officials predict multiple community projects in Santa Monica and associated job creation would not come to fruition if redevelopment were eliminated.

“While the need to take dramatic action to address State budget difficulties is understandable, eliminating redevelopment agencies is counterproductive. At a time when California is desperately in need of job creation and affordable, sustainable, and community-oriented development, redevelopment is essential,” said Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom.

The City of Santa Monica released a list of projects that would NOT happen over the next five years if redevelopment is eliminated as part of Gov. Brown’s state budget cuts:

1) More than 300 affordable residences would not be built or rehabilitated, robbing families and individuals of the opportunity to live in decent, affordable housing near employment centers, services, and family and social networks. ($100 million)

2) Improvements to Santa Monica High School’s recreational facilities, including facilities and pedestrian areas that could be jointly used by the public, would not be completed. ($56 million)

3) Development of Palisades Garden Walk, a six-acre public park planned to be built across from the Santa Monica Pier, would be impossible ($25 million). Also a six-acre public park and cultural hub adjacent to the Civic Auditorium Park could not be built. ($21 million)

4) Construction of the Pico Neighborhood Library, being developed in Virginia Avenue Park to serve Santa Monica’s most ethnically and economically diverse neighborhood, would be halted. ($12.8 million)

4) Creation of the Civic Center Early Childhood Development Center, a partnership with Santa Monica College designed to serve infants and toddlers in an innovative learning environment, would be jeopardized. ($4.4 million)

5) Improvements related to the Exposition Light Rail line that is coming to Santa Monica, including station area improvements, pathway improvements, and pedestrian and bicycle connections, would be compromised. ($30.9 million)

6) Renovation and seismic retrofitting of the landmark Santa Monica Civic Auditorium for performing arts and concerts would not be possible. ($25 million)

In total, more than $283 million is expected to be invested in Santa Monica over the next five years. Using federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus standards, the new construction and rehabilitation projects identified above are expected to create more than 5,000 full-time-equivalent construction-related jobs. Using IMPLAN input-output economic modeling, which includes the multiplier effects of spending, the projects are estimated by the City of Santa Monica to promote the creation of over 40,000 full-time equivalent jobs.

Over the past 10 years, the Santa Monica Redevelopment Agency has invested nearly $300 million in the community, with nearly half of the amount providing financing for more than 950 homes for low-income households. The remaining funds were used to acquire land that will accommodate affordable housing and parks in the Civic Center area; for construction of the Swim Center shared by Santa Monica College, the recently opened Beach House, and a transitional housing facility providing shelter and services to homeless individuals; and for the rehabilitation and seismic retrofit of the City’s downtown parking structures, which are used by as many as 12,000 residents, employees and shoppers daily.

“The Governor’s proposed action to eliminate redevelopment is shameful, especially when it has been only two months since California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 22," decried Andy Agle, Santa Monica’s Director of Housing and Economic Development. "Proposition 22 made it clear that voters want local funds, including local redevelopment agency funding, to remain in the hands of local government. Californians are fed up with the State of California’s budgetary games and maneuvers, and the proposed elimination of redevelopment is another attempt to circumvent the letter of the state constitution while violating its spirit and voter mandates.”

Post a comment


Jan. 11, 2011, 10:55:52 am

Alex said...

All of those are projects we could live without. Tough decisions need to be made. While I love the idea of more parks, if cuts need to be made then the parks should go. Also, we do not need a Pico library since we already have the Fairview branch. And this city has enough affordable housing already.

Jan. 11, 2011, 11:40:25 am

jerry brown job killer said...

thats what happens when you vote for a retread governor. he knows nothing about job creation

Jan. 11, 2011, 11:49:01 am

BADRU JUMA said...


Jan. 11, 2011, 12:16:58 pm

Alana said...

Is this a joke?? Almost all of these things are ridiculous compared to the issues CA is facing. SM has MILLIONS in their coffers and if they care so much, pay for it! God knows how much money they are collecting from parking tickets alone!! They just gave ticketing powers to half of the city employees. What a load of crap.

Jan. 11, 2011, 1:19:40 pm

Houston said...

Unfortunately these are the times we live in. If there is no money for these projects then we must do without. The time has come to sacrifice, and while that's never popular, it has to be done. Obviously the way things have been going hasn't worked to well.

Jan. 11, 2011, 1:27:04 pm

Veritta said...

Shame on you Gov. Brown. I thought Arnold had left the building.

Jan. 11, 2011, 3:22:14 pm

john wolly said...

all government workers politicians judges etc,cut their salaries in half and no pensions.

Jan. 11, 2011, 3:25:36 pm

john werther said...

cut all politicians and government workers judges etc salaries in half and no pensions.

Jan. 11, 2011, 4:22:38 pm

Andrew said...

So Rod Gould and Richard Bloom seriously expect the status quo to continue? Out of touch. Since all these projects are being canceled, you can eliminate the city staff devoted to working on them. Win-win for the taxpayers.

Jan. 12, 2011, 4:02:37 am

auntiekathy said...

how long do you think prime locations in the county of los angeles can serve the "welfare state" as CA was called in the 50's? AND how much more money do you expect to make on "Sober Living" housing!!!!

Jan. 12, 2011, 4:21:40 am

grandpa richard said...

well let me see. I think i just heard the sound of feet on pavement. That must have been the out of work, never wanted to work homeless bums leaving Santa Monica because there may not be any more handouts.

Jan. 12, 2011, 6:29:03 pm

GordonSantaMonica said...

California Budget … Dear Governor We are, at a time where we need to do what is needed to secure our State... If California falls, the United States of America will have major difficulties... Our Infrastructure must be protected regardless of the sacrifice... The Infrastructure that must be protected must include … our environmental systems, health systems, educational systems, transportation systems, communication systems, power plant systems, roads and highways along with their related structures. The shipping of all our goods, within our State, and around the country, is essential for our security involving both exporting and importing. Infrastructure … is also essential for the movement of our military within our country. If our Infrastructure breaks down, due to lack of money, this is your fault. As the leader of California, you took the oath to protect and defend … did you understand the meaning of your oath??? You and the legislative body must resolve the budget problem. You keep saying … I’ll be back … what does that mean …?? You have not arrived yet … where is your leadership that we counted on when the recall occurred and then you were voted in as Governor? As you can see ... Mr. Governor ... you have, as the leader of California, a major responsibility to make sure that you protect this State and thus a portion of this country. Political gamesmanship is not the answer ... the expected revenues are not coming in from the business areas and our current tax base. In order to keep California alive and well we must raise the tax revenues, and preserve our State's interests and our Nation's Interests... We cannot whine about the higher taxes, when we need to preserve our basic Infrastructure, along with the survival of our Golden State, that we have grown to love and must protect. Cuts … To determine what should be cut why not look at all the departments to see which have the highest to lowest activity regarding service to the People of the State of California. The lowest activity departments should be cut or merged. Departments established for regulatory purposes maybe merged where there is overlap. All emergency type services should not be cut. Fire, police, security, medical related. Infrastructure Support should not be cut … these include but are not limited to … 1. Roads and Highways and Rail system for major transportation of goods throughout the state. 2. Water systems. 3. Electrical systems. 4. Educational Systems. 5. Health systems. 6. Environmental systems, 7. Communication systems, 8. Power plant systems 9. Fire and Police systems to maintain safety. 10. Air transport system. Lead us now!!! Sincerely and respectfully … GordonSantaMonica *****************************

Jan. 13, 2011, 2:37:43 am

wolflen said...

"... Andy Agle, Santa Monica’s Director of Housing and Economic Development..." well...there is a job cut and a department elimination we could use... hey santa monica...ya need to get on a treadmill...your looking chunky these days...

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