Letter to the Editor: Eliminate Emeryville’s Redevelopment Agency and Eliminate the Abuse

June 22, 2011
By
The Redevelopment Agency in Emeryville is a fiasco: money for developers, bankers/brokers, attorneys, and consultants.  Emeryville runs a tight little agency with many city staffers working on mostly redevelopment agendas.  Where do the property taxes go?  They go back into the agency, thereby negating monies meant for cities, counties, and school districts that would normally receive them.  Who pays the bills on the loan interest?  I look to the general fund to see.  Help me understand a city that continues to subsidize big business, while at the same time failing to support the one early education facility in town, and also failing to support family friendly housing — a purported goal of a redevelopment agency.
The redevelopment agency — comprised of the city’s 5 council members — has made these deals with corporations in good faith, expecting to get a return for the city.  What are these corporations doing?  Disney Pixar, Novartis, etc., etc.  They are going to the county and demanding that their property taxes be lowered.  So much for your good faith contracts with the big boys in town.  And as for housing, it has been severely compromised, with little or no family housing being built.  Land set aside for family housing was given away at a pittance to Disney Pixar for a parking lot!
The abuse is abysmal and to try and make superficial amendments at this late date is untenable.
Ruth Major
Ruth Major lives at Watergate in Emeryville. She is an expert in early childhood education and writes the column “Children Matter”  for The Secret News.
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2 Responses to Letter to the Editor: Eliminate Emeryville’s Redevelopment Agency and Eliminate the Abuse

  1. Brian Donahue on June 23, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Congrats to Ruth Major for a very well put together letter.

  2. Michael Webber on August 8, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Could you please put me in contact with Ruth Major so I can learn more? I am busy gathering signatures to run for City Council and even with my somewhat cynical outlook I assumed redevelopment funds were an INVESTMENT not a GIFT and the City is entitled to a fair return on its investment.

    Also, what can you tell me about Lawrence Livermore moving to Emeryville? Aren’t they tax exempt? Wouldn’t that negatively impact our property tax base? Does anyone care?

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