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Thursday, September 23, 2010

[RonKaye] CRA's Unlimited Authority to Squander Tax Money Anywhere in LA on Anything

Beutner's Folly:  
The CRA's Unlimited Authority to Squander Tax Money Anywhere in LA on Anything

By Ron Kaye
TAKE ACTION NOW:  Contact Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 
State Capitol Building, Sacramento CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841 Fax: 916-558-3160

Please Arnold, veto Felipe Fuentes' audacious bill AB 2531.

Don't join the conspiracy to destroy LA in order to save it.

Don't allow the scandal-plagued Community Redevelopment Agency to take tax money for schools, libraries, parks and other basic services and give it to just about anyone, for any purpose, projects or programs, anywhere in the city, even outside CRA project areas.

Don't rob four million people to enrich the few.

Don't destroy the intent of redevelopment law and put billions of dollars in public money into the hands of one man -- First Deputy Mayor and Interim DWP General Manager Austin Beutner -- without adequate safeguards to protect the public interest.

AB 2531 is now sitting on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk awaiting his signature or veto.

Here's what it does:
"This bill would, until January 1, 2018, authorize the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, at the request of the legislative body, to prepare applications for, and execute, economic development programs, to accept public or private assistance, and to expend those funds for any economic development activities inside or outside a project area within the territorial jurisdiction of the agency"

This bill would, until January 1, 2018, expand the agency's programmatic authority by authorizing it to provide direct assistance including, but not limited to, loans, financial guarantees, or other financial assistance, to business within project areas in connection with new or existing facilities for retaining or expanding employment in the project area, increasing energy efficiency of buildings in the project area, or for other specified redevelopment purposes. This bill would specify that these programs constitute redevelopment, as defined.
The legislative history of AB 2531 shows it was written solely for Los Angeles, and nowhere else in California, specifically to empower Beutner as the city's economic czar controlling the harbor, airport, DWP, planning, building and safety and among other departments to get his hands on local, state and federal money and channel it through his hand-picked leadership at CRA to whomever he wants.

It's all being done in the name of "jobs, jobs, jobs" no matter what they cost the public and is backed by city and San Fernando Valley business groups, environmentalists and, of course, City Hall's favorite union, the IBEW, which stands to benefit greatly since the key justification for AB 2531 is that there be some small environmental connection, as small as any increase in water or power efficiency or use of recycled materials.

Read the rest of this important story at