Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The reason for the loss of Redevelopment cannot be easily rationalized on any particular politician, political party, or political process. Much like the reasoning behind the current economic recession, the demise of RDA is simply the result of another bubble bursting after decades of misuse and self-serving profiteering.
Redevelopment when initiated over 60years ago was intended to assist agencies in funding the recovery of deteriorating and blighted areas. However, over time, the agencies morphed the RDA process into a resource for funding new development, in hopes of creating new tax revenue that would arrest declining general fund budgets and the leadership’s inability to meet community services. Instead, a majority of the new revenue from the new development was leveraged for and/or invested in the next awaiting new development project. The predicable outcome of this often-replayed scenario is tantamount to a gambling addiction, wherein salvation of the budget is but only one last bet away.
As the City Council searches for a Redevelopment replacement, let us hope that their focus turns towards application of the replacement program to actually improving the general welfare and quality of life of the overall community. There are a number of funding programs that function like RDA , but not as restrictive. It will take a great deal more will on the part of the Council and city hall to maintain focus on the residents’ needs while being courted by new development.
The residents are not being served properly when it takes 40 years to fund and build a new city corporation yard or twenty years to respond to an inadequately sized city library or proper roadway and parking lot maintenance goes unaddressed for 10 years or more. A more responsive fiscal management structure is needed because these timeframes continue to extend for a list of deficiencies.
Feb. 2, 2012