Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
As I read the two redevelopment articles it seemed that fiscal common sense was about to finally prevail. Sadly, that was soon shattered because city hall was now researching alternatives to replace the redevelopment funding process. Frankly, the problem with redevelopment is how local government uses it and who really benefits from its use. Unfortunately, there are other funding processes similar to RDA that will allow the city council and administrators to continue their practice of facilitating the developers while the community residents go without.
Redevelopment was initiated as a funding tool for improving the living conditions of the residents and physically revitalizing a community. However, decades ago the development community was able to convince the city’s leadership that investing in new development would generate new revenue that could then be used to improve city conditions. This same thought process has been perpetuated by each subsequent Council, which has facilitated the developers profit while the community continues to wait (for decades) for the improved living conditions and the physical revitalization of the community. The other party to this less than transparent reality is the lawmakers in Sacramento, which bought into the same scheme and modified redevelopment over time to facilitate the developers.
Unfortunately, the thought process will likely continue unabated but under a different title, until new leadership takes hold of the helm of the destiny of this community and places the needs of the residents ahead of the wants of the developers. The residents have waited for decades for improved living conditions yet the developers’ profit every year, and it appears that the residents will continue to wait but under a different program name.
Dec. 30, 2011