State to review redevelopment agencies |

State to review redevelopment agencies

State Controller John Chiang will undertake a review of 18 redevelopment agencies across the state, according to a Monday statement.

The review will be conducted to “obtain facts on how RDA funds are used and the extent to which they comply with laws governing their activities,” according to the statement.

“The heated debate over whether RDAs are the engines of local economic and job growth or are simply scams providing windfalls to political cronies at the expense of public services has largely been based on anecdotal evidence,” Chiang said in the statement. “As lawmakers deliberate the Governor’s proposal to close RDAs and divert those funds to local schools and public safety agencies, I believe it is important to provide factual, empirical information about how these agencies perform and what they bring to the communities they serve.”

Governor Jerry Brown proposed cutting redevelopment agencies early this month to help solve the state’s budget problems.

The agencies selected for the reviews represent urban, suburban and rural communities. They are geographically diverse and represent a mix of varying populations.

The reviews will include how the agencies define a “blighted” area, whether they are appropriately paying for low and moderate income housing as required by law, whether they are accurately “passing through” payments to schools within their community, and how much redevelopment officials, board members and employees are being compensated for their services.

The reviews will be completed in early March.

The redevelopment agencies to be reviewed include San Jose, Riverside County, Los Angeles, Richmond, Sacramento County, Pittsburg, Fremont, Pasadena, Fresno, Palm Desert, Placentia, Parlier, Hercules, Anderson, Citrus Heights, Calexico, Coronado and Desert Hot Springs.

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