The Fullerton City Council got it wrong. The ire is not over the low-income housing as council members suggested before they stuck us with a $45 million bill; it is the fact that they busted out the taxpayer’s credit card. Like Councilman Jones analogized at Tuesday’s Council/Redevelopment Agency meeting, Council went to the bank and took out a loan. And the collateral is the future property tax increment on properties in Redevelopment Agency zones. That property tax increment should be going towards the infrastructure, public safety, and education. Instead, the tax increment will go into other redevelopment boondoggles with at least 15% of it annually being used to pay off the $29 million bond plus the interest and fees totaling around $45,500,000 over the next 16 years. Shame on the Redevelopment Agency staff for taking taxpayers for a ride and shame on all four council members for growing our debt. To say that the end justifies the means is unacceptable. Council members have a fiduciary duty which was clearly neglected by the intoxicating allure of taxpayer MONEY.
And council members point their fingers at “mandates” from the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). They point to the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) that SCAG performs. Who is SCAG? As the name implies, our city, our county, and neighboring agencies. Who runs it? Our council members along with those of the member agencies in much the same manner that our council represents
taxpayers on water and sanitation boards. SCAG is a governmental agency which receives taxpayer funding from, among others, Fullerton residents and businesses. Fullerton
Let’s not forget that the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency was ready, willing, and able to spend $6 million to move a McDonalds 150 feet. Succumbing to public scrutiny and pressure, Fullerton City Council backed out of the deal. Let’s also no forget that the Fullerton Redevelopment agency spent $22.7 million to move 600 low-income residents out of the Richman Park area so that they could build fewer units than those bulldozed. According to project manager Charles Kovac, “…the agency doesn't know yet how many more properties it will acquire or how much money it will spend. It depends, in part, on what funding is available.” (July 2010, OC Register) Pushing our low-income problem onto another community through a taxpayer-subsidized mass relocation is one way to do erase
’s problem from SCAG’s tally sheet, but it certainly isn’t ethical. Fullerton
There is no end in sight for the insatiable appetite of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency under the direction of our current council.
For more informmation on Redevelopment Agencies go here: