Here’s an eye-opening story from last winter by Greg Sebourn about one of the most hare-brained Redevelopment boondoggles ever proposed. The fact that it was suggested by Don Bankhead a mere six weeks after his umpteenth re-election is ample evidence that either 1) his mental gears have slipped completely; or 2) he really never had any judgment in the first place. You decide if you really want this king-sized boob in office any more.
- Joe Sipowicz
Mayor Pro Tem Don Bankhead seeks to use Redevelopment Agency funds, originally set aside for combating blight and providing low-income housing, to prop up the Fullerton Civic Light Opera (FCLO).
In an article penned by Eric Marchese of FullertonStories.com, Bankhead indicated he is “…investigating the use of Redevelopment Agency funding to assist the Duncans and FCLO.”
What would prompt this Republican and self-proclaimed conservative council member with more than 22 years of elected service under his belt to conclude a necessity for a taxpayer bailout of the FCLO?
Bankhead was quoted as saying, “It would be a blow, a terrible loss, to the city if [the Duncans] can’t figure out some way of saving [the company].”
And therefore taxpayers must somehow bailout this private endeavor??
What about the public employees who have taken significant cuts in pay (and service hours) to help shore up the financial debacle created by a city council with their collective heads in the sand? Should the Redevelopment Agency also bail out these other departments and public employees?
The short answer: NO! Before the Redevelopment Agency existed taxpayer funds were meant to go toward all of our public services from engineering and education to public safety. But after the Redevelopment Agency was created and expanded, taxpayer funds were redirected to combat blight and fund low-income housing. Meanwhile, our infrastructure lays in ruin from continuous neglect and habitual misappropriation of public funds.
If we use Redevelopment Agency funds to bail out the FCLO we will have effectively robbed all of our public agencies so that a select few can be entertained.
I cannot think of a more egregious abuse of public funds except perhaps spending $6-million to move a McDonald’s restaurant 200 feet or borrowing $29-million to evict low-income families.
Does the recall effort begin now or do taxpayers wait for further damage to be done at their expense?