Municipal Redevelopment Arrogance: A Common Scourge

Sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Like the case in Philly where a local businessman may be sued by the Redevelopment Agency for cleaning up trash and beautifying a piece of blighted Agency-owned property that they willfully refused to clean up. So ths guy spends 20 big ones of his own dough since the City blatantly ignored its own mess, and is now looking at a potential lawsuit – a lawsuit some asshole city bureaucrat says is based on “principle.” Principle. Now that’s a scream.

What’s really funny is that if the city had done the work it would have cost twenty times as much and taken ten times longer.

Of course apologists of Fullerton’s former Redevelopment Agency (you know who they are) would be quick to point out is that this sort incompetence and arrogance  never happened in Fullerton; Fullerton Redevelopment folks were  just so darned…well… you know.

But consider this: Fullerton has had a long and inglorious Redevelopment history that includes building, then demolishing concrete trestles along Harbor, giving away a public sidewalk to a politically connected apaign contributor, subsidizing dozens of boondoggles, supporting architectural design Nazi-ism, stealing an old lady’s property to give to a car dealer, and nasty little sales tax kick backs from Redevelopment funds – all done to promote more tax revenue to pay for pensions, League of City junkets, and all those inevitable step pay increases for the gang.

A final thought: even though Redevelopment is supposedly dead in California you can bet the farm (if they don’t steal it for High Speed Rail) that the lobbyists are busy at work in Sacramento trying to revive it, and that local mall fry politicians and local political wannabes are real eager for it to come back.

Why not? It’s fun and it isn’t their money.

Behind Closed Doors Chronic Failure Dead heads Don Bankhead Downtown Fullerton Fullerton BooHoo Fullerton City Council Candidates Fullerton City Council Election 2010 Gin Flurry Hidden Government Agencies Redevelopment Repuglicanism Setting The Bar Low Something Wicked This Way Comes The Culture of Corruption Watch Your Wallet

55 thoughts on “Municipal Redevelopment Arrogance: A Common Scourge

  1. “What’s really funny is that if the city had done the work it would have cost twenty times as much and taken ten times longer.”

    There you go. Somone in the city government had lined up a family member or company that would give kickbacks to clean up the property for 5 times what his guy spent.

    So of course the city official is mad.

    1. Simmons, watch the film “Back to School” where Rodney Dangerfield says exactly what you are saying.
      Especially in the North East, that is exactly what happens.

    2. this man cleaned up a mess created by the city out of his own pocket he should be given an award yet some pencil neck paper pusher is appalled just because he cant get kickbacks
      sir you deserve a medal and the d head thats prosecuting you should be given the shaft

    1. Set aside the aesthetic disasters and focus your pea-size brain on the millions wasted on zero accountability. Did anybody every do a study to see how much was lost on those dealerships? Of cours not!

      Millions frittered away on “affordable” housing that costs three times as much to build as the regular kind?

      Not all of the people who supported this theft have been held politically accountable. Wink.

  2. Must be a slow news day….still bitching about redevelopment. But then again, FFFF would still bitch if they had nothing to bitch about.

  3. A good example of redevelopment waste is Buena Park Mall. the city of fullerton pumped millions of tax dollars into tile floors, expansive entrances that lead to a mall only half-filled with a sad selection of discount stores selling cheap merchandise. the only success in this mall is Wal-Mart. The city of Buena Park will not recoup the loss of tax dollars spent on this mall because the rent is too high and the neighborhood’s income too low to cause a profit. The irony is upon entering the always half empty of cars at Buena Park Mall’s parking lot is full of little canopy businesses selling clothes, food, groceries and other items at cheap prices because their overhead is very low, just rent for a few spaces on a lot and a cloth canopy. The only place business booms at buena Park Mall is the little parking lot entrepreneur.
    The conncept of redevelopment gives much power to mediocre, myopic persons in municipal government to reconfigure an entire city to their vison of success at the expense of existing businesses and residences.
    the intent of our government is not to act as a nanny state that forces a community to conform to a few persons who sit on a city’s council idea of pretty or nice. the intent of our government was and still is to protect every individual’s right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. and that pursuit of happiness means not having the government drive a business owner out of business or a person out of their home

    1. That’s not true. This mall has made a 360 turn around after it was redone. There are many anchor stores there and restaurants. Parking there is always nuts too.

      1. Kl, I’ve been going to buena park mall since it opened in the early 1960’s as a little kid and was there last month. Buena park mall was an outdoor, thriving mall from the 1960’s until the late 1980’s. Then the area’s demographics shifted more towards struggling working class and the once middle end stores left due to lack of business. Once the middle end stores pulled out, the well-known discount stores lost business and soon left the mall.
        Buena Park could not accept its cash cow mall was dying. Buena park city council infused million of tax dollars into remodeling this mall. Last month I went to the DSW shoe store at the buena park mall.
        Nostalgia always wins out with me when I am at this mall. As imwalked txhrough this mall remebering what it once was, I saw Half the mall is empty, the rest is filled with junk product
        stores that would be found at run down strip malls.
        Behind this mall is Krikorian theatres that was surrounded by little shops and fast food places. Now Krikorian theatre is surrounded by a ghost mall.
        I reiterate the fact that the only thriving business at this mall is in its parking lot where the non redevelopment funded entrepreneurs are doing well.

  4. I need a little education, what is: “architectural design Nazi-ism” Is it design inspired by Hitler’s artitect Albert Speer?

    1. Speer was actually a bad architect but a brilliant organizer. His architectural ability would have been on par for DTF, maybe a little above average.

      Fullerton’s Design Review Committee was in charge of rubber stamping whatever crap the Molly McClanahans and Paul Dudleys found aesthetically pleasing. The design pabulum was codified into design guidelines that were supposed provide “facelifts” as Barbara Giasone called them, but of course the irony is that mostly they were ignored, arbitrarily, just like in any nice authoritarian regime.

      Now that Redevelopment is dead (for the time being) The City Council should disband the RDRC immediately.

        1. It’s a process. You make it look our way or you won’t do it. See, design Nazi’s like uniform, non-threatening schlock.

          1. Anonymous is not from Orange County? You have a design and the bureaucratic folks in City Planning Department tell you how they want the design to be, even after you make dozens of changes. Takes a long time to get anything done. Try building a pod mall on the street intersections.

          2. Kind of like so many new construction having second story ‘windows’ that aren’t really windows and towers that serve no function?

    1. Christian, what happened to you? I enjoyed reading your blog post, especially when you blogged about all the money, our money that was being squandered away every other Tuesday.

      Godlewski? That idiot’s back? Damnation, what’s happening in Fullerton?

  5. KL :I was just there this weekend. That place is crowded. I agree with you about redevelopment, but please, facts are needed here.

    People were only there for the air conditioning

  6. But don’t forget all the public infrastrucure improvements that Redvlopment made like how nice the alleys are around the bars. That also had a public safety element as the street sweeper only needs to pass by one time to skim off the real chunky barf piles. It’s a damn good thing they didn’t waste any money fixing the really fucked up alleys south of the tracks. Just ask Jan Florys and her best pal Paul Dudley; “those people like it like that”

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