The State of Redevelopment in California

Remember State Controller John Chaing’s review of  “Selected Redevelopment Agencies” in California?

His office’s five week study of a sample of 18 agencies (Fullerton was not in the sample of agencies) in the state has released a report:

The authors have come to some disturbing, but not unexpected conclusions beginning with “The Controller found no reliable means to measure the impact of redevelopment activity on job growth because RDAs either do not track them or their methodologies lack uniformity and are often arbitrary.”  No one who follows the travails of redevelopment in our state should be surprised by this revelation.

The full report is replete with examples of agencies in different cities improperly filing required reports or not filing them at all as well as using funds improperly.  Chiang concludes that “The lack of accountability and transparency is a breeding ground for waste, abuse, and impropriety…”.

Even this short term study confirms what many people in Fullerton and elsewhere have maintained for years, that redevelopment law in California has allowed local agencies to abuse their mandates with impunity from the very start with the dubious establishment of the areas themselves.

“The report notes that the 18 RDAs share no consensus in defining a blighted area.”  The definition of blight was, of course, at the very crux of challenges against the unjustified expansion of the Fullerton Merged Redevelopment Area.  It is encouraging to see the state government challenging agencies to define the blight in their cities in clear terms instead of allowing laughable images of gum wrappers and aluminum cans in a vacant lot to stand as justification for the wholesale diversion of tax dollars away from vital city services.

43 Replies to “The State of Redevelopment in California”

  1. We never saw a report like this until the election of Governor Gerry Brown, who is pushing the anti-redevelopment cause. Better late than never.
    The only reason why redevelopment has survived, is because the ordinary citizen does not understand that it is financed by diversions of property taxes from schools, special districts, cities, and counties. They think that these entities are financed entirely by federal grants. Once they become educated about what is really going on, the supermajority of citizens change their positions on it.
    This is what Controller CHIANG should have studied: Whether or not ERAF-recipient districts (under SB8) would continue to need the ERAF distributions, if redevelopment diversions of property taxes had not occurred in their property tax base areas.
    Best wishes, WSH

  2. Hey admin,

    Have you (Tony Bushala) or any of your family businesses taken any redevelopment money for any reason over the years in Fullerton?

    If so, for what?

    1. There is no Bushala “family business.”

      I’ve never taken a dime of Redevelopment subsidy for any of the properties I own.

      1. I do know there are a lot of buildings downtown that needed earthquake retrofitting. Is that a bad use of money for saving older buildings?

        It seems that money is used for a lot of things.

    1. Hey, way to divert the conversation Mango and Anon. The posting was about the state’s assessment of redevelopment agencies. These are big words, but try to follow along because they may have some relevance to our local government.

  3. Before you accept Tony’s denial that his family has not benefited from RDA cash, I would do a public records search, on transactions between the Bushala’s and the RDA (about 130 pages), as well as calling former Redevelopment Manager Terry Galvin, who knows the whole story on this. Terry’s phone number is 714-992-5717.

    1. I have a better idea. Why don’t you do it and send in the story? Everybody thinks someone else is supposed to do all the work for them.

    2. By all means call Terry Galvin. He will (if he’s telling the truth) tell you that I have never had a loan or a subsidy from Redevelopment.

      I am only responsible for my own decisions. Nobody else’s.

    3. Yes by all means call the useless Terry Galvin – Master of A Thousand Redevelopment Disasters. Downtown Fullerton is strewn with the results of this cretin’s misadventures, all paid for by us and sponsored by twenty-five years worth of compliant boohoos and ‘pugs on the council who every year claimed to be right on the verge of “revitalizing” DTF. Until election time of course, and then they took credit for success – until after the election when suddenly much more needed to be done.

      1. Wow, what a formula for job security. Is Galvin in the $100,000 club?

        Still for all those f-ups it might have been cheaper to just pension him off!

    4. Ha! Good luck getting a straight answer from Terry Galvin. It would be a first.

      But you are barking up the wrong tree, havegun. Bushala has actually put HIS OWN money into a dilapidated Redevelopment owned property. That’s got to be a first in the history of Fullerton Redevelopment.

    5. Terry Galvin wanted to spend (and did) a ton of money giving any developer that would listen money to fix up they train station. After numerous failed attempts that all included tons of redevelopment cash and a lawsuit from a travel agency (that never even opened its doors) that cost the city a few hundred grand, Bushala steps up and pays his own money to fix the place up, lease it long term and no subsidy from the RDA.

      Knock yourselves out calling Terry Galvin guys. The only thing you are likely to hear from him is cries of woe that the RDA missed their “opportunity” to build a rail museum for $35 million that would have been the biggest white elephant in OC’s history.

      By the way, I didn’t read that Tony claims to speak for everyone in his family. You are accusing Tony right? Or is it good enough for you if he knows someone who got a check from the RDA? Surely you are not like those idiots last year who accused Tony of having traffic tickets only to learn it was his brother?

      1. Play on words. Tony benefitted and is the biggest joke in town except for his 12 merry men and cynthia. All part of the big circle jerk. Great job Tony, Travis, Chris, Chris, Shawn, Greg, Bruce and the few mindless followers that believe everything Tony says.

      2. Yeah.. and sat on the toilet for two days after eating at the snack shop there. In all fairness, I don’t know if Tony runs that place, but it’s funny reading about Chi and his grocery store when I got sick over there.

    6. Wouldn’t the file on Tony’s lawsuit against the redevelopment agency aimed at trying to stop the redevelopment expansion alone be a few hundred pages?

      1. Did you follow any of that? He lost the case on a technicality (The idiot attorney forgot to file papers!) Did you get a good deal on that one Tony? Hope you got a new attorney for the appeal!

        1. OMG, the County of Orange filed (and settled for $25 million) a similar lawsuit against the bogus Fullerton redevelopment expansion. AND the County ALSO didn’t “notify” (the big “technicality”) the AG either, so your right Tony’s attorney is as big an idiot as the County of Orange’s attorney.

          Something tells me the Court of Appeals is going to find that “notifying” the AG’s office within 3 days of filing a lawsuit against a redevelopment agency is not as big a deal as you think and will permit the lawsuit to proceed on it’s own merit (BOGUS blight finding).

  4. Tony say it’s not so…sounds like havegunwilltravel has some dirt on you?

    By the way it smells like Firemen down here!!

    1. No, it looks like the state has some dirt on 16 redevelopment agencies. If you think you have something interesting to say why don’t you start a blog and have at it instead of making crude remarks about people?

    2. The original post was rude and disgusting. it was right of you to change the nickname… but not consistent.

        1. The only reason Tony changed the commenter’s name is that his ex wife would have removed his testicles if he left it there. I for one think he was justified in modifying the record.

  5. Is anyone looking into Tom Daly’s redevelopment Agency? Remember he bought a $2.1 million dollar building that is still sitting empty and falling apart. BTW, he had a St. Patty’s Day celebration where he apparently hosted all the morons who forgot that he is a quitter who takes their money. Last year he didn’t have the party because he had announced that he wasn’t running for superviosr anymore. This after taking everybody’s money and not refunding it after the announcement. SO people just don’t learn their lesson. On hand were “Archives Director” Jean Pasco, Slimeball “Mayor” of the City of Who Cares Phillip Tsunoda, I’ve never had a real job “Director of Extrernal Affairs” Jordan Brandman, Mexican SellOut and “Assistant Clerk-Recorder” Renee Ramirez, Just as slimeball as Phillip Tsunoda and Napoleon Bonaparte ego having “Dennis Bilodeau”. Either these supporters of government waste like to have their money taken from them or they are next in line for a pay for play move from Eperor Thomas Francis Daly. Or in Tommy’s own words, I’ll be throwing a bone your way for a little payolla of course.

  6. There was a subject for this post that was not Tony Bushala, his wife, pensions, Terry Galvin (whoever that is) or public safety employees. Please try to keep your place on the page children. The report from Chiang is very informative and worth discussing.

  7. Amazing. Speak about high-speed rail going off track some of you shift gears and attack Tony B.
    Perhaps you might download the report and add some valid remarks be it in favor or or opposing RDA’s.
    Case in point. We recently went to Palm Desert where they have a premium golf resort courtesy of an effort to eliminate bogus “blight.”
    Thank you.

    1. Let the state waste our tax dollars instead of wasting it here locally. Isn’t that what ends up happening? We know what the state does with their allocation promises.

  8. Gee, a while five weeks to delve into 18 different redevelopment agencies extensive books. I’m so sure the politically motivated Controller delved deeply into the inner workings of those incredibly complicated agencies. Don’t going spraying your shorts just yet with this piece of fecal matter John Chiang has foisted upon you gullible, teabagging zealots and malcontents.

  9. Downtown Fullerton was the happening spot this weekend. Every bar and restaurant was packed and there was nowhere to park. Lots of business owners and employees making money and I didn’t have to wade through piss and vomit to enjoy myself like I would have if I went to Rudy’s house…..and just to think a few years ago that entire neighborhood was a vast wasteland…a relic of a bygone era.

    1. And it costs $1.5 mil more than it takes in for the City. Your pals on the force said that, mango.

      You cops can’t have it both ways. Lots of business owners making money? Can’t argue there. People like you pals Jack and Roscoe get the gold mine – we get the shaft.

      Oh, yeah – nail salons, tattoos, sex store. Way to go redevelopment!

      1. Hey Mango, give away any more public sidewalks to illicit dance club operators?

        Why not? In DTF criminals are given free fire sprinklers!

        1. The point is after 40 years of Redevelopment what do you have to show for it? Except a stack of Master Plans gathering dust in Terry Galvin’s garage.

          1. Yeah, and those master plans weren’t cheap. Just redundant.

            As Hollis Dugan has pointed out, it’s a damn good thing Galvin ran out of steam before he talked the dim bulbs on the council into a white elephant train museum.

  10. Its better to let the State have heir fair share than piss off the whole tax increment on a parking lots and hokey “SOCO” monuments for bar . Are fire heros and cops so stupid that they don’t understand that redevelopment money would go to them instead of into “low house income” piss off. For you uninitiated, the real goal of the FRA is to demolish housing and create as few replacement units as possible while spending as much as possible.

  11. Working Joe, you are right on the mark. The goal is to tear down old affordable housing and replace it with shiny new expensive units that house fewer people. The idea is to drive as many poor people out of the city as possible and spend as much money as possible doing it.

    1. My friend, you have perfectly and succinctly summed up the redevelopment “affordable housing” scam.

      Nobody wins except the house-a-crats and the “non-profit developers.”

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