Nancy Pyle: Redevelopment Is Worth Saving in San Jose

Editor’s Note: The following was written by City Councilmember Nancy Pyle and included in her March newsletter. Pyle represents San Jose’s 10th District.

On Wednesday, February 16th I traveled to Sacramento with Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen, Councilmembers Ash Kalra and Donald Rocha and Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Harry Mavrogenes. Our mission was to discuss the governor’s plan to eliminate Redevelopment Agencies statewide.

While there we met with Assembly Members Bob Wieckowski, Rich Gordon, Paul Fong, Nora Campos, Jim Beall, Bill Monning and Luis Alejo as well as Senators Ellen Corbett, Joe Simitian, Elaine Alquist and Sam Blakeslee. We were encouraged by their understanding of the need for Redevelopment.

In the past ten years the City of San Jose has had a cumulative budget deficit of $565 million and an employee reduction of 1,614. There is no capacity for more cuts. I am an advocate for redevelopment because redevelopment is essential to the economic health of San Jose, the Bay Area and California. Redevelopment agencies and enterprise zones, which offer tax incentives for businesses to locate here, provide some of the most powerful economic development tools cities have.

For example, San Jose’s Redevelopment Agency has been vital in transforming North San Jose into a vibrant economic area which is now home to more than 1,400 companies with 66,000 employees. In the Edenvale Technology Park, San Jose’s Redevelopment Agency has attracted more than 300 companies employing more than 13,000 people since 1980.

San Jose’s Redevelopment Agency is the best in the state regarding low cost housing and is second to Los Angeles in productivity. I am concerned that San Jose may lose one of the very few tools it has to attract and keep business.

The State of California offers no incentive packages for corporate community while Texas, Arizona and several other states do. Consequently Mayor Reed and the other top 10 Mayors of our state have presented to Governor Brown a very sound proposal which alters Redevelopment operations. A decision should be forthcoming within the next week or so. I will keep you posted.

Nancy Pyle
District 10 Councilmember

9 Comments

  1. I’m afraid I don’t by it.  It appears that the City has lent millions out of the General Fund to the Redevelopment Fund.  Then the Redevelopment Fund lends out millions to Tom McEnery, millions to construction companies and millions to purchase land for a ballpark.  Oh and let us not forget $140,000 to lease downtown toilets.

    If the City didn’t loan millions out of the General Fund would we be in such a deficit?  Please answer.

    I’m sure there has been money well spent but millions not well spent.

    Summary of Redevelopment Agency Obligations To The City
    http://www.sanjoseca.gov/budget/FY1011/03ProposedOperating/03.SummaryInfo03.pdf

    Read the following and tell me if this sounds familiar?

    http://articles.ocregister.com/2010-05-07/opinion/24625338_1_eminent-domain-redevelopment-fight-blight

  2. Nonsense!  RDAs are political slush funds.  Check with your constituency and you’ll discover that nine out of every ten residents believe the RDA isn’t worth the powder it would take to blow it to hell.

  3. Good Job SJRA.  You redeveloped Edenvale, North First Street and Downtown. With no more blight, your mission has been fulfilled. Time to wind down and just service your remaining debt from previous projects.

  4. Have California do economic development with each city submitting proposed projects twice (2 x ) a year for state wide competition for state economic development tax subsidies based on number of new good jobs created and taxes actually generated

    Have very strong ” Clawback Penalties ” to recover all taxes from any city that submits false or non achieved new jobs and taxes numbers  

    Penalizing the cities for submitting bad projects to state and you have a strong financial penalty to remove political corruption  

    Do not allow state to directly award any economic development taxes except through state wide competitive projects process

    Taxpayers will get honest jobs and tax economic development projections after a few cities have to pay back millions to state for using fake jobs and tax projects

    Close all Redevelopment Agencies run by corrupt city politicians like San Jose RDA

    San Jose have wasted billions RDA taxes but got few long term good jobs or new city taxes like California RDA law intended and other cities got from RDA projects while for decades San Jose’s Mayors and Councils political cronies get rich or richer

    City Budget problems are caused by grossly mismanaged RDA projects, funding projects with few or no new jobs or taxes and most RDA taxes going to City Councils political payback or legalized corruption or pay politicians to get taxpayer money  

    1) San Jose not having same tax revenues as other Silicon Valley cities like Santa Clara Mayor Reed said if San Jose had same tax revenue as Santa Clara we would have $300 million more revenue per year ( and no budget deficit )

    2) San Jose RDA Taxes that were wasted if properly spent for projects as state law intended would have generated new 10’s thousands of new good jobs and 100’s millions in new taxes

    Close RDA Political Slush Fund Down now

  5. Have California do economic development with each city submitting proposed projects twice (2 x ) a year for state wide competition for state economic development tax subsidies based on number of new good jobs created and taxes actually generated

    Have very strong ” Clawback Penalties ” to recover all taxes from any city that submits false or non achieved new jobs and taxes numbers  

    Penalizing the cities for submitting bad projects to state and you have a strong financial penalty to remove political corruption  

    Do not allow state to directly award any economic development taxes except through state wide competitive projects process

    Taxpayers will get honest jobs and tax economic development projections after a few cities have to pay back millions to state for using fake jobs and tax projects

    Close all Redevelopment Agencies run by corrupt city politicians like San Jose RDA

    San Jose have wasted billions RDA taxes but got few long term good jobs or new city taxes like California RDA law intended and other cities got from RDA projects while for decades San Jose’s Mayors and Councils political cronies get rich or richer

    City Budget problems are caused by grossly mismanaged RDA projects, funding projects with few or no new jobs or taxes and most RDA taxes going to City Councils political paybacks, legalized corruption or ” pay politicians to get taxpayer money ” 

    1) San Jose not having same tax revenues as other Silicon Valley cities like Santa Clara Mayor Reed said if San Jose had same tax revenue as Santa Clara we would have $300 million more revenue per year ( and no budget deficit )

    2) San Jose RDA Taxes that were wasted if properly spent for projects as state law intended would have generated new 10’s thousands of new good jobs and 100’s millions in new taxes

    Close RDA Political Slush Fund Down now and stop City Councils political paybacks, legalized corruption or ” pay politicians to get taxpayer money ”

  6. I am flabbergasted with the lack of dialogue on this subject.  I believe this to be the single most “cancer” upon our city. I understand nothing is really as simple as black and white.  However, it appears like night and day to me. 

    *Money transferred from General Fund to SJRDA.
    *SJRDA uses this money to pay for stadium land & to pay construction Co. 

    This is like a bad case of money laundering. Then in an effort to save money, the City is hanging their laundry out to dry.  Exposing their tightie whities with no complaints and no shame.  Then we will have to listen to Reed explain why we need to vote in a sales tax increase. 

    Why aren’t the citizens, the unions (employees) and whomever, up in arms on this matter?  Why can’t we get a rebuttal from Pyle?

  7. The RDA has been a loser for years with reference to the oppressive debt borne by the taxpayers.

    The “slumification” of San Jose can be attributed to the lack of revenue to public schools.

    The tax increments to support “tax subsidized housing”…government housing projects by any other name are of no value. These “projects” destroy established neighborhoods and reduce property values.

    I will be glad to see RDA go. RDA was a good tool so chronically mismanaged by Council, the only way to fix the problem created by decades of mismanagement is to have Gov. Brown shut them down.

    David.

  8. San Jose RDA Governor Brown gota approved loan from our City Council and Chuck GREED for 5 million from the Water pollution plant …Violating Prop 218 …Loan RDA 3 million from are parks money …violates prop 218 and one million from the kids Ice arena rink fund …They are the problem along with the council and reed who are drying up ” The WEll” …Get Rid of them Please Mr Brown !!!! Thank God your here