The San Jose Redevelopment Agency laid off over half of its staff on Wednesday, leaving just 31 people to oversee RDA projects, the Mercury News reports.
The move was expected. Governor Jerry Brown has long been promoting his plan of shutting down RDAs across the state and seizing their funds to cover the deficit. As his target draws closer, the remaining staff could soon find themselves without a job as well, possibly as soon as this June. Only the barest minimum of staff will be left then, mostly to finish up the existing projects and help the RDA cover its debt.
RDA head Harry Mavrogenes called it a “sad day” but said that “It is still too early to write the RDA’s epitaph.”
Perhaps, but some people are already eulogizing the agency. Professor Terry Christensen of San Jose State University, for instance, noted how the RDA helped San Jose “become the capital of Silicon Valley.”
It remains to be seen how the layoffs will affect the RDA’s most prominent proposed project—a new baseball stadium in the city. Maybe that is what Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff and San Jose city officials are waiting to see.