More Layoffs at Redevelopment Agency

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.

Read More at The Mercury News.


  1. but no one from the executive suite? it’s such a top heavy department you wonder why so many are still there. don’t you just need a project manager and an a/p clerk? And don’t other city departments have some of those who may be targeted for layoff who can do this work?

    rightsizing my eye. who does he think he’s fooling?
    bondholders? city councilmembers?

  2. Many years ago when Joe Hernandez Architect of the MHC Plaza and Gardens, was actively doing what was then his job. The Nice folks at the RDA, got together in Blanca’s office and wacked Joe for his law suit that was filed when he was working for our Garden Mayor Tom Mc Kenery. 20 % of the RDA’s money had to go to housing. He won!
      It is good to know that Joe took the high road as did I. It is also good to know that We may out last the Evel Empire.
      Gil Hernandez
      The Village Black Smith

  3. I feel badly for the employees and their families. The RDA started getting screwed up when the City council appointed itself as the Agency Board about 30 years ago.
    Start cleaning house starting at the top, the Agency Board and the Executive staff!

  4. I can’t say I will shed a tear for the eventual demise of the RDA. I will however hope that the public knows exactly what was paid to those “laid off” in severance.

    I mean since we are talking about “real world” solutions to pay/pensions/operating costs/taxes/etc, Does anyone think that a layoff should include a severance too?

    So, come on SJI, dig around. The cost set aside has to be approved by the city council. I’m guessing it got buried in the minutes and with a wink-wink to the Mercury, never will be reported.

    Heck, people have a right to know my salary and pension because it is tax dollars at work. People should know the golden handshakes given out to RDA staffers at the tax payer expense.

    I’m not holding my breath though.

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