Harry Mavrogenes

Land Saved for A’s Stadium in Limbo; Legislators Look at New Finance Options

A new report from State Controller John Chiang says the city of San Jose improperly transferred land intended for a baseball stadium.

When Gov. Jerry Brown ordered in 2011 the dissolution of California’s 400-plus redevelopment agencies (RDAs), San Jose was forced to halt the kind of subsidized development that built much of downtown over the past two decades. Now the city might have to work out a new deal on RDA land it has been holding for a potential baseball stadium in the hope that the Oakland A’s can relocate to San Jose. But as the legal fight between the state and municipalities continues, other ideas for tax-increment financing (TIF) districts are emerging.

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City Releases Employee Salaries for 2011

The list many public employees dread every year—annual salaries—posted to the city’s website. No one came close to matching last year’s top earner, retired police chief Rob Davis, but there were some interesting numbers pertaining to high-profile executives and their subordinates.

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Did RDA Waste $30 Million?

Councilmember Sam Liccardo submitted a memo late Thursday calling for an audit of four incubator programs funded by the San Jose Redevelopment Agency. The request responds to a 2009 study—unseen by most city officials for two years—which finds that RDA spent more than $30 million on business-building incubator programs which, it says, showed very poor returns on investment.

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A Comedy of City Errors

Councilmember Donald Rocha struts his stuff in an “Apocalypse Now” spoof to the apparent delight of many female attendees at Monday Night Live. (More photos below.)

The 18th edition of the political comedy show Monday Night Live promised to be “kinder and gentler,” which became abundantly clear when no one dared to joke about councilmember Ash Kalra’s DUI or Pierluigi Oliverio’s sign-stealing.

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District 10 Cattle Call

Former RDA director Susan Schick escaped San Jose and went to 
live on a boat in the Caribbean.

Redevelopment Agency director Harry Mavrogenes might be quitting the broke-ass agency—hey, four decades is enough to ask of anybody in this town—but he’s not planning to fade into the sunset and paint water colors. That’s what his one-time boss Frank Taylor did. Or live on a boat in the Caribbean on the San Jose tax money she escaped with, as predecessor Susan Schick did. Maybe he’s a glutton for punishment, but the Mavster will be staying involved in local public affairs.

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Keit to Head Redevelopment Agency

The City Council, acting in its capacity as the Board of Directors of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, announced its decision to appoint Richard Keit to serve as Managing Director of the Agency. Keit is currently the Redevelopment Agency’s Director of Business Development and has held various positions in local government, including manager of the housing division, neighborhood business district coordinator and director of neighborhood and industrial development.

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Redevelopment Agency Exec Resigns

Harry Mavrogenes made the surprising announcement Thursday that he will relinquish his role as Executive Director of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency as of June 24. Mavrogenes has held the title since late 2004.

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City Protects Land in Hopes of Baseball Stadium

The future of professional sports in the nation’s 10th largest city is in limbo. In furious preparations for an opportunity that may never materialize—and to protect the land holdings that may one day house a ballpark—San Jose has taken extraordinary steps.

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Brown Eyeing RDA Funds?

Times have changed since Jerry Brown was last Governor. These days he’s faced with a $28 billion deficit and the realization that he’s going to have to cut somewhere. One possibility is the state’s Redevelopment Agencies, which consume about $5.5 billion in property tax revenues. It won’t be easy. While transferring that money to schools, for instance, could prove popular, the same voters who elected him also approved Proposition 22, which prevents the state from raiding local funds.

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RDA Head: MACSA Defaulted on Grant

City Redevelopment director Harry Mavrogenes says the embattled Mexican American Community Services Agency (MACSA) has defaulted on a $500,000 grant.

Magrovenes sent a memo to the Redevelopment Agency’s Board of Directors saying that the MACSA’s Youth Center on the East Side has been receiving redevelopment grants for a preschool program that has never been implemented.

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