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.

The text of Mavrogenes’ memo to the Redevelopment Agency Board is below:

In June 2007, the Redevelopment Agency entered into a grant agreement with MACSA for the development of 80 Smart Start spaces in their Sinclair Avenue building. This grant agreement was the culmination of a Request for Proposals in 2005 to which MAC SA responded; The Notice of Completion for the project was recorded on May 1, 2009.

A requirement of the grant is that MACSA operate a Smart Start program (which is a San Jose-specific childcare and education program) for fifteen years. To confirm their intent to meet this requirement, Agency staff spent months working with MACSA and their landlord (Alum Rock School District) to obtain confirmation of a 15 -year lease. The Smart Start program throughout the City is managed by the Library Department, and this arrangement is spelled out in the grant agreement.

On a recent visit to MACSA, the Library staff determined that there was not a Smart Start program operating at the site. MACSA has not been able to find a licensed operator to meet these requirements. Because MACSA appears to be in default of the grant requirements, Agency staff will begin the process of notification of this condition and work with the Library staff and MACSA to identify alternative solutions to this issue.

Harry S. Mavrogenes
Executive Director

Click here to see Mavrogenes’ memo to the Redevelopment Board.


  1. There ya’ go!  The RDA got exactly what they deserved for dealing with such a plug-worthless outfit like MACSA. I am surprised that the RDA execs didn’t observe that the MACSA COO had no brain.

      • Ben Tan?  The former CFO at MACSA?  Heard he was hiding out in the Philippines since the money disappeared.  Of course now embattled former COO Xavier Campos says “It was Ben Tan & Olivia but not me.  If they say its me they’re lying” 

        Of course Campos doesn’t have a credibility problem right?  God help the district leaders mount a serious and immediate recall if he does end up winning that seat in D5!

  2. So is San Jose OUT ANOTHER $500,000 TAX PAYERS MONEY because of poor city grant oversight and management AGAIN ?

    How many 10’s millions are wasted on community grants where city admin can not do their job AGAIN

    Another community group can not account for tax dollars or will go to bankruptcy unless Council ( another Campos ) gives them more Tax dollars AGAIN ?

    Time to fire people at City Hall and stop giving community groups tax dollars

    How much taxes has MACSA been given and what was wasted ?

    • Who gets to write the memo about the City RDA defaulting on its agreement to pay the County what it agreed to, like 40 million dollars?

      Should there be an investigation as to why the City (Chuck Reed) decided to default on its obligation to the county?

      MACSA has and will continue to help youth and seniors in East San Jose, get over it already!

        • greg—add to your list the city subsidy to the downtown association, chamber of commerce, tom mcenery, all festivals and parades, council car allowance and housing subsidy for top managers, why stop there…what about dvd’s the libraries check out as if they were a blockbuster, travel by council and mayor, the explosion in staff in the city managers office…macsa subsidy is a flea on an elephants rear end…

        • You are right. The RDA has given away Hundreds of Millions of dollars in cash subsidies or free land for questionable deals. There should be an independent audit or grand jury investigation to examine the elephants entire rear end.

      • “has and will continue….”

        except when it closes its doors.  I sure hope all those dedicated community workers are looking for other jobs.  Hey, maybe Nora or flunky baby brother will hire them to staff their council/assembly offices.  They’re always down for the people!  Although orchestrating the theft of your retirement money from your pension accts isn’t a real big selling point.

    • I’m going to plug this hotley debated suggestion of mine again.

      Part of the reason the City gives out so many grants is back when they outlawed fireworks, a large amount of charitable and non profit funding was lost.  So there was some deals made then that the city would make up for these losses through grants.

      Before that charities and non-profits had to actually work.  They didn’t have the option of begging the RDA and the city for grants, because it didn’t exist.  You couldn’t walk into city hall with a handout and expect anything.

      So if you can’t scam the RDA out of money because the process doesn’t exist, what else can you do?

      Work your ass off.  Bake sales, fundraisers, sending kids out to sell candy bars, and a fairly large portion every year from fireworks sales.  By doing this, you’re increasing your own exposure of how you handle funds to the public, thus slimming down the chances of illicit activity.

      I had to sell crap door to door for my school as a kid, I think it was a good experience.

      Thing is, we’ve eliminated bake sales (food health and safety) We’re scared to send our kids out to sell candies, because, “you better hide your kids, hide your wife and hide your husbands, cause they’re rapin everybody out here.”

      Fireworks, the big money maker for charities?  Gone too. 

      Bake sales we could bring back.  Eliminate food and health fee’s for festivals / bake sales being put on by non-profits

      Kids can’t be expected to walk around selling stuff these days because it is so dangerous.  Looking at a megans law map can reveal to anyone the hidden dangers in their own neighborhood.

      Of course, we can bring back fireworks too by doing it safely.  Establish firing ranges on areas with a lot of asphalt, set up concession stands and have adults standing by with fire extinguishers and first aid.

      Certainly while this isn’t enough money for everyone, it’s better than the situation we’re in now with no other funding alternatives for the non profits that are willing to put in the kind of work and effort I describe above.

      Beyond that, I think it’s just more empowering to the non-profits by doing it the old way. 

      My $0.02

      And yet again, the humanizer responds with the upmost clairvoyance.

      • With friends like these, who needs enemies?

        They wanted to build a legacy, well they sure did.  One of corruption and thievery.  The Campos siblings will forever be known as the “homegrown” eastside duo who bankrupted and killed MACSA.  Thanks for the legacy.  I wonder what the wonder twins will do for an encore?

      • MACSA gets awarded $500K to run a program for preschoolers.  Xavier Campos is the COO at the time, he never opens the preschool but he does take the money.  The RDA board is who?  Oh, the city council. 

        So his sister, the distinguished council member from district 5, Nora Campos is the person who awards him the money, and never bothers to check to see if its money well spent?  This is her “renaissance” that Xavier said he wanted to continue?  She never thought to look at the agency her brother ran to see if the money was being used properly?  The center was slated for her district.  She never thought to check why she wasnt invited to the ribbon cutting or to have a photo op, hell even to see that the disadvantaged families in her struggling district got the preschool they needed and deserved? 

        Nora likes to take credit for the library, firestation and community center when everyone in Alum Rock know those were projects in motions prior to her council terms and the majority of the leg work was done by community leaders not her, and the one thing she SHOULD have watched over, she somehow missed and now we find her brother did another MACSA magic trick and made the money disappear? 

        Congratulations Nora on your seat in state assembly.  Congratulations Xavier on your city council seat.  I wonder what you will do for an encore.

  3. Absurd. Yet another example of wasteful spending by our government. I’d like to say I’m surprised, but the only thing I’m really surprised about is that MACSA didn’t steal more than half a million dollars. That seems surprising to me. What a worthless, pathetic organization. The city needs to pull ALL funding for this program and get a real organization in there to do the work.

  4. MACSA stole, leveraged or embezzeled over $700,000 from school teachers and took $500,000 from the redevelopment agency for a project it never created. If my math is right, and I’ll let Xavier double check this for me, that would be over $1.2 Million in stolen funds.

    The grant was awarded in 2007, that means our newly elected was involved. Funny, loss of money follows him where ever he goes. His boss can’t balance his budget and ends up owing the county and he steals from teachers.

    Why did we elect him?

      • Believe me not all of us in district 5 were fooled by Campos.  I wouldn’t doubt they rigged the election.  They’ve been trying to intimidate voters for weeks now with over the top aggressive “if you don’t vote for Xavier you’ll regret it” threats. 

        I even heard tale of a union worker who was asked to let other out of town union workers register to vote and use his address.  Xavier Campos bought and paid for by your local 101.  If I had the time and money I’d look into union workers who live out of the city via personnel records but managed to “vote” locally.  Where’s the investigative reporting for that?  Help the people out Metro.  Be our champion now!

      • I sure hope you’re being facetious.  Its bad enough that the bullying and intimidation tactics of Campos’ team had neighbors on edge about opposing him publically I would hate to think that they’d stoop so low as to actually try to steal the election.

        Unfortunately yours is not the first comment I’ve heard post election about tampering.  Is there any simple way to run the addresses of public employees (city union workers) against voting registration?  A lot of city workers live outside San Jose but are rumored to have used district addresses to vote for Campos & for V & W.

        The Police shouldn’t have any issues with people looking up their home addresses because they paid for the mailer in District 5 that published Carrasco’s and her parent’s home addresses.  That retired Police union leader even went on camera KPIX saying he wasn’t sorry about it.  Funny because I figured cops would be more protective of privacy but if its good for the geese it should be good for the gander.  Anyone know how to access those public records and check the voting addresses?  I know its public info because they published Meg Whitman’s voting record in her race.

  5. It makes me laugh every time I hear you Right-Wingers whine about close elections being rigged if they are not going the way you like.

    Xavier won fair and square.  Stop drinking the Glen Beck Kool-Aid.

    • Election results aren’t certified yet, they’re still counting.  He may very well win the vote tally with no tampering to ballots or manipulation of voters.

      Lets hope the end result is justice in the MACSA issue.  “fair & square” for the teachers whose pensions were stolen.  “fair & square” for the preschool kids who never got the program the RDA money ($500K) was supposed to pay for.  “fair and square” for the hundreds of high school students and families affected when the schools closed because their charters were lost over the negligence of the COO in operating them.  “fair & square” for the entire community. 

      Maybe Campos will be lucky and he won’t be charged and convicted of a felony so that he can still vote “fair & square” in future elections when he’s out of jail. 

      It was pretty sad sight a few months ago when the city council members from the city of Bell were lead out of city hall in handcuffs.  It will be tragic justice when it happens to Campos.  Bravo on the “win”

  6. The memo from Mr. mavrogenes was dated October 27, 2010.  I do not recall the Murky News or anyone else reporting on it before the lection.  It could have played a role in defeating Xavier in D5.

    So what will RDA do now that it is clear that MACSA defaulted?  In Mr. Mavrogenes’ own words: “Because MAC SA appears to be in default ofthe grant requirements, Agency staff
    will begin the process of notification of this condition and work with the Library staff and MACSA to identify alternative solutions to this issue.”  BEGIN THE PROCESS?  How about terminating the grant pending a full audit?

    • How about an internal investigation as well.  How is it that Nora Campos can sit on council as the RDA board, award the money to MACSA that is run by her brother, plan for a preschool to aid disadvantaged kids in her district and never bother to have any oversight to the project?????

      What sort of mickey mouse shop is she part of?  I’m sure her people will blame the mayor.  They’re great at not accepting ANY responsibility for their actions or inactions. 

      Hey Xavier, how about an apology to the people that you stiffed from MACSA?  How about an apology to the teachers, staff, community members, seniors, preschoolers, teens that suffer for your incompetence?  You want an expedient investigations now?  Really, how come you didn’t call for an expedient investigation back in January when the news broke about the MACSA pension theft?  Why don’t you now make a promise to your community and district to not rest UNTIL THE MONEY IS FOUND AND ACCOUNTED FOR?  You claim not to have stolen it but it disappeared on your watch so WHERE IS THE MONEY????

      Lets all show up at council meetings and ask Xavier “WHERE IS THE MONEY?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *