Press reports indicate that San Jose’s old City Hall property site, with an assigned value of $10 million, will be transferred to the Santa Clara County Government as part of a debt settlement between the county and the San Jose Redevelopment Agency. But the old city hall property belonged to the city, not the RDA. Is the plan to transfer the old city hall complex to the county government a lawful action?
The language of Measure I, passed by San Jose voters in 1996, was explicit. San Jose voters were asked to permit the relocation of civic offices in the downtown, “...so long as the costs are paid by using the proceeds from the sale or lease of the old civic complex and other land ...”
How can city officials get around this clear legal instruction? The $10 million should be used to pay down the costs of the new city hall complex, as stipulated by 1996 Measure I.
The new civic center will end up costing San Jose residents close to one billion dollars (when you factor in interest on the bonds). What an incredible trade off…get zero dollars for the old city hall in exchange for a one billion dollar obligation!