Want to Get Paid? Get in Line

The San Jose Redevelopment Agency’s financial obligations were discussed and voted on last week. The final chapter of RDA will be decided by the State Supreme court sometime before Jan. 15, 2012. Should RDA ultimately end, the state wants to know all of the enforceable obligations. Everything needs to be listed, from bond to lines of credit to legally binding contracts not yet paid out, including debt for affordable housing.

Rising out of the ashes to manage who gets paid will be a successor agency consisting of seven members that will oversee repayments and allocation of RDA tax increment. Two members will be appointed by Mayor Reed, and one of those two appointees must be a union representative. The county will also appoint two members. And the County Superintendent of Eduction, the Chancellor of California Community Colleges and the Santa Clara Valley Water District will each appoint one member.

This oversight agency will be overseen by the State Department of Finance and supervision from more political folks, like the State Treasurer and State Controller. What a group! If this comes to pass, I hope all these future meetings will be conducted in public.

The debt listed last week is not in any given priority, but just a straight list. However, the Council will be asked to give priorities on a future date. For me, the most important result is that any money left over after paying off bonds or lines of credit goes to the general fund. What we do know from the attorneys is that bond holders are first in line to be paid and the county is last in line.

As the State raided RDA coffers, cities were allowed to loan monies from others funds with the intention of being paid back, including interest by future RDA tax increment. However, eliminating RDA was never contemplated because voters passed Prop 22. These loans put general fund dollars at risk in certain cities, such as San Jose. It is similar to taking out a loan from a bank to improve a rental property. Paying back the loan would have been done from the rent received on the rental property. But, in this case, the rental property was blown up by the same bank and so goes the ability to pay back the loan. It would be terrible governance for the state not to allow cities to pay back loans they used to pay the multiple state raids. Cities had full faith that they would be able to pay back loans, including the interest from future RDA tax increment.

Last week, Stanford University held a discussion examining the San Jose pension system. The Phd’s from Stanford pointed out that the San Jose pension system could be fixed with a one-time tax increase from $12,500 to $16,000 a household. I have obtained the presentation and you may download it from the District 6 website.

Finally, although I supported appointing Chris Moore as San Jose’s police chief, I believe that if the Federal government is willing to provide individuals gratis to assist San Jose in suppressing gangs, then those individuals should be encouraged to stay. Personally, I am willing to appoint or support people where we may not always agree. And that is OK.

16 Comments

  1. Here we go again, make the tax payers take the hit for your errors.  Just 12K to 16K, no problems where should I sent the check! 

    All of you on the council make me sick!

  2. Maybe the federal government should replace the SJPD since there is no one left to enforce anything, especially since the city cut the VCET Unit who was responsible for gang enforcement in the first place.

    Chief Moore should spend more time in Washington, since the city manager is the acting chief of police anyway.

    • Not a chance!  Obama has put the populace on notice that illegal immigrants will not be deported unless they’ve been convicted of a crime. 

      Soooo, politicians apparently are able to override codified law, simply at their own whim.  They get to choose which laws they enforce and which they will not.  Mayor Chucko/Chief Moore and Gavin Snoozem are no better or worse than our Prez!  They all ignore the will of the people.

      • The US economy is supported by these so-called “illegal” immigrants, who pick our food and get paid at very low wages to do other labor – if we stopped exploiting them, the cost of living for Americans would increase dramatically.

  3. Hey PO, nice cheap shot at the Chief of Police!  Bet you would take a similar shot at the real COP, I mean city manager.

  4. the word “ALTHOUGH” in your manifest sums it all up.  You gave in to pressure to approve Chief Moore BUT you hate our COP,  I bet you bow on your knees to the city manager who really runs the SJPD and makes all the bad decisions in our city (along with Chuckie) and receives probably 4-5 pensions by now.

  5. “Last week, Stanford University held a discussion examining the San Jose pension system. The Phd’s from Stanford pointed out that the San Jose pension system could be fixed with a one-time tax increase from $12,500 to $16,000 a household.”

    The presentation download on the District 6 website did not explain the remark about the “one-time tax increase.”  Please explain it more.

    • Okay, I get it, but that’s not a “one-time tax increase,” that’s one-time tax surcharge for a specific purpose.  Luckily, such a specific purpose tax would require a 2/3 vote of the citizenry to accomplish.  So that’s not going to happen.

      Unless, of course, one of our whackier courts decides it needs to happen much as similar courts have decided around the nation that property taxes needed a multi-year increased rate for education purposes.

  6. “…San Jose pension system could be fixed with a one-time tax increase from $12,500 to $16,000 a household.”

    Nope.

    Instead:
    – decommission lightrail
    – 5000% tax increase on medical marijuana
    – sell off city hall and relocate SJ government to nearest abandoned Super Mercado.  If that happens to be in Los Banos – so be it.

  7. The people at Stanford who made that dumb comment have the MONEY to pay that one time increase. Where do they think the rest of us will get that money? People with money really seem to not care about how the “little” people make it. Take, take take. They can all KMA.

  8. Instead of making the tax payers pay more, why not find out why the city never paid their portion of retirement.why not ask why SJPD,& SJFD employees pay more into their own pensions than PD/FD employees in every other city.Why with our tax base are we struggling to survive.PLEASE! Dont give us “its those Damn Pensions” excuse, Nobody with half a brain believes that nonsense.

    • Dear Mona Lisa:  Add to your request, the list of RDA assets the City transferred to a new agency to protect them from having to be sold to pay RDA debt