IMPERIAL — In the wake of last week’s ruling by the California Supreme Court that allowed state lawmakers to abolish redevelopment agencies, the City Council here on Wednesday set a tentative meeting over what it can do.
The meeting would be at 1 p.m. Tuesday and the elimination of the Redevelopment Agency would be the main topic of discussion.
The council’s decision to hold the session stemmed from City Manager Marlene Best’s report on what Imperial stands to lose without an RDA, whose purpose is to revitalize blighted or underdeveloped urban areas.
While Best spoke of efforts to revise RDAs to Gov. Jerry Brown’s liking and of a series of e-mails she received about what the court ruling could do, Best told the council that by Jan. 13 Imperial would be the successor agency of the RDA that got scuttled.
As city officials plan on determining how the court’s ruling would affect Imperial in the long run, Best said that “financially, it will be an impact to us.”
The ruling that Best said was handed down Dec. 29 would save the state more than $1 billion in this year’s budget by eliminating about 400 RDAs throughout the state.
But the state Supreme Court disallowed California from receiving the estimated $400 million in money set aside by redevelopment agencies that continued to operate.
Abolishing the RDAs comes as the state is faced with closing a $13 billion shortfall during the next 18 months but many cities like Imperial are left with no real way on how to foster job growth or eliminating blight.
The court’s decision angered Mayor Doug Cox and others on the City Council after listening to Best’s sobering update. The council took no action on Best’s report other than to schedule next week’s meeting.
Councilman Rick Breland suggested that the outcome over the RDAs may prompt voters to “jump on the bandwagon” and recall Brown.
Not missing a beat, Councilman Geoff Dale added that the whole Legislature should be recalled and called the lawmakers “gutless wonders.”
In the end, as Councilman Mark Gran surmised, the latest development “is not going to help” and would only drive out businesses from the state.
Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at firstname.lastname@example.org