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Redevelopment Agency Dollars Snatched

The California Legislature passed a budget that will eliminate redevelopment efforts throughout the state. The decision will likely gut Santa Barbara’s development aspirations. In 2012 alone, $90 million in local construction activity was to be paid for by Redevelopment Agency Funds. Santa Barbara’s Redevelopment Agency made national news when – to deal with panhandling on State Street – they allocated $50,000 for “The State Street Benches Relocation Pilot”… a project that would have  turned 14 benches perpendicular and removed the backs from others.

The beneficiaries will be local schools, whose share of property taxes, until now, have been diverted to local redevelopment efforts like; the Granada Garage, 617 Garden Street, the Library Plaza Renovation project, and an $835,000 wisteria arbor.

7 Responses to “Redevelopment Agency Dollars Snatched”

  1. Get rid of the Grifter Gauntlet

    Turning the benches to face traffic or each other was a simple solution. Too bad the city had to put so many additional costs on the project to make it a laughing stock because the reason for it was no joke. They still need to turn those benches around and get rid of the Grifter Gauntlet that they create now downtown. Take them out or stop making them a public nuisance.

  2. The real interest should be the attempted snatch of the First Five one billion dollars! How valuable has that well-funded pre-school program been when we keep getting kids in this state who still can’t read and write or do math by the time they get out of high school. First Five has been pampering pre-schools now for over 15 years so we should be seeing a huge improvement in the health and well-being of a new generation of kids in this state. To keep pouring billions of dollars on pre-school with First Five tobacco tax money may not be a good cost/benefit ratio. We need an investigation of First Five pre-school overall benefits too. Self-promotion of First Five seems to get an A, but not sure about the products they crank out and dump in our public schools who still fail at too high numbers.

  3. IMA LAME

    REALLY? This $50,000 for that project should point all of your noses directly to the problem, BUT, you still just cant get past all the selfish, idealistic motives that have taken this society to one, simple $50,000 bench project to remove drunken bum traffic! REALLY?

  4. Anonymous

    50 stores on State Street losing $1000 a day because no one wants to shop downtown versus $50,000 in one time funds to change benches to discourage this bum parade? I’ll pay the $50,000 in one time funds gladly and get State Street merchant vitality back so they can get back to generating $50,000 a day for retail sales taxes and trickle profits down to their employees. Doesn’t work to pay the bums to stay here while the bums kill the very businesses that pay the bums to stay here.

  5. local (with small "l")

    Gov. Brown has vetoed this cobbled together attempt at a budget, passed only so the Dem-controlled legislature can collect their paychecks. It did include both the taking of the RDA funds and taxes on internet sales; these could be voted on separately. As Brown said, “It continues big deficits for years to come and adds billions of dollars of new debt,” the governor wrote in his veto message. (LAT quote.) Anyone know what, exactly, is the present share of property taxes the schools get? I think it is already around 50%: what guarantees would taking more public money do to raise the educational levels of SB school students?

  6. bench surfer

    To bad homey posted anon, Theres no way he will have to do what he said, like pay the bill himself. YA OK. got any land to sell in florida dreamer.

  7. Average Joe

    “50 stores on State Street losing $1000 a day because no one wants to shop downtown”. Any more allegations just fabricated like that?