Tuesday night’s City Council meeting could well be one of the most important meetings in the history of 29. The Bond Team will return to present information to the Redevelopment Agency regarding the Agency’s bond rating and the presentation of three options. A full bond, or in the hopes of a compromise instead of a complete dissolution of the RDA, a bond with 10% of the money to go to the compromise, or the 20% if that is the compromise. The five member RDA will decide to go forward with one of the above options or not issue bonds at all. RDAs are the only government agency allowed to issue bonds without voter approval.
I think our hope of a public question and answer session is not going to happen. The city will not have any new information until the presentation at the City Council meeting and with the rush to meet an April deadline, the decision may be made Tuesday night. The public will have to step up to the plate and attend Tuesday night’s meeting. The poll online at Desert Trail indicates the public is against this 10 – 1.
There are several reasons to urge the city council to give this matter serious thought:
- Governor Brown has issued several warnings to cities that are issuing bonds and transferring money and property to encumber all the RDA assessts. When the bill passes, cities will be audited and a successor agency will be determining if the actions were illegal. If the actions of a city are found illegal, the transactions will be nullified and the cities may face financial or criminal penalties.
- The economy in California is very unstable and will remain so for a few more years.
- Due to the huge amount of RDAs issuing bonds since Brown’s announcement to dissolve RDAs interest rates are at all time highs.
- While 29 claims it is a revenue bond, there will be no revenue generated by planned redevelopment, other than the tax increment, in which the city has done nothing to “earn” this money. No RDA, no tax increment.
- It is unfair to saddle 29 Palms with a 30 year debt, without our input.
The RDA did not bring one job to 29, so it stands to reason that the bond will not either. I know it is uncertain as to how much of the tax increment will be returned to the schools, but it is safe to say that with 2 million extra tax dollars a year coming into the city, more will be going to our schools than what comes in now. There will be no extra money going to schools from the bond. The bond money, just like the RDA will benefit the few, only at a higher price.
I hope to see you there.