Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vacaville council to ask legislators to delay end to redevelopment

VACAVILLE — Vacaville is joining other California cities that are asking their representatives in Sacramento to delay the state’s elimination of redevelopment.

City Hall is asking for more time, saying the state law eliminating redevelopment has already killed one Vacaville business and could threaten others that have leases and agreements connected to the city’s redevelopment agency. The law also threatens to throw a monkey wrench into the city’s contracts with its employee groups, the letter states.

The letter, which goes to the council for approval Tuesday night, contends there are too many unanswered questions and discrepancies within Assembly Bill 1X26 that need time to be ironed out before redevelopment agencies are done away with and their assets disposed of.

Vacaville City Council
  • What: Approval of letter asking state legislators to delay imposing law eliminating redevelopment
  • When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
  • Where: Vacaville City Council chamber, 650 Merchant St.
  • Info: 449-5100

The council is also scheduled to vote on whether to serve as the successor agency to the city’s redevelopment agency and preside over the disposal of Vacaville’s redevelopment funds and assets.

This vote follows a week after the Suisun City and Fairfield city councils approved their intention to become successor agencies for their redevelopment agencies.

Late in December, the state Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature have the power to eliminate redevelopment agencies and use their money to fund education.

Vacaville drafted the letter at the request of the California Redevelopment Agency to ask state legislators to create legislation to delay implementing AB 1X26, according to a report to the council from Public Information Officer Mark Mazzaferro. Vacaville expects to lose $4 million a year in redevelopment funds.

If approved, the letter will go to state Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, and Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, who represent Vacaville in Sacramento.

AB 1X26 and the subsequent lawsuit have already damaged Vacaville’s economy, according to the letter.

“One of the more popular businesses in downtown Vacaville has fallen victim to the end of redevelopment, as the Creekside Bar and Grill has closed. Because of the rules implemented prior to the Supreme Court decision, the city was unable to exercise an option to extend their lease,” according to the letter.

The letter contends other leases and agreements will be “called into question” and could affect groups such as the Downtown Business Improvement District.

City contracts with employee groups also face problems due to the legislation, according to the letter. Vacaville has used redevelopment money in almost every city department and it pays parts of the salaries of a large number of employees.

“The law calls for invalidating employee contracts at the end of January. However, such a provision is infeasible, as our labor negotiations require proper notice of layoffs,” the letter states.

While City Hall agrees redevelopment as it is now is over, the city is asking for time to create what the letter describes as “a more fair and reasonable process.”

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net.