Wednesday, July 08, 2009

City Of Escondido Redevelopment Funds - Transparency Needed!

Last Fall, I learned that funds from Escondido Redevelopment Agency (Community Development Commission) had been promised to Escondido school districts.

The City failed to provide information to initial public records requests about the promised redevelopment funds in a timely manner. After information was obtained from the school districts, the City then provided information about the promised redevelopment funds AFTER the election was over for Prop T in 2008.

That reaction by the City indicated to me that more transparency is needed with respect to redevelopment funds.

Last March 18, 2009 at a City Council meeting, comments by a Police Union representative about an audit of City funds yielded some interesting comments about the redevelopment funds promised to the school districts.
Comment Video

Based on those comments, the City may be using "loans" to as a mechanism to withhold funds promised to the school districts.

This is what was reported when the Redevelopment Agency was approved back in 1984.

"Redevelopment to aid schools"
Times Advocate, Thursday, December 13, 1984, Page B1
"ESCONDIDO - If the city's proposed redevelopment agency generates as much money over the next 45 years as its proponents say it will, the Escondido Elementary School District could get eight elementary schools, two middle schools and unlimited new classrooms, all paid for with redevelopment money. The Escondido High School District could get three new high schools, two new continuation high schools and more class rooms. Those are some of the provisions contained in drafts of nine different agreements approved 4-0 Wednesday night by the City Council. . . . Approved with little comment, the agreements were negotiated with various agencies that would lose money to the redevelopment agency as it siphons tax revenues from them to pay for a civic and cultural center, downtown improvements and housing assistance for the poor."

Times Advocate, Sunday, November 18, 1984, Page B1
"How much? What agencies would contribute to the cost of redevelopment [in Escondido].
San Diego County $63 million
High school district $51.9 million
Elementary school district $68.3 million
Hospital district $5.8 million "

Oct 12, 1990, EUHSD's share of redevelopment funds = $145 million
Spreadsheet dated Oct 12, 1990 showing EUHSD's share being $145 million allocated by the Escondido Redevelopment Agency for new high school construction and esisting school refurbishment (from link below)

Tax Rate Details and Assumptions (Response from EUHSD to Public Records Request)

~80 page Agreement with Escondido Redevelopment Agency, 1991 & 1984 (Response from EUHSD to Public Records Request)

First response by City of Escondido (NOTHING!) [Second response was a copy of response from EUHSD above]

San Diego County Taxpayers (between $82 million and 254 million - Redevelopment Funds [page 3])

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