Monday, January 31, 2011
Enterprise Zones often have more flexible zoning and code regulations for land use. It allows for piece meal development and encourages inovation not duplication. What we see in GT are plans for development that focus on Retail, and basically more of the same type of business that are currently closing or struggling to exist in this economy.
Enterprise Zones do not feed money directly into the City's Budget the way the RDA had in the past. This will force an adjustment in thinking on what is good for a community. It will bring the focus on the job for the citizen, not the percent of cost the city can recover or claim to pay city employees.
The reality is we have to deal with a new way of doing business and governance.
A state wide Enterprise Zone would be a good idea. Enterprise Zones function better than Redevelopment Agencies. Often they remove or waive excessive city and county fees that strangle start up businesses from locating in California. How to finance the EZ's administration would need to be detailed. In the states with the lowest unemployment, folks earn less, but, living cost for housing is often much less. So a lower income is sufficient. Until we in California have housing that can be obtained at a reasonable price and employers can find land at a reasonable price, California's economy will continue to be non competitive. Yes, your property values need to drop significantly before we are competitive with Texas or elsewhere.
Make whole state enterprise zone
The budget recently proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown contains difficult, but much-needed spending cuts. It more or less seeks to balance revenues with expenses - a challenging task for a state confronting a $25.4 billion budget gap.
That being said, Brown's budget is foolish. Why? Because it does nothing to improve California's dismal jobs climate. Instead it would make California even less competitive in the battle for jobs.
For six straight years, California has ranked dead last in an annual survey asking CEOs which state is the best for business. A growing number of businesses are fleeing the state or choosing to expand elsewhere. It should come as no surprise that California's double-digit unemployment rate continues to be among the worst in the nation. We are losing the battle for jobs.
As jobs go, so go state revenues. But most policymakers and academics in Sacramento don't seem to understand that in order to have revenues, we need a healthy, vibrant economy that creates well-paying jobs for Californians. Tax hikes only serve to worsen California's long-term budget woes. Voters instinctively understand this, which is why they've rejected every proposed tax increase on the state's ballot since 2004.
As the newest elected member of the Board of Equalization, a state entity that collects more than $48 billion annually in taxes and fees and handles tax appeals relating to enterprise zones, among other matters, I'm particularly concerned about the governor's proposal to eliminate enterprise zones.
Enterprise zones are one of California's only remaining public policy measures specifically aimed at attracting and retaining jobs. These zones - there are currently 42 statewide - target economically distressed areas of the state with special state and local incentives to encourage business investment and promote the creation of new jobs. Since 1984 these tax incentives have been attracting new investment and allowing private sector market forces to revive local economies and create jobs.
It makes no sense to eliminate these vital economic development zones - we should be expanding them instead. Better yet, we should make all of California an enterprise zone. After all, the entire state is now economically distressed.
Making the whole state an enterprise zone would boost California's economic competitiveness, which has languished in recent years as a result of ever mounting regulations, taxes and fees. It's a tough sell to attract employers when the only thing good about our climate is the weather.
A statewide zone would also do much to silence the critics who view job creation as a zero sum game; these folks think any job created by an enterprise zone is a job stolen from elsewhere in the state.
They're wrong, but let's remove all doubt. Let's enact a budget that makes all of California competitive. Then let's steal some jobs back from Texas. If the governor wants bipartisanship, this is a cause that should unite Republicans, Democrats and anyone else who claims to care about the more than 2million Californians who need a job.
Budgets reflect priorities. California's greatest need right now is for private sector jobs. Our future will be bright as soon as the governor and Legislature make it their priority to attract those jobs rather than drive them away.
George Runner represents the 2nd District of the state Board of Equalization, which includes Bloomington, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Rialto and half of San Bernardino.For more information, visit www.boe.ca.gov/Runner.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Yes services will have to be cut. Citizens or citizen groups may need to rally and provide some of the services themselves. For example. The base ball parks that are for the most part exclusively used by the baseball teams may need a parents group that will organize the mowing of the fields and clean up of the park can be a team effort and part of the practice routine.
The Dog park can be constructed by getting material from CraigsList and labor from Citizen Dog Owners. It is up to the Mayor and City Council of Grand Terrace to request, that such a budget and operational plan be prepared. The Staff will never prepare such a budget or operational plan without being required to do so. Some may even prefer to resign than to submit a budget that would reflect the reality of a pay cut in the 50 percent level or a layoff and shift of service providers back to the County.
A budget with Zero Planning Department, Zero Code Enforcement, and Zero RDA should be written along with the operational plan that would reflect any reduction in staff of the Maintenance Department. Perhaps these services can be obtained either by volunteer effort or by contracted service agreements that would not carry high retirement obligations. Yes this is tough but many of our citizens the taxpayers have faced the same income reductions and loss of retirement value. There is no reason why the governing class should enjoy higher than average incomes and retirements and security than the taxpayers they are supposed to serve.
Code Enforcement and Planning can return to the San Bernardino County Agency that is competent and fair in those fields. Building Fees can be reduced to the levels of the county and this would increase the likelihood that development will take place in a fair and natural course to fit the economic and social needs of the community.
The Staff of Grand Terrace are reluctant to prepare this kind of budget or social reality because it also reflects the reality they want to avoid. Their salaries and retirements need to be slashed by up to 50 percent. It is their Gravy Train that is being reduced in reality. Ask yourselves what Blight has been removed and Redeveloped, vs the Cost of City Employees and their Retirements over the past 30 years of the system being used and abused to finance high salaries and retirement funds for City Management. It is time for it to stop. It is time for the City Council and Mayor to demand Financial Reform and Accountability to what the City can afford and let's work within the available funds that the city is truly entitled. Get off the Extra the RDA Scheme leverages and the Debt bonds and interest that cause the infaltion of property values that result in the inflated business cost that prohibit new business innovation from taking root.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Rather than begging for the RDA's continued abuse of the California Tax Payers and the function of the State Government, there should be a concerted effort by our City Council and those of the other cities to be in the workings of the policy making. Who will acquire land that is owned by RDA's? Under what conditions or progress would a property be sold to offset RDA/State Debt, what would be built out according to plans underway? This is where the Cities with RDA's should be in the trenches resolving between the State and Local RDA's.
Cities have abused the funds, inflated salary and staff and future retirement obligations. All because the League of California Cities a PAC paid for by Large Developers, convinced and trained the City Council Members and Mayors of California to believe that the RDA's are the only way to support a city. The interest paid on the debt, the tax waivers and fee waivers used as inducements all inflate the cost of the RDA. Other agencies suffer from the diverted tax dollars from their budgets, while they have to struggle to function in the inflated economy.
The cost of the RDA's to Non RDA Cities and Agencies are all inflationary and have contributed to the high cost of being in business in California. It is all out of hand, even right here in Grand Terrace. It is time that this City Council face the reality that the RDA will end, and they need to work to make that transition as smooth as possible, rather than trying to hide their eyes in the sand and pretend that the need to get off the RDA addiction is a reality, if not now in the near future.
Daniel Borenstein: Brown is right to disband redevelopment agencies
By Daniel Borenstein
Staff columnist Contra Costa Times
Posted: 01/22/2011 09:00:00 PM PST
THE SCREAMS from cities about Gov. Jerry Brown's plans to disband about 400 redevelopment agencies across the state are shameful and hypocritical.
While city officials claim the state is trying to raid their funds, it's actually the cities, using their redevelopment agencies, that have been siphoning billions of dollars from badly needed government services and spending the money on projects that often have little to do with cleaning up blight.
The redevelopment scam, which has turned into a windfall for developers, bond marketers, planning consultants and professional sports teams, has racked up $88 billion in public debt statewide -- without voter approval. It should have been ended decades ago. Kudos to the governor for finally taking it on.
What was presented to voters in the 1950s as a plan to finance new construction in some of the worst slums in the state has morphed into a scheme to indirectly subsidize city budgets. In the East Bay, communities like Oakland, Clayton, San Pablo, Pittsburg, Hercules, Pinole and Emeryville are hogging huge sums of property tax money that should be shared with the county, special districts and schools.
Communities like San Diego and Los Angeles have used the money to fund sports complexes, while Santa Clara is planning to do the same. In Hercules, millions of dollars of redevelopment funds went to consultants who have almost no construction to show for it, Advertisement and to a company owned by the city manager's daughters that, among other things, provided mortgage loans for city employees and a member of the firm.
Indeed, an analysis released in September by a watchdog office of the state Senate found redevelopment agencies around the state that used their money primarily to pay salaries and administrative costs. Worse, a Los Angeles Times investigation published in October found that, "at least 120 municipalities -- nearly one in three with active redevelopment agencies -- spent a combined $700 million in housing funds from 2000 to 2008 without constructing a single new unit ... . Nor did most of them add to the housing stock by rehabilitating existing units.
While advocates claim that redevelopment agencies help bolster the California economy, the nonpartisan state Legislative Analyst's Office reported last week that "there is no reliable evidence that redevelopment projects attract businesses to the state or increase overall economic development in California. The presence of a redevelopment area might shift development from one location to another, but does not significantly increase economic activity statewide.
To be sure, redevelopment has helped produce low- and moderate-income housing in many communities, but at a tremendous cost. If the goal is more affordable housing, a more efficient way must be found. Redevelopment agencies as they are currently constructed and funded are not the answer.
Throughout California, property taxes are usually split among schools, counties, special districts and cities. But when a city forms a redevelopment agency, it can capture all the tax growth from that designated blighted area. Gradually, they have to start sharing some of it again with the other local governments. But most of that money goes to the redevelopment agency and can be leveraged to fund improvements within the area and offset city costs for projects there.
Without the redevelopment agencies, advocates claim, there would be little increase in property values and taxes in those areas. It's a bogus argument. According to a 1998 study by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, about half of tax increases in redevelopment areas would have happened anyhow.
Thus, redevelopment agencies are collecting money that would have otherwise gone for other critical government services.
Currently, redevelopment agencies capture nearly 12 percent of property tax revenues across the state, or about $5 billion a year.
The single biggest chunk of that money, about $2 billion, would have otherwise gone to schools. But since the state is responsible for funding schools, it's the state that loses that money. That's why the governor is so concerned about redevelopment agencies. With California facing huge cuts in social and health services and the higher education system, it makes no sense for the state to continue subsidizing redevelopment.
Counties are the next big losers, at about $1.4 billion a year -- money that would otherwise go to help provide social services, health care and public protection. Cities lose about $1 billion, but don't look for them to complain because they run most of the redevelopment agencies and subsidize their budgets with some of the money.
Indeed, since the passage of Proposition 13, the 1978 property tax-cutting initiative, cities have rapidly increased their use of redevelopment agencies to grab a bigger portion of the pie.
In 1982-83, redevelopment agencies received 3.6 percent of property tax revenues statewide. Today's it's 11.9 percent.
The distribution is wildly uneven. In Contra Costa and Alameda counties, about 12 percent and 13 percent, respectively, of property tax revenues went to redevelopment agencies in 2008-09, according to the state Controller's Office. Santa Clara and San Mateo counties were below average at 9 percent and 10 percent. But, in San Bernardino County, redevelopment agencies siphoned off 31 percent, followed by Riverside County at 27 percent.
Within Contra Costa, San Pablo's redevelopment agency this year will grab 77 percent of the property taxes collected in that city. Other hogs are Pittsburg (67 percent); Pinole (50 percent); Hercules (37 percent) and Clayton (30 percent). In Alameda County, Union City grabs 25 percent, Oakland siphons off 26 percent and Emeryville captures 77 percent.
With the promised streams of tax revenues as security, redevelopment agencies have borrowed money for their projects. As of 2008-09, they had run up a collective $88 billion in debt, including $35 billion in bonds.
It's an easy way for a local agency to borrow money. Unlike bonds for parkland, school construction or, say, a marina improvement, redevelopment bonds don't require voter approval.
It's time to put an end to all this. Money must be set aside to pay off the debts. But, beyond that, the property tax money should go elsewhere.
Brown is right: California cannot afford its redevelopment agencies.
Daniel Borenstein is a staff columnist and editorial writer.
Reach him at 925-943-8248 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Montebello's redevelopment loan draws ire from critics
By Bethania Palma Markus, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/03/2010 05:26:23 PM PDT
As Montebello struggles to balance its budget, the city has turned to a big, if somewhat obscure, source of credit - its own redevelopment agency.
Created in the 1940s, redevelopment agencies allow a city to capture property tax and divert it into an account to fix up blighted areas.
Montebello has created a novel use for its agency - using it to fight blight that hasn't happened yet.
When the city recently transferred $19.3 million from its redevelopment agency to its general operating fund, Interim City Manager Peter Cosentini said Montebello would cease to function without the infusion.
"We wouldn't be able to pay our bills and our people and when you get into that position blight will become rampant," he said. "Clearly the agency benefited from it."
The California Health and Safety Code prohibits "paying for employee or contractual services of any local governmental agency," other than for redevelopment purposes.
"I don't feel it's legal," said Assemblyman Chris Norby, R-Brea.
Norby and other redevelopment agency critics argue the agencies' powers are abused by local governments, who they say use the money to do favors for developers and play shell games with public money.
Montebello's justification for using the money was "unheard of," Pasadena-based attorney Chris Sutton said.
The only thing likely to stop Montebello would be a judge's order, which would be triggered by a lawsuit, he said.
"This process is kind of under the radar and until someone gets a court of appeals opinion or the Attorney General's office intervenes they're going to keep doing it," Sutton said. "It's a problem."
To form a redevelopment area, cities must make a finding of blight. Once the existence of blight is established, the city is able to siphon off property tax into an account that is usually controlled by the City Council.
Sutton said cities often skirt the rules.
Pasadena has used redevelopment money to pay police and firefighter pensions while Los Angeles has used funds from its Bunker Hill redevelopment zone for projects outside the project area, he said.
Statewide, redevelopment agencies divert billions of dollars in property tax yearly that would otherwise go to counties, schools and special districts, experts said.
While California is broken up into 58 counties and 478 cities, there were 425 redevelopment agencies as of 2008, according to data from the state controller's office.
In 2008-09, Los Angeles County lost 13.7 percent of property tax revenues that would otherwise go to the county general fund, totalling $428 million.
In 10 years the county lost $2.7 billion to redevelopment agencies, according to county documents.
"There is a concern because it seems to be an ever-growing share of local revenues," said Tom Tyrrell, an attorney for L.A. County. "It's a fiscal stress and there are people who believe it's a very damaging one in light of the already-restricted state of local finance."
If used correctly, redevelopment can benefit communities, said state Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego.
San Diego used redevelopment money to build Petco Park where the Padres play, sparking millions in subsequent investment, she said. The city also used the funds to revitalize a slum in 10 years, she said, bringing in a library, swim center and police station.
"Redevelopment can be a really effective tool for revitalizing urban neighborhoods and community districts but there needs to be greater accountability and greater transparency in the process," Kehoe said. "Sometimes that money is spent elsewhere and it becomes a slush fund that locals can use for projects they can't fund any other way."
Legislators have passed laws increasing oversight on the agencies, but many experts agreed that regulating them is a cat-and-mouse game.
"There are some people who think there should be some sort of state department of redevelopment or administrative appeals mechanism, but those proposals haven't gotten very far because of cost and (the prospect of) establishing a new bureaucracy," said Peter Detwiler, staff director for the Senate Local Government Committee.
Many complain that redevelopment projects tend to benefit large retail chains, lawyers and property appraisers more than residents in the project areas.
Local governments spend millions of taxpayer dollars enticing big-box businesses and auto dealerships to move into their jurisdictions - sometimes at the expense of smaller businesses, Norby said.
"Local government will naturally pick sales tax generators because it's the sales tax that helps their general fund," Norby said. "So we wind up subsidizing these big-box retailers and shopping centers that sell us all this cheap stuff from abroad rather than developing good-paying jobs and our manufacturing base."
A 1998 study by the Public Policy Institute of California found most redevelopment agencies surveyed weren't as successful in increasing property values as they claimed.
And while the public invests in redevelopment, there's no guarantee the projects will flourish.
"It's the worst kind of public partnership in that it privatizes profit while making risk public," Norby said. "If there's private demand for these things, they'll be built anyway, and if there isn't then they have no business going up."
626-962-8811, ext. 2108
Read more: Montebello's redevelopment loan draws ire from critics - Whittier Daily News http://www.whittierdailynews.com/news/ci_16244262?source=email#ixzz1CPLXRukf
"Six decades is long enough
After 60 years of abuses, it's time to abolish the 425 redevelopment agencies and the redevelopment law that gave special powers to cities and counties to eradicate blight. Blight is whatever they say it is.
They can take private property and give or sell it to another party. They divert property taxes away from schools, fire, police, parks and libraries. The state has to backfill payment to schools to make up for monies that counties don't have, and taxpayers receive new or increased fees, taxes or assessments.
The Legislature has permitted redevelopment agencies to engage in flood control, housing for low-income families, construction of sports arenas and operating amusement parks. Should our property taxes go to subsidize corporate welfare? Property taxes should go to pay for services for the people: schools, fire and police protection, parks and libraries.
– Karen Klinger, Arden Arcade"
Letters to the editor - Sacramento Opinion - Sacramento Editorial | Sacramento Bee
source: Sacramento Connect
Thursday, January 27, 2011
It would be nice to know what the rents would be. What operational controls would be upon the residents? Will the owners provide site security? Laundry? Utilities?
Will the sewage line cross the canal or tap into the apartment's line? Will the construction incorporate Solar PV cells or roof shingles to offset the power costs for the residents and grid demand. Will the apartments have low flow toilets, and all units designed for ADA tenants? What restriction on number of people per apartment? When and if RDA funds or assistance is used it is appropriate to ask these questions. How many fees will be waived by the City Council and at what cost? Will there be ramps from 3 floor to ground to evacuate the people in the event of fire? What kind of construction materials will be used? Will there be an exclusion that prohibits people over the age of 62 from moving in these apartments?
If these questions are all answered well then the apartments are welcome in GT.
January 27, 2011 ● Grand Terrace City News
A group of mayors, led by Grand Terrace mayor Walt Stanckiewitz, Fontana mayor Acquanetta Warren and Ontario mayor Paul Leon, will join the League of Cities in fighting to keep Redevelopment Agencies established in city government.
Talk in Sacramento is that newly-elected Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to dis-establish Redevelopment Agencies, which bring much-needed money to cash-strapped cities.
The group held a news conference Wednesday at the San Sevaine Villas in Rancho Cucamonga to declare their opposition to the administration’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies in California. They will support the services that redevelopment agencies provide communities in the Inland Empire, said League of Cities spokesperson Nancy Cisneros in a news release. Talk in Sacramento is that newly-elected Gov. Jerry Brown is trying to dis-establish Redevelopment Agencies, which bring much-needed money to cash-strapped cities.
“The financial survival of Grand Terrace depends on it,” Stanckiewitz said. “If redevelopment agencies are dis-established, we’re looking at close to a million dollar shortfall. “We have expenses charged to the agency for people that work on those projects. If we don’t have that, we don’t have the money to pay them.”
Stanckiewitz will be in Sacramento on Feb. 7 to testify before a Senate budget subcommittee
on the subject. The group warns that this proposal would kill hundreds of thousands of local jobs, including an estimated 33,596 jobs in San Bernardino County, and harm local economies
while doing nothing to solve the budget defecit.
According to Cisneros’ news release, redevelopment activities support an average of 304,000 full- and part-time private sector jobs in a typical year, including 107,600 construction
jobs. It also said that redevelopment contributes over $40 billion annually to California’s economy in the generation of goods and services.
The League of California Cities is a PAC supported by Developers that promotes such things as use of Eminent Domain for Private Development, and the promotion of PUBLIC DEBT FINANCING for Developers Benefit. The net result includes excessively inflated property costs/debt, public debt and interest costs, loss of waived fees and taxes used to induce developers. LACC wine dine and educate local leaders to get on their band wagon. NO PAC is looking out for the CITIZEN or the Small Business Owner.
To say the Development would stop if the RDA's then it is development that should stop as it can't be self supported. You should not go to Disneyland using a Credit Card, and say it is necessary.
Grand Terrace Mayor Walt Stanckiewitz and other IE Mayors are trying to salvage the RDA system of funding the city's. It is their hope that the RDA's are not disbanded as an entity. This for them may be a negotiation point with Governor Brown. I see two things wrong with this approach and the information he has armed himself with. First of all the fact is that the RDA scheme has not done much to put The City of Grand Terrace into a financial situation where we have a sustainable financial situation for the city. No it has made a small town, hands off my property, leave the citizens alone city into a Over Regulated, Government Controlled, Developer Inflated Prices Debt Ridden city. All the while sucking funds away from Schools, Fire Departments, and Public Safety.
Mayor Stanckiewits has not been armed with a budget that he'd call the Dooms Day Budget. What would the budget look like without the RDA. Quite frankly no one knows, the details on how the money would be distributed, have not been made. No lean cut to the bone worse case budget has been prepared and made public. Not being armed with these facts the City Manager and Staff have sent Mayor Stanckiewitz on a Fool's Errand. It is unfortunate that he is being set off to plead the case of GT without a full arsenal of information and options in his hands.
What if the RDA is ended, will it cause the end of the City of Grand Terrace. Let's think well so what if it did. Schools will still operate. Sewage will still flow down hill. The county would provide the sheriff department services. Your house and business will still be here. As a matter of fact your house will be more secure if it is not in a "Redevelopment Zone", and part of the County rather than in the City of Grand Terrace.
Free us from the future of more and more debt as taxpayers, of a State, County or City. PLEASE.
The City of Grand Terrace can exist, as a bare bones city. It may be time to get back to those bare bones and let the County and State regulate building permits, business licenses, and codes and code enforcement. We are Mayberry but have been inflated into a Mini Bell of a Government. It is time to stop and return to our roots of being rural with a laze fair government of minimal intervention in the daily affairs of its citizens and businesses.
We may have that forced upon us by the State Government. We'd all be better off if we prepared for that possibility, rather than to bank on the idea that "It will never happen". We should plan on the RDA being ended and IF there is some way of making that less painful, look for those transitional points. However, the LA plan of spend spend spend, more debt more debt more debt to force the issue is reckless, and a disservice to all the citizens of the state. Some time Grand Terrace and the other cities need to grow up and figure out they do not deserve more taxes than their share. Unincorporated towns, and areas have needs equal to if not greater than those of city, large or small.
For those who may cheer the blog's criticism of Mayor Stanckiewitz after supporting him in the past election get a grip. Stanckiewits was the Best of Pick of those running. There is no supreme that there is a difference of perspective on this situation. I find it unfortunate that the public is not informed of what the City would be like with zero RDA. That would be informative and allow US to prepare for the future of the community, rather than surrender to the position of the Developer Backed LACC. Protecting the City is not equal to Protecting the Jobs of RDA Employees in City Hall.
Below is yet another look at the issue.
January, 2011 | Issue 02
Center Stage on RDA Debate
Governor Brown's proposal to abolish redevelopment agencies has propelled me into the middle of an intense discussion on what the agencies do, whether they are successful and where the money could be better spent. Brown proposes to shift the $6 billion to public services and education.
For years I've long opposed abuses by California's redevelopment agencies. I authored Redevelopment: The Unknown Government, founded Municipal Officials for Redevelopment Reform (MORR), and organized semi-annual statewide conferences.
I became part of a network of citizen activists, small property owners, attorneys and independent elected officials concerned about waste and abuse by redevelopment agencies. While serving on the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency, I did support funding public infrastructure, but opposed tax giveaways to private developers and the abuse of . Among the most successful, Downtown Fullerton businesses received no redevelopment subsidies, and the city did not use massive demolition similar to the City of Anaheim.
I've had numerous newspaper, radio and television interviews and will be in a debate next week at the Sacramento Press Club. Recent publications can be accessed here. I've also found common cause with the teachers unions who long opposed my support of parental choice and school accountability. The CTA sees redevelopment funds now spent on private development as a source to fully fund public education. Tax dollars for classrooms, not Costco's.
These issues extend far beyond the fate of the redevelopment agencies and into the irrationalities and inequities of city and school finance. I'm excited to be in the middle of the discussion.
In fact, even the State Controller's Office announced earlier this week that they will be auditing several redevelopment agencies of California cities. Access the announcement here.
Neither Dodd III or IV responded when they were offered the BLOG that originated the information. Neither did Mrs. Dodd inform the Blog or the CNG that there was in truth an arrest of LLoyd Dodd of Grand Terrace in Riverside for DUI. So Yes the blog made an error in which LLOYD DODD it was. HOWEVER, who is being misleading now by saying it was baseless, false, or slander.
Slander requires intentional malice. A retraction/rewrite was provided, and information where to correct the source data was provided if there was an error in the Police Reporting. It was based on Data from Police Arrest Documents, and the Truth is a LLoyd Dodd of Grand Terrace was arrested for DUI in Riverside 1/13/2011, the only error was that it was apparently not III but IV who was arrested.
It is nice to know you feel your husband is a righteous citizen, caring, and loving family man. Perhaps this is why neither you or him have not said, it wasn't III ... it was my son IV.
Yes the blog was unaware of the Dual Lloyd Dodds of Grand Terrace. Because of this the concern for the city's need to get to the facts of the arrest was raised to public awareness. That caution was prefaced with a statement "COULD" be a situation to look into.
The error was redacted from the blog, and when more information supported the report of the arrest and additional cross checking, and no reply to email from the Dodd's the situation was clarified for the readers.
Making Sure Bloggers Do Their Research First
To all the Citizens of Grand Terrace:
City News ● Community GT ● January 27, 2011 Voice of the People
Grandpa Terrace Blog should research his data thoroughly before posting false information and slander up-standing citizens, specifically individuals that are focused on the well-being of Grand Terrace. The information posted is totally untrue and baseless.
My husband, Lloyd, is a righteous citizen, caring, and loving family man. Many citizens in Grand
Terrace know how extremely resourceful Lloyd is to all who seek him. My husband is admired by his Citizens On Patrol peers, making him Commander of the Unit for two consecutive years. I am so very heartbroken that this filth has been posted against this kind and generous man.
Submitted by: Consuelo Contreras Dodd Resident
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
In addition the bang for the buck on money spent on Redevelopment just isn't historically proven. The cost of the debt, tax waivers, fee waivers and all add up to a total negative in every city the Redevelopment Agency funding scheme has been used.
It is time to get rid of the Addiction to this fraudulent funding scheme for our cities. So like spoiled children who are told no cookies tomorrow, the cities are gorging themselves with a fit of spending. Taxpayers, this is your money. Watch how your city council spends it. What do you and the community benefit from the project in the short and long term. Would you rather that money be available for teachers, fire fighters and police?
Let's Hope the State Government does the right thing and ends the RDA Addiction of the Cities with tough governance. End this job killing, inflation driving, interference with commerce and excessive debt financing by business and government, all at tax payers expense. Stop it. Just Stop it. Even if there is no way to stop the last binge of greed and fiscal abuse.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
(CNS) Posted Tuesday January 25, 2011 – 1:32pmA former TapouT sales representative who filed suit over a wage dispute with the action sportswear company was today awarded $2.4 million in punitive damages by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury.
Former TapouT employee awarded wages
A former TapouT sales representative who filed suit over a wage dispute with the Grand Terrace-based sportswear company was awarded $840,000 Monday by a Los Angeles Superior Court jury.
The panel deliberated for about three hours before finding in favor of Michelle Thomas in her wrongful termination case.
The panel also concluded that TapouT acted with malice, triggering a second phase of the trial -- scheduled to begin tomorrow -- to determine if punitive damages should be assessed against the company.
Thomas filed her suit in October 2008, maintaining she was not paid the commissions she was promised and was denied overtime for working as many as 70- plus hours some weeks during her eight months on the job.
From staff and wire reports.
Also missing is the full disclosure of RDA Loans to All those holding loans. The population should be informed as to who is holding an RDA Loan regardless of the amount owed. Reporting all of these loans will answer the question of the fear that City Employees benefited improperly from the provision of grants/loans.
The amount listed for the Dog park is the price paid for the land. It does not reflect the cost of construction of the park nor does it have a working plan from which to estimate the costs. The dog park could open with the aid of Community/Scout Labor and some Craig's list finds for Chain Link Fencing.
The Draft Budget does not provide the Council with the option to reduce the "professional services of the City The draft does not appear to include the financial impact of
The Address reported is apparently shared by Lloyd H Dodd III and Lloyd H Dodd IV
22626 Tanger Grand Terrace Ca. at least on the Registration and License of Dodd IV. The arrest information shows that address. It also shows that bail was set at $2500.00. Neither Dodd III or IV provided that information in the attempt to squash the report/post.
So there was and IS a basis for the report, and low and behold there is a generational relationship. It is possible that Dodd III did not know that Dodd IV got the ticket. Prior to his email to the blog. There is no need for him to put in writing a draw back on his charge that the report was baseless, unfounded or slander.
Data was based on report from. Address was verified from a 3rd source.
22626 Tanager St Grand Terrace , CA 92313-6122 Verified Address
Reported: 01/13/2011 by Crime Reporter: 5081
Crime Report #: 5650325
Source: Riverside SD
M VC23152(A) DUI Alcohol/Drugs
Bail Amount: 2500
Reported On: 01/13/11 in Riverside County
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Friday, January 21, 2011
Mt. Vernon Ave. from I-215 NB off ramp traffic signal to Grand terrace/Canal Road will be close on Monday (1/24/2011) from 7:00 AM to 12:00 noon. The City of Colton will be working to install K-rails barriers along the slope side.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
|GT Road is still closed. Sort of... not open to all traffic.|
The City of GT hired some firm to fix the washed out problem in upper GT Road, but the firm is not done yet. Barricades moved again, but not put away.
Sandoval was 100 Percent Wrong in his villification of Navarro's reporting the events.
Now was there wrong doing? Possibly not as there are times when the School Board can all appear at an event and it not be a violation of the Brown Act. That is for the DA's Office to determine.
Think about it. Do one or more members of the School Board appear at a Graduation Ceremony?
There is a clause in the Brown Act that allows for the attendance of Agencies whose Geographic Areas Overlap. As long as there were no CJUSD Issues spoken about amongst the CJUSD Board Members and the meeting was Open to the Public in a Public Place they may be all right under the regulations of the Brown Act.
IF there was a violation, the penalty will be to be told so and told not to do that again. There is no harm in Navarro asking the question. There is all sorts of harm with Sandoval's opposition and apparent oppression of proper governmental oversight by the public.
Asking such things as; why am I so angry and full of spite, and what is it that I am opposed to, or would I prefer an adversarial relationship based on threats and intimidation? Such hateful, scurrilous messaging deserves an honest and thoughtful response.
Prompting Sandoval's letter is my concern that the Brown Act was violated by members of the Colton Joint Unified School District board. Officially known as the Ralph M. Brown Act - named after its assemblymember author - the law was passed in 1953 in response to public concerns that informal, undisclosed meetings were held by local elected officials. City councils, county boards, and other local government bodies were avoiding public scrutiny by holding secret meetings.
It's a powerful law that serves our state and its citizens well and makes secret meetings which can lead to corruption unlawful.
So Bernardo Sandoval, newly elected Grand Terrace city councilman, I will answer all your questions with the following:
As a concerned citizen and an elected official who serves the public within the laws of our state, I believe in the Brown Act and I expect every elected official to understand it and conduct their business by this law. When I see a violation I intend to express my voiceas loud as I can regardless of any criticism and baseless complaint such as yours.
Your baseless attack leaves me with a number of questions about your motivation and integrity. Will you learn the requirements of the Brown Act and other laws which govern your elected position? Will you attempt to govern by intimidation and hateful messaging? Will you become cozy with developers and outside contractors for personal interests? Will you put your constituents first above personal interests? Will you be a productive and caring council member? Only time and your actions will tell. I must say however, you're not off to a good start.
San Bernardino County Board of Education trustee, Area D
GRAND TERRACE: Artist living her dream job
10:00 PM PST on Tuesday, January 18, 2011By MARINA ROJAS
Special to The Press-Enterprise
A graphic artist combines the talents of being an illustrator with the magic of an imagination that steps out of the ordinary each day.
For Grand Terrace artist Laci Morgan of Laci Morgan Creations, living in that world of character design and 2-D animation is her dream job.
Growing up in Coarsegold, a little California town about an hour and an half south of Yosemite National Forest, Morgan watched her father apply his profession at home with his application of music and sounds to online video games.
Both of her parents noticed that instead of playing the video games, Laci would stop the game at a certain point and spend time sketching out the scene at hand. "That convinced them early on that I was going to be an artist when I grew up," said Morgan.
Prior to her career as a freelance artist, Morgan held a job with Disney's California Adventure Animation Studio, where she helped show park-goers how to draw animated two-dimensional characters.
"I began picking up side jobs from people who were interested in obtaining graphic art pieces from a Disney-trained artist," said Morgan, "and I picked up a few freelancing jobs off of the Internet."A lot of her jobs involve providing a company with a new logo or a mascot. "Studies show that when a business has a mascot type character, it generates more interest in their service or product because the character generates familiarity to the consumer."
Recently, Morgan was asked to come up with a character and logo for a dog waste removal company in Texas. The company requested a "tasteful but humorous representation of their services."
With the motto "We Scoop Where Others Fear to Tread," Morgan created a spotted hound wearing a look that says "I'm busted" while a kitty points out clearly that she had nothing to do with that mess.
With one look at The Doggy Dropped It company's logo designed by Morgan, it's clear that creating whimsical and visually captivating characters is a talent she refined over the years.
Morgan also specializes in wedding invitations, fliers, logos, character design and featured animations. Because she keeps busy with this type of graphic artistry, she doesn't do any website design work. She also offers advice and answers questions for other artists at her illustration blog, http://lacimorgan.blogspot.com/.
"My goal is to make things that families can enjoy together," said Morgan. "Keeping family friendly entertainment is first and forefront in my creational processes."
Monday, January 17, 2011
Dodd, Lloyd (M/?) of Grand Terrace (Verified Address)
Reported on 01/13/2011 in Riverside County SD
Driving Under the Influence
M VC 23152(A) DUI Alcohol/Drugs
THIS PORTION IS RETRACTED UNTIL THE ABOVE CAN BE FURTHER VERIFIED
NOTE THE FORMER STATEMENT CAME WITH AN QUALIFYING STATEMENT "could". The post perhaps should have read, a Person with the same name as Dodd the former candidate for Mayor, and City Council....
However, the site where the data was gleaned receives it data and information from actual arrest records. It is just possible that this blog has identified either a case of identity theft, or a doppelganger, or a generational relationship to the arrested person. If there was an error in the reporting and it is removed from the source page it will be removed from this blog.
This was sent in a return email to Lloyd Dodd III but the email was rejected by his service provider. So the only means of communication is also by posting the information. It is not slander or baseless. An error may have been made by the source report credited above, however, it is also possible that had it not been re-posted on this blog Mr. Dodd's discovery of the information could have come at a less convenient time and place.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
10:00 PM PST on Saturday, January 15, 2011
Redevelopment is often abused, largely unaccountable and mostly incomprehensible. Junking it, as Gov. Jerry Brown proposes, would save the state money, promote straightforward use of public funds and bring more openness to government. But the Legislature will need to ensure that such a step results in better public policy, and is not merely a state money grab.
The governor's budget proposes to save the state $1.7 billion in 2011-12 by phasing out redevelopment. Eventually, the more than $5 billion annually in property taxes that now go to redevelopment would instead be available to schools, cities and counties for other public services. In return, the governor would allow local voters, by a 55 percent vote, to raise taxes or approve bonds to help spur local economic growth.
Cities and redevelopment proponents argue the process provides jobs, economic growth, housing and civic revitalization. But the issue is really about control of a lucrative revenue stream, and whether this convoluted form of public financing makes effective use of tax funds.
Redevelopment has little connection anymore to the ostensible goal of urban renewal. Cities have used the process to lure big sales tax producers to town or ease budgets by shifting general fund expenses onto redevelopment. And the state's legislative analyst finds "no reliable evidence that this program improves overall economic development in California."
While redevelopment certainly can provide civic benefits, those gains come at a growing cost to public agencies that would otherwise collect the money. About 12 percent of all property taxes statewide now go to redevelopment, a dramatic increase from the 3.6 percent diversion in 1982-83. And locally, those numbers are far higher: In San Bernardino County, 31 percent of property tax goes to redevelopment, and 26 percent in Riverside County.
The state has to make up for property taxes diverted from schools, at a cost of about $1.8 billion a year. That approach amounts to a state subsidy for redevelopment. But why should taxpayers across California -- even in areas without redevelopment -- underwrite local development elsewhere?
And there is no real state oversight of redevelopment, which invites misuse. The only way to enforce the law is to sue. The Legislature has repeatedly had to enact reforms to end abuses such as declaring open land "blighted" to finance projects that bolster city coffers.
Redevelopment also gives local government the power to borrow and spend money without accountability. Too often, redevelopment serves as a way to give generous incentives to well-connected developers, regardless of whether that step is necessary to land new projects. Since redevelopment spending does not directly affect public services, there are seldom any consequences for bad decisions.
And the process is so complex that few voters grasp the significance of redevelopment items, which limits effective public scrutiny. The complex two-step of tax diversions and state backfills, coupled with the esoteric world of redevelopment financing, makes government funding tough to decipher and spending choices hard to judge.
Of course, the state cannot simply knock out a central pillar of local government financial strategies without offering some reasonable alternative. Brown's plan for local tax increases lacks enough detail to assess.
But the Legislature could make local finances more rational by revising the outdated formulas for distributing property taxes, which date to 1979. And legislators could rework incentives that reward local governments for seeking big retailers instead of balanced planning.
California has long needed to rethink its confusing, haphazard system of financing local government. The state's budget crisis makes that task a necessity, and redevelopment offers a fine starting point.
Saturday, January 15, 2011
School board votes to include amenities when Grand Terrace High School opens
Grand Terrace High School will have all amenities in place when it opens, but the completion date remains uncertain.
The Colton Joint Unified school board decided Thursday evening to approve construction of a stadium, pool and other components that were originally slated to be added after Grand Terrace High School opened to students.
The completion date of the project, currently capped at a $22million budget including contingency allowances, will be determined after a meeting of the district facilities committee. The date for that meeting has not been set.
The ability to open with a completed campus rather than phasing in additional projects is the silver lining to Vanir Construction's earlier announcement that the school will not be ready for classes at the beginning of the 2012 school year as originally planned, said Kent Taylor, a school board member whose district includes Grand Terrace.
"It'll be an entire school year delay, and with that you have the chance to not only phase in but actually complete some of the projects that need to be finished," Taylor said.
The important thing is getting the campus open as soon as possible, Taylor said.
"It's unfortunate that there is a delay," he said, "and my emphasis is getting it opened as soon as possible because it's going to be good for students not only in Grand Terrace but in the Colton area."