Spotlight on salaries for redevelopment officials

February 22, 2011

As Gov. Jerry Brown continues to push for state redevelopment funds to be shifted over to education, the spotlight is beginning to shine on the salaries being paid to some heads of local redevelopment agencies. [California Watch]

The state’s 400 redevelopment agencies are under intense public pressure to prove that they should continue to receive roughly $5 billion per year in property taxes to address blight. Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed eliminating the agencies to help close California’s $25 billion budget gap.

A recent investigation by the San Francisco Chronicle shared a sampling of the salaries in the Bay Area. In San Jose, for example, Redevelopment Director Harry Mavrogenes received $271,198.35, while Richmond’s redevelopment director, Alan Wolken, made $149,574.91 in the last year figures were available.

Redevelopment Director James Kennedy of Contra Costa County  was paid $139,693.08.

Meanwhile, in southern California, Chief Executive Officer Christine Essel of the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles made $223,256.00.

State Controller John Chiang announced last month that the state would audit 18 redevelopment agencies to evaluate how they are using their funds.

And late last week, budget plans nearly identical to Brown’s were passed in key committees in the state Legislature, a preliminary indication that Brown’s budget could be adopted. No changes were made to his proposal to eliminate the redevelopment agencies.

Also in the news, the Los Angeles Times raises questions about redevelopment money being used in Sacramento for a bar.

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When the income is less then the outgo the only choice is to cut spending. In your home you would cut back to keeping food on the table and a roof over your head. With the government its the same. Only fund vital services and at a reduced rate if possible. Cut all of the optional programs. When the income increases you save for the next shortfall and then think hard about restarting any programs you cut. Any smart public employees are going to their employers and offering a temporary pay-cut. Those fools who insist they are too important to take a cut should be shown the door. Just my 1.5 cents

Wait a minute here, back up. You are making way too much sense. Imagine if our government could actually understand this basic concept. Unfortunately this obviously is not the case. And unfortunately the government will not face reality until things get much much worse.

What about the salaries for the guys in this area??

Hows $57,281.67 for the month of January for John Wallace, District administrator of the Sanitation District in Oceano.

No wonder this state is bankrupt.

$57,281.67 for just the month of January to John Wallace… surely you mean annually or that would average $687,380.04 per year!

Oh well, I guess he has overhead with kick back expenses and all.