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.