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The former Centre City Development Corp. (CCDC) had a sacred belief: money that was made from the former Redevelopment Agency tax increment financing had to go back where it came from.

And that was downtown. And that's one of the ways by which the corporate welfare machine kept building subsidized structures downtown while the infrastructure and neighborhoods rotted, and the affordable and homeless crises worsened.

Now, in effect, the old CCDC is called Civic San Diego. In this column June 19, Jeff Graham, Civic San Diego president and a former CCDC executive, said Centre City "was often criticized for keeping all of the downtown tax increment money downtown, yet the critics choose to ignore that it was illegal to do otherwise."

But this weekend at the Politifest event sponsored by Voice of San Diego, Bill Fulton, San Diego's new planning director, said that the old CCDC's article of faith was untrue. He said that money could have gone for affordable housing citywide instead of only within the project areas downtown.

Civic activist Katheryn Rhodes says this means that for two decades, CCDC's false article of faith was used for building subsidized corporate welfare projects while stealing from the less fortunate. Rhodes believes that the former CCDC tax increment money could also provide for homeless emergency shelters and be used for homeless services.

Thirty percent of the billion dollars in assets could be put into action right now, but the "purposeful incompetence" of Civic San Diego and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has kept the funds from going to affordable housing now, says Rhodes.

She believes portions of this billion dollars could be used to begin ending homelessness immediately.

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Comments

mannychen Aug. 5, 2013 @ 5:39 p.m.

redevelopment is corruption. if these are such good investments, the "private" sector would be able to develop downtown without the increments.

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Don Bauder Aug. 5, 2013 @ 6:55 p.m.

mannychen: You are absolutely correct. The reason that taxpayers are forced to pick up the tab on things such as ballparks and stadiums is that they are losing investments. The team owners know that and stick the losses on taxpayers by threatening to move the team. The same is true for hotels, shopping centers, auto dealerships and the like that believe they have to be subsidized. It's because they couldn't make it on their own. That's not capitalism. It's corporate socialism. Best, Don Bauder

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laplayaheritage Aug. 5, 2013 @ 6:09 p.m.

www.tinyurl.com/20130610a

All that is needed is a reprioritization of assets.

The great news is that with Mayor Filner's approval, the mayoral staff could Ministerially bypass the City Council, City Attorney, IBA, and the private Civic San Diego; and move the Successor Housing Assets into the Housing Trust Fund (HTF) under control of the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC).

Then with existing in-place contracts Civic San Diego would be a subconsultant to SDHC. Problem is solved, and the $32+ million in Cash and Bond Proceeds in the Successor Agency Affordable Housing Master Plan would be available immediately to End Homelessness in San Diego, through the HUD-mandated Regional Continuum of Care Council (RCCC).

Without a tax increase.
With no negative effect to the City's General Fund.

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Don Bauder Aug. 5, 2013 @ 6:57 p.m.

laplayaheritage: Do you have any idea why Filner hasn't done this (other than his current difficulties)? Best, Don Bauder

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laplayaheritage Aug. 5, 2013 @ 7:19 p.m.

No Clue. Except that the Office of the Mayor takes legal advice on Successor Agency assets from City Attorney Goldsmith and Civic San Diego. That is a great question for the new COS Ms. Burdick. Prior there was no follow through.

No Clue why Mayor Filner's office has yet to ask, let alone receive, a legal opinion from Attorney General Kamala Harris on the outstanding issues.

Mayor Filner should also immediately take over financial Negotiations with the Department of Finance (DOF) on the Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS). Time if running out. If nothing is done, the poor will be even poorer.

https://www.sandiego.gov/planning/community/pdf/cpc/agendas/2013/pp2.pdf

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Don Bauder Aug. 6, 2013 @ 12:05 p.m.

laplayaheritage: And making the poor poorer and the rich richer is exactly what Filner's enemies want. That is a lot of what this lynching is about. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 6, 2013 @ 12:06 p.m.

Yankeedoodle: He doesn't have time to read it now. And it's getting late. Best, Don Bauder

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vitalinfo Aug. 6, 2013 @ 6:53 a.m.

. . .sounds as though the City Attorney doesn't work for the City.

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Don Bauder Aug. 6, 2013 @ 12:08 p.m.

vitalinfo: Goldsmith works for the downtown corporate welfare crowd. He also works for Goldsmith. Best, Don Bauder

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Yankeedoodle Aug. 6, 2013 @ 7:25 a.m.

Vitalinfo: I believe this particular City Attorney was put into office precisely to stop that office from acting for the city as an elected official. Instead, he acts the way an appointed city attorney acts, as an employee of the city council.

Why wouldn't the council, comprised of reps from the neighborhoods, figure all this out? Who knows? Perhaps they aren't good with numbers.

One would think that the mayor would take legal advice from the city attorney, but if there is little mutual respect, could the mayor would look elsewhere for a legal opinion?

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Don Bauder Aug. 6, 2013 @ 12:11 p.m.

Yankeedoodle: Filner and Goldsmith hate each other. Filner has logical reasons. Goldsmith's hatred is directed by the downtown corporate welfare boosters. Best, Don Bauder

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Yankeedoodle Aug. 6, 2013 @ 2:37 p.m.

Don

In which case, the mayor should not take "legal advice on Successor Agency assets" from the city attorney. (Quoted phrase from la playa post above)

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Don Bauder Aug. 6, 2013 @ 2:48 p.m.

Yankeedoodle: You have put your finger on the problem. Why should Filner take advice from a city attorney who is a lackey for the downtown establishment?

It's the reverse of the situation with Mike Aguirre when he was city attorney. Aguirre was trying to rein in corporate welfare and Mayor Sanders wouldn't take his advice. The establishment ganged up on Aguirre, using the Union-Tribune as a battering ram, and he was defeated soundly.

Now the shoe is on the other foot. The mayor is the reformer trying to raise up the ailing infrastructure and neighborhoods. But the city attorney is beholden to the establishment, which is calling for Filner's head so it can put its own puppet in his place. Best, Don Bauder

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