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Redevelopment Agency Block Grant Scandal: No Quick Resolution Here

There's about $13 million in ineligible and "unsupported" community development block grant funds that passed through the hands of the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).

We already know that SEDC was generally the personal sandbox of fired SEDC executive Carolyn Smith, and that she's not worth a $100000 severance check... or at least there's one local judge who would prefer that SEDC not cut that check.

What we want to know is if she, or SEDC, or our strong mayor can cough up enough documentation for San Diego to avoid paying all of that $13 million back... expecially when that $13 million could have been spent on allowable fire protection before the next wildfire.

It's not happening.

According to William Anderson, the director of the San Diego City Planning & Community Inverstment Department, we deserve a waiver from the documentation requirements under federal laws and HUD regulations... well... because we meant well. Anderson's comments are contained in the December 30 HUD audit report that found SEDC was so laxly managed by the City of San Diego (mostly because the City was never informed by the City Redevelopment Agency of block grant funds being dispersed to SEDC) that SEDC staffers never had a clue that they were playing with federally-regulated funds.

BTW: The City Redevelopment Agency is just our San Diego City Council, renamed.

Anderson describes a situation here in San Diego not unlike that of the current federal government bailouts of financial institutions and major corporations, just with much smaller amounts of money: million$ instead of billion$... mainly a situation where one has to dig like a gopher to find any justification for anything done with public funds. Anderson stated that the use of community development block grant funds as incremental tax revenue before the tax revenue exists is a legitimate use of block grant money. The answer to that from HUD was generally "Fine. So justify it with documentation... while showing that the block grant funds were not used 'to obtain tax increment funds.' "

Wasn't Anderson describing some sort of Madoff-style Ponzi scheme, playing the feds against state tax officials?

The full HUD IG audit report: www.hud.gov/offices/oig/reports/files/ig0991005.pdf. Anderson's comments and HUD's analysis of those comments are in the appendices.

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There's about $13 million in ineligible and "unsupported" community development block grant funds that passed through the hands of the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).

We already know that SEDC was generally the personal sandbox of fired SEDC executive Carolyn Smith, and that she's not worth a $100000 severance check... or at least there's one local judge who would prefer that SEDC not cut that check.

What we want to know is if she, or SEDC, or our strong mayor can cough up enough documentation for San Diego to avoid paying all of that $13 million back... expecially when that $13 million could have been spent on allowable fire protection before the next wildfire.

It's not happening.

According to William Anderson, the director of the San Diego City Planning & Community Inverstment Department, we deserve a waiver from the documentation requirements under federal laws and HUD regulations... well... because we meant well. Anderson's comments are contained in the December 30 HUD audit report that found SEDC was so laxly managed by the City of San Diego (mostly because the City was never informed by the City Redevelopment Agency of block grant funds being dispersed to SEDC) that SEDC staffers never had a clue that they were playing with federally-regulated funds.

BTW: The City Redevelopment Agency is just our San Diego City Council, renamed.

Anderson describes a situation here in San Diego not unlike that of the current federal government bailouts of financial institutions and major corporations, just with much smaller amounts of money: million$ instead of billion$... mainly a situation where one has to dig like a gopher to find any justification for anything done with public funds. Anderson stated that the use of community development block grant funds as incremental tax revenue before the tax revenue exists is a legitimate use of block grant money. The answer to that from HUD was generally "Fine. So justify it with documentation... while showing that the block grant funds were not used 'to obtain tax increment funds.' "

Wasn't Anderson describing some sort of Madoff-style Ponzi scheme, playing the feds against state tax officials?

The full HUD IG audit report: www.hud.gov/offices/oig/reports/files/ig0991005.pdf. Anderson's comments and HUD's analysis of those comments are in the appendices.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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