Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Roundup: January 12, 2011

News items and commentary from The Local Feed (in the sidebar) and elsewhere 'round the web that may be of interest to Hollywood residents.

*Last Weekend's "Operation Pothole" resulted in over 16,000 filled potholes, says Councilmember Eric Garcetti's Blog. Per the Councilmember's blog, "[t]he effort dispatched approximately 50 city crews in a focused attack on potholes that were reported by residents across the city." As Mulholland Terrace said over at street-hassle, "[s]ometimes the City actually does things right."

*LA City Council moves forward with a plan for a long-term concession lease agreement for various City owned parking garages, reports the LA Times. The LA Times says that "after a three-hour closed-door meeting on the topic, City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said the council had voted unanimously to submit a parking garage concession agreement to potential private operators." The LA Daily News reports that Councilmember Bernard Parks said that the proposed lease "would probably not result in any money until July, when next year's budget starts." I do not necessarily agree with the plan to lease these City parking garages out to private operators but, at this point, I don't see much harm in Council's action to move this process forward. The flipside is that, more likely than not, the City Council will delay moving forward with necessary cuts in City services (via furloughs, layoffs, etc) until it knows if the proposed concession agreement will pan out or not.

*Governor Brown's State Budget Plan proposes to phase out State Redevelopment Agencies, reports Curbed LA. Curbed says that "[u]nder Gov. Jerry Brown's new budget, all 425 state redevelopment agencies, including Los Angeles' Community Redevelopment Agency, would shut down July 1st. Curbed also notes that Mayor Villaraigosa has called the Governor's proposal a "non-starter." While the City's redevelopment agency (the CRA/LA) has certainly had its share of success over the years, I think it is long past time for the City to look for other models and strategies to encourage and promote (re)development. Here's what Governor Brown had to say on Monday about his move to eliminate state redevelopment agencies (h/t Ron Kaye LA):

Redevelopment has done some important things and we don’t—I don’t—want to interfere with any redevelopment bond or commitment that has been contractually entered into. But going forward, the redevelopment takes money from schools, cities, and counties, and we want that money to be available, because all that’s happened in the redevelopment is that the state has to backfill and pay to make up for the property taxes that are taken by redevelopment. So, in effect, what we’re doing here is spending money at the local level that the state doesn’t have. So we want to take that money and leave it at the local level for the purposes that it was historically intended. That’s police or fire or local activities, county, or schools.

And we’re going to provide—as you’ll see the last bullet point—that we have an idea that we could develop a provision that if local government wants to develop an economic development program over time, they should have the authority to do that. And so that’s a provision that I’m going to work out with the Legislature.

CRA LA's Hollywood Bungalow Court Project

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