Republicans who support redevelopment agencies -- those modern-day urban renewal agencies that dole out corporate welfare, use eminent domain on behalf of developers and run up debt to pay for infrastructure and other projects -- talk about the importance of local control (i.e., RDA cash stays in town, rather than going to Sacramento), but fail to recognize the connection between redevelopment and out-of-control spending. Why do cities strive mightily to create redevelopment deals?
They need to pay the outsized pensions and pay packages for city workers and other questionable things. The more they give away the store, the more they need to depend on the big-score projects provided by redevelopment to backfill council members' overspending. Here the San Jose Mercury News reports on funding for a new 49ers stadium in Santa Clara. Lo and behold, we find that "The money is starting to flow into the 49ers stadium project in Santa Clara before shovels hit the ground, with council members shelling out funds to outside lawyers, consultants and city workers -- along with a 10 percent raise for themselves." Without redevelopment, cities couldn't lavish dollars on council members, consultants and city workers. What a tragedy that would be!