Meeting With Governor Brown: A Mayor’s Account

Cross-posted at PublicCEO.

California’s economy is broken. The day of reckoning for the great State of California has finally come. There is a perfect storm brewing in Sacramento that is sending budgetary tsunamis through every city in the state. After many years of financial smoke and mirrors, shifting costs and revenues from one side to another in a monstrous shell game, California faces a $25-billion deficit that cannot be explained, delayed or smiled away.

Recently I, along with members of our City Council and staff, had the opportunity to sit down with our Governor to discuss how this crisis will affect our City – specifically, how the Governor’s proposal to do away with the financial tool of redevelopment will wound our economic recovery efforts. It was not an entirely new discussion, as previous State takeaways from Atascadero’s redevelopment funds have cost us more than a million dollars. This time, however, we weren’t talking about a program where the State would "borrow" our funds. Governor Brown is talking about the end of redevelopment itself within the State of California.