California Gov. Picks Panel to Dismantle L.A. Redevelopment Agency

Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed three people to breakup the city’s redevelopment agency. Some worry about conflicts of interest arising.
by | February 2, 2012

After the Los Angeles mayor and council chose not to lead the breakup of the city’s redevelopment agency, Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed three people to get the job done, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The new panel will be tasked with getting rid of the agencies’ assets and paying its bond debt. Some worry though that Brown’s selections may present conflicts of interest.

Nelson Rising, picked to lead the panel, is the chairman of Rising Realty Partners and as recently as  2010, was the chief executive of the company that owns a number of office buildings in Los Angeles. Timothy McOsker is a City Hall lobbyist as well as an attorney for a firm that deals with land use. Mee Semcken was the City Council liaison for the redevelopment agency a decade ago.

Despite the concerns from some, all are on board. "If I don't do it, who will?" McOsker told the Times.

The governor pushed for the closure of more than 400 redevelopment agencies around the state -- a move that could boost the state’s coffers with an extra $2 billion in tax revenue, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Brown also appointed similar panels in Merced, Stanislaus and Ventura on Wednesday, the Business Journal reports.

The California Redevelopment Association and the California League of Cities challenged Brown's order last year, but the state Supreme Court upheld it in December.


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