SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A proposal by Councilwoman Marti Emerald to have the city's redevelopment efforts managed by one agency, instead of three, was presented Monday to a City Council committee and will now undergo further staff scrutiny.
The plan presented to the council's ad hoc Redevelopment Committee calls for the city's Redevelopment Agency, the downtown-focused Centre City Development Corp. and Southeastern Development Corp., which handles projects east of downtown, to be merged.
The combined agency would be called the San Diego Development Corp. and would then operate the city's various project areas.
Emerald's idea also addresses hiring top executives in a way that avoids conflicts of interest; hands over responsibilities for affordable housing to the San Diego Housing Commission; raises the required percentage of spending on affordable housing to 35 percent; and makes the mayor an ex-officio member of the corporation's board of directors.
"This proposal is really a starting point for a dialogue," Emerald said.
She said the city would save money by avoiding administrative costs that are currently duplicated by the three agencies.
Her plans were referred by the committee to the City Attorney's Office and Independent Budget Analyst to flesh out the legal and financial details.
Councilman David Alvarez supported the plan, while Kevin Faulconer said he liked some parts and but not others. Faulconer pointed out that the City Council had reorganized the structure of the CCDC and SEDC within the last few years.
Gov. Jerry Brown wants to do away with municipally run redevelopment agencies altogether as part of his budget proposal. According to the mayor's office, the Legislature is expected to take another crack at the governor's spending plan by the middle of next month, if not sooner.
Emerald said that no matter what happens to the governor's plan, the City Council has an obligation to improve the agency's effectiveness and openness.
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