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.
The San Diego Humane Society on Thursday deployed its emergency response team to Butte County to assist in animal rescues as the Camp Fire continues to devastate Northern California.
Aided by diminishing winds, fire crews expanded the containment line around the deadly Woolsey Fire Thursday, while more evacuation orders were lifted and a firefighter was hospitalized after being run over by a vehicle while sleeping.
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Cool weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century, as the search went on for more bodies. At least 56 people were killed and 300 were unaccounted for a week after the flames swept through.
The strong winds we saw this week left a mess in some parts of the county - including at a very special horse-riding facility in Ramona.
Five nurses from Scripps Health, who are part of a medical response team, are traveling to Northern California to care for the people affected by the Camp Fire.
A transient accused of repeatedly burglarizing the office of a South Bay community group before torching the premises last week pleaded not guilty Thursday to a slew of charges including arson of a structure, grand theft and burglary.
A 52-year-old professional photographer was arrested this week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl during a modeling session in Carlsbad, authorities reported Thursday.