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Former Lodi mayors endorse Measure W on redevelopment

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Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 10:00 pm

This is a unique time in our city's history, just as it is for our nation.

In Lodi we are witnessing an unprecedented coalition of civic-minded citizens who are convinced that voting YES on Measure W on March 3 is in the best interest of our entire city. It's a wide-ranging group of business and labor leaders, educators, elected officials and members of Lodi's philanthropic organizations.

We, the undersigned past mayors of Lodi, add our names to the list.

We see the role redevelopment has played in sparking economic development and job creation in other California cities.

We see the many housing programs available through redevelopment that allow seniors to live with dignity and help working families make the leap from renters to homeowners.

We see the inviting streetscapes and parks that make communities better places to live.

We know first-hand these are among the requests Lodi residents have asked of their local government over the years. Like us, they see what other cities have accomplished and ask, "Why not here?" Why not, indeed.

There are two ways to achieve many of these goals, one more palatable than the other. One is for voters to tax themselves more. The other is for Lodi to adopt the Lodi Community Improvement Project by voting YES on Measure W.

Measure W is not a tax increase. It simply allows your local government to keep a greater percentage of the property tax you're already paying, instead of having it spent at the whim of the state Legislature. As County Auditor-Controller Adrian Van Houten wrote in his Measure W tax analysis, which is included in your voter pamphlet, "If passed, Measure W will have no impact on property tax rates on properties inside or outside the Project Area. Redevelopment Agencies do not have the power to impose new taxes either within or outside the Project Area."

Measure W isn't a vote to borrow money, although that's what Measure W opponents would have you believe.

Measure W is an economic tool that's been available to California cities for more than half a century. In fact, the system that allows cities to keep more property tax to pay for redevelopment projects was approved by two-thirds of California voters in a 1952 proposition.

Measure W is about greater local control over our dollars. It puts in place a program that has been endorsed by the Lodi Improvement Committee, the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, the Lodi Conference and Visitors Bureau and the Lodi Unified School District.

Most important, it's a new source of money that can be reinvested in the Project Area, which is most of Lodi east of Sacramento Street. A 2008 study of the Project Area found:

  • About 22 percent of homes are in some degree of disrepair;
  • About 45 percent of commercial properties are obsolete, lack sufficient parking and have a dilapidated appearance;
  • Building age is 27 years older compared to the rest of the city (1948 to 1975);
  • Nearly a third of buildings were owned by absentee owners, compared to 17 percent in the rest of the city;
  • Although only 25 percent of Lodi's population lives there, it's where 54 percent of the city's crimes occur.

These all result in the city spending a disproportionate amount of our tax dollars addressing conditions in the Project Area. Van Houten notes that property values in the redevelopment area haven't kept up with the rest of the city, and Measure W opponents have protested (yes, protested!) that redevelopment raises property values. Therefore, they acknowledge redevelopment will increase the amount of money available for the betterment of east Lodi neighborhoods.

As Lodi's past mayors, we have always tried our best to serve all citizens of our great community. We know the City Council did the same last year when it adopted the Lodi Community Improvement Project, and we support those who felt redevelopment's fate was worth a citywide vote.

Please join us on March 3 by voting YES on Measure W.

Signed:

Bo Katzakian

Bob Johnson

John Beckman

Wally Katnich

Keith Land

Larry Hansen

Phil Pennino

Randy Snider

Steve Mann

Susan Hitchcock

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Welcome to the discussion.

24 comments:

  • posted at 1:54 pm on Fri, Feb 20, 2009.

    Posts:

    Wow. Some people made some bad decisions in Stockton, so that means every other redevelopment agency in the state is a failure. Therefore, the logical conclusion is we are destined to fail if we have redevelopment!Read Mike Fitzgerald today in the Stockton Record -- "Redevelopment didn't drain city accounts; it enriched them." And "the real problem was that some downtown projects - including the Marina Towers eminent domain - were done recklessly by long-gone administrative staff."Finally, "Even imperfect renovation is preferable."Wrong, Mike! Not here! Only perfection is allowed in Lodi!!

     
  • posted at 12:39 pm on Fri, Feb 20, 2009.

    Posts:

    Some of these dumkopfs got us in the mess we are in, due to their stupidity. Some are not guilty, some are. Government, at present, is being held accountable (finally) for their indiscretions. Time to cut the fat, eliminate worthless programs, and get &*$t done. Time for new leaders!Ever heard the expression: To many Chiefs, not enough Injuns?

     
  • posted at 10:28 am on Fri, Feb 20, 2009.

    Posts:

    STOCKTON - Taxpayers continued to lose money on StocKton Arena in 2008, as well as at three other city-ownedvenues: Stockton Ballpark, Bob Hope Theatre and Oak park lce Arena. All Redevelopment projects.The arena deficit has climbed to more than $7 million since 2006, the arena's first full year of operation. lt lost $2.4million in 2008, about $300,000 more than in 2007, according to officials in a statement provided by the city.Included in a note accompanying a building operations line item on one statement was mention of $43,000 for icegenerator repairs and $25,000 for "Elephant Dung Clean up." .The ballpark lost $335,801 in 2008, a modest improvement over the previous year. The theater did worse than in2007, losing $350,784. Oak Park lce Arena lost 934,853.The four facilities built with redevelopment funds. The $69 million arena was not intended to be a profit center. The extent of its burden on the city's already-tietering general fund is staggering. Maintenance and upkeep of new facilities built with redevelopment will be a greater burden to Lodi's general fund than without RDA.

     
  • posted at 4:26 am on Fri, Feb 20, 2009.

    Posts:

    There's exactly 2 people on this list that I would give credibility to. You just wasted news space.

     
  • posted at 2:05 pm on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    Neo, bedtime for you and your stressful day at city hall tomorrow! Poor puppet.

     
  • posted at 1:09 pm on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    And how many 6 figure people to you think Lodi will have to hire to run its RDA? What`s that? Oh, right! ZERO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! U guys are so lame!

     
  • posted at 1:07 pm on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    So mp, you`re saying that you have assumptions as well as innuendo? Boy! Way to do your homework!

     
  • posted at 12:03 pm on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    He always voted NO on RDA as a councilman and his wife is donating money to the No folks. Didn't you see her name in the paper?

     
  • posted at 7:25 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    Neo, don't be so defensive? Who is Ralph Matthews? The only Ralph I know and work with is the founder of Operation Peacekeepers in Stockton and he's the organizer of Stockton's gang intervention program. And mp, you're right about that debate, too. Can you imagine Hansen trying to debate JoAnne, even with his computer? Now that would be priceless! Once those MORR documents and the newest numbers of the debt incurred by those cities with an RDA, Hansen would be laughed out of town. I say bring it on. It wouldn't even take JoAnne an hour to take care of business. And one thing about Mr. Nakanishi, although I don't think he was much of a politician, he's a very honest and upfront person. If he says no on W, then so be it! Neo, you sound like one of those slumlords, are you?

     
  • posted at 7:16 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    Observers, I don't go to the House of Coffees in the morning but once a week. I'd believe Mr. Dados before I'd believe Hitchcock-Glenn, Hansen, Johnson, Katzakian or King. I see their misleading statements, coverups, smokescreens and pandering every council meeting. They're just fortunate most people don't have internet access so they can watch this band of thieves stumble their way through meetings. Why so many secret, er closed sessions, and always concerning litigation or money? When are they going to tell us about Bill Jennings and his lawsuit against the city for polluting and contaminating the groundwater and soil at the White Slough water treatment plant? Will this be another one of those well guarded secrets? I'm thinking that some of those missing funds from the water and soil settlements has disappeared into starting the solution to this new, major problem, with the canneries and wineries being mentioned as well as the leaking contaminant ponds that're just two feet above groundwater level. Why do you continue to protect these "dark side" secrets? You certainly must be one of their snitches. You'd be surprised what public information can be found on the internet that can be very incriminating.

     
  • posted at 7:02 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    Reality, coming from you and your protected little group, that's not saying much. Again, namecalling and derision are your only defense.

     
  • posted at 5:45 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    mp.. how do you know Nakanishi is against Measure W? Talks cheap, where`s your proof?

     
  • posted at 5:29 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    I heard Mounce wants a debate and no one has the guts to go against her!

     
  • posted at 5:27 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    You are forgeting the former mayors who say NO to Measure WHinchmanNakanishiMcCartyMounce

     
  • posted at 5:03 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    Load, you, Dados, Ralph Matthews and all the other lunatic, conspiracy theorists need do go get your butterfly nets and start spreading your "joy" in some other town.

     
  • posted at 4:34 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    Load, I've known Adam for years and I know you talk with him at HOC in the mornings You know as well as I do that Adam certainly wouldn't represent what "the real people of Lodi think". Come on....you know better than that.

     
  • posted at 4:10 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    And if these proponents are so right, why don't they want to have a public forum and debate on the subject? I understand Hansen wanted a one hour forum? Doesn't that tell you something there alone? Read the letter to the editor from Mr. Adam Dados and you'll see what real people around Lodi think of Hansen and those who let him bully them. Let's have an open forum so we can ask you if you have any particular friends or business associates you will designate the most monies to? It's less than two weeks away and you're still hiding?

     
  • posted at 3:58 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    Neo, Madam ex-Mayor Mounce lives on the eastside and wants those responsible for letting it run down all those years, like ex-police chief Hansen, your fearless leader and probably one of your idols, and curing the gang problem before worrying about fixing up those $400K "estates" there so the poor can live in style. Just why do you think the eastside will be so dollied up that people will come? Until you clean up the neighborhoods and solve the gang problems, what's the big push to neaten it up? Ms. Mounce last night at the CC meeting why the eastside didn't even have handicapped curbs on most of their sidewalks? I haven't seen any westside sidewalks without them. Why? Do we just take care of the influential westside and keep letting the east go to crap? It won't change anything with redevelopment until the gangs and illegals are taken care of permanently. How many of those names above have interests in those homes and properties in the RDA area? I see at least 6 who're well-connected to the realtors, developers, contractors and builders here in Lodi. It's in their best financial interest that RDA feeds their greed.

     
  • posted at 3:32 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    lodidian, again, those funds are for owner occupied homes only. JoAnne Mounce lives there and could qualify, but chooses to urge a NO on W. Why isn't Lodi code enforcement making those wealthy Lodi slumlords fix those rentals and investment properties up themselves or keeo writing them citations or, better yet, redtag those homes for no occupancy until they're made habitable?

     
  • posted at 3:28 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090218/A_NEWS/902180332Isn't Stockton already over $5 million in the red for the losses so far from Paragary's, arena, ballpark, hotel and waterfront? How much more will that $5 million be next year?And each year after? Redevelopment is not good for any city or its general fund, only for the local developers and scabby contractors with their shoddy work, migrant work forces and low rates of pay. Those tax monies generated by redevelopment will go to the wealthy and well connected, and be shorted from the general fund and city budget. Is that what you want, less police and fire and services for nice new shiny sewer and water pipes and those still rundown rentals on the eastside? Those home "fixups" only pertain to owner occupied homes. Do you think any of those slumlords, many of which are on city council and their friends, families and silent partners who own these slumhouses, would actually live in them? So how's redevelopment going to "fixup" those rentals? Those owners there already take care of their homes, don't they? Or is our CC and manager calling them dirty pigs? News-Sentinel, how about pandering to opponents and show those well-connected who oppose RDA?

     
  • posted at 3:26 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    I can only imagine how Eastside landlords and others with vested interests will be lobbying the three city council guys---"the deciders"--- as to who gets rda money, how much and for what!Looking for a good investment anyone?

     
  • posted at 3:15 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    Aren't there two former mayors that say no on W? Why? They aren't any of the high rollers and money suckers listed above either, are they? Does Hitchcock-Glenn's husband endorse W? Or is he the one that owns all the property in the redevelopment area?

     
  • posted at 2:58 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    I respect the members of the Lodi city council for volunteering their time to serve the citizens of our great city. I believe they try to do a good job of managing the many projects they choose to undertake but because they have consistently mis-manage projects, issues, and the money associated with them, I am against empowering them to control additional tax dollars via measure w.I urge the council and Lodi taxpayers to evaluate management of issues and projects such as the ground water clean up, DeBenedetti Park, downtown parking garage, skate park, purchase of water from WID, the greenbelt, Pig's lake levee repair, Wal*Mart Supercenter, Grapebowl rescue. I do not believe the city has demonstrated the ability to effectively or fairly manage a redevelopment agency. This is why I will vote no on measure w.

     
  • posted at 2:11 am on Thu, Feb 19, 2009.

    Posts:

    But guys! JoAnne "Trainwreck" Mounce doesn`t want the RDA! All of you are obviously wrong. And besides Mounce likes puppies!!!

     

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