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Mayor, Staff to Meet With State Finance Department Over Funds

State holding some $32 million in funds collected through a tax increment in redevelopment district, which the city wants to brings home to fund vital infrastructure projects

Mr. Smith once went to Washington.

On Monday, Mayor Glass will go to Sacramento to ask the state to distribute money for the East Washington and Old Redwood Highway intercharge improvements following the dissolution of redevelopment agencies.

The money is the city's-- collected through a tax increment by the now defunct redevelopment agency. But the state argues that Petaluma did not enter into contracts with vendors by the deadline and is therefore not entitled to the cash.

The city says that's baloney.

“I remain hopeful a successful solution can be achieved in a timely manner that will lead to keeping Old Redwood Highway and East Washington on track and workers on the job,” Mayor Dave Glass said in an emailed statement.

Joining Glass on Monday at the meeting before the California State Department of Finance will be Petaluma's Economic Development Director Ingrid Alverde, Councilman Mike Healy, Assemblymember Michael Allen and Sonoma County Transportation Authority Director Suzanne Smith.

The East Washington interchange project carries a $8.3 million price tag and is more than 30 percent complete. Old Redwood Highway, where improvements to highway onramps and widening the structure were expected to start this October, is counting on $15 million from the state.

Both projects were identified as top priority to help improve traffic following the construction of nearby shopping centers-- Kohl’s near Old Redwood Highway and Target on East Washington. 

Marjorie Helm August 18, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Thank you Mayor Glass and Assemblymember Allen for going after this. Thanks to the Patch for reporting on this important effort!
George Barich August 18, 2012 at 03:48 PM
This is outrageous and disgusting. This is Petaluma's money? NO. The California Supreme Court ruled and confirmed what was fact for decades. "Redevelopment" is and always has been, a state program to allow cities to act on the state's behalf to combat urban blight. Cities have perverted the meaning of RDAs for years as their own personal slush funds that often had nothing to do with urban blight but a way to supplement city salaries and pet projects that stretched the meaning of RDA. Cities were supposed to act as good stewards on behalf of the state, but many told their citizens it was their money to beef up the appearance these cities had more money they they actually had. The state has rightfully taken back their own money to bail out the state which is 20 billion in the red and can't borrow or print money. Now, you have mayors like Glass who can't deal with the reality of the situation claiming to fight for Petaluma's money. It's outrageous to see these cities continue to fall over themselves trying to fight for what they say is their fair share of the pie when all they are doing is killing the baker. Have you no shame? Have you no sense of leadership to deal with the reality of the situation and move your city forward back onto a fiscally responsible track? You have been screwing the pooch for decades. Stop it already. RDA was abused like a bad drug, and it is time the citizens intervene with some serious intervention and stop this madness.
Mitch August 18, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Yes, thank you Mayor Glass for fighting for OUR money!
George Barich August 18, 2012 at 06:49 PM
You people are either really dumb, or delusional. Has anyone read the court opinion on this or countless news stories how RDAs have bankrupted California? The feeding frenzy is over folks. Deal with it. Glass, go home, do your job, and stop looking for free handouts, bailouts... stop making excuses for your failed leadership, spending beyond your means, borrowing beyond your ability to payback, allowing the city employee unions and special interests dictate local policy, etc. And stop allowing the city parks from being taken over by far left extremists that would tear down City Hall if they could get away with it. Do your job, encourage economic development, protect personal property rights, stop regulating and taxing the community beyond the breaking point, hold some office hours and face the public, and stop telling us taxpayers you don't want to hear from us anymore. Going to Sacramento my rear end. What are you doing to save California from imploding from runaway spending, over taxation, a welfare system that is out of control? I won't hold my breath.
David Keller August 19, 2012 at 08:19 AM
Thanks to Mayor Glass' leadership and followthrough, I hope our city's representatives will be able to persuade the State to return money lawfully collected through Petaluma's Redevelopment Agency, where it can be used for lawfully approved projects that were eligible for Redevelopment participation. Just because the anti-tax radicals in California have starved the state into chaos and failures, starting with the inequities of Prop. 13, doesn't mean that we should leave our local tax money at the state in service of Gov. Brown's attempts to find fixes. I wish our representatives success.

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