Nine cities, including Glendale and Pasadena, filed a lawsuit this week to force the state to make good on millions of dollars for local officials to pay down debt and other obligations left over by the dissolution of local redevelopment agencies.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Sacramento County Superior Court, comes as so-called “successor agencies” — made up of various stakeholders in the wind down of redevelopment operations — wade through the arduous process of untangling assets and paying down existing debts.
The state is scheduled to release millions to the successor agencies on June 1 to pay down those remaining debts, but city officials claim they’ve received mixed messages on whether the money will come.
“We need to resolve this issue immediately and we felt the only way to ensure the state followed through with their required payment was to join with our fellow cities,” Glendale City Manager Scott Ochoa said in a statement issued Wednesday.
The stakes are high.
In cities like Glendale, local redevelopment revenues paid for the salaries of dozens of employees who worked to direct growth and affordable housing projects. Many of those jobs are now on the line as city’s struggle to close yawning budget gaps without the aid of redevelopment revenues.
In Glendale -- which has a projected General Fund budget deficit of more than $15 million -- six employees received layoff notices earlier this month, the first of more than two dozen who are expected to be cut from the city's payroll due to the loss of local redevelopment revenues.
Redevelopment, which was axed in February by a state mandate, paid for $6.6 million worth of staff salaries, benefits, maintenance and operations in Glendale. Cutting nearly 30 jobs would save Glendale about $3 million.
The other cities listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Palmdale, Huntington Beach, Imperial Beach, Inglewood, National City, Hayward, and Culver City.
-- Jason Wells, Times Community News