California's decision to dissolve redevelopment agencies has local impact

If anyone thought the loss of local redevelopment agencies would simply translate into fewer affordable housing projects or shiny new malls, think again.

The full brunt of the state mandate eliminating this important tool will come into clearer focus in the coming weeks as Glendale officials wade through a series of budget discussions that will include probable lay-offs in departments that will surely impact public services and the everyday quality of life.

Fewer people to respond to code enforcement issues, to staff libraries, to handle planning documents and permits, or to respond to complaints, will mean longer waits and a slower slog to get business done.

With a projected budget gap that could hit $15 million — and roughly half that due to loss of redevelopment-related revenue — the full impact of the decision of lawmakers in Sacramento will hit Glendale in a very ugly way this year, even if a Band-Aid fix is agreed upon before the start of the new fiscal year in July.

It’s something to keep in mind the next time the public is asked to weigh in on an issue that at first seems nebulous and bureaucratic. These sorts of decisions have a way of ripening into a hot mess months after they’re made.

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