Culver City City Manager John Nachbar will be “very mindful” of the city’s workforce as he recommends spending cuts following the dissolution of statewide redevelopment agencies, an act that will have “major negative impacts on our city and cities throughout the state,” he said in a bi-weekly statement.
Redevelopment agencies were dissolved by an act of the California Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown, and will take effect Feb.1.
Nachbar said that he and the Culver City City Council are aware that the city’s employees are a “valuable resource” and that services can’t be delivered without a talented workforce. In light of that, he promised that as he made recommendations to maintain the city’s financial well-being, he would remain “very mindful of that fact.”
The city’s redevelopment agency has been “the catalyst for lasting and significant community improvements, such as our downtown’s revitalization, Westfield Culver City and West Washington Boulevard improvements, to name just a few,” Nachbar said. It also is the sole source of funding for the city’s cultural affairs programs, which includes among other events, the summer music festival, Art Walk, Car Show and IndieCade.
“Redevelopment presently reimburses the city for approximately $7.5 million of the city’s operations and programs…the loss of the agency equates to that sum being eliminated from the city’s revenues,” Nachbar said. As a result, he is “accelerating his efforts to reduce the city’s expenditures to realign them with the significantly reduced revenues.”
The city manager pointed that there may be some “much smaller amount of revenue” that would still flow to the city over the next several years, in addition to some increased property tax revenue that used to go to the agency. “Regardless, the city’s budget will experience a major financial shock (in the millions of dollars annually) beginning Feb. 1,” he said.
The state’s action, he said, also places in jeopardy such projects as the development of Parcel B, plans for a transit-oriented development project at the Culver City EXPO station at Washington and National boulevards and for a market hall at Washington Boulevard and Centinela Avenue. He said that the city is working diligently to secure those and other projects.
There are legal battles ahead and many uncertainties, but one thing is clear, Nachbar said: “Redevelopment will not continue in its current form.”