Placer County has strategy to dissolve redevelopment agency

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Placer County supervisors will be given a possible strategy Tuesday to dissolve redevelopment agency functions the state has moved to shut down and the California Supreme Court upheld Dec. 29 for closure. The plan includes hiring an interim director who will be paid $199,208 in salary and executive compensation over a 12-month period. In a report to the board, the County Executive Office is presenting a plan that would wind down activities with the redevelopment agency over the next one to two years. Allison Carlos, principal management analyst, said that dissolving the county’s redevelopment agency will involve the divestiture of $55 million in assets and properties and reconciling about $29 million in liabilities. The redevelopment agency will be dissolved by Feb. 1 and replaced by a redevelopment department that will serve as a transitional department to implement successor agency responsibilities. Existing staff with the county redevelopment agency will be placed within the new department under a redevelopment department director. Staff work will include facilitating winding down existing projects and liquidating property, Carlos said. As the work progresses, the department will consider projects already under contract or construction and identify which should be allowed to be completed, she said. The housing program includes the Quartz Ridge affordable housing project at the Foresthill exit. The potential is for the redevelopment program’s housing functions to be rolled into the Community Development Resource Agency, Carlos said. The plan includes the hiring of Rae James as redevelopment department director for $126,880 for a full-time appointment lasting a year. As well as the $61-an-hour wage, James will have full management benefits estimated in the contract at $72,328. According to Placer County figures, recently retired redevelopment program manager James LoBue received $117,400 in regular earnings in 2011 and $130,492 in total earnings. Total earnings include retirement payouts for accrued vacation and sick leave. County Executive Officer Tom Miller was quoted in an earlier Auburn Journal story as saying that LoBue’s position was not going to be filled.