All last year, local government nerds throughout California -- this one included -- assumed that Jerry Brown would sign a bill to bring back redevelopment if one landed on his desk. So we were all shocked -- shocked! -- when he vetoed every substantive bill the Legislature gave him. (You can read about my surprise here. And based on the comments of some people at the UCLA land use conference on Friday, some of us are still shocked.
But maybe we shouldn't have been. Maybe it's pretty simple.
Here's what San Gabriel City Manager said on Friday: "The governor will not sign a bill until he has clawed back every single penny from the successor agencies that he thinks he can get."
Looked through this lens, I have to admit, it all makes sense. DOF is squeezing cities for all the former redevelopment funds it can possibly get, and the beancounters there are not done. The budget looks good, but Brown is not the kind of guy to let up once he sets his sights on something. And what leverage does he have? The veto pen.
I've floated a lot of theories about this. He's still mad at the cities and wants to punish them. He doesn't want anybody to think he's going to let the old redevelopment system be resurrected in any way, shape or form, so he's waiting for the body to get cold.
But maybe Steve's right: He's holding redevelopment revival hostage until he gets all his money.