With only a few days to go before the February 1 deadline to dissolve the state's redevelopment agencies, the Department of Finance has published a website describing the dissolution process as mandated by Assembly Bill X1 26. The site is intended to answer a host of questions that have arisen among many agencies and cities throughout the state.
Agencies and cities are cautioned that the website and its documents are meant for guidance only and do not constitute legal advice. Finance acknowledges that "the timeframes for dissolution activities may become very compressed" -- as many supporters of redevelopment have claimed -- and that the department cannot name specific individuals who will be working on dissolution nor can it promise that cities will be able to discuss the dissolution process with particular staff members. The department has, however, set up a hotline and an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org and 916.445.1546.
Finance encourages redevelopment agencies and their successors to immediately begin work on Recognized Obligation Payment Schedules (ROPS) and in organizing the oversight board. Both Controller and Finance staff will be reviewing enforceable obligation schedules and jointly determining which items to review in more detail and make objections to.
Finance has also released a pair of "frequently asked question" documents. One document answers questions about bond repayments [.pdf], in response to concerns that the California Redevelopment Association and others had raised about whether the schedule outlined in AB X1 26 would enable successor agencies to pay bond obligations on time. DOF assures agencies that the legislation does provide for on-time payments.
Another FAQ [.pdf] concerns the structure of successor agencies and their relationship with their respective jurisdictions, especially with regards to labor regulations. Many cities are concerned that the dissolution of redevelopment agencies means that city staff who are paid partially with RDA money will have to be let go. DOF confirms that successor agencies may release superfluous employees. Any employees that are retained become employees of the successor agency but not of the city or county.