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California Controller Chiang Rebuffs Cerritos Mayor Barrows Statement On Redevelopment Payment Ruling

English: An official image of California State...

California State Controller John Chiang 

COPYRIGHT. HEWS MEDIA GROUP. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Republishing Prohibited Without Proper Attribution. 2013.

By Brian Hews and Brian Hews

(Sacramento) California Controller John Chiang told Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper in a statement on Monday that Cerritos city officials must comply with a ruling that demands that more than $170,000,000 in municipal assets be transferred to state coffers as a result of the elimination of redevelopment agencies in the state more than two years ago.

HMG-CN requested that Chiang respond to a statement that was issued by Cerritos Mayor Bruce Barrows and other top city officials last week that blasted state officials over the final ruling.

In the ruling Chiang told the newspaper through spokesman Jacob Roper that “more than two years ago, at a time when severe budget shortfalls forced difficult choices between competing programs, lawmakers (with sign-off from the Supreme Court) put schools, public safety, healthcare and other local services ahead of redevelopment.”

Flag of City of Cerritos

Flag of City of Cerritos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Controller’s office also stated: “Moving away from a long-time dependence on redevelopment and now sharing those funds has been a difficult transition for many cities. While we appreciate their frustration, the Legislature and the courts have made it clear that redevelopment assets must be used to pay off the RDA debts and support other community services.”

“Once the assets have been returned to the locally-appointed oversight board, existing law does provide Cerritos with an opportunity to work with the local board to address its concerns — that some of the assets serve a governmental purpose and should be retained by the City,” the statement continued.

“As always, my office will continue to work closely with impacted cities, including Cerritos, to ensure that they understand their responsibilities and successfully comply with new state laws,” Chiang sternly warned.

Cerritos Mayor Bruce Barrows.

Cerritos Mayor Bruce Barrows.

In response to the ruling, Barrows blasted Chiang in a tersely worded prepared statement saying: “The City paid the Redevelopment Agency consideration for the transfers and the transfers were legal and permissible under state law at the time they were made.”

Barrows also said, “The State Controller’s Office went beyond its authority to demand that the assets that were transferred for consideration be returned to the Successor Agency for disposition.”

The Cerritos Mayor who has been a vocal critic of the State’s decision to dissolve redevelopment agencies concluded by saying: “The state has arbitrarily decided the money doesn’t belong to the City and has rolled back years of redevelopment.”

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  • The Magic Man says:

    Mayor Barrows what is all the whining about?

    It seems every year you have been on the city council the performing arts center has lost money.

    Why do you want the Center? So, you can lose more of our money?

    I’m sure these assets would be better off in Sacramento than with you and your fellow financial experts.

    And for the rest of the city appointees who tried to devalue the property by 85%. Do any of you think anyone trust you people?

  • Mr.Cerritos says:

    Great attitude for Mayor Barrows to have “The worst that can happen, is that we go bankrupt.” No, duh you it idiot, do you think, especially when it’s not your money. This is why The City of Cerritos needs to break away from The Charter and being a charter city, they feel that ethics and morals don’t matter as along as it’s legal, or you get to big to fail and have all your cronie’s sign off(then it makes like to many people are involved for it to be illegal).

  • John Transue says:

    Maybe next time when a community group such as United HOA, presents to the council the idea that maybe sinking redevelopment money in to long term projects might not be such a great idea since redevelopment money may be fleeting due to the ups and downs of the state and national economies, the brain trust on the council might consider listening. But hey, the elitists on the council don’t really care since the worst that can happen is “we go bankrupt” with the taxpayers money. Does that mean that the mayor and his minions might miss out on lifetime healthcare? Heaven forbid! To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, “The problem with the Cerritos City Council is that they will eventually run out of other people’s money to spend”. Is the city name of “Bell” taken?

    • Randy R. Economy says:

      Thanks, John for your candid comment. Let’s see if Mayor Barrow’s or any other city officials decides to respond.

      Randy Economy
      On Line Editor
      Hews Media Group

  • Bruce Barrows YOU LIE! says:

    THANK GOD that the UHOA and concerned Cerritos residents fought – tooth and nail – to prevent the SCAM ‘Cuesta Villas’ project that Barrows and the Gang Of Five on the Cerritos City Council were PUSHING down our throats!
    Mark Pulido and Cho JUST AS GUILTY. They should all be recalled NOW.
    Carol Chen, Jimbo Edwards, the whole lying Rats Nest should be fumigated from ‘serving’ in Cerritos (or ANY) government position.
    Cerritos was the Poster Child of ‘Redevelopment’ Abuse! Syphoning off monies intended to RE Develop urban blight and instead DEVELOPING all sorts of fancy projects. The Realtor/Developer con team; Cho, Chen, Needham and all the co-conspirators that participated in this corruption should be brought to justice.

  • CECY GROOM WAS RIGHT! ...Paging Cecy Groom! says:

    Former ABC School Board ‘Maverick’ Assucncion R. “Cecy” Groom was RIGHT!
    REMEMBER, it was Cecy that put together and funded the UHOA all the way to the court case that forced the City of Cerritos to defend their corrupt scam ‘Cuesta Villas’ – were it not for Cecy Groom and the UHOA (plus a lot of great Cerritos Mavericks!) We would now be STUCK with the Cuesta Villas and be on the hook for even more of the money that corrupt politicians like Bruce Barrows have squandered.
    Thank you Cecy Groom!