Whistleblower hotline: (213) 785-6098

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"The Producers" As Public Policy

Let's say a guy in a plaid sports coat and Coke-bottle glasses approaches you with a business proposition: you give him $5.65 million, he'll build a community theater, and, over the course of the next 25 years, if he makes enough profit, you'll get back $4.35 million of your money, without interest.

Sounds GREAT, right? Sure it does, if you work for the City of L.A., and the money you're "investing" was earned by the city's taxpayers.

The City's Community Redevelopment Agency bought a dilapidated theater in Reseda two years ago for $1.3 million, courtesy of you, The Taxpayer. Now the agency is putting in another $4.35 million of your money, AND deeding the property to the CIM Group. If, and only if, the venture is "profitable" -- remember Art Buchwald and "Coming to America"? -- then CIM Group will repay the $4.35 million over the course of 25 years.

Hey, wouldn't you like a deal like that? Someone gives you $5.65 million in cash and property, and you pay back only part of it, over 25 years, IF your venture is profitable?

But hey: this does serve a very important public policy purpose. After all, people throughout this town are crying out for more community theater productions of "Waiting for Godot." Isn't that worth more money than you'll make in 10 years?

You can read all about it in the Daily News of June 28, 2006.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

Seriously Walter. When is the City going to give me money to open up a Hooters?

June 28, 2006 9:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Fiction has now become probability. And Hollywood has the nerve to say that they don't influence society -- maybe not "normal" society, but certainly politics. Sick.

June 29, 2006 9:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

what do you know about the project? It appears absolutely nothing.

The dilapidated theater was more than an eyesore in Reseda. It was a case book example of Chief Bratton's Broken Windows theory. The corner that it practically sits on use to be a thriving corner of commerce, with restaurants, a roller rink, and shopping, meaning good revenue for the local economy (and good tax dollars). Now its best revenue comes from prostitution and other illicit deals.

If this deal makes Reseda's Sherman Way as attractive as Canoga Park's newly revitalized Sherman Way, the money spent will be earned back by the city in tax dollars (many times over) and money pumped back into the local economy. New restaurants will open; new shops will go in, and the cost of policing the area will go down.

So, knee jerk, what would you rather: keeping the corner a haven for prostitutes and the actually cost to the city in police resources high, or proactive measures that will revitalize the community and increase revenue and tax dollars?

June 29, 2006 12:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

And one more thing:
this is one of the rare times that you will see homeowners, businesses, and the neighborhood council aligned on an action.

Doesnt that tell you that they think their tax dollars are being spent correctly?

June 29, 2006 12:31 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Let the developers use their own financing to develop. They profit and the taxpayers reap the tax benefits.

No socialism for capitalists!

June 29, 2006 3:08 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where is Uncle Walt's response to 12:29? Seems like he doesn't know jack about Reseda, not that he knows where Reseda is, I sure as hell don't.

June 29, 2006 8:31 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home