Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Perris Opposes Plan to Eliminate Redevelopment Agencies

Redevelopment touches all aspects of Perris life and all residents—from the mom and pop business, to sports enthusiasts and the motoring public, to residents seeking to improve their homes or “go green” to law enforcement and fire protection.

The City has earmarked $23 million for a wide scope of redevelopment, money that will create hundreds, perhaps thousands, of jobs and eventually pump $170.4 million into the regional economy. Yet redevelopment agencies throughout California are on the chopping block, slating for elimination as part of Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal to close the state’s $25.4 billion budget gap.

Perris City Council members this week unanimously supported a resolution opposing the governor’s plan to eliminate redevelopment agencies, calling it short-sighted and devastating to cities like Perris.The City also has joined the Inland Southern California Redevelopment Association--a coalition of other redevelopment agencies throughout the Inland Empire and Southern California--also opposed to eliminating the program.

The City of Perris has set up a separate webpage on its website to encourage residents to sign pre-printed letters and mail them to their state Assembly and Senate representatives. To download and sign a letter to California Senate and Assembly representatives, click here.

Michael McDermott, Perris’ Redevelopment and Economic Development Manager, labeled the governor’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment a “nuclear option” that will result in a small savings for one year only.

The repercussions of such a cut will be long-lasting and profound, he said in a presentation to City Council.

Among the projects in work that could be threatened if redevelopment is eliminated:

The Small Business Incentives Program, part of the City’s Redevelopment Agency, is responsible to attracting six business, creating 542 jobs and pouring $65 million in economic activity into Perris.

In addition, more than 400 families would not have been able to purchase new homes with assistance from the Redevelopment Agency or would not have had the resources to beautify or make safety improvements to their residences.

Mayor Daryl Busch urged the public to “be vocal” by writing letters to their state representatives urging them to keep the City’s Redevelopment Agency intact. The City of Perris this week will begin posting press releases and videos about the benefits of redevelopment on its website, www.cityofperris.org/saverda.

“We need the public to tell our representatives the havoc eliminating the program would create,” Busch said.
City Councilwoman Rita Rogers said redevelopment is vital to the City and must be protected.

“The state is broke,” she said. “But it cannot be allowed to fix itself on the backs of local government.”

Mayor Pro-Tem Joanne Evans noted that two recently opened businesses—the Stretch Forming Company aerospace firm and Rio Ranch Market—made use of redevelopment funds to locate to Perris. Representatives of both companies have said that without the financial incentive from redevelopment, they likely would not have moved to the City.

Evans said she is “100 percent” behind the City Council’s resolution opposing the governor’s proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies.

“It would be a tremendous loss,” she said.

City Councilman Al Landers said Perris is known for its frugal spending and gets the most out of every redevelopment dollar it invests. But the governor’s proposal appears that “no good deed goes unpunished,” Landers said.

“It will be devastating to lose our (redevelopment) money,” Landers said. “We will have no way to offer incentives to businesses who want to come to Perris. Money and jobs will be lost. We need to stand up loud and clear and let the state know we are deeply opposed to this proposal.”

City Councilman Mark Yarbrough said Gov. Brown is playing politics with vital money needed for Perris’ growth and development.

“We need to stand as strong as possible against this proposal,” he said.