Bay Area Mayors Go to Brown, Demand in Hand

Mayors make united front against budget balancing plan.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Wednesday, Jan 26, 2011  |  Updated 11:54 AM PDT
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Bay Area Mayors Go to Brown, Demand in Hand

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SACRAMENTO, CA - JANUARY 03: Jerry Brown pauses as he delivers remarks after he was sworn in as the 39th governor of California by California on January 3, 2011 in Sacramento, California. Jerry Brown will begin his third term as California's governor 28 years after serving his last term. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The mayors of the Bay Area's three largest cities will meet with Gov. Jerry Brown Wednesday in Sacramento. The gathering will include 10 mayors of California's largest cities and is expected to be at minimum uncomfortable and might get down right confrontational.

The city leaders say they will ask the governor to back off his plan to eliminate redevelopment agencies. Brown has proposed giving the $1.7 billion now allocated to redevelopment to basic services, such as schools and public safety. It's one of several budget balancing ideas as Brown tries to fill a $24 billion deficit.

The mayors say losing the money will do real damage to local economies. "Given the difficult times California is in, I am shocked that Sacramento is looking to eliminate the only tools we have to spur job creation, increase tax revenues, and induce economic growth," San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said in a  statement.

Redevelopment agencies purpose it to jump start the local economy. It receives funding through property taxes. The money is supposed to be used to build affordable housing, as well as retail and commercial businesses. The mayors say the agency contributes more than $40 billion a year to the state's economy in the generation of goods and services.

No matter what happens during the 2 p.m. meeting, the mayors will get the final word. They have scheduled a news conference on the steps of the State Capitol at 3 p.m.

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