Officials for Santa Clara County went back on the offensive regarding Redevelopment Agency funds this past week, deciding to direct $30 million in property taxes to schools rather than pay back a loan from the San Francisco 49ers.
The money, approved by Santa Clara voters in 2010 to go toward a new football stadium for the 49ers, can apparently be redirected by county officials if they feel it is “not in the best interest” to spend money on the stadium, the Mercury News reports. The 4-3 vote by the county oversight board to give the money to school districts instead of the Niners will likely lead to a costly court battle.
An interesting note in Mike Rosenberg’s article is the secrecy in which the matter came before the board: “City Attorney Ren Nosky protested the motion, saying the action was not put on the agenda, an alleged violation of the state’s open meeting law known as the Brown Act. Nosky said had the issue been mentioned ahead of time, scores of stadium supporters would have showed up in protest.”
County Assessor Larry Stone then compared the fight, expected to turn even uglier, to a “messy divorce.”
Official responses are expected this week. We can only hope for more shouting press releases.