Friday, July 10, 2009

Sac Bee Editorial on El Dorado County BOS

Below is an editorial from the Sacramento Bee related to rehabilitating housing in El Dorado County. Thought it might be interesting to the blog's readership.

I really don't understand why the BOS rejected the money. It's not like they would be saving the Federal government money. The money has been budgeted and will be spent regardless. I would rather seem my federal tax dollars spent here as opposed to somwhere else.

Editorial: El Dorado should take federal money

Published: Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2009 - 12:00 am
Page 10A Last Modified: Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2009 - 8:05 am

It's rare that the left and the right find common ground in El Dorado County, but that's what happened the other day.
A conservative Republican real estate agent and an activist Democrat affordable-housing advocate both urged El Dorado County supervisors to accept $1.6 million in federal stimulus funds to rehabilitate foreclosed homes.
The supervisors refused, arguing that stimulus money would lead to more government intrusion into society.
Initially, the supervisors rejected the federal grant 4-1 without even bothering to schedule a staff presentation on the proposal. When local contractors and real estate industry representatives raised a fuss, they reconsidered.
But the board majority of Jack Sweeney, Ron Briggs and John Knight voted "no" a second time. Supervisor Norma Santiago favored taking the funds all along. Ray Nutting, who'd voted with the majority the first time, wisely switched sides after listening to his constituents.
The $1.6 million would have allowed El Dorado to rehabilitate and resell between eight and 18 homes to families with low and moderate incomes.
Workers would have been paid the prevailing wage, supervisors noted, which in California means the union rate, which makes projects more expensive. But anything built with government funds in El Dorado, including roads, dams, overpasses and schools, requires union wage rates. Why get squeamish about that now?
Judy Mathat, a real estate agent and activist Republican, told the supervisors she agrees that government intrusion into the economy is dangerous. Nonetheless, she urged them to accept the funds. Her industry has been devastated by the housing collapse. The funds would have helped contractors, plumbers, painters and others in her industry keep their own homes from sliding into foreclosure.
To spurn federal help now, with the county in an economic slump, was just foolish.


bahnhof_zoo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

The $1.6 million would have allowed El Dorado to rehabilitate and resell between eight and 18 homes to families with low and moderate incomes.


So they are tearing down the houses and building new ones?...I don't get it.

patient renter said...

A conservative Republican real estate

We're supposed to be surprised that a real estate agent supported this just becuase they happen to be a "consertative Republican"?

That this program will help realtors, contractors, etc. is a given. But to weigh the validity of an idea you have to take it to its extremes. If it's a good idea, why not rehab a few thousand houses? What are the implications for this subsidy on those who do not benefit directly?

PeonInChief said...

Um, I'd think about the fact that it's low-and moderate-income housing. Both El Dorado and Placer are notorious for evading their housing responsibilities.

Giacomo said...

The government has NO responsibility to provide housing, or to make it easier to buy a house. That's BS made up by politicians (of both parties) looking to dispense favors and thereby increase their power. See where it's gotten us!

Wasting taxpayer money isn't made morally correct by virtue of its being spent in YOUR county, enriching YOUR contractors and YOUR Realtors. That's just tribalism.

If we still have some leaders willing to say no to this type of corrupting use of public funds (national debt, really!), I'm thankful. Resistance has to start somewhere-- like one cop refusing his share of the "take" in a police precinct bought off by mobsters.