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    No Audit, No Confidence: West Redevelopment Project Area Committee Votes "No Confidence" In RDA Study Without Audit

    (March 13, 2004) -- In the wake of LB's Redevelopment Agency Board decision not to include an audit in its much-publicized study of Redevelopment, the West Redevelopment Project Area Committee (West PAC) has voted to approve a "no confidence" motion regarding the study as currently planned.

    West PAC Chair Dan Berns noted that he and Vice Chair Jane Kelleher had spoken in favor of an audit in their individual capacities at the March 8 RDA Board meeting. As previously reported (with audio coverage linked below) by, Mr. Berns told the RDA Board how important he believes inclusion of an audit is; Ms. Kelleher said bluntly that she wouldn't support the study without an audit. They received RDA Board silence and a 7-0 vote approving selection criteria to proceed with a scope of work that doesn't include an audit.

    As separately reported by, at a special Feb. 19 nighttime meeting of the RDA Board, Ms. Kelleher and other activists (including Laurie Angel and Lewis Lester) urged inclusion of an audit. They received a 7-0 RDA Board vote approving the scope of work without an audit.

    Chair Berns noted that some people had suggested rejecting the study outright now, but he felt the issue "isn't necessarily over with. This is something that the Council directed and could still have something to do [with]...I think if we can kind of give some time as opposed to making a decision in stone tonight that there might be some opportunity to do better."

    Responding to the position of some RDA Board members that the study would effectively look at numbers even without a formal audit, Mr. Berns recalled that "a couple of years ago when several of us spent a great deal of time with [City Auditor] Mr. Burroughs looking at the numbers, which was a total waste of time, effort and [a] distraction, so...that's just not acceptable."

    Mr. Berns sought direction from the West PAC Board as to whether it agreed with the approach taken by him and Ms. Kelleher individually. He urged putting off a hard and fast decision on supporting the study for at least thirty days until West PAC's next meeting. West PAC Boardmember Bob Lee responded:

    "Without an audit, I think we're hung out to dry. I just hate to see the fact that we will not have an audit in here because they have taken all of our money over this great period of time, and we have chased and chased and chased. We can't catch up with it, we can't catch up with when it's coming back, we can't catch up with when they're going to pay us back, and if they're going to pay us back. So I think from a Redevelopment Project Area, I think by all means we should have an audit. I think it should have a lot of transparency...I think it would be just horrible if we do not have an audit in this report here, and I would like to make a motion tonight that we give a vote of no confidence in this deal as it sits today."

    After Chair Berns noted that the "no confidence" motion doesn't say West PAC won't participate in the study, only that "in 30 days from now we'll take a look at it and see what they bring to us," the West PAC Board passed the motion with no "no" votes and one abstention.

    Related coverage:

  • Redevelopment Agency Board Votes 7-0 To OK Selection Criteria For Consultant On Study of Redevelopment; Activists Again Seek Audit, RDA Boardmembers Again Decline To Include One
  • Special Nighttime RDA Board Meeting Approaches Independent Study of Redevelopment in LB (2/19/04) (with audio coverage)

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