At League of California Cities luncheon last week, Gov. Brown harrumphed that this was no time for “turf wars,” telling attendees they needed to deep-six their “narrow perspectives.”
All of this might have sounded lofty and high-minded, as the governor explained the current budget shortfall, except that it was his very own proposed budget that started the turf wars. Specifically, Brown wants to lessen the state’s financial load by forcing municipalities to take over some of the responsibilities that the state handles now. This includes handling and housing juveniles and adults in the prison system, mental health services, welfare services, and much more. He also wants to end redevelopment plan funding by the state in the future and to raid that current funding now to pay other bills.
Who could possibly have imagined that cities would protest at being told they would have more financial obligations (with promised but uncertain partial funding from the state), and that funding to renew their blighted areas would be killed? Of course they will howl and quite possibly, rightfully so.
And for this they get accused of fomenting turf wars?
In a delightful piece of apparently unintended irony, Gov. Brown said this at a Hyatt which itself had been a beneficiary of redevelopment project funds. This really does seem like a Monty Python comedy routine, doesn’t it?