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Redevelopment Board to Take Close Look at Finances

8/15/09 - Anyone who watched recent Redevelopment Agency Board meetings is aware of some serious tension between the Board and former Redevelopment Administrator Mark Lewis. There were 'missing' numbers regarding current projects that Councilwoman Zadra wanted micro-details on, and kept asking for them meeting after meeting. Concurrently, in the Redevelopment Advisory Board meetings, the same kind of requests were happening, even at the latest meeting on Tuesday, the issue arose that all these projects are brought before the RAAB, but often lacked hard numbers or data on where the funding is coming from.

Well now it looks like some of this fogginess might be cleared up with an upcoming discussion of a bull-blown audit of the Redevelopment Agency.

According to the agenda for August 19th's meeting, 'C.1 Discussion and potential direction to staff regarding an audit of Redevelopment Agency finances, budget, and contracts including operational efficiencies. J. Sferrazza and S. Zadra.'

Given that Zadra and Sferazza have been the most vocal on the Board recently about getting these numbers which never seemed to land on their desk, it doesn't surprise me this is on the agenda.

I think it's a good thing to do. Not only is it good practice when a new Administrator comes on board, but it's something both the RDA Board AND the Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board have wanted for a while now.

Will it yield any surprises? Maybe.


Post your comments
Posted by: El Devo - 8/16/2009 10:43:56 AM
And if it doesn't yield any surprises, can we then assume that his termination was more for interpersonal reasons than performance? This ongoing debate over details is important to support the decisions the Council will be asked to make. But I still think the manner in which they terminated Mr. Lewis was not "above board".

Posted by: realcopy - 8/17/2009 2:47:31 PM
Always good to have an Audit, but Lewis did more for Reno in two years than has been done in twenty years. Dreska hates redevelopment, The board members want to stop downtown improvements and put the all the money in their Council Wards.

Posted by: Infra - 8/18/2009 10:26:09 AM
Citizens from cities throughout the country are discussing urban issues right now at http://www.infrastructureusa.org. View videos about bus systems, alternative transportation, school conditions, and more at the user-generated Show Us Your Infra. Read exclusive commentary in The Infra Blog. Share your story and make Reno's revitalization part of the national dialogue.

Posted by: Bruno - 8/19/2009 9:23:16 AM
I have spent the last five years dealing intimately with Redevelopment and Community development as well as all city entities dealing with real estate development. Most of all that Mark Lewis got credit was in place when he arrived. His hiring was politically motivated. It looks like his firing is politically motivated. The real energy of Redevelopment goes to somebody else. John Hester is the most competent person the City has to offer. The new structure is in capable hands. My concern is if his hands are tied. Bruno


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