By Jeff Wright
Stop Investor Greed sponsored a Town Hall Meeting on Dec. 1 a plan approved by the mayor and a majority of city councilmembers that could result in the seizure of “underwater mortgages” through the utilization of eminent domain.
The plan is highly controversial and has faced a tremendous amount of opposition in communities throughout California, Nevada and other states. Richmond’s mayor is aggressively promoting the program with the assistance of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) and the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA).
< p>Speaking at the town hall meeting, Councilmember Jovanka Beckles said that other cities would be joining with Richmond in the formation of a Joint Powers Authority to collectively move the plan forward.
At the meeting she was asked to identify the cities that will be participating with Richmond as part of the Joint Powers Authority but was unable to do so. The City of Richmond has reached out to other communities throughout the state of California and thus far not a single city has been willing to participate as a JPA partner with Richmond.
At its Dec. 17 meeting, the Richmond City Council passed a resolution that instructed city staff to continue searching for a JPA partner for Richmond.
Staff has already spent considerable time and effort over the past several months trying to secure a JPA partner for Richmond but to no avail. Is it wise for staff time to be consumed at the taxpayers’ expense on this unproven, controversial issue that has been rejected just about everywhere else?
Councilman Corky Booze said that he has repeatedly asked five basics questions that he can’t get answered that Richmond residents deserves to hear the answers.
What amount of interest will be charged to the citizens to re-do their loans?
How can the citizens of Richmond be protected if the city gets sued?
Will the lenders be able to loan citizens’ money living in a blighted neighborhood with bad credit?
Where are the blighted properties located?
What is the lowest credit rating required to get a home?
For information Councilman Corky Booze at (510) 501-0480 and Councilmember Jovanka Beckles at (510) 813-7008