The Fresno County supervisors on Tuesday could end up appointing two members to the new Countywide Oversight Board for local redevelopment successor agencies.
According to a county staff report, two people have shown enough interest in the volunteer job to submit formal applications to the supervisors.
But whether that means both applicants are guaranteed a seat is far from clear to me.
The applicants are Lisa C. Woolf and Doug Vagim. Woolf, if I’m not mistaken, is from a successful farming family on the Valley’s west side. Vagim is a former Fresno County supervisor.
Without getting into the weeds too far, the Countywide Oversight Board is the latest (and, if we’re lucky, the last) leg in Sacramento’s long effort to kill off redevelopment agencies.
The old RDAs had assets and obligations. Those assets had to be sold and those obligations had to be affirmed before the RDAs could be buried once and for all. A system for this “unwinding” was created. Local oversight boards, each tied to a local RDA, were part of the system. “Oversight” is a good summation of their mission.
The City of Fresno and its old RDA (now called the Successor Agency) had an Oversight Board. Much of the work of the Fresno Oversight Board has been completed. That is the case with the oversight boards of other successor agencies in Fresno County.
As of July 1, these oversight boards will cease to exist and their relatively few remaining duties will be folded into the new Countywide Oversight Board.
The key chore prior to July 1 is appointing this new board’s seven voting members.
As with the previous oversight boards, appointments are made by various governmental entities with a stake in proceeds from the dissolution of RDAs. For example, the Fresno County Superintendent of Education gets to make an appointment. Another board member represents the State Center Community College District.
According to a county staff report, the new Countywide Oversight Board will include “one member appointed by the County Board of Supervisors.” In addition, the report states, “one member of the public may be appointed by the County Board of Supervisors.”
The staff report goes on to say the board of supervisors “has the authority to appoint two members to the Countywide Oversight Board, at least one of which must be a member of the public.”
On one hand, that suggests the supervisors on Tuesday could give one of the seats to Woolf and the other to Vagim.
On the other hand, the supervisors could appoint one of their own to the first seat and reserve the “public” seat for either Woolf or Vagim. It should be noted that Supervisor Brian Pacheco was a member of the Fresno Oversight Board in its final version.
I have no idea how the supervisors on Tuesday will handle the Woolf-Vagim situation.
I do know this.
Oversight board-successor agency issues can get complex and controversial.
Vagim was a member of the Fresno Oversight Board for its entire life.
Vagim knows his RDA stuff.