Tuesday night, the Victorville City Council came back after the meeting ended to do a bit of extra business that members had forgotten to do -- moving assets from the city's redevelopment agency to city control.
It's something that cities across California have been doing in advance of Gov. Jerry Brown's threatened shutdown of the redevelopment agency system, which he says will both save the cash-strapped state money and give local agencies more money in the long run.
But in the short run, it means that a system that Hesperia has used to pay for much of its road-paving over the last decade and that Victorville officials say has helped attract 4,203 jobs in the last 15 years may soon go broke.
Victorville took action just before midnight to officially oppose Brown's plan and shift RDA funds in hopes of protecting them against a state raid.
Mayor Ryan McEachron said the council opted to move assets - including money and land - from its redevelopment agency to the Regional Center of Victorville Development, Inc., which was formed two years ago to oversee the city's terminated EB-5 visa investor program.
"It's a nonprofit corporation that the city council still has control over, but we believe it will be more difficult for the governor and the state of California to undo that type of decision versus moving it into the city or somewhere else," McEachron said.
The city also committed RDA funds to "public infrastructure improvements," with few details available yet on what those improvements might entail.
Hesperia shifted assets out of its redevelopment agency at a special meeting last Wednesday.
"We will be forming successor entities in the future -- housing agencies, etc.," said Hesperia's Deputy Director of Economic Development Steve Lantsberger.
The move would have to have been made eventually, he said, because redevelopment agencies are only chartered for a limited period of time.
"You're not supposed to buy and hold long-term," said Lantsberger. "Obviously, I'm not going to say that there's not any kind of association [with Brown's proposal], but we've been looking at establishing non-profits for over a year and a half."
The former assets of the Hesperia Redevelopment Agency will be handed off to successor agencies "in the next few months."
The assets transferred by the city council, wearing their Hesperia Community Redevelopment Agency hats, were all actual property.
"It was land that we owned," said Lantsberger. "Properties that we had purchased along the G Avenue rail project, some affordable housing that we'd purchased. Mostly undeveloped land. The [Hesperia Golf and Country Club] course will ultimately be transferred to a non-profit."
McEachron said no one really knows how moves such as Victorville's will stand up, with the state threatening to reverse the last-minute funding shifts occurring in cities across the state.
"It's just strategically placing the asset with the best possible organization to oversee that property," said Lantsberger.
Brooke Edwards can be reached at 760-955-5358 or at bedwards@VVDailyPress.com. Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.