Panelists needed to shut down RDA

abutt@mercedsunstar.comMay 12, 2012 

The state is still searching for two Merced County residents to oversee the dismantling of Merced's redevelopment agency.

Insurance agency partner Bob Carpenter and criminal defense attorney Ralph Temple Jr. stepped down in March. Carpenter and Temple, along with businessman Mike Gallo, were picked by Gov. Jerry Brown to oversee Merced's bond debt and fulfill the city's contractual obligations in February.

"We are continuing to screen candidates for these vacancies," wrote Evan Westrup, a spokesman for the governor, in an email. He said the focus was to select the best possible candidates.

"That dictates our timing," he wrote.

Merced's redevelopment agency was one of roughly 400 statewide that were eliminated as a result of a new law. Because of the state's ongoing budget woes, Brown wants to use redevelopment agency money to help pay for services such as education and public safety.

Seven city jurisdictions, including Merced, opted not to be successors for their RDAs. Under the law, if a jurisdiction chooses not to establish a successor agency, the governor appoints the members of the designated local authority.

The three-person panel would oversee the administrative budget and manage the payment schedule for the agency's outstanding obligations. The trio was chosen from a list of recommendations from county officials based on their business, legal and community experience earlier this month.

Reporter Ameera Butt can be reached at (209) 385-2477 or

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