Jim Steinberg, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/23/2011 06:44:11 PM PST

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – It’s time for the public to help save redevelopment funding, Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren told a group of city staff members and elected officials meeting here Wednesday morning.

“Unless we get public outrage and people to step up, we will lose our last economic engine,” Warren said.

“We need to get people to lean on these legislators,” Warren told a regularly scheduled legislative task force meeting of the League of California Cities Inland Empire Division.

Warren has been active in helping to organize regional opposition to Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to abolish redevelopment agencies.

She is one of the early members of the newly founded Inland Southern California Redevelopment Association, a group dedicated to insuring the region’s voice is preserved on whatever happens to redevelopment funding.

During a video conference in Sacramento on Wednesday afternoon, top officials from the California Redevelopment Association and the League of California Cities said time is running out for a public response to Brown’s proposal.

“There is no time to write,” said John Shirey, executive director of the California Redevelopment Agency.

Make telephone calls to legislators, he said.

League of of California Cities Executive Director Chris McKenzie said no compromise measure will be acceptable to his organization.

McKenzie said it time for the Legislature “to quit wasting time on this proposal, which is simply illegal and will produce no funding for the state budget.”

A few hours earlier, Warren told legislative task force members in Rancho Cucamonga that there are concerns that the state’s 10 largest cities will negotiate a separate agreement with the state.

The Fontana Redevelopment Agency is the fifth largest in California, with $115million in tax increments raised each year, according to the State Controller’s Office.

At a City Council meeting on Tuesday night, Rialto joined a large pack of cities passing resolutions opposing Gov. Brown’s proposal.

Other area cities passing similar resolutions include Ontario, Fontana, Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino, Montclair, Highland, Grand Terrace and Chino.

Warren told the Inland Empire group that legislators expected opposition from cities, so calls from the public are more important because it will give lawmakers an idea of ballot box consequences if they side with Gov. Brown.

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