10:28 PM PDT on Tuesday, September 27, 2011

BY JEFF HORSEMAN
STAFF WRITER
jhorseman@pe.com

A frustrated Temecula City Council on Tuesday evening agreed to pay the state government nearly $5 million to keep their city’s Redevelopment Agency alive.

“Redevelopment has played a major, major role” in Temecula’s development, said Councilman Jeff Comerchero. “I’m going to support paying this extortion. But that’s exactly what it is.”

Councilwoman Maryann Edwards said money that should benefit Temecula will instead disappear down a “black hole” in Sacramento.

“Thank you, state of California, for being irresponsible and reaching into the pockets of cities that have been responsible,” she said. “They’re looking for any pool of money they can get, and they’re coming after your money.”

The motion to make the payment passed 5-0.

“A very reluctant 5-0,” Mayor Ron Roberts said.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation earlier this year dissolving redevelopment agencies as part of a plan to close the state budget gap. The agencies can continue, but only if they make annual payments to the state.

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