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No Conflict Ruled For Mayor On Oversight Board

POSTED August 28, 2012 10:56 p.m.

According to a decision by Oakdale City Attorney Tom Hallinan, Mayor Pat Paul is allowed to sit on the board that oversees the Oakdale Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency.

The matter was brought into question by Oakdale Redevelopment Agency Oversight Board member Farrell Jackson during the board’s Aug 8 meeting. Jackson questioned whether Paul, as Mayor, could sit on the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency and be part of any recommendations and then approve those recommendations while on the oversight board.

In a memorandum to the city council and city staff, Hallinan wrote that he researched the issue and found the answer in a section of the California Health and Safety Code that stated, “…any individual may simultaneously be appointed to up to five Oversight Boards and may hold an office in a city, city and county, special district, school district, or community college district.”

The document ends with “Conclusion: The Mayor may serve as an appointed member of the Oakdale Oversight Board.”

“Maybe we can now get focused on the big issues,” Paul said. “It’s what I expected anyway.”

Paul added that having the matter reviewed for a legal opinion was the right thing to do when issues like this arise.

“The appearance of a conflict of interest in the public’s eye created this legitimate question that needed a definitive answer,” Jackson stated in an email response to the Leader. “I can now respond to those questions properly. I’m glad to get this cleared up and put to rest for the public’s sake.

On Aug. 8 Jackson said he brought up the matter because he had been questioned about it by various citizens.

Jackson, who is also running to fill the two-year vacant council seat, added that the decision had also answered if he could remain on the board if he was elected.

The Oakdale Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency was formed when the state legislature ultimately eliminated more than 400 California redevelopment agencies (RDAs) in February, 2012.

As required by legislation, the Oakdale City Council now operates as the successor agency to take over the duties and obligations of the former RDA.

The Oakdale RDA Oversight Board has a fiduciary responsibility to holders of obligations of the former RDA and to the taxing entities that would benefit from the distribution of revenues generated by the liquidation of RDA assets.

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