Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Jim and Mardi Taubert at the Madera County Historical Museum.
Jim Taubert, executive director of the Successor Agency to the Former Madera Redevelopment Agency, has announced his plans to retire after 37 years with the City of Madera and Madera County.
In an email to friends and acquaintances, he said his official retirement date would be Dec. 31, although his last day at the office was Dec. 20.
“During my tenure I have worked with some incredible people on some amazing projects,” Taubert writes in his email. “I am proud of what WE have been able to accomplish”.
Taubert, whose fingerprints are on many of the city’s most recognizable public developments, was a master of using tax-increment financing to help build everything from low-cost housing to shopping centers.
Most recently, he helped assemble the various parcels of land on which the new courthouse sits today at 6th and G streets.
He helped the Madera VFW post, the headquarters of which were displaced by the Courthouse, build a new building on North Granada Drive. That building is used not only for VFW activities, but by many community organizations that need a place to meet or hold an event.
He worked to find a way to help build the city’s new police department headquarters.
He replaced slum neighborhoods with low-cost housing developments that boasted many of the amenities of more costly neighborhood developments.
An inveterate baseball fan, Taubert named many of the streets in those new developments after baseball figures.
He helped a developer turn a slum neighborhood on the southeast corner of East Yosemite Avenue and Tozer Street into a sparkling shopping center on which the Rancho San Miguel supermarket is located, along with other businesses, including a McDonald’s drive-in.
When the state’s redevelopment agencies were killed by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democrats in the Legislature, Taubert soldiered on, helping individual builders construct low-cost housing and taking over the city’s graffiti-abatement and code enforcement functions.
Taubert was struck two and a half years ago by cancer, which he battled with drugs and radiation, and it still affects his life, he wrote in his email.
“Following a two-and-a-half year battle with cancer and the lingering effects of the cure,” he said, “I have established a new set of priorities.” He said he and his wife, Mardi, intend to have a role in the lives of Dominic James Materazzi and Jackson James Taubert, the Tauberts’ two new grandchildren.
“While Madera will always be our primary residence, and I intend to spend plenty of time on civic affairs, we intend to spend plenty of time in West Virginia and Monterey,” where the Tauberts’ children reside with their families.