Pols Build Arena While Sacto Burns

Katy Grimes: Sacramento’c City Council approved the arena financing plan last night, 7-2, supporting Mayor Kevin Johnson for the first time since his 2008 election.

But this arena deal wasn’t exactly the smartest issue in which to support Johnson.

Sacramento needs a $391 million arena like it needs another new strip mall or shoddy housing development. The city is operating a $60 million deficit, parks are closing or disintegrating, police officers laid off, streets are potholed, and it needs a new sewer system.

Sacramento hasn’t even capitalized on its unique characteristics. Sitting on two rivers, one would have thought that development along those beautiful waterways would have been a priority. Instead, we have homeless camps along the rivers.

That the city is already the biggest slumlord in downtown seems to be a fact ignored by the council members, who must be suffering under illusions of grandeur – the “World Class City” theme continues to dance in their heads like visions of sugarplums.

These small-town yahoos think another new sports arena will propel Sacramento into big-time status. Wouldn’t the Sacramento Kings already have done that after 25 years of being Sacramento’s NBA team?

After the council voted to support the financing deal, the brilliance that came from council members was stupendous: “You have to be optimistic to make this kind of investment,” said Councilman Steve Cohn … No. You’d have to be myopic and obtuse.

“The arena deal is the largest financial transaction in the city in years…” councilman Kevin McCarty said. “We are the most broke city in the region.”

In a rare moment, I found myself in agreement with McCarty. He was one of the “no” votes.

The council asked favored local developer David Taylor if he would cover any cost overruns on the arena deal – of course Taylor said he would. Yeah right. And I have some swamp land to sell city…

“The City needs to think of ourselves as venture capitalists and do this arena deal” said councilman Rob Fong. It’s always easy to spend other people’s money and look like a big guy.

The only sanity in the room was Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy, the other “no” vote. “Why are city taxpayers paying for county parks when our own are deteriorating and volunteers are maintaining them?” asked Sheedy.

The dumbest, pandering award goes to Councilwoman Angelique Ashby who used her opportunity to question the deal, and instead complimented city staff and the arena supporters on the work they had done. Ashby totally ignored that a majority of residents are furious that the city is spending any money on this arena debacle.

The Mayor described last night as “the finest moment in Sacramento.”

Coming from a local boy, I am appalled that our Mayor thinks that it takes a sports arena to make Sacramento worthy.

MAR. 7, 2012



Write a comment
  1. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 7 March, 2012, 09:44

    Follow the money.

    Reply this comment
  2. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 7 March, 2012, 11:55

    It was a done-deal before last night’s charade.


    Reply this comment
  3. Beelzebub
    Beelzebub 7 March, 2012, 12:26

    As long as the pols can get away with it with virtually zero pushback it will continue. Why would it stop? If people were allowed to walk into a bank vault and fill a paper bag full of money without consequence there would be a lineup outside the door. Not hard to figure out.

    Reply this comment
  4. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 7 March, 2012, 13:41

    It is hard to believe there is still this kind of corporate welfare being given out to billionaires while Rome burns…………..

    Reply this comment
  5. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 7 March, 2012, 19:06

    Just goes to show you that politicians love to sped other peoples money-never their own-but when it comes to someone else’s money the sky is the limit.

    Reply this comment
  6. larry 62
    larry 62 8 March, 2012, 08:24

    Goodnight Sacramento!

    Reply this comment
  7. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 8 March, 2012, 09:09

    Good night CA, this is going on everywhere in this entire state-politicians spending IOUR money on THEIR pet projects and buddies in the public unions….

    Reply this comment
  8. Rex The Wonder Dog!
    Rex The Wonder Dog! 8 March, 2012, 17:30


    Reply this comment
    NTHEOC 8 March, 2012, 20:16

    I have no problem with any city putting in a new pro sports arena.Up and down california the arenas are sold out for any pro sports game,and people waited in long lines for hours a few days ago trying to score Angel tickets!!This project will bring jobs and more revenue for your city. The only problem i have is it’s for the Sacramento QUEENS!!! Actually maybe the QUEENS could land a real star athlete with a new arena,just outlaw those annoying cowbells from the place!!

    Reply this comment
  10. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 8 March, 2012, 22:23

    The Sacramento Kings have not sold out their games for many years. The demand is not there.

    Without demand, this project will not bring more jobs to our city that are not already here. The only new “jobs” that may be created will be more union jobs to build the structure, which will be obsolete and out-of-date before any of the loans are paid off, or before any of the interest is paid back to the city by the Maloofs.

    – Katy

    Reply this comment
  11. Hank
    Hank 9 March, 2012, 12:30

    I don’t quite understand where the money comes from. The city uses the income from parking to pay for the stadium or pledges the income stream to pay for the stadium. Is this revenue source currently not needed? I have not been able to find out the plan. If the money “problem” has not been spelled out how could there be a deal? I am ignorant.

    Reply this comment

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