I can't do better than this eyewitness account of yesterday's hearing of the State Assembly's Committee on Local Government.
Please hear what Erlinda Estrada and her husband, John Hogle, SCPF Members, learned when they drove to Sacramento and spoke before that Committee AGAINST SB 43:
"John & I had a grand old time today. The Assembly Committee on Local Government voted 5-2 to allow SB43 to go forward, pending amendments, to the Assembly floor. Some members of the Committee wanted a number of changes before the bill proceeds further.
"Committee Chair Caballero said that she wanted the language revised to ensure that a process is in place to ensure the citizens of Santa Clara can weigh in on whether this "design/build" process is appropriate for the city. Two voted against it moving forward, Duval and Knight. Among their reservations were 1) it was a local issue and should be decided locally 2) they felt voters should have their voices heard in a charter change and 3) Knight even wondered why, if it's such a good deal, the 49ers didn't just build it without city help
"Senator Elaine Alquist, author of the bill, also had thrown in some other amendments at the last possible moment, including something about highways. That seemed to rub several committee members the wrong way and they wanted her to basically "clean up" the bill.
"Those who spoke in favor of the bill: Mayor Patricia Mahan and Councilmember Kevin Moore (both supposedly speaking for themselves, not in their official capacity); Lyle Hannigan (sp? 49ers); Danny Curtin representing carpenters; someone from the Building and Trades Council. Engineer Mark Smith noted that his group (ACEC) had reservations about the bill's variance from the state's current design/build requirements.
"Those opposing the bill: a very eloquent Jamie McLeod; Ciaran O'Donnell; John Hogle; and I.
"We all spoke about how this seemed to be an attempt to circumvent the Charter review process and amend the Charter without a vote of Santa Clarans. Both John and I pointed out how we were blind-sided by this bill and how it was a "stealth" move on the part of Alquist (I noted how the only thing about this bill posted on Alquist's web site was posted at 5:30 pm Tuesday, July 7th). The Committee did seem receptive to us and seemed impressed that citizens showed up at all.
"I think this whole affair shows the residents of Santa Clara how little the Council trusts us or even thinks of us in their pursuit of this stadium."
I can only agree with that last paragraph.
Santa Clarans, thanks to all for your continued support.
Bill Bailey, Treasurer