Thursday, July 9, 2009

49ers Stadium: Santa Clarans Testify AGAINST SB 43 in Sacramento!

Santa Clarans,

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


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

49ers Stadium: Looks Like They Don't Trust Us, After All...

Santa Clarans, it was good to meet as many of you as we did in Central Park on Saturday before the fireworks display.

But it looks like it might just be time for a different kind of fireworks: We just learned that a hijacked State Senate Bill, with its original language completely deleted,
now allows Sacramento to determine that a stadium subsidy of $114 MILLION is what's "right" for Santa Clara - and that a stadium can be constructed with a sole-source contract in violation of City ordinances.

The bill is SB 43, and it was originally written by Sen. Elaine Alquist, SD-13, to make changes to the Business and Professions Code.

But only days ago, the bill was routed into the State Assembly, and the name of a new author was appended: The Assembly Majority Leader, Assy. Alberto Torrico, AD-20. The original language on "health professionals" was completely scrapped. In place of that, we now see language which tells ONLY Santa Clarans that a stadium subsidy is in their best interests, and that ONLY the San Francisco 49ers will be allowed to build that stadium with a sole-source construction contract - while spending $114 MILLION of our money.

So, a hijacked Senate Bill now hijacks the rights of Santa Clarans to enforce their own City Charter? Because Sacramento has decided that a subsidized NFL stadium is "good" for us?

And this breathtaking usurpation of our City's own ordinances? It comes from a State Legislature which has proven itself utterly unable to work with the Governor to fix a completely out-of-control fiscal disaster at State Level.

This State Legislature is competent to tell Santa Clarans that they need to waste $114 MILLION in subsidies on an NFL stadium which benefits only the San Francisco 49ers?

Santa Clara Plays Fair urges all Santa Clarans to tell this City Council - and the San Francisco 49ers - that they are completely out of line if they support SB 43 in any way. Please visit this link, and register your objections:

We take pains to note: It was this very City Council - and this very management of the 49ers - that promised us that our voices would be heard and that the process for a stadium would be a public and open one.

If so, then why was it necessary to work out a back-room deal for a State measure which violates the lawful ordinances of a Chartered City?

Don't the San Francisco 49ers trust us to do what's right?

Thanks for all of your support and best regards,
Bill Bailey


The actual language of SB 43 is here: