Wednesday, October 28, 2009

49ers Stadium and SB 43: The Anatomy of a Hijacking - 2

Dear Santa Clarans,

Unfortunately, your City Council decided last night by a vote of 5-2 that voting on changes to your City's Charter is not for you.

Instead, a "Santa Clara Stadium Authority" - identically this City Council, and acting by itself - will exempt the San Francisco 49ers from the competitive bidding requirements of our City's Charter.

What the 49ers apparently learned during some of their "push-polling" of Santa Clara residents is that two ballot measures - one for the $114 million subsidy and one to exempt the 49ers from obeying the Charter - are "confusing" for us to handle.

Whereupon, one public speaker and one Councilman informed us, in the same breath, that it was OK to deny us voters a Charter vote - but that the voters were still intelligent enough to make the call on the stadium.

So, which is it? If we're smart enough to decide on a massive subsidy for an NFL stadium - and we are - we can certainly decide whether or not the 49ers are required to obey our City's Charter as any other applicant would.

As you can imagine, the rationalizations were flying thick and fast in Tuesday's City Council meeting.

However, there's that inconvenient truth that the Stadium Spenders cannot evade: If the 49ers would build their own stadium with their own money, the City's Charter would never have applied - and none of th
e subterfuge we've witnessed since June 23rd would ever have been necessary.

I'd like to thank the members of Santa Clara Plays Fair who contacted us this last week, and of course, those who stood up
in Chambers on Tuesday to speak against our City Council invoking SB 43. Your support of one another and of the group was sincerely appreciated.

Best regards,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer


Monday, October 12, 2009

49ers Stadium and SB 43: The Anatomy of a Hijacking - 1

Hello to all Santa Clarans,

A Staffer in the office of Gov. Schwarzenegger informed me early this morning that SB 43 has been signed into law, unfortunately.

I don't know about you, but I don't give my votes to a Mayor or to Councilmembers with the expectation that they're going to drive to Sacramento and ask State Lawmakers to deny voters the right to vote on our own City Charter.

But that's exactly what happened on July 8th and September 9th.

The upshot of all of this: The 49ers are demanding a $114 million dollar subsidy for their stadium - and with this rather compliant City Council relying on SB 43, the 49ers will almost certainly have the power to spend that public money in violation of our City's Charter.

If there is to be an exception to the Charter of the City of Santa Clara - benefiting ONE millionaire NFL team owner and giving him his OWN one-billion-dollar football stadium - then we Santa Clarans are entitled to vote on whether or not he's entitled to that exception.

But it looks like that vote will in all likelihood be denied us.

The recommendation of the Charter Review Committee concerning SB 43 will be an Agenda Item at the City Council Meeting to be held on October 27. As residents, ratepayers and taxpayers, we're entitled to attend and to make our views known to the City Council. I encourage all Santa Clarans to be there, and that they urge this City Council NOT to invoke SB 43. This law clearly benefits only the San Francisco 49ers - not us.

Instead, the City Council should be putting the "49ers City Charter Carve-out" on the ballot right alongside of the "49ers $114M Stadium Subsidy" itself.

Santa Clarans are entitled to BOTH votes. The 49ers and the City Council know that.

A special thanks to all of you for expressing your views
to Sacramento on SB 43.

Bill Bailey, Treasurer