Monday, April 26, 2010

Merc/KGO poll: Santa Clarans, we can connect the dots!

Dear Santa Clarans,

While examining the Merc / KGO poll, it might be worth looking at the
two sets of pie charts presented, rather than simply the first.

That second pair of pie charts made it pretty clear: 63% voiced concern over the costs of a 49ers stadium to Santa Clara taxpayers, and 64% recognize the traffic nightmare caused by stadium events, NFL or not.

Santa Clarans are connecting the dots.

They're right. The General Fund loss of $67,000,000 caused by the stadium subsidy ripoff is exactly what will affect Santa Claran taxpayers.
There is no way that our General Fund can possibly absorb such a loss without real cuts - either in staff or in services or both.

They're right again.
It's not possible to absorb 20,000 cars on NFL game days while paying overtime to 160 police officers - and you can't keep even a semblance of peace and order in our neighborhoods north of U.S. 101.

The total of $444,000,000 in subsidies for a 49ers' stadium causes real losses to Santa Clara's taxpayers and to the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

That's why "J" is for "Jeopardy." We urge all Santa Clarans to connect the dots - and vote NO on June 8th.

Thanks, Santa Clarans, for your support,

William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer


Saturday, April 24, 2010

The 49ers' Stadium Subsidy: "A contract is a contract."

Dear Santa Clarans,

Cedar Fair is demanding that their lease for the Great America theme park be renegotiated, as you've heard. Regardless of the merits of that action, it's worth focusing on the response of Mayor Patricia Mahan: "No. We have a contract. A contract is a contract."

Santa Clara Plays Fair would like to remind Mayor Mahan and the other four elected "Stadium Boosters" on our City Council that a Guiding Principle is a Guiding Principle:

"7. Great America Theme Park/Cedar Fair must agree to and cooperate with any proposed stadium project sited on existing City-owned lands leased or committed to them."

(Agenda Item 5D.1, 1/9/2007)

Note, however, that Cedar Fair puts more Fixed Ground Rent into our City's General Fund than the San Francisco 49ers ever will. Simply compare the $5,300,000 Great America fixed lease payment with the most that the 49ers will ever pay us, $1.5M. Cedar Fair is entitled to be a bit exasperated with the Council's "Stadium Boosters."

Not only that, the City Council got the news this last Tuesday evening: The city's worsening deficit makes it imperative that we protect our General Fund dollars wherever we can.

But subsidizing the San Francisco 49ers causes even worse General Fund losses than we have now - and Cedar Fair, which gets NO subsidy at all from our city while paying us far more, has just drawn a bold red line under that fact.

Regardless of the Cedar Fair action: To protect Santa Clara's General Fund on June 8th, Santa Clara Plays Fair urges you to VOTE NO ON MEASURE J.

Thanks for all of your support,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Councilmembers Kennedy & McLeod: 49ers stadium is not a good deal for Santa Clara

Dear Santa Clarans,

Please visit the San Jose Mercury News for a well-informed statement of why a subsidy for a 49ers
stadium is a really bad deal for Santa Clara:

Councilmembers Kennedy and McLeod, of course, are more than qualified to speak to the issue. For three years, while other members of City Council were content with mere boosterism, Kennedy and McLeod were asking the tough questions. The answers to those questions should be enough to make every voting Santa Claran question the very sanity of the $444,000,000 stadium subsidy:

"The most damaging hit is to the city's general fund, which pays for services to residents. The staff report shows that the stadium deal will result in a net $67 million loss to our general fund. Money that should flow into it from the Redevelopment Agency will be redirected to the stadium. And yes, that loss includes all of the rents, projected taxes and other income that the city will receive from the stadium."
[Emphasis mine.]
The broken link in the article is easily fixed:

See especially slide #48 - contrary to what the "stadium boosters" are now claiming, that $67,000,000 ripoff of our city's General Fund is REAL.

We urge all Santa Clarans: Please - let two responsible elected officials tell the real story on the stadium subsidy. Then write the Letters Editor at the San Jose Mercury News, and tell them you appreciate Councilmembers Kennedy and McLeod getting the truth out there for all to see:
(125 words or less, and please include your address and telephone, which will not be published. Please don't CC: us; your letters to the Mercury News Editors should be original material.)

Great backup to this opinion piece: Please consult "Ten Top Reasons to vote NO on Measure J."

Thanks for all of your support,

Bill Bailey, Treasurer