Wednesday, June 9, 2010

49ers: $444,000,000 -- Santa Clara: ZERO

Dear Santa Clarans,

We'd like to thank all of you who gave, volunteered and shared in the drive to defeat Measure J. We would never have accomplished as much as we did without your volunteer efforts and contributions. We played it fair. We were right on the facts and we treated our fellow Santa Clarans with the respect they've earned.

But the disappointing loss on Measure J isn't merely a loss for Santa Clara Plays Fair.

It's also a serious loss to the City of Santa Clara.

Measure J tells us that we can spend money like San Jose - and like Sacramento - and that we can get away with it. We can't.

The worst part is that Santa Clarans might finally learn exactly why Dr. John York 'isn't in the stadium business.'

The subsidy of Dr. John York's stadium is still wrong. It will not deliver for Santa Clara. We ask that all Santa Clarans step forward and that they oppose that massive giveaway. Please continue your involvement with Santa Clara Plays Fair - and encourage others to join.

We look forward to hearing more from more of you.

With best regards,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer

One other little note: Would everyone please return all "NO on J" election materials - walking and tabling materials, as well as all yard signs and stakes - to 1009 Las Palmas Drive? Look for the "Burma Shave" signs on the east side of Las Palmas between Benton and Homestead. Otherwise, call 1-877-703-4300 for pickup.

And please accept our thanks in advance. ---- B**2

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Your Last Chance to STOP the 49ers Stadium Subsidy: PLEASE VOTE NO ON J !

Dear Santa Clarans,

As Santa Clarans, we have on this one ballot the most important issue that our city has ever faced.

Measure J will tell us whether our future will be in the hands of Santa Clarans - or in the hands of the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers and their "stadium boosters" used the Confidentiality Agreement of April, 2007, to deny us voters information on the stadium subsidy to which we are entitled. They hijacked Senate Bill 43 to take from us control of our own City Charter. When they couldn't get the language they wanted on the ballot, they paid hirelings to get what they wanted - and they weren't even truthful with Santa Clarans while they were doing that.

What Measure J really means: We're being told that we "need to" hand $444 million dollars in public wealth over to a private corporation.

In return, we will get crumbs.

I believe that Santa Clarans will support a fair process. But there is no way that the last three years have been in any way fair to us: Three years have gone by with
seventy-seven secret meetings between the 49ers and our City Council. Two million dollars of RDA cash have been spent on consultants and lawyers. Our city's budget will close this fiscal year $15 million in the red - and the 49ers stadium subsidy will make those deficits far worse in coming years.

Some people in other communities might just throw in the towel - but we don't think that our fellow Santa Clarans are the sort to give up. It's for this reason that we urge all of you:
Please don't leave the job of protecting Santa Clara to others. We really need your help to defeat Measure J at last and to restore our city to us.

Please vote NO on Measure J. Encourage others to vote NO.

More than at any other time, the future of Santa Clara truly depends on you.

Thanks for all of your support,

William F. "Bill" Bailey, Treasurer


Sunday, June 6, 2010

The 49ers' Stadium Subsidies: Your Sample Ballot says, "Let Silicon Valley Power pay for it!"

Dear Santa Clarans,

Please see the
Term Sheet in your Sample Ballots:

  • Section 2.4: Silicon Valley Power - and not the team - is being forced to pay $20,000,000 for the relocation of the perfectly-functional Tasman electric substation. Adding insult to injury: Tasman will be moved even closer to the residents of Gianera Street - while our electric rates increase 34% from January, 2006 to January, 2011.

Yes, we postponed rate increases longer than we should have. However, I support those rate increases completely, because presentations by our utility managers before City Council show me that I'm still getting a good deal from our City's electric utility.

But what I object to is the San Francisco 49ers making us pay $20,000,000 to move an electric substation that does not need to be moved. The Stadium Boosters have been double-talking this issue since May of 2007 - and they are just as wrong now as they were then.

Late news: City Council has approved the new Yahoo! campus - with Yahoo! paying for their own new electric substation.

If Yahoo! can do it - so can the San Francisco 49ers.

Santa Clarans, do you see how far the stadium subsidy for the 49ers really extends? Please vote NO on Measure J - and you will STOP the ripoff of our city's electric utility.

Thanks for your support and best regards,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer


The 49ers' Stadium Subsidies: Your Sample Ballots *PROVE* the 49ers' Lease Subsidies!

Dear Santa Clarans,

The previous post analyzed the leakiest of the Term Sheet clauses - which in fact does NOT protects taxpaying Santa Clara residents.

Here, let's examine our own Sample Ballots to see just how the 49ers deny us fair returns for the land they're taking for their stadium - a stadium which Santa Clarans will be paying to subsidize:

  • Section 4.3(a): The 49ers pay a pathetic ground rent of only $180,000 in the first year. This ground rent only rises to $1M a year in the year 2024 - and to its maximum of $1.5M in 2050. Just compare these payments with what Cedar Fair already pays into our General Fund: $5.3M per year - every year. That's SIX TIMES as much as the 49ers ever will ever pay us. It's TEN TIMES as much in 2009 dollars.
  • Section 17.3: The "sweetheart lease" on the 49ers Training Center will be extended to run concurrent with the stadium lease itself. That lease pays our city a paltry $26,000 a year for 11 acres of prime Silicon Valley real estate. This section locks in yet another "subsidy" which has been benefiting only the 49ers since 1987. However, the five Stadium Boosters on our City Council have no intentions of fixing this travesty - instead, they're demanding that you as voters make it even worse.

Please, neighbors and voters - don't take the word of the Stadium Boosters on what this highly defective "Term Sheet" says. Instead, please read it yourselves - the truth is in your voter Sample Ballots.

The Stadium Subsidies on your voters' ballots make the city of Santa Clara a victim - never a partner. On Tuesday, please vote NO on Measure J.

Thank you and best regards,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer


Friday, June 4, 2010

The 49ers' Stadium Subsidies: Operating Overruns are ON US - NOT on the 49ers!

Dear Santa Clarans,

Santa Clara Plays Fair urges all voters: Please - examine the actual language of Measure J in our Sample Ballots.

The last three blog posts here covered the worst of the
City Charter language.

Term Sheet portion of your Sample Ballots, however, reflects not only the 49ers' bad faith - but our own city's unwillingness to negotiate a fair deal for Santa Clarans. By pasting this defective Term Sheet into the Sample Ballot, the Stadium Boosters are actually destroying their own case for a subsidy for the 49ers:

  • Section 9.1: The 49ers WILL NOT cover operating cost overruns for their stadium - Instead, they reserve to themselves alone the right to tell us what is and is not reimbursible to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority.
Section 9.1 gives the 49ers a loophole through which they can drive a truck - leaving the city's Stadium Authority to make either up the difference themselves or "do without." This is exactly why the Stadium Boosters' claims of "ironclad taxpayer protections" are utter nonsense.

There is only ONE "taxpayer protection" possible for our city on Tuesday, June 8th - and that is a resounding NO vote on Measure J.

Thank you, everyone, for your support,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer