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Katy Grimes

Local ‘Thought Leaders’ Bamboozle Sac GOP on Measure L

I arrived home from a weekend away, lateSunday afternoon, to a robo-call phone message from the Sacramento County Republican Party Chairmantouting Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson’s “Strong Mayor,” Executive Mayor initiative. In the message, the Chairman told Republicans to vote “yes” on “Measure L.”

I was floored. Someone made a bargain with the devil.

Measure Lproposes the mayor as chief executive, responsible for the budget proposal, who chooses a city manager, and no longer will have a voting position on the city council.

Johnson, a Democrat, has modified the Executive Mayor plan four times since 2009, each rejected by citizens or voters. The idea of a strong mayor has some merit in some cities, but it is Johnson as the Strong Mayor that most people object to, as well as possible future liberal, elitist mayors. Johnson’s time as Mayor is not what he promised. He has instead spent his political capital on professional sports arenas and personal power, style over substance.

Johnson wants a “world class” arena because he is embarrassed by cowtown Sacramento, and wants… Read More

Katy Grimes

How Many Local Office Holders Not Worthy Of Election To Legislature?

There is a disturbing trend happening in California, with cities trying to place sales and property tax increase initiatives on the ballot, often without a petition drive of the voters. Ostensibly these tax revenues are earmarked for “public safety,” or 
road maintenance, and improvements.

But that’s complete hooey; this money will be undoubtedly be used to pay for CalPERS pension and retiree health benefit payments. It has to be used for pensions and benefit payments, because most cities are so deep in debt, they can’t afford to fix sewer systems, maintain roads, or even maintain parks.

Think… Read More

Katy Grimes

The quiet Arena lawsuit moves forward

Last week a judge ruled against the lawsuit to place the proposed public subsidy for the new basketballarena before Sacramento voters.

Local media heralded the decision.

But there is another Sacramento arena lawsuit taking place in Sacramento Superior Court. I’ve attended the court proceedings. And I’ve written about it.

The lawsuit accuses city officials of making a secret deal to provide an extra $80 million of public money to help the investors’ group beef up its offer against a well-funded Seattle group that wanted to buy the Kings and move them to Seattle, which lost its NBA team to Oklahoma City in 2008. Plaintiffs’ attorney Patrick Soluri said city officials have committed fraud because they have not fully informed the City Council and the public about details of the deal.

The city subsidy, according to the lawsuit, is actually $338 million — not the $258 million the city claims.

Most other media seem to be ignoring it, or incorrectly reporting the importance of the lawsuit, and allegations of fraud by city officials, and illegal gift of public funds.

This is serious. It’s not about being Kings arena deniers, as… Read More

Katy Grimes

Politicians seek special enviro deal on arena

This is Part One of a two-part series.

The unusually speedy approval of a new NBA arena for the Kings basketball team in the heart of downtown Sacramento leaves many details and unanswered questions on the table, including how this arena project possibly will be completed and ready for opening by 2015.

Approved by the Sacramento City Council, the latest plan uses overstated revenue projections, grossly overstated projected attendance numbers and city-owned parking garages to sweeten the finances. As with all of the previous schemes to keep the Sacramento Kings in town in a luxurious arena, neither city officials nor local news media have ever… Read More