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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

Arena Derangement Syndrome Update: Whining About Legal Costs

The Sacramento arena deal has prompted questions over the lack of public debate about key details, dubious financial numbers from the city and the public subsidy the project requires. And, last-minute legislation last year by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, is allowing the arena’s construction proceed without a credible environmental impact review.

Last week, the city of Sacramento announced it expects to spend up to $750,000 to defend a lawsuit related to the planned downtown arena. 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.

I have… Read More

Katy Grimes

Sacto arena deal violates public policy and public trust

The dubious arena deal in Sacramento has strange bedfellows aligning. The lack of public debate, the fishy numbers put out by the city, and the deceit about the growing public subsidy has angered many voters. Now legislation by Sen. President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento would let the stadium developers avoid a real environmental impact review in order to forge ahead without public debate.

But it gets even uglier. I have written extensively about this bad “public-private deal” — a bureaucratic expression which should always generate skepticism.

The Steinberg bill, which will be formally introduced today, would allow the city to bypass addressing real traffic impacts in its Environmental Impact Report on the arena project. According to several analysts I’ve spoken with, the bill… Read More