OK, first, can someone please tell me if the city council voted to put the arena measure on the ballot in November or not? Because I just read the Bee article online and it's so confusing I can't tell what the fuck they decided...It says they passed an "intent" motion 8-1, with an intent to take it up on August 5th. I can't believe that the city council is so cowardly that they all jumped ship (except for Dave Jones) when a majority seemed dead set against putting it on the ballot so soon.
So I went to the city council meeting last night. I walked up to where a group of people had gathered. There was a podium with all the local news people in front of it. As I approached a really crappy sign was thrust into my hand (which made me rue the fact that I had pussed out on making my "get the Maloofs off welfare" sign), and a Southern gentleman in susupenders glad-handed me and urged me in an oily southern drawl to get into the group behind the podium. Councilman Dave Jones (the stronges opponent of the public funding for the arena) was about the speak and they wanted all the supporters to get behind him and give the impression of a large crowd. As he spoke, a red-faced guy wearing a Kings polo shirt that I would bet five bucks had arrived at city hall transported by either an Escalade or a Dodge Ram rudely yelled and tried to interrupt Dave Jones. He and I proceeded to get in a heated argument. I asked him if he lived downtown and he stammered "uh, I live in the, uh, greater Sacramento area" (read: Granite Bay), and then he said that downtown was a "wasteland" I fired back "my neighborhood is not a wasteland". Of course, I don't want to make myself sound too cool, so I should note that my face began to twitch uncontrollably as we were arguing because it made me so nervous.
Inside, I spotted many local celebrities, Voison was there, hulking-Neanderthal Maloof was there, short, pugnacious Maloof was there (I can't keep the Maloofs straight, all playboy billionares look alike to me), and I can't tell you how thrilled I was to see local gadfly scribe R.E. Graswich there. Was he wearing a wacky Hawaiian shirt you ask? If you have to ask that, you don't know Graswich. I was a bit surprised to see that many of the local news ladies dress really slutty, like anklet and platforms slutty, and I noticed neanderthal maloof checking one news hottie out.
After various other snore-inducing business, Heather Fargo launched into the arena issue, and I have to admit it, she's good After all here hare-brained revitalization schemes I had assumed she was an idiot, but she's not. She's a very relaxed and somewhat witty speaker. After her shpiel, she practically had me ready to vote for an arena. Until Steve Cohn started poking holes in her plan, that is. Their financial estimates are a joke.
Think about this for a minute. WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS, THE CITY IS GOING TO PAY WESTFIELD (the owners of the mall) EIGHTY MILLION DOLLARS TO DEMOLISH MACY'S AND THEN REBUILD IT SOMEWHERE ELSE. ALSO, THEY WILL PAY OVER FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS TO DEMOLISH 2000 PARKING SPACES AND REBUILD THEM.
Steve Cohn pointed out that the rebuilding of the 2000 spaces provides no net new parking for and 18,000 seat arena. The mayor didn't see this as a problem.
The mayor mentioned that the public (a large majority of which were against the arena) would be restricted to 2 minutes. Dave Jones pointed out that the proponents (who, keep in mind, were a small minority) had no such restriction and asked if they could also be restricted to 2 minutes. The mayor looked confused, said "no", and moved on.
The 7th and K site seems unfeasible, so other sites were mentioned. Among them 3rd and R, which due to the fact that I am soon moving to 10th and U, and I decidedly not thrilled about. The idea of looking out my window and seeing a huge arena looming is surreal. What would happen to my neighborhood? Will I be sandwiched between an Applebees and a Pottery Barn? Will I come home to find out that my bedroom has been converted to a luxury loft? Will I be forced to pay a valet to park my car in front of my house?
Anyway, I snuck out after two hours to catch the end of the Bomb Soul Explosion at the Crest (more about that later), and found out about the vote. Apparently the NBA commisioner scared everyone into voting yes by saying that the Maloofs could move the team if we don't build a new arena. They voted that the Maloofs should pay for half, which those crybabies are upset about, so nobody is happy with this plan. Not the developers, not the public, not the owners.
So August 5th is the next meeting, and I urge everyone to try to attend. We should make signs and try to get on the news.