Arena Opponent Will Attempt To Put Downtown Sacramento Facility On Ballot

Ryan Lillis of the Sacramento Bee reports that Sacramento City Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy, who opposes building a new entertainment and sports complex in downtown Sacramento, will ask the Council to put a measure on the June ballot asking for voter approval to use public parking assets to help provide capital for the facility. The push is clearly a device to either stall the arena decision to past the point of no return for the chance to keep the Sacramento Kings in town, or to crank up pressure on Mayor Kevin Johnson's campaign to win council approval for the leasing of downtown parking inventory to provide initial capital for the construction.

The council is expected to vote on a parking lease proposal in February. Sheedy has been beating the popular vote drum since it became apparent she was in a clear minority on the council in opposition of the arena. She will almost assuredly demonize as undemocratic any councilmembers who do not vote with her in this naked ploy to politicize the ESC push. Sheedy has a well-documented feud with Johnson over endorsements in council races, and is using the arena push as a political prop.

As Lillis notes, it is highly unlikely that Sheedy's trickery will be eaten up by the council; Darrell Fong, a swaying palm, may vote with her, but it's difficult to see anyone else on the concil voting to castrate itself ahead of a big decision next month.

Nonetheless, supporters of the ESC project cannot cede an inch to Sheedy's ham-handed politics. If you can make the Tuesday meeting, please do so and remind the council why a new entertainment and sports complex in downtown Sacramento is so vital to our communities and region.

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