The Bee ran a set of responses from the mayoral candidates on questions regarding the Kings' arena situation. With Kevin Johnson streaking out of the picture in a blaze of butane and humiliation, Heather Fargo's a shoe-in for a 47th term as Sacramento's mayor. Here are her responses to The Bee's questions.
Should the mayor play a lead role in the building of a new arena?
Only yes if there is a realistic finance plan The Bee supports.
Should the public share financing costs?
No - Voters said no, 80% to 20%.
Should the city assist with infrastructure, subsidies, tax incentives?
How important is keeping the Kings in Sacramento? Very important, important, not important?
Do you support the NBA plan for an arena at Cal Expo? If not Cal Expo, where would you locate an arena?
Only if there is a realistic financing plan and a realistic transportation management plan. If not Cal Expo, downtown.
I won't even discuss the first two answers, which are beyond depressing. (OK, I lied, I will discuss them: Only if there's a plan The Bee supports?!?! Are you f'n kidding me? The eternal mayor of the city needs the local newspaper's approval on a funding mechanism for a private development?!? I pray that's a typo. And voters did not say 'no' to sharing in the financing ... they said 'no' to a very specific and very flawed proposal which even the Kings organization itself did not support. I understand the art of the pander; I work in public relations, for goodness sake. But this is an absurdly absurd answer.)
The one question offered in which the mayor's response actually matters -- whether the candidate would support the city being involved in infrastructure and tax incentives (as the city is in numerous other projects -- downtown condo towers, manufacturing plants, etc) -- Fargo gives no response.
I'll give my standard "the arena isn't the most important thing in this race" disclaimer here. But it's a shame KJ thought he could slip through this race; because he entered the thing, an actual, electable alternative to Fargo never materialized. Awesome.