Parking lease proposal stinks?

Sheedy, literally asking the speaker to define "monetize"

The more I think about the current proposal to lease the City’s parking operations to fund a big upfront payment on the arena, the worse the idea sounds. I guess you could say I’m approaching Heckasac levels of frustration with the idea.

Last week Cosmo Garvin highlighted the numbers in the initial report on the parking proposal, and it’s pretty obvious that the City would be giving away half a billion dollars of future parking revenue for the prospect of getting half that up front. As Garvin points out, the high-end figure of $245 million is probably not realistic. And even that number means giving up $205 million–5 times the City’s budget deficit. Councilwoman Sheedy said as much during the Tuesday night meeting, citing Chicago, “The Big Windy Apple” as they call it, as a large city that sold some of its parking interests. Continue reading “Parking lease proposal stinks?”

State Senate to block Kings Anaheim move? Is this necessary?

CBS13 is reporting that State Sen Steinberg is planning to introduce a measure in the legislature that would “effectively prohibit a California city from signing a contract with a professional sports team unless that team has paid off all its debts to the other city.”

Putting aside the Onion News Network aspect of this kind of legislation, I was under the impression that the loan would already be due in full based on the Maloofs’ existing contractual obligations, and therefore that existing law would probably be sufficient to force the Kings to pay what they owe.

In fact, the way I read the Kings April 1 letter in response to the City’s letter requesting loan pay-off confirmation, the Kings basically agree to abide by the terms of the agreement. I think the media are stirring the pot to make this part of the conversation more saucy than it really is. One is left with the impression that the Maloofs basically said FU to the City when asked to honor their contractual obligations.

But I’m not one to champion the Maloofs grasp of business ethics. What do you say, Kings fans–am I wrong?

Crash tax craziness

Fiat Punto
This guy’s not even from ‘Merica. Cha-ching!!!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Niccolò Caranti

I still can’t believe that 5 humans, not to mention 5 city council members, think an out-of-towner “crash tax” is a good idea. Apparently in California, unless something is specifically illegal, you can find some group of idiots who’ll think it makes sense. And if you need a group of idiots, who better than a roomful of California politicians?

With the chorus of boos around the region about the “crash tax,” including a threatened tit-for-tat response from Yolo County, I am thinking its days are numbered.

In looking around at other instances of “crash tax” in the news I found out that another municipality undergoing such an experiment is none other than New York, New York. However, in the case of the Big Apple it is merely a charge on at-fault drivers for FDNY response to a car crash. Compared to the City Council’s laugher of charging our neighbors this almost makes sense.

Continue reading “Crash tax craziness”

Election deadlines coming Friday

The deadline to register as a candidate for the District 1, 3, 5 and 7 City Council offices is Friday, March 12. As of today there will be quite a field, with 17 candidates running, including 5 candidates in Districts 3 and 5. The deadline for District 5 is actually March 17, since the incumbent Lauren Hammond won’t be running (she’s a candidate in the sure-to-be-exciting 9th Assembly district race). March 12 is also the Secretary Of State’s deadline to register for statewide office.

I’m planning take a look at the candidates for the 5th district (my district) in more detail in the next few weeks, in a humorous but fair and balanced manner. So, you know, stay tuned for that.

More handouts for the big big screen

This thing about the IMAX theater subsidy from the student… err, city council is just one more example of Sacramento making it a priority to bring features into the city that residents just don’t want. Has anyone heard of a subsidy for the Crest? It seems unlikely that this has ever happened. Well, it’s only the latest detail in a history of public infatuation with IMAX.

In 1998, the city gave $6 million to the Esquire Plaza’s previous
owners – led by developer David Taylor. That project included office
space and the 450-seat IMAX theater.
The city gave the money on the condition that IMAX remain open for at
least five years. When it became clear that IMAX was struggling,
Taylor’s group reduced the theater’s rent in its second year.

I’m not saying there isn’t a place for the giant screen at IMAX and the … also giant screen down the way at The Crest. I’m not saying people should not eat at Macaroni Grill or Olive Garden. All I’m saying is, if the IMAX is failing, couldn’t that be because it is not competetive? Couldn’t it be because K Street has become a terrible location for any business? If the Crest is thriving, which I assume it is since it’s still in business, couldn’t that be because it is giving the people something they want?