City Council in preliminary vote on parking lease tonight

On the agenda for tonight’s City Council meeting is a motion to select 10 of the 13 bidders who sent in responses in pursuit of the City’s proposed plan to lease parking operations rights to raise money for a new arena. It’s at the bottom of the agenda, and it’s a purely procedural item but if recent meetings are any indication, folks will most likely show up for the Public Comment ready to talk.

If you want to follow along, you should be able to tune to Channel 15 or stream it live. But I also recommend following a few folks on Twitter who will most likely be discussing/snarking on the proceedings. Not just professional journos like The Bee’s Ryan Lillis (@ryan_lillis) and SN&R’s Nick Miller (@NickMillerSNR) and sports folks like Carmichael Dave (@CarmichaelDave), but also normals like Michael Minnick (@SacraMINNICK), Kevin Fippin (@kfippin) and our old blogger pal Maya (don’t call her Mia) Wallace (@mayagirl) from Postcards from Sacramento.

Advisory committee for Entertainment & Sports Complex issue

Councilman Steve Cohn announces today via e-mail:

The Sacramento FIRST Task Force is reviewing seven new proposals for an Entertainment & Sports Complex. The Task Force is also looking at the current Cal Expo proposal and the option of renovating Arco Arena.

The Task Force is forming an Advisory Committee of interested citizens that will supplement the task force. If you are interested in volunteering to serve on this advisory committee, please let me know by sending an email message to my District Director, Sue Brown, at by Friday, January 8, 2010. Our understanding is that the commitment of time is approximately one meeting per month for about 3 months.

I don’t think anyone would disagree that this city needs the Sac Rag readership’s input in this project…

City wins $20 million stimulus for Railyard move

The City announced on Friday that it had met a December 1 deadline to get shovel-ready on the project to move and realign the tracks at Sacramento Valley Station.

I trust that even though they were “scrambling” to get it done, Kevin McCarty and the other city council members made sure to scrutinize the environmental and logistical work before proceeding with requesting taxpayer money to fund the project on behalf of Thomas Enterprises. Or is it only important to scrutinize when a private company wants to spend its own money?

Continue reading “City wins $20 million stimulus for Railyard move”

City touts “win” in Railyards environmental case

The City of Sacramento and Thomas Enterprises are proudly bragging of a “win” in the suit against them brought by the Downtown Plaza and three individuals who challenged the environmental impact reports prepared for the Railyards site. The Sacramento Superior Court today ruled that the City and Thomas Enterprises complied with the law under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

Railyards Project featured in NYT

Today’s New York Times Real Estate section features a story on the Railyards development. It is interesting to read about it from an out-of-towner’s point of view. We locals seem to be wrapped up in the details of making it happen, such as the toxic clean-up, the I-5 expansion, transit issues, the stadium controversy, and more. I think we forget the immensity of the project (one of the largest proposed urban expansions in the nation) and the history behind the land. Enjoy.

Run them out of town

This is a major scandal. It’s old news by now, but back in 2007 when the city council agreed to transfer $55 million to Thomas Enterprises to help the company buy the rest of the railyard land, it apparently overpaid by several orders of magnitude because it didn’t take the time to get an appraisal done. Most of the money came from the transportation fund and thus couldn’t be used to get us out of the $50 million hole we’re in — though how it was able to be transferred to a real estate developer in that case is beyond me.

This whole mess stunk before, but this is an outrage. The Sac Rag does not do political endorsements, but let’s just say I personally hope the city council’s unemployment rate soon becomes 100%.