There are times and places, where you just don't want to be somewhere, and you say fuck it, I'm leaving. I did that tonight at City Hall. I almost left until I ran into one of the co-founders of Crown Downtown @JayMarZZ. I said screw it, I'll stick around. I did.
It ended up being a rather brilliant decision.
First off, before I continue this, I got to sit in a loud rowdy section of people rooting for the arena. I'm not sure how many (other than a few wearing Kings gear) were actual fans of the Kings other than myself, but the interest in the arena was apparent. Other than the 11 people who were signed up to talk against the term sheet, I'm not sure how many other people there were actually against the arena other than a few who showed up outside on the monitors to see how it went.
At one point, I thought these people were auditoning for the Sacramento version of the Jerky Boys, but well, they were just ordinary citizens brought together by a singular purpose. Very strange indeed.
By the time 2/3 of the meeting had gone, we were told to leave the balcony upstairs which was kind of a pisser because we were hooting and hollering at the TV rather than being quiet as you have to (and understandably so) in chambers. Personally, I wanted to stay on the balcony because we were a core group hoping the city agrees to build an ESC with investors/partners.
Eventually we got our wish.
Sure Darrell Fong and Kevin McCarty voted no, and Steve Hansen droned on about how long it took, and Steve Cohn spent more time than any of us would have preferred on the total financial details, but shit happens too. This is local politics people. This is how local politics work!
And the group was just a pretty common slice (athough was more a lot more men than women to be fair) of Sacramento as could happen at any time.
That is why the ESC has traction here. Kevin Johnson did not need to ram this proposal through. People do not like dilapidated and ugly slumlord happy urban cores. Seattle does not have one. Sacramento does, and the ESC is a piece to change that. While I don't think the arena isue is the most important issue the city can solve today, I think it's the one issue they can solve today by taking action today. And, in time, hopefully not only the core ways of filling the general fund (I think 75% of the 9 million general fund backfill can be realistically guaranteed) backfill help, but the ticket surcharges can end up hittng that backfill and hopefully keep the parking money entirely dealing with the parking part of this project.