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Monday, September 24, 2012

City Council Formally Approves Sodo Arena

Posted by on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 3:40 PM

After a round robin of councilmanic backslapping, the Seattle City Council today formally approved a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build a new NBA arena in the Sodo neighborhood. After months of skepticism and hedging the authorizing legislation passed by 6-2 vote.

"I really appreciate the engagement of all my colleagues," council member Tim Burgess magnanimously noted just before the vote, "even those of you who are voting incorrectly."

But not everybody is happy. Council member Richard Conlin, who along with Nick Licata voted no, remains unconvinced that public funds are necessary to proceed, nor that it's ultimately in the city's interest to do so. And moments before the vote, ILWU Local 19 president Cameron Williams issued the following statement:

"We remain adamantly opposed to any new arena at the SoDo site. Our expectation is that the City of Seattle will conduct a full SEPA review as required, which would include all alternate locations in King County."

"Our number one priority is protecting living wage family jobs on our Port terminals, and we will pursue all mitigation options as necessary to keep those jobs. This is not a "done deal" until we are assured that not a single job will be lost."

The revised MOU and interlocal agreement now go back to the King County Council for approval, and there's no reason to expect a different outcome on this new and improved deal.


Comments (11) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1
Well, stick a nail in the Billionaires Tunnel coffin, cause now it officially is defunded.

Buh bye!
Posted by Will in Seattle on September 24, 2012 at 3:52 PM · Report this
seatackled 2
Just put a rush hour tax on stadium tickets, and Conlin will be aboard.
Posted by seatackled on September 24, 2012 at 4:13 PM · Report this
"...that public funds are necessary to proceed..."

What public funds are being used? We're talking bonding capacity. It might be right to say public financing. But when you say public funding or public funds, people think you're opening up the treasury and handing over money collected from taxes.
Posted by TJ on September 24, 2012 at 4:28 PM · Report this
Remember, Goldy, the demographics surrounding the Seahawks' games attendance and most probably any future basketball game attendance: Boeing workers.

When Boeing experienced its meltdown back in the '70s, the Nordstroms temporarily purchased the Hawks.

If anything happens to Boeing's local employment figures it's bad times for the sports teams.

And their future employment numbers don't appear all that hot.
Posted by sgt_doom on September 24, 2012 at 4:58 PM · Report this
Doom: You're stupid.
Will: You're even stupider (if such a thing could be possible).
I suspect Conlin voted against this thing because he is contemplating a run for mayor, and it assures he gets his name singled out in print while knowing the deal will pass anyway. It's an old trick. I've been around City Hall too long.
Posted by crone on September 24, 2012 at 5:30 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6
@5 bonding authority has a cap of the amount we just spent, without a Vote Of The Citizens.

Hey, you overspend it, I just call it what it is. You can't overcharge the bonding limits without approval.
Posted by Will in Seattle on September 24, 2012 at 5:38 PM · Report this
@6 The tunnel is state financed. The city has not yet used any of its bonding authority.
Posted by crone on September 24, 2012 at 5:43 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 8
@7 and yet Seattle is on the hook for it.

Can't squeeze blood from a turnip that's already been crushed with massive debt stones.
Posted by Will in Seattle on September 24, 2012 at 6:45 PM · Report this
Was there ever any doubt what they'd do? The "progressives" in this city are every last bit as corrupt as any Republican in Bellevue.
Posted by Wing It on September 24, 2012 at 8:47 PM · Report this
south downtown 10
@3 TI asks 'what public funds' worried "people think you're opening up the treasury and handing over money collected from taxes".

Because the deal is allowing ArenaCo to use future taxes owed to instead help pay down the debt, we are diverting $160M (or whatever) into this arena. Diversion of future tax revenues is "handing over money collected from taxes" in many people's view.

Using these to pay for the part of construction in general is directing these monies to that "city" purpose. Not the best choice of places to put money in many people's view as well.

And McKnieval's misdirection of city resources for the past year into this deal has already widened the canyon, and will do so well into the future.

A bit more Seattle process could have helped here perhaps...
Posted by south downtown on September 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM · Report this
Oy, Will, enough about the tunnel. The thing's being built.
Posted by sarah70 on September 24, 2012 at 11:43 PM · Report this

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