Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Seattle Times: McGinn could veto tunnel agreement if overrun issue unresolved

It does not really matter what the subject is, just read the quote to really understand who Mike McGinn really is.
Emphasis mine:
"I think the mayor saying now that he's going to veto it before we've even completed our work affects the atmosphere of the negotations in a negative way," Rasmussen said.

Seattle Times, McGinn could veto tunnel agreement if overrun issue unresolved.

Now you know why he will get less done as mayor than the believers think he can. He builds an opposition to him as a person and not to subjects he is fighting, making his arguments weak.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Anonymous said...

i read about the proposed stadium initiative on SC, but i have one question, if only people who go to events at the stadium pay the tax, why do we need a public vote? i really think we should avoid a public vote at all costs, especially on election day. i really don't see a public vote passing unless we have it in the middle of summer or something a la qwest. safeco didn't even pass the voters. it's incredibly naive to think they (voters) would EVER approve an arena. If dow's not willing to do this with no public vote, don't even try imo.

Peter said...

i thought the pfd law said we didn't need a public vote. am i right?

Peter said...

are all the negative comments on the stranger just the typical readers of the stranger? i have a hard time believing even chris van dyk wouldn't support this idea. he supported the ballmer plan. will in seattle posted on the stranger that they couln't fund anything w/ 1-91. isn't this effort a county effort, meaning i-91 would be mute?

Mr Baker said...

The proposal was to create another PFD just for the arena, seperate from the Convention Center, and Safeco.

The county can not create a PFD on its own and impose this form of tax. They either have to have a vote, or the state legislature can create it for them (grant the authority) and not have to have a vote. That is what happened with the Convention Center, if they allowed a vote and the vote failed then the state ends up in court with the hoteliers.

The Stranger comment writers are not reflective of the city as a whole. But you should understand their arguments, and know that there is a large population of people that agree with them.

They do not want public money going into an arena to come from the general fund, or compete with their priorities.
So, don't.

Sooooo, this could end up in the legislature to create another pfd if a city will partner with the county to impose user fees. I think a vote county-wide is just unlikely to pass.
That is ok.
Give Judy Nicastro a lot of credit for watching the Sonicsgate movie, and seeing a lot of us think that whole thing went very wrong, she agrees, and is will to be a public person and try.
The county executive leadership is much sharper than the city.
Where the answer to a detail is NO then we look for a way to make that a yes.

Peter said...

it says in the one article about the stadium plan that performers at the venue as well as fans would be taxed. am i right? is that a new idea, taxing performers? would that even be enough money to build an arena? if the original key remodel was supposed to come from these sources, isn't that giving the oppisition a talking point? we may need clear language banning using money that dosen't come from these sources to pass a public vote.

Peter said...

from what i heard on kjr from nicastro, she dosen't wanna take this to the state. how easy would it be to get authority from the state? easier than passing an county-wide vote? about the p-i poll,i honestly don't think enough people care about ANY sports at all i bet if you asked the same question enough to say they want a team.about the m's or seahawks you would probably get a similar response overall. the original m's vote failed, and if it wasn't for allen's media blitz, i doubt qwest would have been funded at all either. do you think clear language banning using funding other than the user and performer fees would help get a narrow victory in a vote?

Peter said...

sorry, i meant:

about the p-i poll,i honestly don't think enough people care about ANY sports at all to say they want a team. i bet if you asked the same question enough .about the m's or seahawks you would probably get a similar response overall.

on another note, the article i read on the proposal said there was "major support" for the proposal. are they assuming that user/performance fees are not seen as taxpayer money by voters? even if there is support, the hardest part may be getting enough people to care about an arena to vote for it. 83 percent did say they wanted a team or didn't care either way. i prefer to look at the 18 percent that said they didn't want a team as the will in seattles of the region. the hard part is convincing the 42 percent that didn't care either way to vote for it, i still think some of them are swayable.

Mr Baker said...

Forget about the PI
the poll King5 paid for is encouraging

the hard sell here, and where I see risk, is selling this as a no tax building.
She says Ballmer is still in, so, 150 million has covered, if you go look at some of the newer buildings built for less and you can see why she says they just need to cover 100 million more.
Seattle was going to cover 75 million by user fees, parking, etc. Making a building for the NHL give you more chances for parking taxes and user fees. I think they can get there.

It does get back to a leader leading this, and she is pointing as the best possible choice, the county exec.

Read nicatsro's quotes in the Stranger, it is the most solid plan I have seen in two years.
She has a 60% chance of pulling this off, maybe better.

Peter said...

i can easily see perfomer fees getting enough for an arena, but when you talk about traveling shows like concerts and other events don't you think an perfomer fee would drive all the good events away? sports leagues can't help it, the team has to play in the owner's city's stadium. but a big name concert tour might go elsewhere if they are taxed for performing at the arena. i want the sonics back, but that's not the only reason i want an arena. would perfomance fees drive big name non nba and nhl events away from the new arena?

Peter said...

another question, how many people see user and performance fees/athlete taxes as not being taxpayer money?

Peter said...

"She says Ballmer is still in, so, 150 million has covered, if you go look at some of the newer buildings built for less and you can see why she says they just need to cover 100 million more."

so how much are you saying an new arena would probably cost?

Peter said...

at this point, what do you think is more likely, the legislature approving the user fees or the voters approving user fees? i honestly don't see a arena w/o some sort of public involvment. i think user/performance fees/athlete taxes are our only hope, and i really hope the state nor the voters see that as public money and will support it. if we are just hoping for ballmer or anyone for that matter to pay for it all by himself, that will never happen imo. as i recall from reading the article on uw, the uw is going to use user fees to fund part of the husky remodel. am i right?

Mr Baker said...

I think Judy Nicastro is looking for the right answer. Let's see what answers she comes up with.

Mr Baker said...

If this went the "no taxes" route then what you see is parking fees, and leases for events.

Key Arena, for example, charges the a fee fir the day of the event, it is pretty high, a few thousand dollars. That is supposed to cover lights, traffic around the facility, ticket takers, cleanup, etc, all kinds of things that are tied to the day's event.
Same thing with concerts.

What I don't think you would see with the "no taxes" route is an athlete tax. And the performer fees are, more or less, like the day of event fee.

Right now, one of the reasons these things are getting a push is that construction costs are way down. If these things wait then they just become more expensive and you are just as unlikly to get public support for taxes.

People are going to flip when they see what it means to do husky stadium without taxes, there will be sponsors on everything, ticket prices will go up, and it will look less like a state facility, and more like a pro sports stadium.

Peter said...

"Xteve is right. Something to remember is that the Storm got a break on the game day fee by the council just voting on their contract.
If you can classify the impact of an event by how much work the arena management has to do then you can give people a break that fit that criteria, and charge differently for it."

so how would you work it to still attract concerts? i think we would get more than enough money to pay off the facility by taxing the athletes who play in the facility only. if seattle has NBA and NHL teams, the players would have to pay the tax, they wouldn't have a choice. like you said, i think letting certain acts pay less by making the fee negociable makes the most sense.

Peter said...

"What I don't think you would see with the "no taxes" route is an athlete tax. And the performer fees are, more or less, like the day of event fee."

wouldn't we need to tax NBA and NHL players if we want to pay off the building though? i don't see enough money coming from just parking and leases from events. if we at least taxed athletes in the facility itself, we would have enough to renovate the arena when the time came too.

Peter said...

what do you think is the more likely path this will go down, the voters or the state? in my book, we need to slow this down and get it right. if we rush it to voters and it is overwhelmingly rejected, we may never recover. it's nice that the comments from the county have been positive so far. i think an athlete tax would be easier to get than the user fees from the state. what do you think? the perfect place for an arena imo is tukwila. it would be perfect for me to get to from tacoma, and people in seattle or the eastside could get there easy too. wouldn't the county have to take land for an arena wherever it is built?

Mr Baker said...

The county is unlikely to out is on the ballot without a reasonable chance of passing.

I think there has been enough waiting for perfect solutions, and a fear of failure.
It is time for all of the ideas to come out in the open to compete, or combine.

I am a little bit sick of the people dismiss any public effort, and say it should be a private arena only.

I do not have the money to buy an arena, my only path is supporting public efforts. If I knew of a private effort then I would also support that.

Too much delay will drive up the costs, making this current effort less likely to happen.
The county may pass on a vote, and send it to the legislature to gave them form a PFD and spell out that it must be cost neutral to the public.

Peter said...

someone posted this sc:

"From 710 ESPN Seattle…listen to the last five minutes. Perhaps there’s hope yet."

my computer won't play that file.what was the news?

bmac said...

discussed a new arena plan that is going on behind the scenes, they also mentioned how they have identified two teams and have talked with the NHL and NBA leaders. Brock sounded as if this was legit from a source very close to the situation and that new owners are local. Nothing going public as of now. Brock was shocked this was going on as he hasnt heard a word for along time and is a lot further ahead than just a planning phase. He seemed very serious and excited to get this news.

Mr Baker said...

I think that having a real chance to put an NBA and an NHL franchise in a new building has a lot of support.

Lots of old money loves hockey.

I think that getting the right site will have as much to do with this happening as anything.

Btw, new team sales, relocationsc etc are not usually announced during the playoffs and finals.
It takes attention away from the product.
If any of these rumors are true then you will not likely hear anything more until the middle of June.
I don't know anything, I'm just sayin.

Anonymous said...

Well Baker, it looks like all of the B-ball talk from SC reboot has moved to this blog. I actually enjoy your commentary and dissertation of local issues and Mayor McSlob but I'll get back into the fray regarding this area moving forward on an arena solution. The news from Brock Huard is very encouraging and hopeful. And considering all the bad news we've received, that's good enough for me. As more information comes out, my speculation, my opinion, is that said venue will most likely be outside the city limits of Seattle which is what it is. I'd like to see some vision and forward thinking coming from the leadership of my former hometown but I know better by now. Time will tell. SODO would be the best location.

Mr Baker said...

I think there is still a good chance that this thing ends up in Seattle.
The poll shows more people willing to attend in Seattle.

I think that is not the best poll, though.
More than 50% of the Sonics season ticketholders came from outside Seattle.

I think adding the NHL makes this thing more likely to happen.
I think the question is location, siting, at this point. If you can plant that thing in Seattle you draw more revenue in a smaller footprint. The problem is getting that footprint.

The convention center folks may lose their rights to the metro bus station.

I moved to doing this blog because I needed a broader brush to paint politicians with. :)

Mr Baker said...

The thing about Brock Huard is he just does not appear to be the kind of person that could manufacture what he said, and the way he said it.

My unrelated, and personal prediction a couple weeks ago was that we would see a bigger effort in 2 or 3 months.
Naturally the next day Judy Nicastro tips over the card table and did the right thing and expressed her thoughts.
I am not so sure that she had any direct connection to anything that could be going on at first, but within days it was clear that she had gotten a similar message that Brock Huard got.

Compare their comments, she started off just promoting the idea, and included the possiblity of a Key Arena remodel. About a day later she include the NHL and said (on Kiro I think) thatBallmer is still interested and people are showing interest.

It is easy to dismiss one of the two as an isolated voice, but I think I see two people saying similar things.

The difference with her was the public vote.

The market is too big to ignore.

Peter said...

Wouldn`t someone like huard get fired for just making up a story like that? I do agree that they are saying similiar things. From what people are saying, are there 2 seperate ownership groups? I personally think you were dead on when you commented that nicastro does PR, communications. Maybe someone is paying her to be a spokesperson. Is it possible that the people nicastro are working with are the groups huard were talking about?

Peter said...

BR commented on SC that he "didn`t know specifically what brock huard was talking about". Someone else posted on SC that that could mean he knows of something, just that he can`t talk about it yet. He did say in the comments on the the Nicastro post on SC that something could be coming up in the next few weeks about 2 weeks ago. Correct me if i`m wrong, but we still have to get something thru the state, right? I don`t think you`d see seattle ownership groups buying teams this summer without an arena, unless they either think it is a slam dunk case in the legislature or they plan on privatly funding it all if they`re either turned down by the state or voters.I don`t know, i wanna believe but i`m not getting my hopes up just yet. We`ve been disappointed too much in the past. I firmly believe that everything will work out in the end, and an arena isn`t way too far off.

Peter said...

Everyone keeps saying that they expect the new team to come either 2012 or 2013. I remember BR saying that quite a bit on SC. What do you think the timeline is? I agree, it is a little to early to put anything into the nicasto plan and huard`s announcement. We`ll have to see what unfolds. Info in things like this does come out slowly often. The beginning of this reminds me of the tacoma rainiers remodel of cheney stadium a little. In the sense of first there was only a little info and it all came out in the span of a few months. First it was that the tacoma city council was gonna consider the redo, and nothing was certain yet. Over a few months we learned more and the redo was eventually approved. It turns out the city of tacoma was involved the entire time, spanning 4 years. Is it possible dow has known about this since he got elected and he`s been working with the group/groups ever since, much like tacoma?

Mr Baker said...

Nicastro and huard were using the same set of facts, in a similar way. They both talked about the NHL in the same terms, as being part of the effort, not a maybe/some day kind of way. Until those two started talking the NHL references were long-shots, and the talk centered around Key Arena.
Now, both, are including the NHL.

Maybe, Brian is not involved.
Or, maybe they do not have mutual connections to the same effort.

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