Friday, June 29, 2012

Seattle Storm Lease, 1/27/2009: Parks and Seattle Center Committee video

Councilmembers,
I am thankful for this opportunity attend the meeting today. 
I live in north Seattle. I have taken time off today from working at a very large factory in Everett, where we have many well oiled machines. Those are actual machines, and not a convenient and insensitive political metaphors.
Interestingly, a well oiled machine and an insensitive political dismissive sometimes enjoy similar longevity.

For a few years I have had a little extra time to consider what a solution to a successor facility to Key Arena would be. Long before Chris Hansen came along I had hoped that the new arena would be in Seattle, but anywhere in King County will do. I had hoped that the public would get a part of the facility since it would be replacing Key Arena, that it would be possible to have hockey, too, since that was mistakenly missed when Key Arena was remodeled. I had hoped that the taxes generated at the facility would be a way for arena users to participate in directly funding the facility so other more important things would not be impacted.
My close following of the stadium taxes, a various bills in Olympia have given me an idea of how much revenue those kinds of facilities generate.
I know a new publicly owned and privately operated arena would  require a heavy private contribution. I get a new arena, they get to rent it, we share the cost, that's fair.

That last part is pretty important to me.

Seattleites like to debate everything, and sometimes we actually produce useful ideas for future use, and for other communities to use as a useful example.
I think I-91 is one of those useful ideas.
I'm sure it is difficult for some of the other sports fans to wrap their heads around the thought that there really are more important things than entertainment. Fortunately, we have a proposal that is intentionally sensitive to that ideal.

That said, I am not seeing the same approach taken with this proposal that I saw with the other professional, for profit, basketball franchise the city already has a financial relationship with.
I am not seeing a similar desire, and attitude, you brought to the Seattle Storm proposal.
It's a curious thing.

Consider why you are applying a different approach, and with one of you, a different 4 part test that was not applied in that precedent setting agreement with the Storm, in regard to the application of I-91.

Nobody could possibly look at the agreement with the Storm and apply Mr. Conlin's special test and think it would pass, nobody.

I ask that you resist the double standard.
I ask that you appreciate that the Storm, and now Chris Hansen, have made the good effort, and that they both should be considered in a similar light, with a similar approach by the council.

The test then, as expressed by Tom Rassmussen's "feeling" was that the Storm agreement was in the spirit of I-91.
It is my belief that Chris Hansen's proposal lives up to the standard the Storm already has set.

Here is a link to how you approached and discussed the Storm agreement.
Seattle Storm Lease, 1/27/2009: Parks and Seattle Center Committee video
http://www.seattlechannel.org/videos/video.asp?ID=2050902

Storm Lease, Ordinance Number: 122907
http://tinyurl.com/StormLease2009

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, WA

Sent from my iPhone

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