Tuesday, July 31, 2012

For Sonics fans, What is fair, I think we know.

Council, oh council,
Will you find a way to get Sonics fans to inequitably pay for traffic improvements not required from Mariners, Seahawk, Sounder, and Storm fans?
I sure hope not.
I know Chris Hansen will look out for his bottom line, and the city government will look to get as much tax money as they "fairly" can.

In both cases, I'm paying for all of it. Nobody, not you, not Chris Hansen, is actually representing my interests.
At no point should Sonics fans, fans that paid for Safeco Field, and Century Link Field, have to pay one penny more in SoDo traffic mitigation than any other fan, citizen, consumer, in the Stadium District

Traffic for the Storm at Key Arena was a "benefit" worthy of compensation. Traffic in SoDo is a burden to be mitigated, as well as mitigating the burden of the Storm by having Sonics fans pay for that "fair" deal, too. The Storm was a revenue loser for Key Arena last year, everybody knows it, and it's not getting better.

This isn't a Christmas Tree to be decorated with money from my wallet.
Please be "fair" to everyone that is actually paying for this, that would be me.


Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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What is fair, I think we know.

The Seattle City Council is inventing a new definition of fairness, one not found in the city's lease with the Seattle Storm.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Bob Ferguson: Arena Decision

[this email was sent from Bob Ferguson, King County Councilman]

I just went on the air with KJR sports talk radio's "Mitch in the Morning" and announced that I intend to vote "yes" to approve the MOU for the proposed new sports arena.


The King County Council is likely to vote this afternoon on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the city of Seattle, King County, and the private investor group led by Chris

Hansen to develop a new arena. 


I will propose several amendments, including a requirement for an independent economic impact analysis prior to spending any public funds, and an amendment to ensure that the rights to the Seattle Supersonics name, memorabilia, and history always remain with the City of Seattle. These amendments are supported by Chris Hansen.


I appreciate all the feedback I have received on this important issue. Over 3000 people wrote to me with their views, nearly 300 people attended a town hall meeting I held with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien, and an overflow crowd came to testify at the joint Seattle-King County Councils meeting. 


Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. I greatly value all the input given to me and my colleagues.


Please feel free to contact me in the future at (206) 296-1001or bob.ferguson@kingcounty.gov. You can also find me on Facebook.






Bob Ferguson 
King County Councilmember 
Metropolitan King County Council, District 1 
516 3rd Avenue, Room 1200 
Seattle, WA 98104 
ph: (206) 296-1001 | fx: (206) 296-0198  
For more information: http://www.kingcounty.gov/ferguson  
Visit our website to view the latest District 1 eNews

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Big weekend for Seattle Arena efforts and hypocrisy

As reported by Tim Booth, AP Sports Reporter, the talks between the City of Seattle and arena developer Chris Hansen will be going on this weekend. The effort is to resolve some issues for Seattle early in the process, while not chasing Hansen off.

The reality of the situation is that a competing arena could get built outside of Seattle. Seattle would lose economically in a big way if that were to happen. There would be no interest and leverage by Seattle in resolving issues with Key Arena with a developer in Bellevue. Also, the substitution effect would have to local spending leave Seattle and go to Bellevue.

Support of WNBA Storm among Seattle arena issues Eds: Adds details, quotes. By TIM BOOTH AP Sports Writer SEATTLE (AP) — With the King County Council potentially taking a vote next Monday on a proposed new arena in Seattle, sticking points and possible concessions on traffic and the city's lease agreement with the Seattle Storm are building with the Seattle City Council. Seattle City Councilman Mike O'Brien told The Associated Press on Friday that city officials continue to negotiate with investor Chris Hansen over changes to a proposed deal between the city and the private ownership group. Among those issues are dealing with traffic concerns in the city's industrial SoDo neighborhood, and the possibility of having Hansen's ownership group take over the city's current annual subsidy of the Seattle Storm. The city's lease agreement with the Storm currently calls for a $300,000 payment each year from the city to the WNBA franchise as part of a revenue sharing agreement. Asked about talks on the Storm subsidy, O'Brien said: "I'm not exactly sure how that's going to fall out. That remains an issue." A spokesman for Hansen did not immediately return a message seeking comment. "Councilmembers have expressed to me that there are further concessions they are asking and if (Hansen) does not agree to those concessions we may lose this deal," said Brian Robinson, head of Arena Solution, a group supporting efforts to bring a new arena to the Seattle region. "My concern is the city will overreach in those concessions and they will lose this opportunity for the city of Seattle."
Support of WNBA Storm among Seattle arena issues

How did that go again? Oh yes, Sally Clark said in an email to me, regarding the city council exempting the Storm lease:

On Jul 1, 2012, at 1:57 PM, "Clark, Sally" wrote: The Storm history is interesting. Staff remind me that we did that as a "belt and suspenders" approach; that we didn't technically need to exempt the Storm, but chose to just in case of an odd-ball challenge to the lease. The approval of the Storm lease, negotiated to include public benefit and to recognize the condition of Key, still strikes me as different from investing in the development of a new arena. I don't believe we've put the Seattle University or Stars on Ice or other Key Arena shows through an I-91 filter.

Yes the Storm's history is interesting.

Councilmember Clark, I knew better back in 2009. Do you still think it is fair for the council to characterize the Storm lease as I-91 compliant and exempting it as simply "belt and suspenders" to keep some oddball lawsuit?

I'm the "oddball" from 2009 that challenged Tom Rasmussen to not apply a double standard by favoring the Storm over the Sonics. Here we are two years later and you are actively favoring the Storm, and their subsidy, over the Sonics by burdening them with that Storm subsidy.

The hypocrisy is nauseating.

Will any of you councilmembers be able to say that there isn't a double standard between your approach to WBOS and the approach taken with Chris Hansen?

For Key Arena, this is life and death, for Seattle, win or lose.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Democratic Party Chair Dwight Pelz: Why Liberals Should Support the Sonics | PubliCola

Mr. Pelz makes a valuable point about elitism. Basketball is an urban game that attracts a broad spectrum of people, from all over the city, and all over the world, from kids on the playground to the President of the United States.
It might not be the opera, symphony, or ballet, but it is a cooperative and athletic art for a great many people, including myself.
Please approve this arena proposal.

The article says, in part:

I love Seattle and I love liberals, but sometimes we are so politically correct that we ask the wrong questions. For instance: "What is more important, sports—or schools or libraries or health care for the poor or clean water or justice for all?" Of course sports is "less important," especially if you are asking the wrong question.

At that point we liberals get close to crossing the line from educated enlightenment to snobbery or elitism. We call for investment in the leisure- time priorities of the well-educated, but not always of working people.

As liberals, we pride ourselves in caring about people more than the right wing does. We should be  a city that respects the desires and dreams of the child who falls asleep clutching a book, as well as the child who falls asleep clutching a basketball.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Public Comment on Arena



First, thanks to the nearly 500 of you who turned out to last week's joint meeting of the County and City Councils to share your thoughts on the arena proposal with me and my  colleagues.


I wanted to update you on recent action by the County Council and make you aware of a second opportunity for public testimony coming up next week.


After nine meetings of the Budget Committee, including presentations from staff analysts and our independent expert review panel, thousands of emails and in person testimony from hundreds of community members, I moved yesterday to advance the arena proposal from my committee to the full King County Council and we voted 8-0 to do so. This means that the King County Council could vote as early as this coming Monday, July 30th.


Monday's meeting will be yet another chance for the public to share their comments directly with councilmembers. The details for that meeting are below:



King County Council Meeting

Monday, July 30th

Meeting begins 1:30pm(Estimated end time, 4:00pm)


Council Chambers, King County Courthouse

516 3rd Ave, 12th Floor

Seattle, WA 98104



Your input has been and continues to be a vital part of this process and I hope to see you Monday!





Joe McDermott

King County Councilmember, District 8


Subscribe to District 8's eNews

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Seattle Times: Port lacks specifics in arena traffic worries

There is no data to show the Port can attract more ships in the next 25 years. In the past 10 years, its container volume has risen and fallen with the economy. Last month, a consortium of shipping companies moved its business to Tacoma, taking 20 percent of the seaport's business.

The Seattle Times: Port lacks specifics in arena traffic worries

They are in the business of freight mobility and yet they fail to regularly study the mobility of their freight. They take more than $100 million dollars a year in tax money every year and yet, they have no understanding of a key resource for their business.

The arena is going to help traffic for freight, know why? The only meaningful study on traffic will be done as part of the SEPA process for the arena. Chris Hansen will mitigate identifiable impacts, not improve, not make everybody happy, but mitigate. How will he know what the impacts are?
(Pay attention here, Port)
There will be a data collection and a study based on actual data.
Traffic will get better, by having Chris Hansen demonstrate how to recognize a key resource, mobility, and make a plan to do something about it.
See, people just forget, Chris Hansen also needs traffic to flow. His business depends in it. He recognizes it, and is planning to do something to help his business, using data.
Follow that example, Port, you certainly are not leading by that example.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Seattle Times: Sodo arena proposal revives questions about KeyArena's future

Does Key Arena have a future?

It doesn't have much of a "now". It's in the city, covered, heated, and seats 17k people. That's it's unique appeal now.
The giant beams that are a 50 year old reminder of past greatness are the bones of a dinasaur, a pet dinasaur.

They should convert it into an amphatheater, strip everything out of it, build a stage on one side, pull half of the roof off the other side, having it to face into Seattle Center's "green space" and fountain. It would be cheap and useful.

Sodo arena proposal revives questions about KeyArena's future | Local News | The Seattle Times

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Seattle Times: Arena fans pack hearing in full-court press

More than 500 people, many of them supporters of a proposal to bring the Sonics back to Seattle and build a new sports arena in the Sodo neighborhood, overflowed two City Hall meeting rooms Thursday night with testimonials about what the return of professional basketball would mean to them and the city.

It is unusual for there to be a joint council meeting with the city and county councils. The report from KING5 news was that this was the first time in 40 years, making the event historic.

The secondary benefit of all this hoopla is that democracy encourages democracy. I have been to a couple council meetings, and seen many on television. It is unusual to have 20 people show up, minus the newspaper reporters, lobbyists, and serial government complainers, you end up with a handful of folks showing up.

When 500 people show up it is not just newsworthy, but the exposure to a few people to directly participating in our democracy. This was a hearing, they were testifying, and likely for the first time. For at least a few people, this will not be their last time participating.

By Popular Demand, Democracy.

What makes for a successful experience is understanding that you have a role in all of this, and not just as a voter. For the great unwashed sports fans, knowing your facts, delivering your message with civility, and expecting fairness, is as basic as democracy gets.

A good day for the city, no matter which way they decide.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

About Tonight's Public Hearing

To all of our supporters,

I just wanted to reach out to all of you ahead of tonight's joint public hearing.  This is a fantastic opportunity for all of you to express both how important this project is to you and why this is a great deal for the City and County.  While I first and foremost want to encourage all of you to attend as a great turnout will really help our cause, I also want to express to you that it is also important that we handle ourselves with class. 

While I think we all feel that this is a great chance to make our case, I would just ask each of you to appreciate the fact that democratic process here in Seattle is as much a part of our history and culture as the Sonics.  The Councils are simply doing their duty in vetting our deal and asking tough questions and as with most things in life, not every citizen is going to agree with our opinion. As such, we should be respectful of both the Council members and our opposition.  Nothing good can come from rudeness, heckling or booing.  I'm sure that's actually what many people expect from passionate sports fans.  Let's show them that we're better than that. 

We have the facts squarely on our side, so I would just encourage any of you who plan to attend to take a deep breath and relax.  If you plan to speak, do your homework, try to say something thoughtful, helpful, and factual and above all do so in a polite and courteous manner.  Never underestimate the power of being kind, genuine, and respectful. 

– Chris 

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Just a quick reminder that the King County Council and Seattle City Council will be holding a joint meeting this Thursday, July 19thto take public comment on the proposed SODO arena. 

This is an opportunity for you to share your thoughts on the arena proposal directly with Councilmembers. Given your interest in the issue, I would encourage you to attend, listen and share your comments. Both Councils will accept written public comment that time as well. 

Please find details for that meeting below:


Public hearing on proposed SODO arena legislation

Thursday, July 19th

5:30 p.m. Sign-up begins at 5:00 p.m.


Bertha Knight Landes Room, Seattle City Hall

600 Fourth Ave, First Floor


I hope to see you there!





Joe McDermott

King County Councilmember, District 8


Subscribe to District 8's eNews


Monday, July 16, 2012

Joint Council Meeting - July 19th

On Thursday, July 19th at 5:30 p.m. we have an unprecedented opportunity for our voices to be heard.
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Joint Council Hearing - Make your voice heard

On Thursday, July 19th at 5:30 pm, we have an unprecedented opportunity for our voices to be heard. Both the King County Council and Seattle City Council will meet at City Hall in a rare joint public meeting to discuss the Arena. This will be the only joint meeting of both Councils as they deliberate the Arena proposal. Please join us and urge the Councils to pass the Memorandum of Understanding and bring back our Sonics.

Public testimony is likely to be limited to one minute per person, so be prepared to be brief in your comments. You can sign up for testimony beginning at 5:00 pm, so make sure to get there early.

Please keep your comments respectful and allow other folks — even those with a different point of view — to speak freely. We want the Councils to see that we are enthusiastic and passionate about bringing the NBA and NHL to Seattle, but in order for our message to get across effectively we must be polite when opponents are speaking.

Finally, we encourage you to take public transportation to this event. Numerous bus routesserve the Seattle City Hall, and the Pioneer Square light rail stop is just one block away. Parking may be difficult.

RSVP for the Joint Council Hearing on our Facebook page.
Voice Your Support at the Town Hall Meeting July 19th 5PM

Joint Council Meeting

Thursday, July 19
5:30 pm – Public comment sign up starts at 5:00 pm
Seattle City Hall
Bertha Knight Landes Room
600 Fourth Avenue, First Floor
Seattle, WA
Don't forget to RSVP »
Take Action - Bring Back Our Sonics
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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chris Hansen's Sodo arena plan: Seattle Storm should be more than an afterthought | Opinion | The Seattle Times

Councilmember Godden,
The responsibility of what happens to and in Key Arena is the city's responsibility. 
As I am sure you are aware, the lease the Storm has with the city regarding Key Arena makes the city responsible for making the Storm whole due to remodeling/alteration to the facility.
As chair of Libraries, Utilities, and Seattle Center I am a little puzzled that you chose to have this policy discussion in the newspaper. 

It seams like a great policy discussion for your committee to have now, and could have to deal with in the future. 

Although, I guess, Mr. Hansen would probably have to have some indication that discussions about the Storm would have a purpose. He doesn't even have an approved MOU, and you seem to imply in your newspaper article that he is late to approach the Storm.

Some opponents of the arena might actually view meeting with the Storm as presumptive.

Your advocacy on behalf of professional basketball in Seattle is great to see. I am sure your oversite in your committee will ensure a resolution that both helps the Storm and protects the city's finances.

(ref Storm Lease, city compensation due to remodeling) 


A. Redevelopment Impacts 

The City will keep WBCOS reasonably informed of the City's efforts to redevelop KeyArena or have an NBA or NHL team as a tenant at KeyArena. The parties acknowledge that it is not feasible to redevelop KeyArena without impact on WBCOS, including some potential negative impacts; however, in the event of redevelopment, the City will use its best efforts to minimize negative financial and operational impacts of renovation and construction projects on WBCOS, subject to the City's other financial and policy considerations. The parties recognize that a redeveloped KeyArena and additional tenants can be beneficial to both parties, and share the goal of a successful long-term tenancy for WBCOS. 

B. Comparable Premises After Any Redevelopment 

Should any significant alteration or redevelopment diminish the City's ability to provide a portion of the Premises provided to WBCOS herein, upon completion of the alteration or redevelopment, the City shall provide the WBCOS a portion of the renovated premises with equivalent operational value.

Seattle's NBA fans hope to have a voice in arena debate | Jerry Brewer | The Seattle Times

I think that the idea of who the sports fan is is antiquated. The last time I went to a Mariners game, several years ago, it was with my family. We were not unusual. We were not an island of societal normalcy adrift in a sea of aged frat boys.

We were among similar people that like sports, and movies, and time out with their friends and family.

The idea that these people, we, don't vote is absurd.

The things that really changed are the ways that people that enjoy sports get and give information, they understand the power and influence of purchasing power. They are subject to some of the most intense and sofisticated marketing corporate America has to offer, and they plow through it. They know when an athlete, or manager, is not being "real".
That last part is a developed skill, transferable to other parts of our everyday lives, including our evaluation of the authenticity of politicians.
Every councilmember has said that they "want the Sonics back" or are a "sports fan". For the most part that is true, we can tell, by your approach to the "game". We can tell which players are faking interest in the fan/voter.
Worse, we tend to keep score, remember players that didn't give a full effort, know who the quitters are.

The game is politics.
You can say whatever you want, but we know that in the end it is the score, the votes, that count.
We remember these things, winning and losing, and how you played the game.

Seattle's NBA fans hope to have a voice in arena debate | Jerry Brewer | The Seattle Times

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Hansen on council’s arena analysis: ‘They jumbled the numbers’ | KING5.com Seattle

Chris Hansen doesn't appear to want to agree to the city Budget Office's bad math, and I'm with him.

The city council is refusing to deal with some facts:
I-91 is technically inapplicable.
Picking and choosing from a law you can't even apply, and then fucking up the math, isn't a good reason to ask for another 1%
The city is not investing any cash, pretending you are might help you feel better, but it is pretending.

I-91 is horribly written, you admitted it during your meeting on 6/29. Fix it, but please stop pretending you can apply it.


Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Give the Port of Seattle a billion dollars and your Hostages (Rails to Trails, and SODO arena) will be freed.

The Port wants about a billion tax dollars to fund the SR 509 project to get containers from the sea port to Kent.
If you think the Port just wants somebody else to pay for a $180 million dollar Lander Street Overpass, you're fooling yourself.
I-5/SR 509 Freight and Congestion Relief - Schedule and Funding
In order to complete the right of way purchases, design and roadway construction, an additional $975 to $995 million of funding is needed (in future expenditure dollars).
Anybody see the addition of an arena (and Rails to Trails) on this map, or the absence of a billion tax dollars, preventing this Port of Seattle 25 Year expansion pipe dream from happening?

(map from WSDOT project page)

The Port and King County revisited this billion dollar gift to the Port on June 18.
County Council, Port Commissioners discuss opportunities to strengthen regional collaboration
Here is a link to the King County Resolution 2012-0227 that commits the county to, in part, fight for state funding for the SR509 project as mentioned in the video from the 6/18/2012 meeting linked here.

The Port does not care about a warehouse in SODO becoming an arena, or a Rails to Trails project, they care about a billion dollar tax payer funded road to Kent. The Port holds somebody else's project hostage in order to force politicians to lobby for more tax money (roads and trails on the east side, the arena on the west side, all to go after a billion dollar road to Kent).
Wake up.

Seattle is a tourist destination for the cruise ships the Port makes money from, and a point where containers are unloaded, but that's the end of it for Seattle. The Port wants a tax payer funded billion dollar road to the Kent distribution center.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Editorials | The Seattle Times = shills for Port of Seattle?

Another fact-free opinion from the Port, delivered at a cost of the newspaper subscribers of the Seattle Times.

Port tells the Seattle Time what to say. They print it. They deliver it. You pay for it. They also get a state tax break, so, we all pay for it.
If only they used facts in the Port's "editorial".

Did Peter Steinbrueck write that for you, Frank Blethen?

The fact is that every mass transit system that serves King County also serve the Stadium District.
The arena will provide $200 to $300 thousand dollars in new taxes to Metro Transit, accourding the King County's Dwight Dively.

Any other location would require a parking lot or garage, mass transit infrastructure, and mass transit service that has already been funded to serve the Stadium District.

The Port Speaks! Sodo arena: wrong location, bad plan, no public funds
Maybe to Seattle Times Editorial Board should get off their asses and go talk to Jon Talton. "If we pass this up, we're even stupider than we were on Seattle Commons and on the 1969 rail system that we could have had but instead went to Atlanta and was wasted. Let us shoot ourselves in the foot, reload, and shoot again. You will not get a better deal than this.." — Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton, June 27

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Friday, July 6, 2012

"If it meets the terms of I-91, as far as I'm concerned, the public has already had its say-so," Van Dyk said. (in 2008)

Somehow a proposal in 2008 that was a 50/50 public/private partnership was I-91 compliant, but the current proposal that requires much less public involvement and real property added to the city's real estate holding isn't I-91 compliant in Chris Van Dyk's opinion.
Van Dyk, the anti-stadium activist, said he thinks the latest proposal could be a good deal for taxpayers. Van Dyk said he's been briefed on the plan and thinks it would meet the requirements of Initiative 91, approved by Seattle voters two years ago. The measure requires any arena subsidies for pro sports teams to turn a profit for the public. Van Dyk suggested the arena plan may not even require a public vote. "If it meets the terms of I-91, as far as I'm concerned, the public has already had its say-so," Van Dyk said. Microsoft CEO may chip in millions to keep Sonics (2008)
A little consistancy, that's all I ask.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Is Chris Van Dyk, or any citizen of Seattle, taking the city to court?

I watched today's council meeting with great interest to see if council staff would confirm for the second time within a week that Ordinance 122357 (I-91) was impossible to apply to the current arena proposal.

Last Friday the city Budget Office said it was impossible. Today council staff repeated this point, even concluding their presentation with it.

What was disturbing were the public comments by Chris Van Dyk. He stated that he believes that Ordinance 122357 (I-91) does apply. He believes that the arena proposal, in its current form, does not meet the requirements of Ordinance 122357 (I-91).
Mr. Van Dyk went on to claim that the law did apply and stated that Section 5 of Ordinance 122357 (I-91) allows "any citizen" to allege that if an agreement does not meet his the requirements in the law, then the city could be taken to court.

Apparently, it doesn't matter if you think an agreement complies with the "spirit" of the law. It matters if any citizen does, according to Section 5 of Ordinance 122357 (I-91).

So, we have people out there like Mr. Van Dyk that have an opinion that needs to be satisfied even though the council has been informed twice that it is impossible to apply Ordinance 122357 (I-91) because of Section 2's requirement for "net cash on cash" return.

We have other public speakers from the same meeting state emphatically that they are against the arena, "no public money" for arenas, as potential litigants.

We have Port of Seattle Consultant, Peter Steinbrueck, have his opinion published in the Seattle Times, "Why the big rush on Chris Hansen's arena proposal?" (7/2/2012).
His apparent job is to stop or slow down the arena proposal.

At this point, I do not see how some "odd ball" doesn't take the city to court, even to just to "slow it down".

If you claim that Ordinance 122357 (I-91) doesn't apply then anybody could take you to court and claim that it does, and you failed to apply the law.

If you reach an agreement with Mr. Hansen without exempting the proposal from Ordinance 122357 (I-91) you run the risk expressed by Chris Van Dyk, ending up in court, and the cost of going to court with any citizen.

Please, stop pretending Ordinance 122357 (I-91) applies. Eliminate the risk of going to court by exempting any agreement you reach with Mr. Hansen.

Lastly, amend Ordinance 122357 (I-91) or repeal it. It is poorly written, and nothing but trouble.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, WA

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Today's meeting.

Peter Steinbrueck's opinion.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Ordinance Number: 122357 (I-91) is useless, please repeal it

Seattle City Council,
It is with great sadness that I inform you that the lobbyist that doesn't live in Seattle can no longer make sports facilities decisions for you.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Town Hall Meeting on Proposed Arena -- July 10 at 7 pm

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King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson - Image banner

Dear Neighbor:

You are invited to an upcoming town hall meeting about the proposal to build an NBA & NHL arena in the SODO neighborhood of Seattle.

Tuesday, July 10, 7-8 p.m. at North Seattle Community College

The proposed new arena is an important issue. Under the proposed memorandum of understanding negotiated between County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, and private investor Christopher Hansen, up to $200 million for the arena would be financed through public bonds that would be paid back from rents and tax revenues generated by the facility.

I am hosting this meeting with Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien to provide an opportunity for community members to ask questions, express their thoughts, and have their voices heard.

More details about the town hall meeting are availablehere and below. I hope you can join us!

Bob Ferguson's Signature
Bob Ferguson
King County Councilmember, District 1

Ferguson and O'Brien to hold joint town hall meeting on arena proposal

Opportunity for public to meet with County and City representatives and ask questions about proposed arena

King County Councilmember Bob Ferguson and Seattle City Councilmember Mike O'Brien will hold a joint town hall meeting on the arena proposal: 

Tuesday, July 10
7:00 – 8:00 p.m.
North Seattle Community College 
Cafeteria, College Center Building
9600 College Way North
Seattle, WA

"The proposed arena is an important issue currently before the county and city councils. This meeting will give community members the opportunity to ask questions, express their thoughts, and know their voices are being heard," said Ferguson. "As an elected official, I believe it is important to meet with and hear directly from the public and the people I represent."

"As both City and County Councils are digging into the details of the arena proposal and beginning to understand the potential benefits and risks to the region, it is critical we are also hearing from the public," said O'Brien. "We are receiving thousands of emails on the topic, but there is nothing like getting out in the neighborhood and engaging directly with the people we represent."

The King County Council and Seattle City Council are currently reviewing a proposal for development of an approximately $500 million multi-purpose arena. Under the proposed memorandum of understanding negotiated between County Executive Dow Constantine, Seattle Mayor McGinn, and private investor Christopher Hansen, up to $200 million for the arena would be financed through public bonds that would be paid back from rents and tax revenues generated by the facility.

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Port pitches fit, county not impressed, "I don't think one issue should be held hostage to another issue."

As a general rule, legislatures detest two things: being rushed, being bullied. Chris Hansen avoided the first, the Port of Seattle embraced the second. It's not going to end the way they think it will. Whatever influence and impact their arguments have had on simpathetic ears, and reasonable minds, was just thrown away.
The Port of Seattle Commission voted 3-2 to delay the last piece of the deal: transferring 13 miles of an old BNSF Railway corridor to King County. Commissioners cited "issues of trust" with the county as it moves toward a new arena near the Port's crucial industrial area. "I'm just concerned about this arena proposal that the Port's interests are not being properly taken into account, and it's going way too fast," Port Commissioner John Creighton said at last Tuesday's Port Commission meeting. "Before we can cooperate with the county on a number of issues we really need to understand, how are we going to deal with it?" The vote raises the temperature on a debate between the Port and the Seattle and King County councils, which are to vote this summer on putting public money toward the arena.