Saturday, June 30, 2012

Re: Friday's council meeting

Lynn Thompson,
Both Mr. Licata and Mr. Burgess introduced themselves to me immediately after the meeting. We had a very brief discussion about I-91 and the presentation.
The impression I got from them and the impression you reported are not the same.
They still have some questions, and would like further clarification, true.
Mr. Burgess'; issue with I-91 was that it was poorly written legislation (he also mentioned this during the committee meeting). I reminded him that initiatives are only good for two years and "we do a particularly poor job of going back and revising ordinances into better laws".
If the council wanted the law to say something else then they could have re-written it years ago, or gotten rid of it (as councilmember McIver suggested on 1/27/2009, when the council exempted the Storm lease from I-91).

Ironically, I-91 set a rate of return below a fair rate. Chris Hansen's proposal returns a bond market rate (because bonds actually are being repaid).
The fact of the matter is, even when Mr. Burgess imagined the city investing $200 million in actual cash it didn't have the response and answer was that the proposal still satisfied I-91. That answer was discussed during the meeting.

When councilmember Clark said, oh great, we have another arena, the response to that was that we would own real property with a value so great that in 30 years we could crush the out of date arena, sell the property, and make a good profit on property the city paid zero cash for.

You reported a few of the open questions but not nessisarily the corrisponding closing answers.

As a side note:
What didn't help anybody, and certainty not your or the council's fault, was the presentation from the mayor's Finance folks. At no point would I present a proposal to my business partners at the big airplane company I work for with so little hard data. They didn't even bother including I-91 legislation in their materials, you know, the subject of the meeting. Sally Clark should not have to turn to council staff and ask for a different set of charts to explain the summary statements of summary statements the mayor's office called a presentation.
A presentation should stand on its own, without further explanation. It's not a surprise that the council needs more information after that presentation.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

Sent from my iPhone
Visit me here:
http://ManyWordsForRain.blogspot.com

On Jun 30, 2012, at 10:35 AM, "Lynn Thompson" <lthompson@ > wrote:

> I was there throughout but did follow up questioning afterward. Most of the council members did not agree wIth Hall Walker's analysis or at least had unanswered questions.
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Jun 30, 2012, at 9:59 AM, "Mr Baker" <communicate.with.mike@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Ms. Thompson,
>> Many of the quotes used in your story came from the council in the scenarios they were giving Finance during the meeting.
>> Some of those questions and scenarios were asked before they had gotten through all of the information.
>> All of those questions and scenarios were answered. I was there at the meeting. Based on how you reported this, I'm not sure that you were actually there, but skimmed through the SeattleChannel video.
>> Either way, it's incomplete reporting, making the impression readers have inaccurate.
>>
>> Please see the summary:
>> It complies with I-91.
>> It complies with the spirit of I-91.
>> http://clerk.seattle.gov/~public/meetingrecords/2012/gpnf20120629_1a.pdf
>>
>> Could the city make a better investment with $200 million dollars?
>> The $200 million dollars doesn't exist without the tax revenue, the city doesn't have $200 million in cash to invest in something else.
>> As it is, the $200 million dollars borrowed does return a market rate, a rate higher than a 30 Year Treasury Bond.
>> Maybe you should re-watch the video, look at the chart on page 10, and summary on page 13.
>>
>> Have a great day,
>> Mike Baker
>> Seattle, WA
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>> Visit me here:
>> http://ManyWordsForRain.blogspot.com

Friday's council meeting

Ms. Thompson [Seattle Times],
Many of the quotes used in your story came from the council in the scenarios they were giving Finance during the meeting.
Some of those questions and scenarios were asked before they had gotten through all of the information.
All of those questions and scenarios were answered. I was there at the meeting. Based on how you reported this, I'm not sure that you were actually there, but skimmed through the SeattleChannel video.
Either way, it's incomplete reporting, making the impression readers have inaccurate.

Please see the summary:
It complies with I-91.
It complies with the spirit of I-91.
http://clerk.seattle.gov/~public/meetingrecords/2012/gpnf20120629_1a.pdf

Could the city make a better investment with $200 million dollars?
The $200 million dollars doesn't exist without the tax revenue, the city doesn't have $200 million in cash to invest in something else.
As it is, the $200 million dollars borrowed does return a market rate, a rate higher than a 30 Year Treasury Bond.
Maybe you should re-watch the video, look at the chart on page 10, and summary on page 13.

Have a great day,
Mike Baker
Seattle, WA

Sent from my iPhone
Visit me here:
http://ManyWordsForRain.blogspot.com

Friday, June 29, 2012

City Council skeptical of arena as public investment | Local News | The Seattle Times

Councilman Burgess,

I was there today. You know the city is not investing any cash, and that I-91 standard is that of a T-Bill (2.7%).

It's as if we were at different meetings.

The I-91 requirement is "cash over cash". Not only doesn't I-91 apply since we are NOT investing cash, but even when you pretend we are investing cash the investment still complies with I-91.

Go borrow $200 million dollars and invest it in Treasury Bills. Let me know how that pencil's out.


"We invest $200 million; we get $200 million," said Burgess. "A real-estate investor would expect a return of 5 to 6 percent."

You are inventing criteria not required or applied to the Seattle Storm Lease. The double standard is unacceptable.



Be fair,
Mike Baker
Seattle, WA

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Summary of Arena Proposal in context of I-91

As soon as I can get a link or better copy I will post the chart (people like pictures).

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

Seattle City Council Meeting on the Arena, a review of I-91

SEATTLE CITY COUNCIL 
GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE AND FINANCE COMMITTEE* 
Friday, June 29, 2012 
9:30 a.m. 

SPECIAL MEETING
PLEASE NOTE DATE AND TIME

Members: 
Tim Burgess, Chair 
Nick Licata, Vice-Chair 
Sally J. Clark, Member 
Mike O'Brien, Alternate 

Staff: 
Tobias Pulliam, Legislative Assistant 
Nate Van Duzer, Legislative Assistant 

Location: 
Council Chamber, City Hall 
600 Fourth Avenue 
Seattle, WA 98104 

Committee Chair 

Telephone:206-684-8806 
Email 
Homepage 
Video Archive Council Meeting Listen Line: 206-684-8566 

*This meeting also constitutes a meeting of the Full Council, provided that the meeting shall be conducted as a committee meeting under the Council Rules and Procedures, and Council action shall be limited to committee business. 



A. Call to Order 

B. Public Comment 

(15 minutes, to 9:45 a.m.) 

C. Items of Business 

1. C.B. 117480

Related to a new multi-purpose sports and entertainment facility; authorizing the Mayor to execute a memorandum of understanding with King County and ArenaCo; and to execute an interlocal agreement with the County. 

BRIEFING AND DISCUSSION (45 minutes, to 10:30 a.m.)


Presenters: Nathan Torgelson and Mark Ellerbrook, Finance and Administrative Services; Hall Walker, City Budget Offi ce; Rebecca Herzfeld and Dan Eder, Council Central Staff


Supporting Document: 
a. Review of Initiative 91

Have a great day,
Mike Baker

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

@TweetMrBaker, 6/27/12 2:24 PM

Michael Baker (@TweetMrBaker)
6/27/12 2:24 PM
@sonicsarena -Storm lease I91 exempt,millionaire for profit pro bball owners not always subject to 4part Conlin test tinyurl.com/StormLease2009


Have a great day,
Mike Baker

Sent from my iPhone
Visit me here:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Storm Lease Fiscal note, Form revised February 6, 2008

Councilmembers,
I'm looking forward to the meeting this Friday.

I have a few questions about millionaire for-profit pro sports owners entering into public/private partnerships (profit sharing, etc) with the council, even exempting the Storm agreement from I-91.

It is interesting, and a little disturbing, the difference in approach, attitude, and standards applied in the Storm agreement effort verses the Sonics agreement that is pending your approval.

I am wondering if the Storm lease would have met the 4 tests Mr. Conlin has recently invented.

Had Mr. Conlin actually voted on the Storm lease (he was excused) would he have voted no?

Based on his criteria, I guess he would have voted "no". How could he possibly vote otherwise?

I know that the other members of the current council all voted for the Storm lease, and I don't see how they could have had they used Mr. Conlin's special test.

I am sure all of you would not want a double standard applied to city agreements with pro sport franchises. Right?

I suppose it might be too much to ask that you exempt the ArenaCo agreement from I-91 as you did with Force10. But I am asking you to not invent criteria that you did not, and would not, apply to the Storm owners, the millionaire for-profit pro sports franchise owners.

I'm a Democrat, so, I naturally detest hypocrisy. Please attempt to avoid it in this case.
Thanks.

Storm Lease Fiscal note, Form revised February 6, 2008
http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~public/fnote/116435.htm

See you Friday,
Mike Baker
Seattle, WA

Sent from my iPhone
Visit me here:
http://manywordsforrain.blogspot.com/

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Seattle City Council News Release: Seattle City Council and King County Council to host joint public hearing on proposed SODO arena on July 19


Seattle City Council and King County Council to host joint public hearing on proposed SODO arena on July 19

City Council to hold additional committee meeting on arena on June 29


Seattle – The Seattle City Council and King County Council announced today that they will co-host a joint public hearing on July 19 regarding the proposal for a new multi-purpose arena in SODO. Members of the public are invited to attend and give in-person testimony to City and County councilmembers. Both Councils accept written public comments at any time.

Who:
Seattle City Council and King County Council

What: 
Public hearing on proposed SODO arena legislation

When: 
Thursday, July 19, 5:30 p.m.
Sign-up begins at 5 p.m.

Where:
Bertha Knight Landes Room, Seattle City Hall
(600 Fourth Ave, First Floor)

The City Council's Government Performance and Finance Committee has also added a meeting on June 29 to its review of the proposal. The additional meeting and public hearing are highlighted in the City Council's review calendar below:

 

Wednesday, June 20, 9:30 a.m.

Presentation by Mayoral staff on KeyArena followed by discussion with Chris Hansen

Friday, June 29, 9:30 a.m.

Presentation by Mayoral staff on Initiative 91

Thursday, July 5, 2 p.m.

Committee deliberations

Friday, July 6, 9:30 a.m.

Committee deliberations

Wednesday, July 18, 9:30 a.m.

Committee deliberations

Thursday, July 19, 5:30 p.m.

Public hearing

Wednesday, August 1, 9:30 a.m.

Committee deliberations, possible vote

Monday, August 6, 2 p.m.

Full Council consideration and vote (tentative)

Monday, August 13, 2 p.m.

Full Council consideration and vote (tentative)

 

Seattle City Council meetings are cablecast and Webcast live on Seattle Channel 21 and on theCity Council's website. Copies of legislation, Council meeting calendar, and archives of news releases can be found on the City Council website. Follow the Council on Twitter and onFacebook.




The next two weeks are pretty big for the arena effort. The special joint hearing on the 19th is an opportunity for your voice to "officially" be recorded as testimony. This is as much a court of public opinion as it is a court held by councilmembers.

The I-91 presentation on the 29th of June should help focus the conversation and deliberation on the parameters the city set for public/private partnerships for sports entertainment. It is unfortunate that some folks have attempted to introduce elements into the discussion that are based on fictional numbers of unlikely futures as a means to veil opposition that represents an expression of being purchased by monied interests and not born of the facts submitted for deliberation.

The bar is set pretty high, compared to a variety of public/private partnerships in Seattle and King County, and will have an influence on non-core government proposals going into the future.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Seattle Times: Ballmer, Nordstroms part of Seattle arena investor group

It is good to have more than one potential investor's voice expressing their interest in moving forward. I was concerned that there could be some stagnation.
"These three gentlemen, like me, are committed to operating the arena and the NBA franchise in a way that represents and upholds the values of our community. They appreciate the role the Sonics played in this community for more than 40 years and see this project as an opportunity to bring that civic asset back to our community. They also understand the unique ability of professional basketball to positively affect urban youth," wrote Hansen. Hansen has been criticized in recent months for a lack of transparency for not naming his local partners. The letter says the investor group is not yet fully assembled but that these individuals agreed to come forward at this time. "I have been very impressed with Chris's thoughtful plan to build a viable arena that makes Seattle an obvious choice for a successful NBA city. There are many details to work through and lots of work yet to be done, but I believe Chris's plan represents a unique opportunity for the community," Peter Nordstrom said in a statement. Seattle Times: Ballmer, Nordstroms part of Seattle arena investor group
Have a great day, Mike Baker Sent from my iPhone

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