By approving Measure J last Tuesday, Santa Clarans have chosen to subsidize the San Francisco 49ers with our electric utility's money.
The cumulative electric rate increases from January, 2006, through next January come to 33.9%. While they're considerable, those were in fact necessary to ensure the viability of our city's electric enterprise.
But why are we paying a total of nearly $20,000,000 to move a substation which does not need to be moved? We're being told by the 49ers to put Tasman just north of a residential area for no other reason than the faulty siting of their stadium. By cramming a 14-acre stadium on a 17-acre site, the 49ers are essentially blaming us for their problems and telling us that we have to pay to fix them.
Not because Tasman's falling apart. It isn't.
Not because Tasman needs immediate upgrading. It doesn't.
In fact, the saga of the Tasman substation move is not a pretty one:
- In the April 27th City Council meeting, members of the public were told that they could comment only on the motion to defer the Tasman agenda item - but not on the squandering of the $20 million itself.
- In May, we finally heard that the costs of moving Tasman would then be concealed from us by shifting it into the Capital Improvement Project Budget - but with Silicon Valley Power still picking up the tab.
- Last night, the Capital Improvement Project Budget for the coming fiscal year was approved, including the first $12,500,000 of this $20 million giveaway (Project #2401 in Fund 591).
I'm sorry, but our priorities are completely wrong on this: We learned in this same City Council meeting that Silicon Valley Power's Cost Reduction Fund, or CRF, has dipped to $84 million - far below its $120 million recommended minimum.
How on earth can we justify blowing $20,000,000 to subsidize an NFL football stadium when our electric company's most important reserve is missing its target by 30%?
The very fact that the 49ers are generating additional losses in our electric utility as well as in our General Fund should be ample proof: We certainly don't need an NFL stadium in Santa Clara all that badly.
Santa Clara Plays Fair urges Santa Clarans to continue to speak out on this issue. Please address your comments to the Stadium Boosters on our City Council any way you can:
- Tel: (408) 615-2250
- Fax: (408) 241-6771
Thanks for your support and regards,
Bill Bailey, Treasurer,
Santa Clara Plays Fair.org
Santa Clarans, please return all election materials - including yard signs and stakes - to 1009 Las Palmas Drive. I've learned from Recology that yard signs WILL NOT be accepted in the blue recycling barrels, so we're asking residents to please return them to Santa Clara Plays Fair. Drop them off anytime.