Dear Santa Clarans,
We've now passed the 'century' mark: Our elected City Council has met in secret with the San Francisco 49ers over ONE HUNDRED TIMES since May 1, 2007. The very reason that you have only 96 hours to review the 421-page draft of the DDA before this Tuesday evening is a direct result of those Closed Sessions.
Background: In late April of 2007, the San Francisco 49ers demanded that our City Council sign a "Confidentiality Agreement." Without a peep, and with minimal public inputs: Our elected leaders took virtually all dealings involving the stadium subsidy, the stadium site and parcels into Closed Session, out of the view of Santa Clara residents. The Closed Sessions are indicated - with no details - in the "Action Summaries" here.
Also, Santa Clara Agencies have paid cash to consultants on everything from the Feasibility Study to the Term Sheet - and now for the Disposition and Development Agreement, or DDA. A summary of those payments and to whom they have been made is here.
Finally, Santa Clara Agencies will be borrowing what they do not have in order to finance not only the make-ready work and the stadium's construction costs, but very possibly the costs of operating the stadium for the 49ers, too. Those dollar amounts will be reported here periodically.
As of today:
101: The number of secret Closed Sessions that our City Council or Agencies have held with the San Francisco 49ers or with JMA Ventures, LLC, concerning the stadium site and parcels since May 1st, 2007.
$3,650,000: The total of Santa Clara Agency cash paid to 49ers consultants since April 3rd, 2007.
$6,000,000: The total that the Santa Clara Stadium Authority does not have for the stadium's "make-ready" work - which they must now borrow from the 49ers themselves and pay back with interest.
Santa Clara Plays Fair.org
The rules are rather straightforward. Our count of secret Council and Agency Closed Sessions above is in fact quite conservative and it's more than fair to the 49ers' Stadium Boosters seated on our City Council:
- Only meetings actually held between the city and the 49ers or with JMA Ventures, LLC, for the purpose of discussing the "five parcels" are counted here.
- Secret Council and Agency meetings called for the same time of day and held one right after the other are counted as only one Closed Session.
- The "Sweetheart Hotel" negotiations with Joe Montana, Eddie DeBartolo, Jr., and Karl Wittek are not counted.
- Scheduled Closed Sessions "Not Held" - and, of course, city employee CBU negotiating sessions - are not counted.
We're very serious about the secret Closed Sessions - and we're happy to clear the air about how we've been accurately tallying them.
If we chose to include "The Sweetheart Hotel" and to singulate the secret Council and secret Agency meetings, we would simply be stating truthfully how much worse things actually are. --- Bill Bailey -=0=-