Reed pulls measure from November ballot
The press release in its entirety is quoted below.
Mayor Reed Pulls Proposal to Place Downtown Ballpark Measure on November Ballot
Decision comes after Major League Baseball offers to help cover the added cost for a possible special election and hints that a decision on territorial rights may come in time for a spring vote
San Jose, Calif. – Mayor Chuck Reed has announced that he is pulling his request that the city’s Rules Committee place a downtown ballpark initiative on the November 2, 2010 ballot, following a discussion with A’s owner Lew Wolff. The decision comes after Major League Baseball (MLB) President Bob DuPuy, speaking on behalf of MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, also agreed to help cover the taxpayer cost if a special election is required in the spring.
“I pursued a November election because I believe the citizens of San Jose deserve to have their voices heard. We have strong community support to build a privately-funded ballpark, which would be a catalyst for thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue to fund vital city services,” said Mayor Chuck Reed. “After discussing our options with Lew Wolff, other elected officials and members of Pro Baseball San Jose, we have decided to forgo a November ballot measure.”
Mayor Reed will still be asking the City Council to adopt a resolution of support for allowing the Athletics to move to San Jose that incorporates the Mayor’s proposed amendments to the city’s ballpark Negotiating Principles.
Lew Wolff praised the strong leadership of Mayor Reed. “I’m grateful that San Jose has shown a gritty determination to help us build a new ballpark for our franchise. We appreciate the strong leadership of both the Mayor and Commissioner Selig,” Wolff said. “We look forward to a final decision from the Commissioner, and will vigorously pursue an election next year if that decision is a positive one,” he added.
Since April 2009, city leaders have been working in partnership with the Athletics on a possible relocation to San Jose. In that time, the city has developed a set of negotiating principles for a new stadium, completed an economic analysis and environmental impact review for a downtown ballpark, and met with members of a special MLB Committee formed to study ballpark options for the Athletics. However, city leaders have been waiting for a response from MLB regarding territorial rights that currently prevent the Athletics from moving to San Jose.
“The initial push to hold a November vote sent a strong signal to league officials that San Jose is serious about attracting a Major League ballclub and that it’s time to move forward with the process,” said San Jose City Councilmember Sam Liccardo, who represents downtown. “The Commissioner’s offer to help pay for a possible election in the spring was the first indication that the league is inching closer to a decision on territorial rights.”
Mayor Reed and Councilmembers Rose Herrera, Sam Liccardo and Nancy Pyle had originally proposed placing the San Jose Downtown Ballpark and Jobs Measure on the November 2010 ballot to avoid the added expense of a special election. Placing a measure on this November’s ballot would have cost several hundred thousand dollars while holding a special election is estimated to cost more than one million dollars. Specific estimates are set by the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters when a measure is submitted for placement on the ballot. Voter approval is required to use city land or funds in conjunction with a downtown ballpark, and after this November, the next regularly-scheduled election in San Jose is not until June 2012.
The San Jose Downtown Ballpark and Jobs Measure required that the A’s would be responsible for 100% of the cost of building, operating and maintaining a new Major League Baseball ballpark. No new taxes could be raised to bring baseball to San Jose.
Ballpark Economic Impacts
A September 2009 Economic Impact Study commissioned by the City of San Jose states that the estimated $490 million private investment in a new downtown ballpark would bring positive economic benefits to the City:
- More than 2,000 annual jobs (full, part-time, seasonal) of which 970 would be new jobs in San Jose as a result of the project
- $2.9 billion total economic output for the local economy over a 30-year period
- 128 million in annual net economic impact as a result of direct spending on operations (that is partially re-spent in San Jose)
- $5 million in annual revenues for local governments, including approximately $3 million to the City of San Jose’s General Fund and Redevelopment Agency
Following a discussion with Athletics owner Lew Wolff, Mayor Reed informed MLB President Bob DuPuy of his decision this morning and will rescind his request that the Rules Committee place the ballpark ballot measure on the agenda for the August 3 City Council Meeting. The Rules Committee will still decide today whether to place the proposed ballpark Negotiating Principles amendments on the August 3 agenda.
The Rules Committee will still meet today to discuss four other proposed ballot measures:
1. Reforming binding arbitration for police officers and firefighters;
2. Instituting a tax on medical marijuana;
3. Raising the sales tax by ¼ percent; and
4. Changing minimum benefits and contribution formulas for employee pensions
Now I can have lunch.