Thursday, March 8, 2012

Looks Like Another S.J. Election Without Needed A's Measure

A curious piece of perspective regarding yesterday's press release fight between the A's and the Giants is that The San Jose City Council, if the A's want to move the ball along with respect to San Jose, need to eventually -- and by legal requirement -- put to a vote the use of any public funds for a sports facility (San Jose Municipal Code Section 4.95.010, 4.95.020). The deadline for the June 5th ballot is tomorrow (88 days prior to an election, which is referenced in this city memo detailing the pension ballot measure), meaning that the ballpark's measure's timeline now shifts to the Fall.

Remember, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed had tried to force the issue in June of 2010 only to be rebuffed by MLB who asked that they pull the measure and indicated that they would cover the costs of special election on it.

How such a measure would fare is anyone's guess. The debate needs to be framed about jobs, which construction of the stadium would provide and something that Wolff/Reed haven't done a great job of doing to date. The only polling done was in 2010 and over 60 percent of San Jose residents were in favor of the A's moving, provided the team used to city funds it build or operate the stadium and that taxes were not increased. However, 2010 is a ways away, so it's hard to know if the poll was taken today -- given the city's financial issues, public employee resentment towards Reed and boosted interest in the Giants given their World Series victory -- if the results would be the same.

However, there is no reason, other than risking the A's or MLB's ire, for the San Jose City Council not to put this measure out there. Given the option granted to the A's to buy land and the improvement work on roadways near the proposed stadium, inactivity on this matter is a head-scratcher. An affirmative result makes the city's case that much stronger, and doing so also checks off one more item on the to-do list.

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