Santa Clara votes to appoint new stadium authority

February 23, 2011 12:39:42 AM PST
The city of Santa Clara is launching a preemptive strike. Gov. Jerry Brown wants to bring all local redevelopment money back to the state level, but without that funding, the new 49er stadium could be in jeopardy. Late Tuesday night, the city council voted to move forward as planned in appointing a new stadium authority. That act was the first formal act as an entire group. They decided to protect the city's redevelopment money, including what's earmarked for the new stadium.

"We do believe the 49ers should be paying for their own stadium and tonight's vote is at least one way to assert that publicly," said Bill Bailey from Santa Clara Plays Fair.

Those for and against building a new stadium for the 49ers in Santa Clara, continue to voice their opinions. Now that Brown proposed dissolving redevelopment agencies, which in Santa Clara is supposed to help fund the stadium, so city leaders decided Tuesday night to send a clear message to Sacramento.

"What we want to do through these actions is confirm the very excellent programs that our redevelopment agency has been able to bring to the city of Santa Clara," said Santa Clara City Manager Jennifer Sparacino.

The city wants to show the governor the stadium deal is already in the works and redevelopment dollars shouldn't be taken away, but losing that $42 million could create an unexpected stumbling block.

"We're counting on those funds, we're expecting that investment to be there," said Lisa Lang from the 49ers.

The 49ers are footing the majority of the $937 million project, but the city's vice mayor refuses to say the deal is dead without the redevelopment dollars.

"Redevelopment agency money theoretically could go to zero and still funding would stay in place. It makes the funding more difficult, however because that is an important piece of the overall funding," said Santa Clara Vice Mayor Patrician Mahan.

Though there is no formal plan B, the city says private donations may have to fill the gap if it comes to that. Residents meantime, made their pleas to the council.

"It will be very beneficial to our whole area," said resident Tad Coatsworth.

"They have lied enough and it's time to stop it. I applaud Gov. Brown for what he's doing in stopping the misuse of R.D.A. funds," said resident Deborah Bress.

Those who opposed to stadium vow to keep fighting. They sent a letter to the governor saying they really support his decision to dissolve all of the redevelopment agencies in the state.

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