Santa Clara council approves 49ers ballot language

A photo of what the new 49ers stadium could look like in Santa Clara if negotiations succeed. (Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers)

February 10, 2010 6:39:47 AM PST
The Santa Clara City Council Tuesday night approved the language for a ballot measure in the June 8 primary election for the proposed stadium for the San Francisco 49ers next to the Great America theme park.

The 4-3 decision to approve a draft of the ballot question proposed by Councilman Jamie Matthews was made nearly three hours into the meeting, following about an hour-long public comment period.

Matthews proposed adding "no new taxes for residents" to the 75-word ballot question summarizing the term sheet presented at the beginning of the meeting by City Manager Jennifer Sparacino.

Councilwoman Jamie McLeod dissented on both versions of the measure, stating that neither is reflective of the costs and impacts of the $937 million, 68,500-seat stadium.

"It appears that the process was hijacked," she said. "We're not being truthful to voters if this is what we're drafting."

Councilmen Joe Kornder and Will Kennedy were the other two members who did not support Matthews' proposed ballot draft question.

Many members of the community, however, commended Matthews, calling his version more straightforward and factual compared to the original.

Bob Ross of BR Consulting in San Jose said he was confused about parts of the original draft of the ballot question, but supported Matthews' version and expressed excitement about advancing the project.

"I think it's really important that the people get the detailed ordinance," Ross said.

The council unanimously approved the transfer and appropriation of $390,000 from the Redevelopment Agency to place the measure on the ballot.