San Jose prepares for the A’s

There is still the small matter of getting the Giants and Major League Baseball on-board with allowing the A’s to move into San Francisco’s territory, but in the meantime, San Jose leaders are laying the groundwork, both procedurally and rhetorically:

Tuesday, for the first time, the San Jose City Council will vote on a handful of principles meant to shape any future negotiations with the A’s. While those provisions hold the promise for some form of city contribution, they also make clear such an investment would require a citywide referendum and could not include San Jose’s strapped operating funds.

In fact, at the top of the city’s list is a requirement that any ballpark actually make the city money — “millions of dollars,” Reed said — instead of merely not costing it any . . .

. . . The council Tuesday also will take up its most comprehensive plans yet for ensuring that business owners and other residents remain part of the city’s evolving ballpark conversation.

“We want to make sure we have community support and that this is good for all of San Jose,” Councilman Ash Kalra said.

Lots of talk in there about the (a) legal need for a public referendum if any city money is to be spent; and (b) the desire for a referendum even if there isn’t.

It’s so early in the game that none of this may ever matter, but at least for now everyone is saying the right things. I guess what strikes me the most is that the political culture of the Bay Area basically demands public input be heard with respect to what stands to be a mostly private project, while public input is basically ignored almost anywhere else in the country, even where the public is putting up all of the money.

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  1. Grady said...

    It isn’t just the political culture of the Bay Area, it’s also the nature of politics in California.  And while I agree that public input is a positive thing, too much of it often makes progress on anything in California horribly slow, or non-existent.  For instance, whether it’s true or untrue, Lew Wolff points to this as one of the main causes of the derailing of the Fremont stadium.

    Too many hoops to jump through if you ask me.

  2. Bill said...

    Long-time SJ resident here….this will be a very tough sell.  Giving Wolff a massive handout in exchange for greatly worsening the existing traffic issues?

    No chance that a referendum passes; Wolff and the local pols will have to work it in through a back door.  Good luck with that.

  3. Hank said...

    Politics and traffic are the biggest reason I’ll never live in California.  Too many voices…  People joke about Chicago politics, and Mayor Daley does do whatever he wants, but the result is a beautiful city full of great neighborhoods and parks.

  4. Mark V. said...

    Any news on the possibility that Charlotte, NC will emerge as a potential landing spot for the A’s? Moving cross country is a bigger deal then right down the road to San Jose, but with the Panthers and Hurricanes, and in the 90s the Hornets, North Carolina has proven it is a great home for pro sports, and I think an MLB team in Charlotte would be a huge success.

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