Council Agrees To Seek Potential Vendors To Lease Parking Spaces

SACRAMENTO – In what proved to be one of several close votes this past Tuesday, the Sacramento City Council decided to move forward with negotiations with potential vendors interested in leasing Sacramento public parking spaces to partially fund a new entertainment and sports complex.

Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy had asked for a measure to be placed on the June ballot asking voters to decide on whether City officials should use funds from leased parking spaces to help fund a downtown arena.

In a 5-4 decision, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, City Council members Rob Fong, Steve Cohn, Angelique Ashby and Jay Schenirer voted in the majority to not have the measure placed on the ballot. Council members Bonnie Pannell, Darrell Fong, Kevin McCarty and Sheedy voted for the effort.

Sacramento has until March 1 to submit a funding model to the NBA for a new facility for the Sacramento Kings. Sheedy requested the measure to be on the ballot, though most of the City Council members knew the action would put the Kings’ situation in jeopardy.

“Let’s be clear,” Cohn told the council. “Putting this one on the ballot would kill the arena deal in its tracks.”

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By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer