Milestones (OPINION)

By Miles H Barber Publisher

Our City Council has voted to enforce a weekday curfew that limits stadium events to 10 p.m.

Yet they have granted more than 20 exceptions to Great America to operate past 10 p.m. on weeknights and weekends.

This double standard is argued to be ‘different strokes for different folks’ because Great America doesn’t produce as much noise. So it is a case of apple and oranges.

We would argue it is a difference of apples and apples.

Our entertainment district encompases over 100 acres and was designated, originally and subsequently, to provide a home for Great America, our Convention Center, golf course and eventually Levi’s Stadium.

While 40 percent of our voters declined to endorse the stadium, 60 percent of our voters approved the stadium. In most political races this would be the equivalent to a landslide.

One of the concerns the 40 percent rightfully addressed was the repayment of the stadium debt. This was carefully worked out in detail based on a proforma that included outside events along with regularly scheduled football games.

This proforma and financial repayment plan was approved and adopted by the then-City Council which included our current Mayor.

Now, while it is usually within the prerogative of future City Councils to modify decisions made by prior Councils, this does not apply to contractual agreements.

Never thinking that a future Council would be so senseless as to overturn a sound financial proforma, outside events were not contractual but were presumed to be an integral part of the plan.

That was until these weeknight events gave rise to a handful of complaints offered up by dissidents living in our Entertainment Disctrict who complained of the nosie.

It is the suspicions of some that these protesters were actually recruited by anti-stadium Council Members.

Ignoring the tens of thousands of voters who approved the stadium and prior Councils who adopted the debt reduction plan for the Stadium, our current Council has foolishly closed off weeknight events extending past 10 p.m.; events that happen three or four times a year and run until 11 p.m.

While the Council’s decision is consistent with their inconsistent behavior, it is not what voters voted for nor what they envisioned when the Stadium was approved. These three or four events each year are taking money away from our general fund.

Consider that each weeknight stadium concert injects an average of $600,000 into our City treasury. Without these events we not only lose the revenue, but the Council has no plan to replace this revenue.

Since we are already heading into deficit territory you would think that curtailing revenue streams would be the last thought on the Council’s collective mind.
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