Bruski: Labor agreement between Sacramento and Kings another sign downtown arena moving forward

AB PicIt may be fun for opponents to poke holes in the labor agreement reached between Mayor Kevin Johnson, the Kings and the Sacramento-Sierra Building and Construction Trades Council, which calls for most of the construction and labor jobs for the downtown arena to be filled by union workers, and it may be good for ratings to tell you that groups opposed to the agreement could join with STOP (Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork) to try and derail the arena project.

It’s just a waste of time if you believe comments made by legal analyst Michael McCann to me last April.

“An administrative action like a parking monetization plan is not generally subject to referendum, but could be subject to an administrative review by a local agency such as the city treasurer or zoning board.”

Whether or not STOP can get the signatures necessary to put a potential referendum on the ballot, it in all likelihood lacks the legal standing to force the Sacramento City Council to stop with its parking monetization plan.  That plan will ultimately fund the $258 million subsidy being given by the city to fund the new Entertainment and Sports Center.

One could almost hear faint undertones of that when Johnson told observers at today’s press conference that “fringe groups” would not “rain on this parade.”

Legal standing set aside, the anti-arena movement has turned into a controversial exercise in shadowy politics, as STOP has been funded almost entirely by former Councilwoman Sandy Sheedy and Chris Hansen, the billionaire that wanted to steal the Kings away from Sacramento in an even more suspect deal with a now-disgraced Maloof family.hansen moustache

Political consultants Tab Berg and Paul Olsen scrambled away from the campaign when Hansen’s involvement was revealed by the Fair Political Practices Commission.  This came after both operated in extreme secrecy, making statements to conceal their involvement with Hansen and the nature of their effort’s financing.

Thursday’s announcement attracted another controversial political consultant, Kevin Dayton, who had to be restrained by mayoral staff when he rushed the microphone at the end of the presser to deliver his group’s message.  That San Diego group, Coalition for Fair Employment in Construction, went on the offensive by saying they would donate to STOP.

Still, none of these out-of-town special interests powering the arena opposition have the answer to the million dollar question, which is how they’re going to change years of case law that permits the Sacramento City Council to go forward as planned.

Thursday’s labor agreement was just the most recent step in that process.

About Aaron Bruski

Aaron Bruski moved full-time to Sacramento in 2013 after spending much of the past decade traveling between both halves of the state for business and basketball. As the owner of site sponsor ABIS Employee Benefits and Insurance Services, Bruski has nearly 15 years experience in the health care field, but that's just the beginning. Having spent the last seven years as a basketball writer for NBC Sports, his work has appeared at,, USA Today, and Yahoo! Sports. Bruski's work covering the Kings relocation saga received critical acclaim as he was the first journalist to report that the Kings were likely to stay in Sacramento when the rest of the basketball media had punched their ticket to Seattle.


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Posted by on Sep 5 2013. Filed under Downtown Arena, SMT Featured Stories, Story Stream, Top Stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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