Ballot drive filed in Sacramento seeking a public vote on arena

Published: Thursday, Mar. 22, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Thursday, Mar. 22, 2012 - 8:40 am

A group of downtown activists on Wednesday took the first step toward launching a petition drive opposing the city's $391 million downtown arena plan.

The group, called Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork, or STOP, filed papers with the City Clerk's Office for what it calls the "No Public Funding of Arena Act." The group hopes to gather an estimated 30,000 signatures by late May to qualify its measure for the November ballot.

The measure's proposed wording would prohibit the city from contributing to an arena deal without a public vote, stating, "The City shall provide no financial support for the development of an Entertainment and Sports Complex (ESC) in the Downtown Railyards site without the approval of a majority of voters."

The City Attorney's Office has two weeks to vet the measure's wording before a petition drive.

A spokesman for the group, Rich Tolmach, said a majority "yes" vote by city voters in November would force the city to place its own measure on the ballot asking for voter approval to commit $255 million of city funds to the project.

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