Recognizing that Sacramento faces more challenges than just keeping a basketball team does not demonstrate wanting Sacramento to fail. In fact, it is just the opposite ("Are the naysayers wanting Sacramento to fail?"; Viewpoints, May 21).
As someone who cares deeply about the community expressed not by mocking those who disagree on Twitter, but with my own money and time given to schools, charitable groups and political efforts my concern is that existing challenges will be swept aside in a purple haze of inflated benefits and congratulatory fist-bumping.
Our region has many assets. Among the most significant are two riverfronts, specialty agriculture, a thriving and growing theater-dining-entertainment scene, and a medical research infrastructure that could propel us to the front of the burgeoning medical economy.
Perhaps the paragons of positivity should redirect their energy from criticizing the "naysayers" whom they describe as irrelevant one moment and city-wreckers the next to meeting the challenges Sacramento faces today. Ignoring them in favor of rally chants isn't civic esprit de corps and certainly does not move the whole city forward.
Consider a partial list of those challenges:
The city ranks near the bottom of places to run, grow or start a business.
Sacramento's defining feature the riverfront remains neglected and divided from the rest of the city.
The city faces $2 billion in unfunded liabilities with no viable plan to resolve it.
The city has a $9 million budget deficit this year, projected to grow to $17 million, which has left a large inventory of unmet needs including public safety.
These challenges won't be solved unless city leaders show the same sense of urgency, effort and intensity that was expended to save the Kings.
Will the self-appointed "city boosters" bird-dog the City Council to ensure fulfillment of commitments to the Crocker, Community Center Theater and the new Sacramento Philharmonic and Ballet? Will the media provide wall-to-wall coverage of a plan to reunite Old Sacramento with the city and develop the depot/riverfront? Will city leaders rally to fast-track efforts to make Sacramento more business-friendly?
Or will suddenly "be patient" become the watchword for the city?
Mayor Kevin Johnson rightly deserves praise from NBA officials, Kings fans and arena developers. But if he wants to secure a legacy for the whole city, he now must shift his formidable attention to meet long-standing challenges. Tab Berg is president of TABcommunications. Clients include more than a dozen local elected officials and organizations.