STOP plans petition to force arena vote

Published: Saturday, Jun. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2B
Last Modified: Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 - 1:54 pm

An official with STOP, Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork, said his group intends to begin circulating petitions next week to put the city's downtown arena financing plan up for public vote in a special election.

STOP must collect 33,000 valid signatures from supportive registered city voters, city officials said. That's 15 percent of the city's 220,000 registered voters.

"We have a major task ahead of us," spokesman Julian Camacho said. "We are going to do everything we can to qualify."

The group has 180 days to gather signatures, under election rules. To qualify for a special election this year, however, the group likely will have a month or less to gather the signatures, city officials estimated. The next opportunity for a special election after this year won't come until 2015, City Clerk Shirley Concolino said.

The ballot measure would ask voters to require the city to submit its arena financing plan, when finalized, for voter approval.

Under current city rules, the City Council has the authority to approve the arena deal. A tentative deal, negotiated several months ago with the now-owners of the Kings, calls for the city to put $258 million into building the estimated $448 million downtown arena. The city also will turn over some parking spots and billboard sites to the developers.

Call The Bee's Tony Bizjak, (916) 321-1059. Follow him on Twitter @tonybizjak.

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