January 30, 2012 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT

COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH OFFICER:

Deborah Bress, 1-877-703-4300, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COMMITTEE CHAIR:

Michele Ryan, 1-408-673-1620, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


SANTA CLARA CITY COUNCIL USING “SLAPP” TACTICS TO
CONCEAL ATTACK ON VOTERS' RIGHTS
Santa Clara, CA. January 30, 2012 Santa Clara's City Council, in
its Stadium Authority guise, has filed suit against Santa Clara Plays
Fair, a grassroots group opposed to subsidizing a football stadium, 
with a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) after
the group collected more than 5,000 signatures from Santa Clara
voters on each of two petitions for referendum. This attack is
against the voters in the City of Santa Clara.


California law requires the Council to repeal their December 13,
2011, resolutions or place them on the ballot. On January 24th,
the Council illegally refused to certify the results of the petitions.

“Measure J was not a blank check. It anticipated that voters would
want to weigh in on the final deal,” said Dr. Michele Ryan, Chair
of Santa Clara Plays Fair.


The dispute is over Council's passage of both a Disposition and
Development Agreement and a financing scheme, which exceeded
the authority given to the City in stadium Measure J.


“The Council’s reckless disregard for the voters is outrageous,”
said Karen Hardy, Santa Clara Plays Fair Board Member. “It
violates their sworn duty to represent the people of Santa Clara.”


Santa Clara Plays Fair is a volunteer group of concerned citizens
opposed to taxpayer money for a private corporation. For more
information and to donate, please visit our
website at
www.SantaClaraPlaysFair.org
, or call 1-877-703-4300.



January 23, 2012 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT

COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH OFFICER:

Deborah Bress, 1-877-703-4300, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COMMITTEE CHAIR:

Michele Ryan, 1-408-673-1620, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SANTA CLARA PLAYS FAIR REFERENDUM PETITIONS SUCCESSFULLY
PASS REGISTRAR OF VOTERS SAMPLE COUNT

On January 23, 2012, the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters
notified the Santa Clara City Clerk that it had validated the signatures
for both of the petitions submitted by Santa Clara Plays Fair on
January 18, 2012. Based on the sample count, the signature count
was estimated at 5,082  valid signatures on the Disposition and
Development Agreement and 5,142 valid signatures on the
Joinder, the financial agreement that calls for the City’s Stadium
Authority to borrow $850 Million from Goldman Sachs, Bank of
America, and US Bank to construct the stadium.
On December 13, 2011, the Santa Clara City Council voted to
approve a Disposition and Development Agreement with the San
Francisco 49ers to build a football stadium in what is currently the
overflow parking lot of Great America. The terms of the agreement
were not disclosed during the campaign for Measure J, and city
residents have expressed outrage that the City Council approved
such a massive public debt.
Santa Clara resident and business owner Ketra Oberlander said,
“Why are we borrowing $850 Million from billionaire Wall Street
bankers to give to a billionaire team owner? If the stadium is just a
giant debt hole, why does Santa Clara have to be involved at all?"
Santa Clara Plays Fair Chair Michele Ryan said, “Thanks to the
efforts of hundreds of volunteers, we collected more than 110%
of the valid signatures we needed on both petitions in less than
30 days. The voters of Santa Clara have sent a clear message to
the City Council—they want to vote on this development agreement.
We trust that the City Council will hear this message loud and clear
and take the steps necessary to uphold the voters’ right to vote
on this agreement.”

Santa Clara Plays Fair is a volunteer group of concerned citizens
opposed to taxpayer money for a private corporation. For more
information on the proposal and on how to volunteer and donate to the
campaign, visit www.SantaClaraPlaysFair.org, or call 1-877-703-4300.

January 18, 2012 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


CONTACT

COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH OFFICER:

Deborah Bress, 1-877-703-4300, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COMMITTEE CHAIR:

Michele Ryan, 1-408-673-1620, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


SANTA CLARA PLAYS FAIR SUBMITS REFERENDUM PETITIONS TO CITY CLERK JANUARY 18, 2012, 3:00PM, SANTA CLARA CITY HALL, 1500 WARBURTON AVENUE, SANTA CLARA, CA


On January 18, 2012, at 3:00pm, Santa Clara Plays Fair will bring in nearly 11,000 signatures from Santa Clara voters asking the City Council to either repeal the development agreement and the financing plan for the planned 49ers stadium or submit them to the voters.

On December 13, 2011, the Santa Clara City Council voted to approve a Development Agreement with the San Francisco 49ers to build a football stadium in what is currently the overflow parking lot of Great America. The agreement calls for the City’s Stadium Authority to borrow $850,000,000 from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and US Bank to construct the stadium – terms that were not disclosed during the campaign for Measure J. The City Clerk attested to the agreement on December 20, 2011.

Immediately following the City Clerk’s attestation, Santa Clara Plays Fair, a grassroots volunteer group of concerned citizens, began preparations for referendum petitions on both the Development Agreement and the Financial Agreement. Both Santa Clara’s City Charter and the State of California’s Government Code specifically state that Development Agreements are legislative actions subject to referendum.

Santa Clara Plays Fair Chair Michele Ryan said “The bar for referenda is intentionally set high. We had 30 days to collect signatures from 10% of the voters for each petition. The voters of Santa Clara have overwhelmingly said that they want to vote on the final development agreement the City has made with the San Francisco 49ers.”

Ryan added, “We trust that once the signatures are verified, the City Council will carry out the wishes of the people of Santa Clara and either repeal the agreement or put it to a vote of the people.”

Santa Clara Plays Fair is a volunteer group of concerned citizens opposed to taxpayer money for a private corporation. For more information on the proposal and on how to volunteer and donate to the campaign is available at www.SantaClaraPlaysFair.org, or call 1-877-703-4300.

City Code Governing Referendums for Development Agreements

By state law as well as through our city codes, we are allowed to collect signatures for any city council decision

we wish to vote on.

The DDA is a Disposition and Development Agreement.  According to the Santa Clara City Code 17.10.160:

"A development agreement is a legislative act and it shall be enacted or amended by

ordinance only after a public hearing before the City Council. The ordinance shall be

subject to referendum and refer to and incorporate by reference the text of the

development agreement."

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SIGNATURE GATHERERS

1) All signature gatherers must be registered voters in the state of CA. All signature gatherers must fill out

the information on page 8 of both petitions.  Put the date when you started collecting signatures for that petition,

and the date when the petition signature slots are full.

 

2) There are 2 resolutions for which we are collecting signatures.  We need both petitions signed

by each voter.  Each petition has room for 30 signatures. Attached to each petition is the necessary

paperwork required by law.

Please have registered Santa Clara voters sign both petitions:

  • The DDA is the contract (the thicker document, it's > 400 pages printed 3/page)
  • The Joinder is the financing agreement (the thinner document, it's >80 pages)

3) Only registered voters who reside in the City of Santa Clara may sign the petitions.

(People who live elsewhere in Santa Clara County should not sign).

4) If someone is eligible to register to vote (18 yrs or older, citizen of the U.S.) they may fill out a voter

registration form and then sign our petitions (if they live in SC).

5) SCPF members who are in charge of this petition drive will collect the signed petitions from you

and the signed voter registration forms. We will be collecting continuously to count the signatures.

6) By law, no one may harass, intimidate, or block people from signing petitions nor may they

harass, intimidate, or threaten people who are gathering signatures.  See the attached pages

with pertinent laws.

7) Why should people sign our petitions?

  • They are against the stadium.
  • It's too much debt!  Measure J said the 49ers/NFL were paying 88% (Mayor Mahan said 92%); the DDA shows that the 49ers are paying ZERO, the NFL is only loaning $150 million, and the remainder (almost $1 Billion) is from Santa Clara, our hotels, and our Stadium Authority.
  • They feel betrayed/hoodwinked.  They voted for Measure J, but what's in the DDA ($850 million in loans from our city's agency the Stadium Authority) isn't what they voted for.
  • The schools already GOT the money they wanted from the redevelopment agency.  The DDA does nothing for the schools.  Measure J required an extension of the RDA in time to give $40 million to the stadium - the RDA extension triggered a kickback of RDA property tax dollars to the schools.  People who voted Yes on J just to give RDA money to the schools can sign the petitions without having any effect on money for the schools.
  • The DDA does nothing to solve the traffic/parking/noise problems on the northside of SC.  People don't want their neighborhoods blocked off by the police, and don't want to have to show I.D.  Our kids can't use the Youth Soccer Park on game days because of the stadium.

ELECTIONS CODES GOVERNING REFERENDUMS

 

You are allowed by law to collect signatures based on the Pruneridge decision.

 

1) Anyone who threatens a signature gatherer, or steals a petition, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Call 911 if this happens.   ELECTIONS CODE SECTION 18630-18631

 

2) Anyone who prevents or willfully hinders electors from assembling for consideration of public

questions (signing a petition) is guilty of a misdemeanor.  If someone prevents people from signing

the petition, call 911.  ELECTIONS CODE SECTION 18640

 

3) Please explain that only registered voters who reside in the City of Santa Clara can sign the petition. 

People who live in the County of Santa Clara (but not the City of Santa Clara) are not eligible to sign. 

People who are 18 years of age and citizens of the US who reside in the City of Santa Clara but are not

registered to vote may fill out a voter registration card and may sign the petition.

 

4) Give the facts about the DDA and the financing ($850 Million loans to our agency).  State whether

you are a volunteer or paid signature gatherer if asked.   People are allowed to read the petition materials.  

Make sure the petition materials are not covered up.  Nothing of value can be offered in exchange

for signing the petitions (what they are getting by signing is the chance to have the DDA and Joinder

on the ballot.)  ELECTIONS CODE SECTION 18600-18604

 

5) False or forged signatures are a misdemeanor.    Someone who knowingly signs a petition more

than once or signs knowing that he/she is not eligible to sign is guilty of a misdemeanor.   Anyone

who signs a fictitious name or who causes another person to sign a fictitious name is guilty of a felony. 

ELECTIONS CODE SECTION 18610-18614

 

 

 

What were the Costs to Santa Clara and its Agencies Listed on the 49ers Stadium Ballot Measure J?

 

Here are the links to the June 8, 2010 ballot question and ballot measure known as 49ers 'Measure J.

 

Here's the 49ers Measure J ballot question:

http://santaclaraca.gov/ftp/csc/pdf/49ers-20100209-ballot-questions.pdf

Here's the 49ers Measure J ballot initiative:

http://santaclaraca.gov/ftp/CSC/PDF/49ers-20100119-Voter-Initiative.pdf

 

Here are the stadium costs listed in the ballot question:

There are no costs listed, but it does say that Redevelopment Agency funds will be capped.

 

Here are the stadium costs listed in the 49ers Measure J ballot initiative:

1) Redevelopment agency funds of $40 million (Section 17.20.020 h)

2) Hotel tax to raise $35 million (Section 17.20.020 i)

3) That's it!  The existence of the Stadium Authority is mentioned (Section 17.20.020 a), but there's no mention of any dollar amount for Santa Clara's Stadium Authority or loans for which the Stadium Authority would be responsible.

 

Here are the stadium costs listed in the Term Sheet text which was appended 'for informational purposes only' to the 49ers Measure J ballot measure:

1) Redevelopment agency funds of $40 million (Section 7.4)

2) Hotel tax to raise $35 million (Section 7.5)

3) That's it! No mention of loans to be taken out by the Stadium Authority or any dollar amount for which the Stadium Authority would be responsible.

4) Not appended with the Term Sheet text was the Term Sheet table of costs (Exhibit 14), which did list $330 million to be raised by the Stadium Authority.  The table of costs was kept off of the ballot.

 

 

Here are the stadium costs listed in the Santa Clara City Attorneys 'impartial' analysis:

1) Redevelopment agency funds of $40 million

2) Hotel tax to raise $35 million

3) That's it!  No mention of loans to be taken out by the Stadium Authority or any dollar amount for which the Stadium Authority would be responsible.

 

Because the 49ers Measure J ballot measure did not disclose the costs listed in Term Sheet Exhibit 14 (table of costs),  a Santa Clara resident took the city to court to try to force the ballot measure to contain the Stadium Authority debt listed in the Term Sheet Exhibit 14 ($330 million).

April 4, 2010  Santa Clara County Superior Court Case No. 1-10-CV-166465 and 1-10-CV-167697

 

Santa Clara's interim city attorney argued before the court that state law does not require city-wide ballot measures to disclose costs.  The court transcript shows that she said:

Pg. 15 "There is no requirement in the law that in writing the impartial analysis the city attorney include a physical* analysis."  "The legislature clearly knows how to require that kind of analysis, if they want.  It did not require city attorney to include a fiscal analysis in the impartial statement impartial analysis. That's one reason we shouldn't include."

*(note, the court reporter mistyped 'fiscal' as 'physical')

 

Attorneys paid by the 49ers Measure J campaign also argued in a court brief that there is no requirement for the Stadium Authority to provide any amount of money for stadium construction, and that the numbers appear 'to have been plucked out of thing air' when in fact those numbers come from Term Sheet Exhibit 14:

 

Pg 12 "There is nothing in the Term Sheet that requires the Stadium Authority to provide $330 million (or any other amount) for stadium construction."

"Petitioner refers to a $114 million "direct subsidy" by the City for the stadium.  She says that this figure should appear in the City Attorney's analysis.  That figure appears to have been plucked out of thin air."

"There is no reference in the Term Sheet to a $17 million parking garage (or any parking garage, for that matter."

They also denied the $20 million that is being spent to move an electric substation.

This legal document (Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Opposition to Petition for Writ of Mandate) was filed by attorneys for the 49ers Measure J stadium campaign Santa Clarans for Economic Progress (Yes on Measure J group funded almost entirely by the 49ers).

 

 

What Santa Clarans are saying about the DDA (letters to Mayor and Council, posted on the city's website):

 

  • "This $925 million debt is not what was voted on 6/8/10."
  • "This stadium is fiscally irresponsible.... A Billion in debt is a game changer."
  • "A debt of 850 million dollars was not told to us voters in the ballot or the ads for Measure J.  In addition, there is no disclosure of ANY amount that the 49ers team or owners will contribute to the stadium construction.  It is very underhanded for the parties involved to change the costs involved by massive amounts and deceive the voters."
  • "Just because Measure J was passed does not give you free reign to build it at any cost.  Quit pandering to Jed York."
  • "Are the facts presented by Santa Clara Plays Fair that the Stadium Authority (and ultimately Santa Clara citizens) will be responsible for the payback of $800+ million really true?  I thought the 49ers were responsible for 88% of the costs to build the stadium ... When we voted to proceed on the stadium it was on the belief that Santa Clara would be responsible for 6 to 8% of the total costs - was this false?  If the above is true then the vote to go ahead with the stadium should be set aside in that the numbers provided by the city and the 49ers in their ads was false."
  • "Voters relied primarily on the information that was provided by the 49ers and the city leaders as a basis for their decision. In retrospect boy were we sold a bill of goods.  The 49ers are leading this process from the very beginning making sure their interests come first."
  • "You would be well served on this council to face this project in a real and non-deceptive manner."
  • "I strongly oppose the $850 million loan to be obtained by the Stadium Authority for construction."
  • "In no way does the current debt risk and commitment resemble what citizens were asked to vote on when the stadium initiative was proposed. How we've gotten from a $42 million commitment to $850 million is inconceivable and requires explanation from you - our city government... As voters we've been misled by you."
  • "I see from the news that the costs for the stadium are far beyond what was disclosed during the election.  It does not surprise me given the amount of money the 49ers spent promoting Measure J *and* to past campaigns of Patty Mahan, Jamie Matthews, and Pat Kolstad.  That was a good investment for the 49ers as it allows them to avoid the $850 million loan that is about to hobble our city's future....It saddens me that the citizens of Santa Clara have been so blatantly misled and will have decades of debt to pay off as a result."
  • "The funding for this stadium project has gotten out of control.  This is not the debt that we anticipated when Measure J was approved by a narrow majority of Santa Clara residents."
  • "It is not right that a few city council members and the mayor are allowed to hide the true costs and not be held accountable."
  • "This 49ers deal with the SA does just not add up and it sure isn't what we thought we voted for."
  • "The Santa Clara city council's latest deal to bring the 49ers stadium to town at any cost is representative of all that is bad in American political leadership today - arrogance, closed meetings, no bid contracts, making enormous changes to what the people voted for.  One thing the people of Santa Clara now know is that they have a city council that will do anything to get their way and that they cannot be trusted."
  • "There are too many hidden large extras in the DDA that we Santa Clara citizens did not vote to agree with.  I now oppose the stadium."
  • "As we learn more about it we are seeing how you small town yokels are being made a fool of by the high paid attorneys and pitchmen."

For More Letters:

Letters from citizens who wrote the City Council are contained in pdf files marked as 'post meeting material' attached to the city council agendas.
Letters submitted for the Dec. 6th meeting start on page 64.   17 messages opposed:

http://sireweb.santaclaraca.gov/view.aspx?cabinet=published_meetings&fileid=591414


Letters submitted for the Dec. 8th meeting start on page 11.  8 messages opposed:

http://sireweb.santaclaraca.gov/cache/2/f133dk55f1vrt4npp3b4dr45/59220212092011051001486.PDF

The draft Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) shows that the costs to Santa Clara and its agencies are far worse than the Term Sheet costs, and not what Santa Clarans thought they were voting for in the 49ers Measure J election.

Measure J did not guarantee the $49ers $40 Million in RDA funds
Measure J reads "Contributions to the construction costs of the stadium shall not exceed $40,000,000." Which means that any amount from zero to $40 million from our RDA satisfies what the voters approved.

 

49ers Measure J only listed two costs from Santa Clara and its agencies:

  • A threshold of up to $40 million in redevelopment money.  "Contributions to the construction costs of the stadium shall not exceed $40,000,000."  Which means that any amount less that $40 million satisfies what the voters approved.
  • $35 million from a hotel tax (voluntary, the hotels voted to tax themselves)
  • That's it!  49ers Measure J did not list any costs for Santa Clara's Stadium Authority.
  • When Santa Clara was taken to court in April 2010 by a resident who asked for full disclosure all of the Term Sheet costs on the 49ers Measure J ballot, Santa Clara's city attorney argued successfully in front of a Superior Court judge that because CA state law does not require cost disclosure on city-wide ballot measures, there was no requirement for the city council or the 49ers to disclose costs to taxpayers. The Stadium Authority costs were purposefully left off of the 49ers Measure J ballot. (Note that CA state propositions and county-wide ballot measures do require cost disclosure.)

The City Council study session on Dec. 6, 2011 revealed costs that are far different from what Santa Clarans voted for:

  • Santa Clara's Stadium Authority (SA) will take on $850 million in loans for construction, taken out at the start of construction.
  • The $850 million in loans will have $75 million in interest due during the estimated 2 years of construction.  The $75 million will also be taken out as a loan at the start of construction, making the total $925 million taken out at the start of construction by our Stadium Authority.
  • The NFL will loan $150 million to Stadco (the 49ers stadium Limited Liability Company) to spend on 'tenant improvements'.
  • There is no dollar amount listed for any contribution from the San Francisco 49ers or their owners, the Yorks.  This is contrary to the campaign mailers/ads featuring our pro-stadium city council members that claimed the 49ers were paying for almost all of the stadium costs. (See here for more details)

Here's the flowchart of stadium construction costs (Source: SF 49ers).

Note that there are zero dollars flowing directly from the 49ers, and the $75 Million in loan interest isn't shown:


The Bottom Line: The DDA is inconsistent with both the Term Sheet and the 49ers Measure J. The voters only authorized our city council to spend $40 million in RDA funds and $35 million from the hotels.  There was no voter authorization for any city agency to taken on massive loans on behalf of a private party.