A compromise has been reached in the 49ers stadium deal. But still, it’s a better deal for the San Francisco 49ers than local school children.
In a recent editorial (“Choosing sides, school kids or a football field”), we gave a thumbs-up to a Santa Clara oversight committee that voted against using $30 million in taxpayer dollars to spend on the new stadium despite voters having approved the move two years ago. Instead the committee chose to leave it for schools, which is where it was intended in the first place.
We also gave a thumbs-down to a bid by state Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara, to bigfoot the dispute by submitting a bill reallocating the $30 million to the stadium. Why is the 49ers stadium any different from hundreds of other worthy projects that have lost redevelopment dollars in recent days? Alquist contends these circumstances are “unique.”
In any event, the Mercury News in San Jose is reporting today that the 49ers and education leaders have reached a compromise. Here’s the math: Schools get $7 million while the 49ers get the rest.
Certainly it’s nothing for educators to sneeze at. But considering this is money that was intended to go to schools anyway, it doesn’t strike me as a great deal. Redevelopment agencies were set up to allow local governments to take tax dollars from schools and other areas to use on sprucing up “blighted” areas. It’s because agencies were abusing the system, and ranking places like a Great America parking lot as “blighted,” that the governor flushed the whole system.
On a side note, in a letter that will be published on Saturday, a writer from Santa Clara takes our editorial to task, noting “From afar, the paper has determined the stadium is bad, and what will be fascinating is how much money The Press Democrat will make once it is built.”
First, we did not opine on the stadium itself, just on how it was being funded on the backs of school children. Personally, I’m a long time Niners fan, but I’m generally opposed to public funding of stadiuma, particularly in this economy. And second, how is the PD going to make more money from a stadium built in Santa Clara?
I’m going to have to think about that one.
- Paul Gullixson