SJ Mayor Put the A's on the Ballot

By Joe Kukura
|  Friday, Jul 23, 2010  |  Updated 5:03 PM PDT
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San Jose is losing its patience on getting the Oakland A's.

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Mayor Chuck Reed and the City of San Jose have been holding their breath waiting for 16 months for permission from Major League Baseball to move the Oakland A's to San Jose.

The request has been neither granted or denied. Months are turning into years. And Mayor Reed is ready to ignore baseball's powers that be and just plow on through with the project anyway.

Mayor Reed has asked City Council to put the A's baseball stadium measure on the November ballot, the San Jose Mercury News reports. City Council must approve the measure by August 3 if they want it before San Jose voters on this November's ballot.

"We have an extraordinary opportunity to leverage half a billion dollars of private investment that will create hundreds of jobs," San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo told the Mercury News. "So we're getting our ducks in a row, and we expect that by our doing so, Major League Baseball will come along."

To be sure -- the City of San Jose would pay nothing for the stadium itself. A's owner Lew Wolff has agreed to pay for the whole $461 million enchilada.

But the enchilada requires side dishes --  infrastructure, plumbing, parking and more land on which to build. Substantial public funds would be used, and that's why the measure needs to go before voters.

The San Francisco Giants are up in arms over this, as they own the territorial rights to the San Jose area. 

"We think it's inappropriate for the mayor to proceed when Major League Baseball hasn't had its full chance to deliberate and do a thorough analysis," said Giants' spokesperson Staci Slaughter.

To Mayor Reed and San Jose City Council, 16 months has been plenty of time for a deliberate and thorough analysis.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who thinks that San Jose baseball traffic jams could never be as bad as Gilroy Garlic Festival traffic jams.

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