The Oakland Athletics have overcome yet another hurdle, putting them one step closer to a new stadium on the waterfront.
After 11 hours of debate, it was decided late Tuesday that voters will not get a say in the team's plans for a new stadium at the Howard Terminal - at least not right now.
The Oakland City Council voted five to one on Councilman Noel Gallo's proposed ballot measure for November.
The proposed measure would have asked voters if the city should invest nearly a billion dollars to build a new ballpark for the A's at the Howard Terminal.
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Councilman Gallo, who thinks the A's should rebuild at the current coliseum site, suggested the measure to gauge public opinion of the proposed Howard Terminal site and perhaps put an end to it.
"We have been at this Howard Terminal debate/discussion for three years and I still don't have a negotiation understanding," Gallo said.
Councilmember Dan Kalb was one of five "No" votes. He feels a public ballot measure would be premature, but said the decision is not a total win for the A's.
Kalb said the city met the A's on Wednesday to continue negotiations.
The East Oakland Stadium Alliance, which is suing to stop the Howard Terminal project, argues that the city would be subsidizing the billionaire owner of the A's.
"You should be representing us and allow us to take a vote on this," said Andrea Luna Bocanegra with the alliance. "And not decide for us, especially if this is going to take away funding."
On the other hand, the team and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf are against the ballot measure and say it will delay the project and jeopardize the team staying in the city.
The Oakland A's are urging the Oakland City Council to take binding votes on the development agreement and community benefits agreement this year, according to an A's spokesperson.
In a statement released overnight, Mayor Schaaf said in part:
"A non-binding advisory measure would have jeopardized keeping the A’s in Oakland, cost taxpayers as much as a million dollars, and done nothing but provide special interests with opportunities to spread misinformation. The Oakland City Council has provided clear direction in our negotiations with the A’s: Oakland taxpayers will be protected from the costs of the ballpark and associated development. We have learned the mistakes of the past and we won’t repeat them."