Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Arena Sunshine & Ethics for Public Leadership

This coming ethics conference might be too late for our public leaders regarding their handling of the arena issue, but would be good fodder for the future and perhaps validation that sunshine is always the best light for public legislation.

Info and the link to the conference.

The International Congress on Ethics will be held in Ottawa, February 5-7, 2007. This international conference is on ethical decision-making in the face of conflict and crisis. This Congress aims to advance the thinking and discussion on ethical issues and challenges globally, and on possible solutions. http://www.ice-cie.ca/home.html

An excerpt.

Editorial: Some arena sunshine
Court helps voters by releasing Non-Deal
- Published 12:00 am PST Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Thanks to the California 3rd District Court of Appeal, Sacramento County voters now have a glimpse into the negotiations between the Sacramento Kings and local officials over a downtown arena in the railyard. The court Monday ordered a reluctant city of Sacramento to release its most recent arena proposal. The document, along with recent counter-proposals by the Kings, are available for viewing at http://www.sacbee.com/. They provide valuable reading for voters who are being asked to approve a new quarter-cent sales tax (Measure R) before there is a deal spelling out how to build this arena downtown and what to do if plans go astray.

This is an awkward moment, to say the least. In August, Sacramento County supervisors decided to place Measure R on the ballot, as well as Measure Q, which advises that half this 15-year sales tax go to a sports and entertainment facility. Negotiations were still under way, however, with the Maloof family, primary owners of the Kings. The Maloofs later walked away from negotiations for weeks, just as civic arena backers tried to rev up the campaign for Measures Q and R. An Oct. 6 deadline to complete major points of the deal passed without note.
A taxpayer group sued the city for its latest negotiation proposal in the absence of a final deal, but the city refused to release the information until the appellate court gave it no choice.

In this case, the voters' right to know trumped government's desire to keep negotiating stances secret.