Arena opponent Peter Goldman had harsh words for proponents of the proposed NBA facility in SoDo, including state Democratic Party chair Dwight Pelz, at yesterday afternoon's monthly meeting of the Metropolitan Democratic Association.
Regarding potential arena investor Chris Hansen's proposal, which assumes the arena will be located on land he's already bought up in SoDo: "In principle, fine, great, if that’s what you want to do with your great wealth. More power to you. ... What got under my skin was not as much the idea of public subsidy [but] the idea that someone would come to town and say, 'I want my project to be ... in this particular location,' but then at the same time pretends that the proposal is following all our environmental laws for as siting a public facility.
[pullquote]"If Mr. Hansen doesn’t have the patience or the bandwidth to deal with Seattle's public process then fine. This is our city. These are our jobs."
[/pullquote] "Honestly, I was really offended that in our zeal to bring back the Sonics, we essentially shoved off to the side. our environmental laws, our public process, and our whole sense of what our are priorities in this area. ... It's been railroaded through. The folks who are pushing this thing don't have an open mind about where they want to put it.
"I was shocked that this thing had picked up such a head of steam before we had done any of the environmental analysis.
"If Mr. Hansen doesn’t have the patience or the bandwidth to deal with Seattle's public process then fine. This is our city. These are our jobs."
On the impact an arena will have on the adjacent industrial lands: "This arena will further gentrify our industrial and maritime area. There is no competition for the real estate values that will be generated by entertainment, retail, and the kinds of things that will come with this arena. ...
"Why are we using public funds to do something that’s going to hurt us in the long term? Why would we zone this area industrial and at the same time subsidize a project that is going to undermine what we are trying to achieve in this area?
"We shouldn’t just be catering to an arena that’s going to be used 180 times a year for arena events."
On the most prominent proponents of the arena:
"I’m very, very disappointed with both [Seattle Mayor] Mike McGinn and [King County Executive] Dow Constantine. I’m a very strong Democratic donor, but I am absolutely blown away by how they have been owed by the glamor and the power and the money and the though of reinvigorating Seattle with a basketball arena that they would sacrifice our industrial area.
[State Democratic Party chair] Dwight Pelz has beein going around quietly intimidating Democrats on this issue. These folks are fanatical. Dwight can’t even see straight he loves the Sonics so much. He and some others have gone around intimidating good Democrats, saying you’ve got to go with this. It’s us [arena opponents] against American pie. 'How could we? How could we?'"
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