Live blog: King County meeting with Chris Hansen on arena proposal
We're at a King County Council budget committee meeting with investor Chris Hansen. They are talking to him about the arena proposal.
1:54 p.m. Councilmember Pete Von Reichbauer suggested stadium proposal be put to a vote in King County.
1:56 p.m. Chris Hansen: Government would be dysfunctional if everything required a public vote.
1:57 p.m. Von Reichbauer: "We did put it up for a vote for the Seahawks, we did put it up for the Mariners, and I think we should put it up for the Sonics."
1:59 p.m. Councilmember Julia Patterson: "I want the working class people who build the arena to be able to go see a game at the arena. That’s an important value."
2:00 p.m. Hansen: "I would say amen."
2:07 p.m. Councilmember Larry Phillips has submitted written questions to Hansen. "Getting the answer to those questions is paramount. Some have been answered, some of them have been sort of answered, and some have gone unanswered so far." Our point exactly.
2:09 p.m. Phillips went on to ask how to protect King County's general fund and the services it funds — social services, public safety.
2:11 p.m. Hansen says it's not possible to eliminate risk. "Al Qaeda could have an attack here. A tsunami could come over the seawall." There's no a reasonable risk where general fund would not be protected, he said.
2:16 p.m. Hansen said of the perception that his investment group is making money off the sale of the land to the city. "This is not a money making proposition," he said.
2:22 p.m. Hansen walked through the financial model and protections for city and county. "This community has been in this position before and guarantees of success have not been realized," Phillips said in response. "Why not ask the voters ... ?"
2:30 p.m. Hansen is done. Next up: Arena expert review panel does introductions. Here is Seattle Times news story on who they are.
2:36 p.m. Doug MacDonald, former state transportation director: "1st Avenue South and Atlantic, I wonder how that’s going to function."
2:39 p.m. Councilmember Phillips: "What’s the best way for us to get an analysis that really helps with those competing desires in terms of transportation?"
2:41 p.m. MacDonald: "It means a lot more events and that means a lot more traffic," he said, then went on to say it's difficult to predict because the city's analysis was on 24-houra and seven-day periods, not peaks. He also said arena events will be during nights and weekends, which is not the hours port and freight traffic flows. "It’s easy to ask the questions you’ve asked but so many answers turn on uncertainties on the future."
2:43 p.m. Councilmember Patterson: "Are we asking the right questions?"
2:45 p.m. No response from panel. Seems like they're fine with questions.
2;46 p.m. Budget committee done talking about arena. Chan out.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
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