Monday, February 06, 2006

Yea Or Nay?

Tomorrow's the big day, and the Washington Post reports an interesting development. Legal counsel the Council counseled with indicated that the Mayor's proposed construction cap has some holes -- that there were loopholes that could end up costing the city more money.

As a result, Linda Cropp has put her foot down, crafting an emergency amendment to the legislation, which would served to put a hard cap in place. (Essentially doing what the mayor's proposal was trying to do in the first place)

Now the catch is that because it's emergency legislation that wasn't previously on the Council's docket, it will require nine votes for passage, not the seven the Council was originally hoping for for the regular ol' lease. Yep, nine.

But.... would Linda really put this legislation out there if it were going to fail? Just as a lawyer isn't supposed to ask a question that he doesn't know the answer to, presumably, the DC Council Chair wouldn't introduce emergency legislation unless she's herded all the cats. But, as they, say, something not good happens when you assume. And, as regular readers of this blog know, I'm definitely not afraid to make an ass out of myself.

Another thing to keep in mind is that one does not need to have been one of the seven votes needed to support the construction cap. It is not inconsistent to want to vote against the stadium, but FOR a price cap; they're separate issues. Perhaps someone like Marion Barry, fresh from peeing in a cup, could vote for the cap? Perhaps I could win the lottery and retire a millionaire at age 28?

  • In other news, the Bush administration has agreed to put $20 million in the green line kitty. That money will improve the Navy Yard Stadium to the benefit of the DoT employees soon to be working there, as well as to Nats fans.

    Anti-stadium dogmacists will kvetch about this not being paid for by the stadium, but isn't this something that should be shared by all? The improvements to the stadium are, in part, because of the Federal Gov't relocating an Agency to the site, but also, is it fair to apportion the entire cost to the Nats if the Stadium is going to serve the entire neighborhood?

  • Last week, Mayor Williams shared his ultimate plan with the Council, including the aforementioned $320 million cap on construction costs (with $20MM coming from MLB), and a guarantee on land acquisition costs through the sale of development rights for land within the ballpark footprint.

    With land and construction costs capped, (and assuming the new wrinkle can be steamed out of the fabric) there's no reasonable reason they can't get the votes for passage. But, as with all things, it depends on your definition of reasonable.

  • WaPo writer David Nakamura hosted an excellent online forum on the stadium. It's well worth the few minutes it'd take to go over it. He gives good background and insight into the issues the Council is debating -- though it's important to note that it was conducted before the latest bit of news.


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