The ordinance we voted on today has been called a compromise. Make no mistake, this is not a compromise.
StoryKing County Councilmembers Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Rod Dembowski, and Larry Gossett are releasing the following joint statement regarding today’s 5-4 vote to direct $135 million public tax dollars to Safeco Field. All three voted against the proposal.
“It’s ironic that as the City of Seattle prepares to ratify a $700 million renovation deal for Key Arena paid primarily by private funding, the King County Council voted today to give away $135 million in public funds to a stadium occupied by a sole corporate tenant worth over $1 billion.
“The ordinance we voted on today has been called a compromise. Make no mistake, this is not a compromise. Instead, this ordinance is a values statement and its message is loud and clear – the majority of the King County Council would rather give $135 million dollars in corporate handouts than to adequately support affordable housing, services for homeless youth and small immigrant-owned businesses. And, the mechanism to do so is by gutting funding for the promotion of tourism – the very industry responsible for generating these revenues in the first place.
“There is a growing sense of cynicism among voters about how government operates. We as a County are constantly asking tax payers to divvy up more and more to support an effective and responsive government to address essential public needs. How can we ask the public to pay for these services in the future when we are so ready to just give it all away to a corporation that has not made the case that it needs this enormous amount of money from our taxpayers?”