City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

April 6, 2011
Anaheim mayor: Sacramento campaign to keep Kings is futile

The mayor of Anaheim has a message to those trying to reverse his city's decision to issue bonds and lure the Kings to town: Don't bother.

Mayor Tom Tait told Eric Carpenter of The Orange County Register that a signature drive to get a referendum on the ballot to reverse the bond decision "is not a good use of time and resources."

"We've been very clear from the beginning that any NBA deal would be privately funded," the mayor said in an email exchange with Carpenter. "Our actions as a city council last week assured that protection to our taxpayers."

Last week, a group of local business owners and former city Councilman Robbie Waters helped launch a campaign to reverse the Anaheim City Council's vote last month to sell a $75 million bond package. Those bonds will be repaid by the operator of the Honda Center arena, and will fund improvements to the facility and help with a potential Kings move to Southern California.

The Committee to Save the Kings is trying to collect enough signatures by April 18 - the deadline for the Kings to request a move out of Sacramento - to delay the bond vote.

Asked if he thought that effort would delay Anaheim's chances of getting an NBA team, Tait said, "We've done our part to clear the path for an NBA team to come to Anaheim...the rest is up to the NBA."

The Maloofs, who own the Kings, are expected to address the NBA's other 29 owners in New York next week at the Board of Governors meeting. Should the Maloofs seek permission to move, the owners will vote in the coming months on whether to grant that request.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at


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