City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

April 30, 2013
Live chat replay: Next steps in Sacramento's fight to keep NBA Kings

April 29, 2013
Sacramento budget: more cops, but only with pension help

The Sacramento city manager has proposed hiring dozens of new police officers - but only if the city's existing cops agree to pay into their pensions.

In his 2013-14 budget released Monday, City Manager John Shirey proposed hiring 58 uniformed police officers with funding from a recent increase in the city sales tax. Those officers - hired over the next 18 months - would beef up street patrols and help the department investigate more violent felonies.

But Shirey said he would withdraw that recommendation if the Sacramento Police Officers Association, the union representing city police officers and sergeants, does not agree to have its members pick up the full employee contribution into their pensions by July 1.

April 29, 2013
Chat live: NBA Kings waiting game: Seattle vs Sacramento

April 24, 2013
New Kings arena drawings released


New drawings of the proposed Kings arena at Downtown Plaza have emerged.

See the drawings in a photo gallery here.

Some of the drawings - put together by architectural firm AECOM - showed up on display at the mall on Tuesday. The renderings show an arena on the L Street side of the current plaza, with a large, open pedestrian gathering area where the middle of the mall now sits.

The inside of the arena shows windows along the top of the upper bowl, much like Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. There's also a rendering of a VIP suite and a bar dubbed the Bunker Club.


April 23, 2013
Update: Councilman Schenirer now a mayor pro tem

What do you get when you combine a mayor who travels a lot with a vice mayor who's about to have a baby?

This isn't a bad joke. It's actually a question the Sacramento City Council faced tonight.

The council took the unusual - and maybe even unprecedented - step of appointing a mayor pro tem to run council meetings when Mayor Kevin Johnson and Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby aren't around. Councilman Jay Schenirer earned the honor, which comes with the added benefit of a couple of extra words in his title but no more money.

April 5, 2013
Watchdogs criticize 'Public Sector Suite' in Kings arena plan

A local watchdog group is criticizing Sacramento for including a "Public Sector Suite" at the arena being planned for Downtown Plaza.

That suite was included in the 18-page "term sheet" approved by the City Council that lays out the financing for the $448 million facility.

According to the term sheet, the city "shall have an option to use one complimentary, furnished luxury suite at the" arena "including tickets and preferred parking to all (arena) events included as part of a typical license agreement." The suite could be used "for any official city purpose."

April 4, 2013
Mayor Johnson, Sen. Steinberg arrive home after Kings pitch

Mayor Kevin Johnson and state Senate President Darrell Steinberg arrived home today following their presentation to a panel of key NBA owners in New York, during which they made their case for keeping the Kings in Sacramento.

The pair was greeted by a cheering crowd of about 15 Kings fans in Terminal A of Sacramento International Airport. They quickly departed the airport to begin the final two-week push to convince the league to keep the team here and reject a deal the Kings' owners have to sell the franchise to a group in Seattle.

Johnson said "we don't really know yet" what will be asked of the Sacramento contingent by NBA officials over the next two weeks. NBA Commissioner David Stern said Wednesday the league needed time to investigate arena plans and team purchase offers in both Seattle and Sacramento before making a decision over the fate of the Kings.

April 2, 2013
Sacramento delegation to rally in NYC before pitch is made for Kings

The Sacramento delegation sent to New York to make a pitch for the Kings will begin its campaign this afternoon with a rally in the Big Apple.

The group has planned a party at the Public House on East 41st Street. Among those in attendance will be City Councilman Allen Warren; prospective local Kings investors Phil Oates and Kevin Nagle; Mike Tavares, a leader of the Crown Downtown fan club; and Kings fans who live in New York.

The rally is also scheduled to coincide with the arrival in New York by local radio personality Carmichael Dave, who has spent the past two weeks travelling the country in an RV promoting Sacramento as the home of the Kings.

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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