Frawley says the court took into account the "sheer number of violations committed by the proponents," and "the court is not aware of any case where the petition process, from beginning to end, was so infected with errors."
The ruling says the totality of errors in the petition gathering undermined the electoral process and a vote on the petition would have limited the City's authority under the City Charter.
If the measure had been allowed to go forward, voters would have been asked to say whether publicly-funded arena projects should be required to go to a public vote.
An attorney for the group Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork or STOP says the petitioners are "currently analyzing the Court's ruling and weighing their legal options." If made, an appeal would go to the Third District Court of Appeal.
Joshua Wood with the pro-arena group "The 4000" says he hopes the city can now focus all of its efforts on the arena project.
"We believe this brings us one step closer to be able to focus on the 4,000 jobs the arena's going to generate," says Wood.
The next step in the arena process is a planning commission meeting this evening regarding signage for the arena.
STOP responded to the ruling today with this statement:
"Today’s decision allows the city to silence 23,000 certified voters and all Sacramento citizens who demand a voice on their city’s future. At the same time; its example diminishes the civil and constitutional rights of all California citizens.
It is deplorable that our city’s leaders have put special interests ahead of the voters who elected them. They make a mockery of democracy. They may get away with it for the time being, but voters will not soon forget the arena subsidy scandals. We call on Sacramento’s disenfranchised voters to express their outrage to their City Council; and we call on our elected representatives to begin listening to their constituents. It is not too late for the city’s arena deal to receive the public scrutiny and debate that it deserves."
The 4000, released this statement:
“We are pleased with the ruling and thank both Judge Frawley and the City of Sacramento for upholding the integrity of election process. Today, we move one step closer to creating 4,000 jobs, revitalizing our downtown, and generating $11.5B in economic activity to our region.”
judge: #arena "Volume and magnitude of the proponents procedural errors undermine the integrity of the electoral process."— Bob Moffitt (@BobMoffitt) February 27, 2014
Judge Frawley says "pre-election review" of the petitions was appropriate and the "proposed ordinance conflicts with the City Charter."— Bob Moffitt (@BobMoffitt) February 27, 2014
STOP attorneys pledged to review court case to see if there are any grounds from appeal. No word on if they will go forward w that.— Bob Moffitt (@BobMoffitt) February 27, 2014
Crews are about one quarter into construction of Sacramento's new downtown arena and are already about halfway done with some key components of the project.
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The Sacramento Kings and City of Sacramento have agreed to pay almost all of a $5.5 million fund set aside for arena art for a single piece. Three Kings owners ponied up another $1 million each to commission the work of New York artist Jeff Koons.