Sacramento, Calif. – Sacramento Arena Debate organizers John Hyde and R.E. Graswich today clarified their commitment to conduct a third town hall debate for the community on Tuesday, February 11, pending a court ruling on the validity of petitions for a June vote on the arena.
Earlier today, Sacramento City Clerk Shirley Concolino invalidated petitions calling for a June election on city subsidies for sports. There will be no arena ballot measure if Concolino’s decision stands.
Accordingly, Hyde and Graswich said the debate will not proceed if the pro-initiative campaign group STOP (Sacramento Taxpayers Opposed to Pork) declines to appeal the clerk’s decision in state court, or if a judge affirms Concolino before February 11.
“Our plan from the start has been to provide the citizens of Sacramento with a no-holds-barred discussion on this critical issue before the June election,” Hyde said. “Obviously, we won’t hold the debate if there’s no election. But if the election is on, we are committed to move forward.”
Graswich agreed, noting, “Our purpose has been simple: give people a chance to come out, listen and ask questions about a very important upcoming election. The legal status of that election will determine whether the debates are needed. The great turnout has shown the public’s interest is huge.”
Hyde and Graswich have held two lively and well-attended debates, the first at the North Natomas Library in December, and the second in January at the Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library. Former City Council members Lauren Hammond and Rob Fong moderated. The debates are sponsored by Inside Publications.
If the election is restored or uncertain, the third debate is set for February 11 at the Belle Cooledge Library in South Land Park, with former Sacramento County Sheriff John McGinness serving as moderator.