After a round robin of councilmanic backslapping, the Seattle City Council today formally approved a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build a new NBA arena in the Sodo neighborhood. After months of skepticism and hedging the authorizing legislation passed by 6-2 vote.
"I really appreciate the engagement of all my colleagues," council member Tim Burgess magnanimously noted just before the vote, "even those of you who are voting incorrectly."
But not everybody is happy. Council member Richard Conlin, who along with Nick Licata voted no, remains unconvinced that public funds are necessary to proceed, nor that it's ultimately in the city's interest to do so. And moments before the vote, ILWU Local 19 president Cameron Williams issued the following statement:
"We remain adamantly opposed to any new arena at the SoDo site. Our expectation is that the City of Seattle will conduct a full SEPA review as required, which would include all alternate locations in King County."
"Our number one priority is protecting living wage family jobs on our Port terminals, and we will pursue all mitigation options as necessary to keep those jobs. This is not a "done deal" until we are assured that not a single job will be lost."
The revised MOU and interlocal agreement now go back to the King County Council for approval, and there's no reason to expect a different outcome on this new and improved deal.