Thursday, January 18, 2024

At this time I am willing to uphold the veto of the County Executive.  While I am anxious to put the issue of the Stadium Tax on the ballot for voters to decide, I do have an obligation to ensure that the key terms have been sufficiently agreed to by all parties before this goes to the vote of Jackson County citizens.

While many, key terms have been verbally agreed upon by the teams there is not yet a signed assigned memorandum of understanding, or letter of intent. Without such documentation that is clear and unambiguous, and signed by all parties involved including the teams, the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority and the County, it would be extremely irresponsible to leave this on the ballot for April.

I’m confident that the teams and the County along with the Jackson County Sports Complex Authority can reach an agreement promptly and retain this on the ballot if all parties devote the next several days and endeavor to reach mutually acceptable agreements. If these conditions cannot be met by the deadline for a veto override, I strongly encourage my colleagues to sustain the County Executives veto and allow more time for the teams and the county to come to an agreement so that we can place this on the ballot later in 2024.

Finally, I want people to understand my reluctance to place this on the ballot is also grounded in fiscal responsibility. It costs the county approximately $1.5 million to hold a county wide election when we don’t have any other countywide issues on a ballot. For an April election the county would be almost exclusively responsible for the $1.5M cost to hold a County-wide election, by contrast waiting until later in 2024 for an August or November ballot will both improve voter participation and save the County almost $1.5 million dollars.

I know people are anxious to bring the question of the future financing for the teams to a conclusion and I look forward to the teams and the county negotiating in good faith so that we can resolve this as quickly as possible.