Sonics: Democracy too damn slow

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire and state legislators have agreed to impose a Saturday deadline for proposals to renovate the Seattle Sonics‘ KeyArena, and some of the likely details are becoming clearer. According to the latest proposal by Rep. Jim “Stadiums Happen” McIntire, a King County voter referendum would be held to decide on two competing plans: one for a $220 million expansion of KeyArena (the Sonics would be asked to chip in $44 million), the other for a simpler $20 million renovation.

Sonics officials reacted coolly – not because they’re being asked to pay for one-fifth of the costs, but by the notion of allowing the public decide how to spend public funds. “What we’re concerned with is the timing of it, beyond the uncertainty that is inherent in the vote,” said Sonics president Wally Walker told the Seattle Times. “If it happens in November, it might be too late.” Tell me about it.

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