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Vote on Oakland A's Lease Postponed

Officials say another meeting to discuss and possibly vote on the agreement will likely be scheduled next week.

Photo credit: Morguefile
Photo credit: Morguefile
The board that oversees the sports facilities at the Oakland Coliseum site couldn't vote Friday on a proposal to extend the Oakland's A's lease because half the board was absent from the meeting.
 
Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, the chair of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority, called a special meeting for 8:30 a.m. on Friday to vote on the lease proposal, which would extend the baseball team's lease for another 10 years, but only four of the board's eight members showed up.

Related article: MLB Commissioner: Oakland A's Agree to Extend Lease at O.co Coliseum
 
Missing were Oakland City Councilmembers Larry Reid, the JPA's vice chair, and Rebecca Kaplan, as were sports agent Aaron Goodwin and Yui Hay Lee, president of an architectural and planning firm, who also represent Oakland on the board.
 
Miley said afterward that he was upset that Reid and Kaplan didn't attend the meeting, saying, "If the city has a problem with the proposal, they should vote the proposal up or down but they shouldn't hold up the meeting."
 
Miley said he knew that Goodwin and Lee couldn't attend the meeting because they had other commitments but the board would still have had a quorum if Reid and Kaplan had attended. But Reid said he told Miley on Monday not to schedule the special meeting because the Oakland City Council believes there are still some outstanding issues that need to be resolved before the lease agreement is finalized.

Reid said City Council President Pat Kernighan also asked Miley on Tuesday to postpone the meeting but Miley ignored the city's request. Reid said Miley "told me he was determined to force a vote" on the lease issue but he warned Miley that trying to push a vote when city officials weren't ready "would make all of us look bad."
 
Reid said, "I'd like to hurry up and get this done but we need to have a business deal that's in the best interest of all the parties." He said, "Some progress has been made" in the city's negotiations with the A's this week but more work needs to be done before the city can approve the lease proposal.
 
Miley said his concerns about the lease agreement have been addressed by the A's and he's ready to vote on it. He said he will schedule another special meeting for next Thursday morning in hopes that it can be voted on then.
 
The A's and the JPA agreed last November to extend the A's lease for two years, through the end of 2015. Miley said that since then the A's and the JPA have been working on extending the lease for an additional 10 years. Reid said he thinks it's "premature" for Miley to schedule a meeting for next Thursday because there's no guarantee that the city's concerns will be addressed by then.

He said he and Kaplan will brief the rest of the City Council in a closed session next Tuesday about the status of the negotiations with the A's. Kernighan and Oakland

Mayor Jean Quan said in a statement that they agree with Reid that, "It was clear we needed more time to negotiate terms that will keep the team in Oakland and protect residents' interests." Kernighan and Quan said, "Our top priority is to ensure this deal is successful, and bringing it to a vote before it was ready would only delay a final agreement with the team." Kernighan and Quan said a meeting between city officials and the A's on Thursday "was productive and positive, though there are still material issues outstanding." Kernighan and Quan said, "We're working expeditiously to resolve those issues and reach an agreement that will be beneficial to the A's, to the people and taxpayers of Oakland, and to the fans."
 
The Coliseum property includes the O.co Coliseum, the outdoor stadium where the A's and the Raiders football team play, and the Oracle Arena, the indoor home of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.

—By Bay City News

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