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Milestones (OPINION)

Everyone loves a good scandal.

The juicy facts are so compelling you just can’t turn away and ignore the salient revelations of who did what to whom. Particularly, if it is someone we know.

The blockbuster of the year is about to break in Santa Clara and it has turned out to be more of a non-event rather than the skin peeling exposé that was advertised.


Remember the Grand Jury “ordered” audit of the 49ers management of our stadium?

Our Mayor touted the possibility of embezzlement, money laundering and corruption, which would all, come out in the audit. Santa Clara would be the beneficiary of MILLIONS.

This is more like a Hollywood B rate movie gone bad.

Yes, Santa Clara will receive about a half million dollars of reimbursement from the 49ers because of the $200,000 audit. But damn; no graft, no money laundering, no embezzlement.

When the audit banana was peeled, it exposed clerical errors on the part of our City Staff rather than a corpus of corruption by the 49ers.

The errors were billing oversights by various City departments, which failed to have foolproof billing policies in place.

What is the 49ers’ response? “Send us an invoice and we will pay it.”

In checking further, it seems the 49ers have paid every invoice the City has sent them since the stadium opened.

This does not make good fodder for a suspenseful movie script.

However, it did make for a blockbuster election campaign last fall when Goliath was touted as the villain, robbing the village of Santa Clara and plundering our pockets.

But all good stories must come to an end and not all endings are happy ones.

This was a small story that was magnified into a mountain and rather than a box office ticket buster, fizzled as a premier crowd pleaser.

Now, a half million dollars is still a lot of money. But unfortunately for the Mayor, it had nothing to do with Jed York or his 49er management team. A quick look in the mirror reveals the real culprit. Our City departments were not prepared to correctly handle the total billing of City services provided to the stadium.

The “political spin” that will be put on the results of the audit will predictably be favorable to the City and in some way turned to still make the 49ers the bad guys. That is politics, but a bad movie script.

With the exoneration of the 49ers management there should finally be peace in the Valley. However, this is where the movie goes south. The City Council’s hard line curfew position, to not allow the 49er management to book huge money-making stadium events a few nights a year, is a detriment to our City and the entire region.

One extra hour of entertainment two to three nights a year are within the limits of tolerance.

The $1.5 million made from these events for the City would pay for the audit, a lot of soccer programs, improved senior facilities and projects.

That would be a movie with a very happy ending.


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