County council members blasted for supporting Seattle arena dealon October 2, 2012 @ 5:00 am (Updated: 12:14 pm - 10/2/12 )
Council members Jane Hague and Kathy Lambert are now the targets of two Eastside developers and longtime supporters, Skip Rowley of Issaquah and Bob Wallace of Bellevue, who do not like that their votes put the arena deal over the top.
During a council meeting discussing the updates to the MOU, Lambert attempted to draw attention back to the Eastside.
She told the council she hoped they would consider alternative locations outside of Seattle, allowing for some "comparisons."
"At least ask the other cities if they have an interest in [building an arena] because I think there is at least one city, if not two that should be analyzed," said Lambert.
Her comments followed a Seattle Times report that the developers sent letters to hundreds of business contacts saying Hague and Lambert ignored the interest of their constituents.
The letter accuses the pair of giving Seattle a sweetheart deal at the expense of Bellevue and the rest of the Eastside, which the two represent. They also say the current deal would hurt Bellevue's prospects for landing an arena and potentially clog roads around the Port of Seattle.
While traffic issues continue to be a top concern of those in the SoDo arena, Council Member Julia Patterson is worried that other transportation projects will take a back seat when it comes to requests for state and federal funds.
Patterson's concerns may bring yet another amendment to the current MOU. "I want to work with all of you on this. I want to make sure that the transportation problems are mitigated around that arena," she told the council. "But not at the expense of other desperately needed projects: that's the bottom line. There has got to be a way to do that."
The King County Council is expected to vote again on the arena deal this month. It needs to ratify the changes made by the deal agreed-to by the Seattle City Council for the plan to move ahead.
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