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Anaheim bonds to need voter approval

The Committee to Save the Kings has gathered enough signatures in Anaheim to halt the issuance of $75 million in bonds that was approved by the Anaheim City Council to fund a Sacramento Kings move to Anaheim, pending voter approval.

That’s according to Kellen Arno of Arno Political Consultants, which collected 11,000 – 12,000 signatures.

The next scheduled election is not until June of 2012.

The bonds will “absolutely have to” go before voters, he said.

According to Arno, his firm is finalizing the signatures – making sure the ones sent are all legible names and real addresses – and will send them to government officials in the next few days.

“We’re done,” he said, saying he is confident that all signatures have, in fact, been collected. “We’ve done this many, many times.”

The move essentially blocks the Kings from moving to Anaheim until voters approve the bonds or another source of funding is made available, attorney Jeffrey Dorso told The Sacramento Press April 8. A special election could be called before 2012, but it would be costly, he added.

The Committee to Save the Kings is made up of a number of Sacramento-area business leaders and involves former City Councilman Robbie Waters.

Representatives from the group did not return calls late Monday afternoon.

Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @brandon_darnell. 

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Also Monday, several sources confirmed that a meeting was expected to take place Tuesday between National Basketball Association representatives and business owners who had pledged more than $10.2 million in financial support for the Kings if they stay in Sacramento next year.

Company representatives, who attended a meeting with the NBA Thursday, had been asked Friday or over the weekend to tentatively reserve time at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The time and place of the meeting weren’t confirmed by mid-Monday afternoon.

Those companies include Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Envision Pharmaceutical Holdings, Synergex, Western Health Advantage and Markstein Beverage Company.

NBA officials have said they want pledges to be formalized in some way. Company representatives weren’t sure if they would be asked to write checks and make deposits on their pledges or just sign pledge agreements because that hadn’t been clarified between the NBA and the city.

At least some of the companies can’t commit hard financial numbers or determine the total they’d be willing to spend, because the Kings’ owners haven’t talked with anyone to let them know what kind of sponsorship or marketing packages they could get in return, sources said.

Staff from the NBA’s Team Marketing and Business Operations department will be here this week to meet with Kings supporters and gather more information.

Suzanne Hurt is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow her on Twitter @suzannehurt.

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