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Opinion: What Would You Do With $150,000?

I’m just a simple, hard working Sacramentan. I’ve worked for small businesses since I was 15 years old, so I’m mystified by all this talk of arenas and billionaires and commissions and hearings and plans and such.

I’m too busy running a humble little bike shop with my dad to fully grasp the truth of the matter, and what it has to do with the price of bread.

I grew up in Phoenix watching Kevin Johnson play for the Suns, and I’ve met him a few times and I’ve always liked the guy. He seems smart and reasonable enough, so if he says this Kings nonsense is good for the city, then fine – I’ll go along with it. He is the mayor after all!

But yesterday I learned that the city council has authorized the city manager to spend $150,000 from the general fund on lawyers and consultants to work out this deal.

Well, this got me thinking…

First, I thought about how I have to explain to my customers that sales tax simply HAD to go up because the city couldn’t afford to provide basic services.

Then I started thinking about this "Turn Downtown Around" thing, and what I would do with $150,000 to make Sacramento a better place.

I understand that some people like the idea of rowdy sports fans and concert goers driving downtown from suburbia a few nights a week to eat, drink, and be merry. But that’s not really my cup of tea, and I don’t see how it would help my business or make me feel any better about living in the central city.

Instead, I like to picture Sacramento as a more livable city where affluent and creative people actually want to live and work. I prefer to imagine thousands of entrepreneurs and families thriving downtown the old-fashioned way – through innovation and grit and elbow grease – than a few "whales" getting even fatter on some lucrative deal that takes $150,000 worth of bottom-feeding lawyers and consultants to devise.

So in the end, the reason I’m writing this is I want to know: what would you do with $150,000 to improve our city? Do you agree with the politicians, or do you have a better idea?

Me?

I would invest in better bicycle access to the riverfront in Old Sacramento. Specifically, improving the train track crossings at I and J Streets and repaving the bike trail from J Street to the I Street Bridge.

Of course, I’m no expert, and I’m certainly not a "whale!"

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