America's Cup: Ball Is Now in City Attorney's Court

Categories: Government
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What are "material changes"? The answer is not immaterial.

In tweaking the America's Cup agreement signed off by the Board of Supervisors, the mayor's office was entitled to make changes -- but not material changes.

After analyzing the revamped deal, the board's budget analyst, Harvey Rose, essentially said, "Them's some material changes right there!" The mayor's office's response: "Ain't no material changes -- no way, no how!"

Those positions were largely restated during the March 16 Budget and Finance Committee showdown. So, the relevant inquiry is, "What are material changes?"

Good question. No one thought to strictly define that before the city formulated a massive real estate deal and then authorized its alteration -- in the as-yet undefined manner.   

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi sits on the Budget and Finance Committee and assigned the budget analyst this latest report. He says the upshot of Wednesday's meeting will be the city attorney's pending determination of what, exactly, constitutes "material changes."

Is the mayor's office hammering out a per-foot rental price with yachting billionaire Larry Ellison's Event Authority -- instead of bringing in an independent third party as the Board of Supervisors expressly agreed to -- a material change? Is opting to charge no rent whatsoever for Piers 30-32 a material change? And is what Rose described as the Event Authority's now-"unilateral" right to rent Pier 29 material? We'll see.

When it comes to defining material changes, "the city attorney knows you can't not answer that question," says Mirkarimi.

A material answer is forthcoming.

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h. brown
h. brown

MrEric rules,

Ellison will get everything he wants and then sue for more. Over the last decade or so the various mayors and incarnations of the BOS have given away about half of the public property in the City. And I never even found a single mint under my friggin' pillow.

Go Giants!



We all know how this is going to go; Larry Ellison is going to get his way because he's rich, the city is going to spend millions of dollars in giveaways, then when it's time to pay up Larry will take a shit on the desk in room 200 and walk away.

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