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A decision closer than expected.

Last night, the Sacramento City Council voted whether to put the arena parking proposal on the June ballot.  The measure was denied by just one vote, 5-4.

Councilmembers Sandy Sheedy, Darrell Fong, Kevin McCarty and Bonnie Pannell voted in favor.  Mayor Kevin Johnson, Vice Mayor Angelique Ashby and councilmembers Rob Fong, Jay Schenirer and Steve Cohn voted against.

“In this case, the only way we can possibly do a deal is not to tax people and not to assess people,” said Councilman Cohn during the meeting. “And if we do that (raise taxes), it has to (legally) go to a vote.

“So, give us a chance to see whether there’s a deal out there that even makes sense,” Cohn added. “Before you already pronounce judgment that this is a terrible deal.”

Councilwoman Sheedy has been pushing for a public vote on the initiative.  The proposal calls for Sacramento to lease city parking assets in an effort to raise at least $200-million toward the construction of new entertainment and sports complex.

“I believe that such a massive commitment of public resources warrants a greater level of public input that has been achieved to date,” she said during council comment.  ”I believe it warrants a vote – a public vote of the people.”

The NBA relocation deadline is less than a month away.  The city of Sacramento has until March 1st to finalize a financing plan to build a new downtown arena.  The Maloofs, however, have stated that deadline is flexible.

Jonathan Santiago is co-editor of Cowbell Kingdom. Follow him on Twitter.