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Mayor Johnson: We Will Deliver New Downtown Arena

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DEFEND YOUR RIDE: Kevin at Scenic Drive
dyr sacramento11 Mayor Johnson: We Will Deliver New Downtown Arena “It's maybe not my dream car, but it's pretty close.”
The Ride
The Driver: Kevin Gilfillan
Car in Question: 2008 Toyota 4-Runner, Urban Runner Edition
Spotted at: Scenic Drive, Rocklin, CA 95765
Odometer: 50,000

THE DEFENSE

Q: Can you tell me about your car? A: It’s a 2008 4-Runner, Urban Runner edition.
Q: What’s the Urban Runner distinction? A: It’s basically the most elite package of 4-Runner that you can buy.
Q: When did you buy it? A: November 1, 2011.
Q: Where’d you buy it? A: I bought this from a truly phenomenal dealership and an unbelievable salesperson, named Brandon Gallawa at Auburn Toyota.
Q: So one could say this was a positive experience? A: It was life changing, you could say. I woke up in the morning of November 1st and the first person I spoke to was Brandon Gallawa and we spent mid to late morning together. All I can say is that he sold me on it. I walked up and my car was sitting right in front on the dealership floor.
Q: Did you know you wanted that car? A: When I walked up to the dealership, Brandon met me. I knew I was looking for something with more weather protection than my old Tacoma had. A 4-Runner was ideal, but I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to financially work that out. Brandon made it happen!
Q: So why does a single guy like yourself need such a big vehicle? A: A couple of reasons. I had a two-seater pickup for ten years and it just got to be really annoying. You know, you’ve got buddies…
Q: Or ladies? A: Yeah, people that you’re trying to have a good time with, trying to go to the movies or whatever. But the biggest usage for me is going up to Tahoe to go snowboarding. It’s four-wheel drive, it offers the protection from the weather, and then for me and my buddies to pile in together and have a weekend of fun.
Q: What’s your car’s main use? A: Another one of the big reasons for the space is for my job – I produce fireworks displays all over the place. Often times I have to drive, I have a lot of tools, stuff like that. So putting all my gear in the truck, driving wherever it might be in the state of California, Oregon, Washington, wherever I’m going – it offers me that added space. So it’s mostly to and from work – work is not just in Sacramento where my office is, but it’s all over the place – wherever the fireworks show may be.
Q: Is it comfortable? A: It’s very comfortable. And it also has the hands free Bluetooth technology, so that makes it so much easier – I can conduct business calls and conference calls while I’m driving to and from work. I live in Roseville and work in Sacramento so I have a commute.
Q: What do you listen to in your car? A: I listen to all types of music, but recently I’ve been really getting into country music. It’s kind of relaxing. Classic rock and alternative rock are really what I listen to.
Q: So when you’re listening to music is it on really loud? Do you dance? Do you sing or rock out? A: I should also mention - I listen to a lot of talk radio like ESPN radio, mostly sports, or news – whatever’s on. But if I am listening to music, and it depends on what time of day – like the way home from work after a tough day – you’ll definitely catch me singing some tunes, that’s for sure. Doing the drums and singing.
Q: Air guitar? A: Air guitar is kind of dangerous because you have to take your hands off the wheel, but yes – I rock out in my car, absolutely.
Photos and interview by Kimberly Brenneman Are you ready to Defend Your Ride? If so, email localautos@cbs.com with "Defend Your Ride Sacramento" in the subject line for submission details. View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at CBSSacramento.com/Autos

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Questions are mounting at Sacramento’s city hall about how much the city could spend on a new downtown arena plan as a possible Kings investment group reportedly asked for more public funding.

Mayor Kevin Johnson appeared on ESPN Thursday trying to sell his plan to block the Maloofs’ sale to Seattle. He said Sacramento could build a downtown arena for less than originally thought for the proposed arena.

“We as a community are going to deliver a brand new downtown arena,” he said.

High-ranking sources inside city hall tell CBS13 an initial meeting between the mayor’s possible investor group and the city was “rocky” when it came to the arena. The investment group initially asked for more public funding than the city had anticipated.

Last year’s city council agreed to spend $255 million in taxpayer money on an arena, but that plan expired when the Maloofs walked out on that agreement. Johnson told ESPN the public contribution for the arena this time around could be lower.

“Essentially we’re going to commit a public investment of $200 to 250 million to build that arena. Again, we know that’s a competitive advantage,” he said.

However, no deal on a new arena financing plan has been reached and the mayor’s big-money investors haven’t made an official offer.

“These guys didn’t get to be billionaires just by being bad negotiators. They are smart negotiators. They will drive a very, very hard bargain. Ultimately, I think it will work out both for them and for the region,” said public relations expert Doug Elmets of Elmets Communications.

A new arena financing plan would have to be voted on by the city council.

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