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Petition to Hold a Public Vote on the Proposed Rec Center

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After what seems like months of discontented grumblings about the proposed Rec Center project, it appears someone is finally doing something about it.

LJWorld user "just another bozo on this bus" posted a link this morning to a petition to hold a public vote on the issue, and I've been trying to bring more exposure to it since then, posting on reddit and facebook.

The petition asks for the City Commission and the current crop of commissioner candidates to hold a public vote on using tax funds for the proposed recreation center project at the corner of 6th St. and K-10.

As noted in the article this morning about the candidates' views on the project, current Commissioner Mike Amyx had this to say:

"On the issue of whether the project should be put to a citywide vote, Amyx recently voted with his other four city commissioners against the idea. But Amyx voted with the caveat that if the public were to present a sizable petition asking for a vote, he would support placing the issue on the ballot."

Candidate Scott Criqui echoed Amyx's sentiments, saying,

"On the issue of a citywide vote, Criqui said he’s not yet ready to call for one. He said he would support a vote if citizens started a significant petition drive calling for a vote.

'If a group gathered 3,000 signatures or something like that, it would tell me that there is some concern out there,' Criqui said. 'But I haven’t heard of anyone who has done that yet.'"

Well, there you have it, folks-- the Commissioners might be willing to listen to the public's views on the matter, but only if we can show that enough people have concerns about the project. From spending the money at all on the project to the manner in which bidding will be done, I know that many people out there don't agree with the way this project is moving forward.

If you're one of those people who wants to have a voice in this matter, sign the petition here:

Petition for a public vote on the public financing of the regional recreation center (change.org).

Comments

Bob Forer 2 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for taking the time to do this.

Claire Williams 2 years, 5 months ago

You're very welcome! Now let's hope that Chad Lawhorn or someone for the LJW staff will do a write up about the petition, and then we will be in business!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

'If a group gathered 3,000 signatures or something like that, it would tell me that there is some concern out there,' Criqui said. 'But I haven’t heard of anyone who has done that yet.'"

From my perspective, when it comes to a project of this magnitude, there should be no question of whether to put it to a referendum. It's then the job of the commissioners to create great concern among voters, whichever way the concern may lean. If a commissioner supports this project, it's their job to explain why, and why the voters should choose to pay for it. And conversely, if a commissioner objects to this project, that case should be made to the voters, as well.

And by putting this to a referendum, it becomes an issue for city commission candidates, which could lead to better informed votes in those elections, too.

Claire Williams 2 years, 5 months ago

Excellent points, and probably why the candidates aren't too eager to make a big issue of it, they may be afraid the referendum may affect their campaigns.

Lawrence Morgan 2 years, 5 months ago

It's a very good point you have made. Thanks for your effort at getting this petition underway!

bearded_gnome 2 years, 5 months ago

excellent use of the blog feature on LJW Claire williams.

sadly, it is the current commissioners who must have their attitudes affected and only one openly expresses openness to a public expression on this giant commitment. MikeA rocks. as he points out in the article, as projected, the thingy won't even pay for itself.
personally, I think the combo neighborhood and regional has suffered from mission creep and mission fuzz: what it is intended to do has gotten too big and too uncertain.

if a special election were held, when would it take place? probably soonest could get it together would be for november.

Claire Williams 2 years, 5 months ago

Thank you, gnome! I agree that the most logical time for a referendum would be the November election, but the fate of this project may be decided by then. If we can make a concerted effort to get several thousand signatures soon, then perhaps it would be added to a primary ballot?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 5 months ago

There are already elections scheduled in both February and April. Putting it on the ballot for February could be hard to do, but April is easily possible.

If they think the proposal can be finalized by then, then any decision on this should be left to the new city commission.

bearded_gnome 2 years, 5 months ago

well, Claire my comment was more RE the legal and election formalities for time enough to get onto a ballot, dunno if you're in time for it to go even in time for April, remember that there are a bunch of legalities that must be met for elections. so, if this were to go to a proper vote, the commish would hve to determine that, and put it to the public vote, then there's ballot writing and printing, absentee ballot time period, etc. clearly February would be impossible.

so, what you want first is to ask the commish to just slow things down so that the people can express themselves!
yes, otherwise, the commish will have this all sewed up which is not what we would wish for.
if enough people sign a petition, and enough people turn up at meetings and speak under public comment, the commission certainly has the capacity to slow things down so that a election process could take place.

now, they'll say crap like "oh we can't wait" or, "if we wait, we'll lose the deal" etc.

Thinking_Out_Loud 2 years, 5 months ago

Someone help me understand something. If we expect our elected officials to send everything to us to vote for, what's the point of electing representatives? My perception of a representative democracy is that the representatives we elect are supposed to act on our behalf.

deec 2 years, 5 months ago

Asking for a vote on a major expenditure that will encumber all recreation funds for 20 or more years to build and maintain a project with a questionable funding mechanism is not equivalent to sending everything to the voters to decide. No one is advocating that every new stop sign or city ordinance be put up for a vote.

Margaret Elberson 2 years, 5 months ago

I was only to happy to sign the petition.....let's hope others will do the same....

thank you so much for taking the time to step up.....

best wishes,

Margaret

grammaddy 2 years, 5 months ago

Way to go Bozo!! Signed and shared on Facebook.

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