I previously posted why the idea of a non-binding advisory vote is a bad idea for the Community Center. Here are more reasons.
The non-binding advisory vote only truly “works” if the vote is affirmative. It doesn’t work for a whole host of reasons if the vote is negative.
If the voters reject the Community Center, the City won’t know why. Is it because the voters:
- Didn’t like the cost, some $30 million?
- Didn’t like the size–is it too big or too small?
- Didn’t like the pool–is it too small to offer competitive swimming, or should there be one at all?
- Don’t know what happens to the staging area for the Fourth of July fireworks, which is where the Community Center is supposed to go–where do the fireworks go when displaced by the Center?
- Don’t like that 75% of the capital costs are being paid by the City for a facility to be operated by a private entity?
- Don’t like the very idea of a public-private partnership?
- Don’t know when the facility will break even? The YMCA at the July 16 meeting doesn’t have a firm projection when the facility will break even. The absence of a firm business plan is, to me, rather alarming.
- Don’t like competing with the privately-owned Pine Lake Club and Columbia Club?
The City won’t have a clue why this might be rejected.
The voter’s pamphlet language hasn’t been made public yet but presumably this will be an up-or-down, yes-or-no vote. Will the public even have answers to their questions in order to make an informed decision? I consider this highly unlikely, so the citizens will be voting on an “idea,” not a business plan.
As I noted previously, this issue has been studied to death by the City. A Community Center has been talked about since the very first City Council (1999-2001). That’s 12 years, for Pete’s Sake. The City has plenty of information with which to make a decision. The Council should be able to make a decision.
But an advisory vote is a classic move by government to delay action and make no decision. When desiring to avoid a decision, create another committee–or go to the voters.
The election Nov. 6. No action of any kind will likely be taken until 2013–if at all, should the public reject this.
This is a a bad idea from the get-to. This is the City Council avoiding its responsibility. How disappointing.