I would not support reviving the project. In 2007, a tiny turnout (798 total votes) approved a bond issue for the project with virtually no analysis of the costs and environmental aspects. Project proponents call that a “binding” vote on the project, but actually it was only an approval of a bond issue with scant information.
In November 2012, after huge cost overruns and exposure of the poor planning and execution of the project, City Council put a measure on the ballot. The council refused to present the citizens with a simple question, “continue the project yes or no.” Instead, City Council loaded the measure with subjective language intended to influence the voters. Shame on City Council. The mayor and other project proponents leveled false charges of manipulation by dark forces without an ounce of evidence.
Despite these dirty tactics, the citizens instructed the city to stop the project. This time there were 2,044 “no” votes, more than 2.5 times the total votes cast in 2007. And the 2012 vote was preceded by extensive education of the public by both sides of the debate, the kind of voter education that should have happened in 2007.
The citizens have spoken at the polls against continuing the project. City Council should respect the public’s decision and stop the project. As mayor, I would oppose any effort to continue the project. I would oppose any effort to manipulate public opinion using public resources.
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