To the Editor: ‘Insulted by council’

I have never been so insulted by the City Council as I was at last week’s Quality of Life Special Workshop. A workshop that was presented by Council to be a workshop for the public to be informed of possible future recreation additions, the cost of the additions, a discussion on the need for the additions and a discussion on the question of seeking a new Parks and Recreation Benefit Assessment District Tax.

It was not a workshop at all, it was a propaganda exhibit and gathering of the proponents of the new Assessment District Tax, so the City could make a false impression that the City considered the public’s input. There were no presentations (other than posters) and no discussion or process in place to allow any meaningful shared public discussion, comment or input.

A workshop that was setup, because there were numerous citizens that complained that the City Council decided to proceed with a new Parks and Recreation Benefit Assessment District Tax, without identifying why it was needed, how it was going to benefit the citizens as a whole or allow public input at a Council Meeting before proceeding with the tax. The question if the City wanted to consider a assessment district was never put on the agenda for a vote to allow public comments/input before the council made a decision to proceed. Apparently the decision to proceed with the new assessment district was achieved through a serial meeting.

The only agenda question/discussion held before the public on a new assessment district was to proceed with hiring a consultant to identify what was needed create a special assessment district and to handle the process of getting it approved and in place. Every public comment on this agenda item identified the Council needed to put the question of a new assessment district for parks and recreation before the public as an agenda item before any other action. The public wanted the Council to identifying why it was needed, what they expected it to achieve, how they planned on spending the new tax dollars, how it benefitted more than about 10 percent of the people and for the Council to proceed at this point without public approval was getting the cart before the horse.

So much for a representative government.

Ronald L. Porter

Story First Published: 2018-04-06