LETTER: Referendum or initiative needed on pool for Mitchell
To the Editor It was just a year ago this month the Mitchell mayor and City Council put their collective heads together and came up with a wish list for the foreseeable future. The list included: (A) A new ice sheet at the hockey rink; (B) An upd...
To the Editor
It was just a year ago this month the Mitchell mayor and City Council put their collective heads together and came up with a wish list for the foreseeable future.
The list included: (A) A new ice sheet at the hockey rink; (B) An update of the library; (C) Part 1 of the Corn Palace rebuild; (D) Part 2 of the Corn Palace -- renovation of the old City Hall and placing a museum and theater therein; and (E) A new city hall on First Avenue and Main Street.
If every item was included, it came up with a projected cost of approximately $14 million, which just happened to be about the amount the city could legally sell bonds and stay within the city's debt limits set by state statutes without an emergency clause.
Shortly after the start of 2014, a representative of the Mitchell Aquatic Club approached the council requesting monies for a new pool -- no more monies in the pot. Decision: should we continue on with parts D and E above, or should we fund the pool?
The debate went on for months until the mayor called for the only vote he could. Shall we build the new city hall? The vote was split 4-to-4. When there is a tie, the mayor makes the deciding vote. He said no. Almost instantly, there was a call to vote on funding for the pool -- it was 7 for and 1 against. Measure passed.
Since then the debate goes on: Where to locate it? How much will it cost? And now there is a request for more than $20,000 to have an out-of-town consulate firm make those decision for us.
In prior meetings, two or three of the members stated their ward's constituency overwhelmingly wanted the pool. From my conversations around town, the opposite is the norm; however, I don't have many voters in my apartment.
Councilor Mel Olson, who seems to want to revert back to the original plan, may have finally said the two words that could resolve the issue: referendum/initiative.