Last June, I was pleased that the Northfield City Council voted 4-2 to have the citizens vote in November on whether or not the city should issue bonds to pay for new police and fire facilities. (In August, they voted to put the Safety Center project on hold.) Last night, they voted instead to issue Capital Improvement (CIP) general obligation bonds. I’m eager to hear the rationale.
In this economic climate, I don’t understand why the Council doesn’t want the public to weigh in on such an important decision. Getting it built a little sooner hardly seems reason enough. I’m not the only one. See this Nov. 19 Northfield News editorial:
Now that the Northfield City Council has agreed on the scope and cost of a new Safety Center, we want to reiterate our belief that the question of how to fund the facility needs to go before the voters… There’s little doubt that the police and fire departments need a new facility, one out of the flood plain that will allow their staffs to work more effectively and efficiently. But we believe those shouldering the burden need to decide if the added cost is a payment they’re willing to make.
For those of us taxpayers who object, we can gather signatures to try to reverse the council’s financing decision, forcing the Council to put it before the voters in November. The City’s website says:
A reverse referendum petition must be signed by voters equal to five percent of the votes cast in the city in the last general election and is filed with the City Clerk within 30 days after the public hearing. Should the decision be made to issue CIP bonds and should a reverse referendum petition succeed, the question would be put to the voters in the fall general election.
Northfield Patch: Northfield City Councilors Approve Safety Center Financing
Nfld News: Safety Center financing selected