Council should locate the barn
The intent of my statement during Open Forum at the Jamestown Town Council meeting on April 9, 2007 and reported in the Jamestown Press on April 12, 2007 was misunderstood by the reporter.
The substance of my comments in the Town Council meeting regarding the possibility that this Town Council would vote to have the location of a highway barn placed on a public referendum is as follows:
I have sat in many Town Council meetings with this Town Council and the previous Town Council. I have seen councilors listen to state and town officials, consultants, attorneys and sometimes throngs of citizens that have come to air their points of view on community issues that concerned them. Many of these issues were very contentious. The councilors would listen to the professionals and the citizens, then discuss the issues and make a decision. I have never seen a Town Council abrogate their responsibility by allowing the public to vote on an issue simply because it is contentious. Placing the location of a highway barn on the ballot is irresponsible because this is such a complicated issue. There are a myriad of issues to consider including; environmental, zoning, legal, permitting, length of time to complete the project, and neighborhood issues that this council has had months to discuss. Many of these discussions have been conducted in executive sessions where the public has and will never have knowledge of the information and advice councilors are receiving.
A decision on the location of a highway barn should not be a popularity contest. These are serious issues with serious ramifications for our community. The council needs to assume the responsibility and make a decision on the location. Then, I believe it is the voters right to vote on whether they support funding that project by having the bond issue on a public referendum. Bond issues should not be decided by 100 people who attend the financial town meeting each year.
Susan R. Little