Friday, Dec. 21 2012 5:17PM
No wonder we’re confused
By John Beaudoin
In city as well planned out and well run as ours, we sure know how to muddy up an issue.
I hate to take things this direction over the holidays, but good Lord, Lee’s Summit council members, get your stuff together.
I can now see why Councilmember/curmudgeon Bob Johnson gets so aggravated when he has to continually pull out his “rules and regulations” talking points.
So, here is what we learned last week during an important discussion about a city ballot issue to bond for arts and roads projects:
-First, several council members who have been through this process before simply don’t know or don’t remember how this entire ballot process works.
-Second, it’s OK to vote against a project and then bring that project back to the table, just make sure you, thirdly, have to rely on Johnson to help you through that process.
Frustrating, fellas. Really, really frustrating.
It’s no wonder we may have a lack of citizen interest. Our city council made following the bonding ballot ball about as easy as understanding the healthcare act.
Bottling your own beer could have been done quicker than this.
Councilmember Ed Cockrell wanted to add a $3 million dollar improvement package for Orchard Street to the bond issue. That issue was voted down when Allan Gray, Derek Holland, Dave Mosby and Johnson – with a tiebreaker from Mayor Randy Rhoads – voted against the issue.
Without Orchard on the ballot, our spring no-tax-increase bond election was going to simply include arts initiatives for downtown Lee’s Summit and Legacy Park and improvements to Pryor Road.
Cockrell argued that it was fiscally prudent to include, not eliminate, the Orchard project while bonding rates were low. He didn’t get enough people to agree with him.
Or did he?
Cockrell must have made a compelling case for Orchard because later on, Gray re-introduced the Orchard project, which prompted another round of “This is How you Legislate” courtesy of Johnson, who reminded the council that bringing back Orchard would actually require two votes since it was voted down already.
Have we made this difficult enough yet?
This council and, God help them, city staff, are going to have to sell this bond project to the voters for passage in a few months. They sure didn’t get off on great footing.
Here’s a simple plea for a 2013 resolution: get in sync, council. The recent retreat clearly didn’t help with that and it is going to take leadership from everyone, up to and including the mayor and Gray, the pro tem, to get that done.
We’re a city better than wishy-washy maybes and sort ofs.
We just rode through some rocky terrain to get to a solution.
Make the New Year one of smooth driving, not only for your sake but for the sake of our citizens and a clear understanding of what it is you all are doing up there.