Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Referendum Removal Rejected

The Common Council rejected a motion to rescind the $33.5M bond ordinance that will fund improvements to the parks. The vote was 7 to 5 against rescinding the bond referendum, with Tom Serra joining the 4 Republicans in voting to remove the bonding referendum from the ballot.

Thus, the fate of the bond will be determined by voters in November.

This was the third vote on the bonding referendum, and as at the first two, the meeting brought out over 50 residents. 27 people spoke on the motion to rescind.

Three spoke in favor of rescinding, arguing that there were not enough details for voters to know what would be done with the money. Heather Iadorosa, President of Middletown Lacrosse said there were too many unknowns, "[we] don't know about the plan for the fields."

The other 24 speakers urged Council member to oppose the motion to rescind, and to let the voters decide. David Brown said that the Council had already made a decision, a sentiment that many in the room seemed to share, "I'm kind of amazed I'm here again... We've been here, we've done this, let's move on."

In their discussions, Council members elaborated on some of the same reasons they gave last week when they voted on whether to put the bond before voters. Tom Serra had harsh words for residents who were unwilling to allow artificial turf on any city fields, calling them "outrageously close-minded", with "stubborn inflexibility."  He said artificial turf was safe, "what do you deduct from ivy league schools having synthetic fields?"

He called for "reworking" of the bond ordinance, "it should be delayed so we can do it properly." The 4 Republican council members agreed with Serra. Sandra Russo-Driska said there needs to be a more detailed plan before she could support a bond of this magnitude, "We have a have a duty and a responsibility to present to the residents of this city the best possible plans."

In an interview with The Eye, Russo-Driska said she agrees that all fields should be natural grass, but that the lack of planning and the ongoing maintenance problems would not allow her to support the bond referendum.

Last week Seb Giuliano argued that the removal of artificial turf was equivalent to breaking Humpty Dumpty, and he castigated those who would not put him back together. This week he said that not only was the bond ordinance "failing to do so, it made Ole Humpty into an omelette." There was more, about too many ingredients, and people eating it up, and heartburn, but I am not sure this writer can do it justice.

Mary Bartolotta  suggested that the real reason for opposition to the bond ordinance was something other than a lack of a detailed plan. She pointed out that before the issue of synthetic turf arose, not one of the bond opponents had raised any issues about insufficient information. Other Democrats reiterated what many of the speakers said, that it was time to move forward.


Anonymous said...

This is an outrage! There is a need for recommending language reversing the rejecting of the removing of the revised referendum. Really.

Anonymous said...

Tom has harsh words for the public? Hey Tom, you are no longer a school principle or an athlete. Listen to what the people that elected you are saying. In fact, you have been there too long. The era of do as I say and not as I do is over for you. When it comes to behavior like that at this meeting, knock it off. You are a public official for crying out loud.

Middletown Eye (Ed McKeon) said...

Reverentially, reversing recent ratifications rarely requires regurgitating radical rationales repeatedly, rather, righting wrongs removes repudiated revelations. Republicans wrapped reverberating reasoning repostulating redesigns, reweighing redresses, recapping rogueries, reediting reflections. Refusing wrecked redesign risible Democrats redo revote. Except one.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Ed McKeon's writing, I could not have said it better myself!