Recent letters to the editor reveal some confusion about the results of the May 2017 Rec Bond election. To be clear, the Rec Bond question was whether to raise property taxes to proceed with five recreation projects. By a narrow vote, the town declined to support a property-tax increase. However, many citizens—those who voted for the bond and quite a few who voted against it—made it very clear that they want to see individual projects move forward.
Some of the most vocal critics of the Rec Bond pleaded with Council to find “a better way” to fund the projects, in fact—they did not say the projects should be killed entirely, quite the contrary. To that end, councilors went on record to state that if the bond failed, there was still CIP funding that could be used to proceed with individual projects. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the Council is doing exactly what they said they would do: listening to their constituents, following through on their promises.
At tomorrow’s (Tuesday’s) Council meeting, the Council is asked to determine next steps for the five projects. The town has $10.8 million of capital improvement funds available now, with $1.2 million to be added to the capital improvement fund each year. The Council will debate allocating that funding for a splash pad, much-needed golf-course improvements, and a multi-generational warm pool. As always, there is time set aside at the meeting for public to comment on the proposal, and the public can also write to the councilors if they cannot attend the meeting. This is not a done deal, there is due process, the Council is doing its job.
I can understand that if some “no” voters thought they were casting a ballot to kill all the recreation projects forever, they would be confused, disappointed, and angry by the proposal to move forward with CIP funding. Hopefully the information that the vote was about raising property taxes, not viability or need for recreation facilities, will clear up at least the confusion.
Whether and how to move forward with the projects is very much an open question, and those who would like to see the town’s recreation facilities improved should speak up. I encourage you to attend the meeting and/or write to the County Council at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you support the proposal.