Wow. 1325 people dragged themselves down to City Hall during the busy Christmas holidays and voted against City Council’s proposal to spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars now, and $millions later, on the Ross Street Underpass. 36 more votes and the Council motion would have been defeated.
1325 people is 50% of the number of people who voted in our last civic election for the candidate getting the most votes – Mayor Nancy Cooper. And 70% of the number the elected councillor with the fewest votes – Chad Eliason – received.
You might think it would give politicians pause, when 50 to 70% of the number of people who voted you in now vote against the largest discretionary spending measure of your term. And that it might encourage you to address the many unanswered questions around that spending. But apparently not.
No one at City Hall has ever responded to the fundamental question of why we need a $9 million underpass, given that 90% of trips across the tracks have no delay, 1 in 10 trips have a few minute wait, and there are other areas of the City with longer emergency response times.
No one at City Hall has explained why it is not financially irresponsible to commit to spending $330,000 of your money now, before any information is forthcoming from the City about why a $9Million underpass is needed, how it will affect the downtown, how it will be financed, and how it will impact other spending priorities and your taxes.
Because when that information is finally presented to the entire electorate, including the many people who still have no idea any of this is happening, that electorate may reject the underpass. And then hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars will have been wasted.