So, fixing the dilapidated $100million sewage treatment plant was to be paid by creating an unneeded demand (a new sewage system)? Uhm ...
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 11:58:47 AM
Subject: Sewer Referendum
To: Bill Moss
Cc: Rony Joel
Attachments: Attach0.html 3K
In the last 30 minutes I received two call s from people I know who have
questioned the sewer program in the past saying they read the papers today and
wanted me to know how appreciative they are of the deferral program. "It makes
sense and is fair" was the constant message.
The more I think about a self imposed referendum the more I get concerned about
what will happen. I want to make sure we are not responding to a minority of the
council or a real minority, extreme group of our citizens and throw the entire
sewer issue into a shambles. After all, we purchased the water system and spent
over $100 million without a referendum because we felt it was the right thing to
Some concerns to think about and I would really like to discuss sometime Friday
afternoon, if possible:
1. Since all will vote and include some 50-60% of the people already on sewers,
the opposition will (rightfully) claim that this is a biased and
2. CARES will push that the vote should not be sewers or no sewers but to vote
no and force the City to stop the sewer program and search for alternatives.
They will agree that something needs to be done and this will sell. Will we then
vote on the alternatives (whatever that may be) by referendum?
3. We have talked about the need for upgrades of the exitsing plant. Some of
this ($30 million) was going to be paid for by the monthly charge of $40 to all
sewer customers - new and old. If so and we cancel the program who will pay for
this upgrade if we only have half the customers on line?
4. We must address who pays for the $14 million "lost" if the people decide to
turn down the sewer program? It's an impact all must be aware of.
Bill, I will keep sending you additional thoughts as I think of them so we both
have a chance to consider the radical action of a referendum. As of this moment
I am not feeling good about such an action. We all (you me, staff) must realize
that nothing of real long term value comes easy. The real difficult issues that
have a lot of pain and suffering usually have good long term results - "no pain,
no gain" was a guiding rule for me. As I mentioned I have no problem with a 4-3
split (especially when the 3 appear to just want some information or a more
uniform assessment process). Suggest we let the pain of last night settle for a
few days, see how the press spins this and get input on what people think of the
new deferral program. I will get a major sense this Thursday when I meet with
150 or so members of the Mens Club (which I am still trying to get a portable
mike which the Men's Club is saying they can't get from the City - I have
reached out to Laura for help for the 1 hour 10-11 Thursday at Mackle Park)
Keep the faith.