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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Buy Junk, Pay via a Ruse?

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
From: arcmi@comcast.net
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 do.
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 non-representative vote.
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.
John Arceri


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