I’m going to take a break from railing against socialism to talk about something local.
The Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) has released the results of the Moran Plant survey we filled out when we voted (the yellow ballot). Regarding use of the space: 86% liked or strongly liked the idea of a waterfront park. 74% liked or strongly liked the idea of a community recreation center. Regarding the building: 66% said whether to keep it or remove it was dependent on the decided use. 55% said they wanted it torn down. Only 34% voted to fix it up. The complete results are available on the CEDO website here.
In a Free Press article from March 17, 2006, CEDO Director Michael Monte said that there would most likely be a specific plan with a price tag placed before the voters in November.
I think it’s great that the city government has finally gotten the message that the voters want to be consulted on waterfront development matters. What concerns me, though, is that they want to put this on the November ballot.
This November, we have for the first time in ages, congressional races that warrant real attention. We have a US House and a US Senate seat that are open. We also have elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State Legislature.
The voters of Burlington should be, and will be, focused on these state and national races. Then is not the time to decide the fate of the waterfront.
Next Town Meeting Day, there will be little of note happening. We will have our standard ward races for one City Council seat and one School Board seat. There might be a ballot item that draws attention. Other than that, there will be nothing distracting us from an open and lively public debate about whatever proposal is put forth for the Moran site.
The citizens of Burlington have made it clear time and time again that we want the waterfront development to be a public process. Shouldn’t the vote wait until a time when that discussion can have our full attention?
What do you think?