Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Now this is kind of scary. Previous Next
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Mcp001
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Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2440
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 10:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Forwarded to me by a friend of mine over in EP-way, when the right to vote gets trumped by a politician, I get a little bit concerned.

quote:

"I honestly feel they're handcuffing council. It's our job as elected officials to make these decisions."



Funny, I don't recall hearing those arguments from New Haven or Utica?
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Hooha
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Username: Hooha

Post Number: 136
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 10:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't get it. The politician is expressing annoyance because he feels delaying action will cost the city money. Where does it say he's trying to stop the vote?
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Mcp001
Member
Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2442
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 11:01 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

These residents had to go out on their own to get the required number of signatures to place the issue on the ballot.

According to him, no one on his cc wanted to place to issue on the ballot or even sign the petition.

Something I learned a long time ago about taxation without representation comes to mind here...
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 339
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 11:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's because you fail to realize that this is NOT a true democracy, it is a republic. For most issues, your elected representatives (city council in this case) decide the issues, it is NOT a direct vote. There is no 'taxation without representation'.

If we vote on every issue, what's the point of having a city council? or a state legislature? That's what he's saying. It has nothing to do with a right to vote.
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Mcp001
Member
Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2443
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 12:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So how do you explain the fact that Utica had and New Haven is currently allowing their residents the right to vote on their bond issue, but Eastpointe could not?
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Scottr
Member
Username: Scottr

Post Number: 340
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 2:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Because different cities choose to do it different ways. New Haven and Utica chose to take it straight to the voters. Eastpointe did not, but some voters feel it should. Those citizens used the system in place to request a vote, as is their right. The mayor is not 'not allowing' it, he simply happens to not agree with the idea of putting it on the ballot, saying that's the reason you have elected officials, to decide such things.

I notice that your New Haven example seems to be a case where it was NOT put to a vote, but after some questions over the arrangement to lease it, some residents wanted a vote on it. It didn't come to the point of needing a petition, but the succeeding council president opted to bring it to a vote. Had the previous council president still been in office, things may have ended up differently.

I'm not saying I agree with 'not' putting it to a vote in this case, but it is perfectly legal and a normal way of doing things. On the other hand, if we put everything to a vote, why are we paying our elected officials? What are they really doing, if we decide everything anyways?

If the residents of Eastpointe really feel that their elected representatives acted in a way that was not in their best interests, they will (or should) remove them for office. I understand the need for petitions, that's why that is written into the law. Perhaps the city council underestimated the numbers of those opposed to a new city hall, and did what they felt was the will of the people. But the same could be said of the petitioners - and it won't be the first referendum to fail miserably if it does.
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Mcp001
Member
Username: Mcp001

Post Number: 2445
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 6:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It sounds like you have some inside info on the situation...care to share your take on the outcome?
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Scottr
Member
Username: Scottr

Post Number: 341
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Tuesday, February 27, 2007 - 8:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

No, no inside info, I neither live there myself nor know anyone that does. However, the city I live in is also looking at building a new combined city hall/museum/library/district court building, so it's interesting to hear other cities' problems and issues. The complaints on our project have been endless, at least to hear the local weekly paper explain it, although the Flint Journals articles seem to not be as negative. Whatever the case, when looked at objectively, most of the arguments against it are just ill-informed, knee-jerk reactions. The local government here has acted very responsibly in my opinion, but has gotten a bad rap because of poor reporting and an outspoken minority.

I would agree that there probably should be some sort of limit on what a city council can spend without a vote. Perhaps the voters should also introduce an ordinance or whatever they need to do such a thing. But I can hardly fault any city council for handling a matter in what they felt was a fiscally responsible way.

BTW, ours is going to a vote in August.

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