Bond 2012 Workshop Results in Confusion

A special Bond 2012 workshop before Tuesday's City Council meeting seemed to produce more confusion than answers.

So much so that the city manager had to ask at the end of the regular Council meeting exactly what City Council wanted.

City Council has an August 14 deadline to approve what bond items it wants to put on the November ballot. The City staff recommended that Council only place $55 million worth of bond proposals on the November ballot.

$45 million of that would be for street repairs. The remaining dollars would be spent on parks and city building repairs. Then, every three years, a street bond proposal would go before voters, in addition to the regular four-year bond cycle.

But then, Council began coming up with different proposals, like having the street bond election every two years, and at a price tag of $55 million. Others on Council wondered why more money wasn't being proposed to repair streets.
"I thought we were going to get a project list this week that was going to be in the $200 million range, of which $150 million would be spent over a ten-year period," Councilman David Loeb said. "So I thought we were going to have twice as many streets. So what happened?"

"I don't think I heard anybody say don't do it, but I didn't hear anyone say do it either," City Manager Ron Olson said. "So what we need is direction from the Council. If you wanted a $200 million proposal, tell us that. Five of you say that, and then we'll do it."

Even at the end of the workshop, many people are still confused about what exactly Council had in mind for the bond election.


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