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City Hall Park - 1/31/2019 - Published on Front Porch Forum

 

Thank you to the over 150 people who weighed in on my question of whether or not to put
the City Hall Park project on the ballot! I've posted many questions here over the years and
received lots of input, but this question topped all others and your message was clear and
emphatic in 120 of those emails: "Don't put this question on the ballot!" I will also admit your
response was unexpected. I thought most would say, "What's the harm? Go ahead and put it
on the ballot." I was wrong.


Many of the emails defended the lengthy process and public input and felt putting it on the
ballot was obstructionist at this point and anti-democratic. Some of those asking me to keep
the question off the ballot had actually signed the petition to put it on the ballot.
Less than 25% of the emails supported putting the question on the ballot, but they were
equally emphatic in their pitch for democracy. They were also divided in opinion about the
merits of the park plan itself.


Thank you all, regardless of which side you came out on, for your input. What you said was
as important as how many said it. The emails were truly informative about your feelings, and
logic in your choice. You persuaded me. I have certainly received a few emails, since the
vote, telling me I was wrong and appreciate that is always a possibility. I did the best I could
to reflect what I heard from constituents and hope you can appreciate the process I went
through to make my decision.


One constituent who wanted the question on the ballot, asked me to share this fact with all of
you on Front Porch Forum: The current park has 51 trees. The new park design has 48
trees. He said he wished he had known that.


I also want to extend my thanks to the activists and citizens who worked so hard to add more
trees to the plan. While we did not agree on the ballot question, the advocacy around the
issue created tangible results and revisions in the plan along the way to final approval last
June. Thank you for all your hard work and caring so deeply about our City and the park.
The motion to put place a question on the ballot to cancel the current plans for City Hall Park
failed in a 6-6 vote.


Yours gratefully, 
Joan

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