To The Editor:
I would like to point out some issues I have with the pending sales tax increase for a new park in Union.
The city has over $8 million of unrestricted funds in the bank as well as large balances in several accounts. Check the June 30, 2012, financial report.
Why did the city purchase wetlands to build a park? The site appears to be the worst land in that area for building sports fields.
What is the true cost of the park? The study says over $9 million. City officials say it won’t cost that much, but never state what it will cost. Left out of the price is the cost of issuing the bonds and the interest. The interest on $9 million over 20 years will be in the millions of dollars. How much money are we really talking about, $11 million, $12 million, or more?
City officials say building parks has motivated businesses to move to other towns and create jobs. Name the towns, the businesses and number of jobs that moved there because the city built a park. As far as creating city jobs for grass cutters the city should get out of that business. There are hundreds of people in the grass cutting business in Union and the surrounding area who could be contracted to perform that task.
The city paid for a study that stated Union has a sufficient number of sports fields and that the city could save money by realigning the various departments. After paying for the study the city officials completely dismissed the results.
The city is spending money on a special election when we have an election scheduled for the fall. City officials say it’s important to have a single issue election. It appears to me the purpose is to have a lower voter turnout in hopes only those in favor of the issue will vote. This strategy has worked in the past for other taxing entities.
The city is restricting voting to the city hall under the guise of saving money. If they really want to save money why are they having a special election? The city hall is the most difficult place to vote in the city. There is very limited and very restrictive parking, many steps, long wheelchair ramps, and long walks to the voting booth. The building is extremely difficult to access for both the handicap and elderly voters. Compare the city hall to the Lutheran Church for example. Are the city leaders trying to restrict who votes? If you as a voter are intimidated by the thought of voting at the city hall I urge you to contact the county clerk’s office and get an absentee ballot.