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Hello ajm3s, you've not got it quite right, and of course Mr. Constantino has it pretty much wrong. My motion May 20 (which failed 3-3, with Batte/Honecker/Petricca opposed, Honig/Kiester/Magel in favor, and Sacher absent) was to "direct staff and the City Attorney to evaluate the proposed contract ... provide a range of financing alternatives with their concomitant impact on (fiscal years) and present findings to Council." We're pretty much going to do all of that anyway. My motion was simply to keep the process moving along. That's going to happen. My motion probably failed because of the heat of the moment, rather than because of its merits. Welcome to politics. I'm doing my dead-level best to figure out how to work with my colleagues, all of whom I respect, within the confines of the sunshine laws, which mean of course that I can basically talk with them only when everyone is looking on. Fine, but sometimes it keeps me from 'splainin myself.
As I noted in Council on May 20 when this came up, the proposal for a new Mackle Park Community Center as presented by City staff (in what I felt and said publicly was an excellent response to requests and input over the past few months) has met or exceeded all of the requests of City Council, including mine (which when I ran for office included "reduce the cost, reduce the scale"). Councilor Honecker investigated and found a responsive construction company, for which I applaud him.
And there is no "rush." Chairman Batte was very clear and forceful, stating that he wanted to make sure that citizens had a very ample chance to weigh in. Whether the Mackle Park Community Center goes to referendum or not, who knows. I'm on record that it does not need to. Others may disagree. But the vote on May 20 did not speak to that issue. Batte / Honecker / Petricca did not in fact vote against the proposed center. That vote is yet to come. We as City Council still need the legal and contract assessment, and we still need to understand and discuss the funding.
Finally, to ajm3s, as to your assertion that I "need to show a commitment to the citizens," I applaud you for attention to detail. Yes, I wanted us as City Council to show such a commitment. Since the original Community Center was built, the population of our Island has increased just shy of 100%. The center is not up to code on any significant aspect (electrical, hurricane, plumbing, Americans with Disabilities Act). I think the various push-backs to the "Taj Mahal" Community Center have given rise to a much more modest and community-consistent proposal that should be presented to City Council after vetting as I specified and as Councilor Honecker advocated as well, and then voted up or down by City Council. We have enough information. We have enough input. Time to vote.
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