Last login: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Mr. Polasek,Your recollection of facts does not seem to agree with what was recorded in the official minutes of the council.
You state “We made no decisions about pursuing any site at that time” yet the minutes reflect “the City contacted the Zoo to indicate interest in the property”. A statement read by then city manager Windwehen also states “By March 20 2009 the recommended site was the zoo property”. The minutes also report the reason for the executive session was to consider the “proposed purchase of property for a wastewater treatment plant”. Every decision mentioned and every reference in the minutes appears to involve pursuing a site.
If, as you contend, “the city had completed the initial treatment plant assessment only” why do the minutes reflect that the city had an interest in this property and why did Windwehen’s statement reflect “the recommended site was the zoo property”? How could this be the recommended site if, as you claim, only an initial assessment was made? The two stories don’t seem to agree.
The minutes also state, referring to the same property that it” would have been a good piece of property engineering wise but we owed it to the citizens in the community to make sure that they felt comfortable and safe”. You say the concerned citizen group is the cause of additional cost for not agreeing to mediation yet the minutes presented to the public in 2009 indicate it was important the community “felt comfortable and safe”. Why was this issue of “comfortable and safe” OK when raised by a council member(s) and the site rejected but now that citizens are raising the exact same issue over the exact same site it is THEIR fault the costs will increase?
It seems all costs expended by the council such as consultant fees (whose recommendation was rejected in only 35 minutes of discussion), increased property purchase price and others are OK but when citizens rise an issue that causes additional costs it is detrimental to the city. In my mind trying to push this issue of additional costs on to the backs of a group of concerned citizens is the epitome of political posturing, but of course that is only my opinion.
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The quote that the vote on funding of experts is “political posturing” is amazing based on who is making the statement. On April 27, 2009 the council, after exiting a closed session, stated in the minutes “The majority feel that it was too close to the City limits and housing and the smell would be a problem” referring to the parcel of land recommended by the engineering firm at that time. It only took 35 minutes to reject a recommendation that was formulated by professional engineers after spending tens of thousands of dollars and several months of studies. Was it political posturing that supported this statement or was it made to redirect the concerns of those citizens who own property adjacent to the proposed plant? No one outside of the council will ever know as all of this went on behind closed doors.
Mr. Halepaska has been quoted in the paper a number of times stating the decision regarding this location should be based on science. Many would like to know what science changed from April of 2009 until the time this location was purchased. If the science did not exist in 2009 when this site was recommended, what new scientific breakthroughs were revealed that changed the fact that, according to a majority of council members in 2009, the site was “too close to the City limits and housing”? Was the purchase of this site the best decision or more political posturing?
It was reported several weeks back in the Advocate that alternate sites would cost $500,000 to $50million more than the site selected. Based on the reality that around $200,000 more was spent on the purchase of this site than what it would have cost in 2009 plus now an additional estimate of $175,000 to defend the permit it appears the $500,000 cost of an alternate site would have been a good deal financially for the taxpayers and personally for the concerned citizens who have opposed the current site.
I don’t think this is a question of is a new waste water treatment plant needed? I think this has become a question of believing what we as citizens are being told. The site was not right in 2009/now it is the only workable site. Close proximity and smell was a problem in 2009/now it is not a problem. Engineering studies in 2009 recommended the site and council rejected it/different engineering recommends the site later and council accepts it. There has been a 180 degree change in the direction council has gone regarding the same piece of property and in the end the taxpayers are the ones who pay ALL OF the costs. The responsibilities for the additional costs are directly on the shoulders of the council and any attempt to say they are the results of the actions of concerned citizens is political posturing at its finest.
As with most instances of anyone having an opposing opinion to yours, you miss the big picture and try to redirect from the question at hand.
Per the State code: "Regarding all recount deadlines: The request is considered submitted AT THE TIME OF ITS RECEIPT. [Sec. 212.003]."
Per the State code: "Recount coordinator has 48 hours to review petition and must promptly notify the petitioner of each defect. [Sec. 212.029]."
Per your response you state "the election code gives room for revisions to a candidate's application". Please point out in the code the provision that allows the Recount coordinator to request a revised petition after the 48 hour review period has expired. I prefer to not have your normal double speak, I would like Election code cites by section and paragraph that support your opinion.
Looking forward to it. Thanks, Jeff Williams
Victoria Advocate Editorial Board,
At what point do you believe State mandated guidelines should be followed? To support allowing a revised application after the period for doing so passed shows your indifference to following the rules. Would you have supported a candidate in having a second chance to file if they missed the original deadline for entering the race? It appears rules are only to be followed if it supports an agenda that you favor.
There are formal deadlines imposed in every aspect of life beginning in grade school and earlier. I recall teachers in high school who required "college ruled" paper when submitting work and if it was submitted on any other style of paper it was deemed late and/or incomplete with no provision to resubmit. I wonder if in your personal lives you disregard IRS imposed deadlines for filing tax returns? Do you follow the prescribed forms or just file your return in a format you feel is adequate? How about your own deadlines for submitting information for inclusion in your publication? Do you arbitrarily allow some to submit after the deadlines while others must meet the posted schedule?
I don't disagree that a recount was justified. I cannot support a position that disregarding the rules when it is expedient by someone who is supposed to be impartial, Armstrong, is serving the best interest of the public in general. There will come a time when his intentional disregard for rules and regulations will cost the taxpayers of Victoria.
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This is another incident of Armstrong over stepping his authority. Recall he has previously shown that following State guidelines for running his campaign was of no importance. Now it appears that following State guidelines for a recount request is also of no importance. He continues to manipulate State and local guidelines/ordinances to fit his personal agenda. City Council, four of you just took an oath to uphold Federal, State & local laws. Don't just look the other way, hold Armstrong to the same guidelines that every elected official is subject to.
Why is there live coverage of a city council meeting when there is no agenda or meeting notice that I can find? What is the basis of this meeting?
The link you provided was to the Entertainment page. Was the news of the Relay for Life frontpage or somewhere much deeper in the paper?
I have to agree, this is not front page news.
I guess 75 years ago it would have been front page news if a 5th grader brought a "chaw" of tobacco to school. Let's look for some positive items about our children to put on the front page and not the negative actions of 1 student.
Should be interesting to see whom Armstrong appoints as the Recount Committee. With the apparent loss of the 4 person voting block he has had for the last three years it is important that this committee be composed of people who are above reproach.
The tide is changing with the lock Armstrong has held over the council for three years. The recount process must be as transparent as possible while following the state election guidelines.