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Wednesday, March 13,2013

Kids in the Hall

Council approves Red Cedar Golf Course redevelopment proposal, doesn’t reconsider sidewalk millage. Council member Robinson asks: What gives?

by Andy Balaskovitz
Tuesday, Aug. 28 — Third Ward Councilwoman A’Lynne Robinson was the only Council member to vote against asking voters to approve a new plan for the former Red Cedar Golf Course. She did so because she thinks the Council is inconsistent when it comes to placing ballot measures before voters.

Robinson broke with the seven other Council members Monday night on a resolution to ask voters permission to sell 48 more acres of the former golf course. Earlier in the meeting, an effort to reconsider a three-year sidewalk maintenance millage failed 4-4, with Robinson joining Council members Jessica Yorko, Kathie Dunbar and Tina Houghton in support. The same resolution failed at last week’s meeting.

“I am deeply amused and annoyed by this coming forward,” she said prior to voting against the Red Cedar proposal.  She then spoke directly to Council President Brian Jeffries, who supported the Red Cedar proposal but opposed the sidewalk millage. The Council could have placed both ballot questions on Nov. 6 ballots tonight. “Last week we said it’s not OK to hide behind the skirts of the voters and continue to take things back to them. I’d like to see consistency in how we bring these to voters.”

More on the golf course proposal here; more on the sidewalk millage here.

First Ward Councilwoman Jody Washington — who joined Jeffries on the votes — said that voter approval is necessary to sell dedicated parkland, unlike raising the millage rate. Robinson said that wasn’t the point: “My concern is that we’re not consistent when we choose to go to voters, when we choose to exercise responsibilities.”

Washington then said the sidewalk issue should have been worked out “during the budget process” (the Council voted to allocate $60,000 for sidewalks in this year’s budget) and that now isn’t the time to be asking for a millage.

“At some point I’m going to say enough is enough,” Washington said.
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