Petition rejected

Just returned from the special City Council meeting held tonight at the City’s finance office. The meeting lasted all of five minutes. To make a short story shorter, the City’s attorney provided his opinion that the petition that was filed, attempting to refer a line item of the city’s budget pertaining to daycare, should be rejected. And that is exactly what the Council did. Following the council’s rejection of the petition, the Petition Filer announced that she will not sue the City or carry this any further.

In a nutshell, there will be no election. (Hooray!)

I asked the Council to consider holding a community gathering sometime in the near future where a dialogue about the daycare could take place. If there is a better way to do this, then let’s all figure it out together and let’s do it.

Comments are always open!

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4 comments so far

  1. Young Man on

    Now that this is over, can we put out a petition to create a tax on wedding supplies and gifts that is based on the percent of money lost the previous fiscal year? It would help the community so much by not only recouping some of it’s losses but also enhance the support of the town that Melanie already provides.

    😛

  2. rani on

    Although I am pleased with the outcome, I have to agree that this is NOT the solution to the problem. I think a huge step forward would be a community forum, some sort of educational meeting for everyone on the daycare as a city entity and how it works for all of us. Anyone who has an interest in finding out the impact of the daycare or their tax implications could ask all the questions they wanted and if the answers could not be found, we could schedule another session after some research was done. Maybe by laying it all out on the table and writing it down we could see the bigger picture and even create a pamphlet type thingy for other communities who are thinking of trying to do the same as we have. We are the trailblazers in this ‘city owned daycare’ environment and I think we could help a lot of other people from going through some pretty tough battles with what we already know and what we will learn in the future. This arrangement is still in its’ baby step stages and I think we’ve already come a long way.

  3. MELANIE on

    Comments from Melanie

    The city council rejected my petition. That put the ball back in my court, my next step would be to hire a lawyer to fight the rejection. I have decided no to do that at this time. I did tell them, that they have one year to get the daycare in the black. I will be attending the city council meetings and I will be keeping close watch over the finances. If they do not succeed in getting it out of the red, by this time next year, I will float another petition and if that one is rejected, I will hire a lawyer next year. Afterall the federal government gives a business 5 years to make a profit. This will be their fifth year.

    In reply to Charla’s blog, I do not feel I have acted irrationally. I knew exactly what I was doing. I am not fighting this fight for myself, but for the seniors and anyone else who is on a fixed income, such as disability. Afterall I probably have more to lose here than anyone, owning a business in town. I was asked by several seniors and even a city council member to bring this issue to a vote. My intentions were to bring to the attention of the city council, that we as tax payers are not happy about tax dollars being used to pay the bills down there, where there are so many other places those tax dollars could be used. This, I have accomplished and they are aware how we feel. Those who live in apartments, where all they pay is their rent and their phone, really don’t have much to lose. How many taxes do they pay anyway?

    When I called the secretary of states’s office, she asked if this issue had ever been voted on by the people. I replied no, and since it had not, she told me, it could be brought to a vote of the people now.

    I remember going to the city council meetings years ago when this issue was on the table and a bunch of us voiced our opinions, but we were ignored. That’s when this issue should have been voted on. When the daycare became a reality, I decided since it was here, I would support it. How many of you are aware, that I bought the material and sewed all the curtains for the daycare? I also donated the majority of the curtain rods. I have also purchased an Easter Bunny costume and set up a photo setting and donated all that money to the daycare. I have supported the daycare. It is time for the daycare to support itself.

    Since I have moved my business up town, I have missed very few city council meetings. I feel as a local business person it is my responsibility to know what is going on in my town. Usually there is only one other person at those meetings. Last winter I missed a couple because of bad health. I have sat at those meetings for years and listened to how much money that daycare has lost. I also remember at those first few meetings on the daycare, that a remark was made, that in six years the daycare would pay the city back in full and instead it has just been costing the city, year after year. I would like to know just how much money that daycare has cost the city since it opened. We know in 2004 it cost $5187.96. I was given by the city finance officer a figure of $669.47 for 2005. However Joe, your hand out, from the regular council meeting says the daycare lost $1716.00 last year. So what is a person supposed to believe. If you took you $69.00 per month lost and divided that by the amount of families (24) using the facility it would equal $2.87 per month. That’s not even a bottle of pop per week, or 2 bottles of beer per month. You could divide the $69.00 by 29 children and that would equal $2.38 per child.

    Our school is in jeopardy, with the numbers being so low. We are facing an opt-out, I’ve been told. If we lose our school it won’t matter if that daycare is there or not. Once your school is gone so is your town. I’ve watched it happen twice, once in the town I grew up in and again in the town I graduated from. The school consolidated in 1972. They still have a bank, post office, and a large elevator. The elevator is what keeps that town going. The grocery store and cafe both closed. The cafe reopened being owned by a small group of local investors. They opened it mainly for the workers at the elevator. It’s only open a few hours a day, morning until mid-afternoon. They however, have managed to keep a gas station open.

    I did manage to accomplish one other thing, and that was to inform the public how the merchants are struggling. We as merchants pay higher taxes on our property and also higher utility rates than other people do. If we are to keep this town alive, we really need to support everyone all the time.
    Thank you to all who signed my petition, keep your pens handy.

  4. joe bart on

    I’ll just respond to the question posed to me in your letter to the editor/comment post, Mel. All the numbers I’ve used were taken from the City’s records. The finance office gave me 2005 year-end financial statements from the daycare and told me they were audited. That’s all I know about them.

    Thanks for the stuff you’ve done/donated to the daycare. I hope you’ll attend a community discussion gathering when we have one.


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