Basing his judgement on the unsuccessful petition drive efforts of the candidate he defeated in November, City Councilor TJ Thomson has withdrawn his support for a public vote on the funding for a street car in downtown Boise.
In a statement to the GUARDIAN, TJ said, “The fact that David Litster was not able to acquire the small number of signatures necessary to request a public vote on the streetcar, to me, sends a loud and clear message that the public will for such a vote does not exist.”
We are disappointed in TJ’s reasoning. Consider the following:
–There certainly is no “loud and clear” message opposing the right of citizens to vote on debt. That is simply not true! There was no support of Litster.
–TJ ignores the voice of citizens on TWO scientific public opinion polls (funded by the Idaho Statesman) and OVERWHELMING public opposition on the Mayor’s own HOTLINE on a weekly basis.
–TJ bases his judgement on the actions (or inactions of late) of the guy he defeated in the election.
–The only real message is that after losing the election for council to TJ, Litster lost a petition campaign.
TJ went on to say, “While I would have voted in favor of the public vote had this initiative acquired the number of signatures necessary to move forward, I believe that we have now heard a loud and clear message that Boise’s citizens want and expect the officials they elected to vote on the matter following public testimony.”
Had the petition drive attained enough signatures, TJ wouldn’t have had a choice about voting in favor or against. Yet another elected official has succumbed to the idea citizens don’t need authority of the debt they are obligated to pay…or at a minimum a binding voice in one of the most profound public works projects in the history of the city.
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