The following is an open letter from David Klinger, one of the organizers of the petition drive to allow citizens a vote on the proposed library and sports stadium projects.
Dear Concerned Neighbor,
Petitions for ballot initiatives have to be signed on paper, and attested to, in person, before a notary public. Online signing isn’t an option and is fraught with security issues. We apologize if you had difficulty finding us … but an amazing number of Boiseans did. Here are the numbers, as of 4/30/19, of your fellow citizens who are simply asking for a vote on two of the largest and most impactful projects to come along in years in downtown Boise:
o Sports stadium — 7,148 signatures
o Events center/library — 7,311 signatures
The law required us to obtain signatures from 4,962 Boise citizens (20 percent of the citizens who voted in the last municipal election in 2017) who are also registered voters, within a fairly short amount of time (about eight rainy weeks). We produced more than 7,000 for each of the two ballot initiatives. The Ada County Board of Elections now has 60 days to review these petitions to determine whether the citizens qualify for a November 2019 vote.
And a vote is all we have asked for. Boise Working Together has not taken a position on either the downtown sports stadium or the downtown events center/library. We simply think that citizens — you and me — have a right to determine the future of their city … in this case, by having a more meaningful say on just two projects (their costs, their impacts, their benefits, and their drawbacks … in the form of a vote that might provide greater public consent than currently exists.
Thank you for your part in helping us assert that citizens should control their destiny … and that of this lovely city. Big projects require a “big tent”, and no government should ever fear a vote of its people.
Note. When Klinger and his supporters presented the final batch of petitions to the City Clerk, Mayor Dave Bieter issued the following statement to the media: “This process activated the thousands of Boiseans who support these projects and refused to sign the petition. That grassroots support shows that Boiseans understand the benefits of these projects and want to see them happen.”
We find it strange Team Dave would construe a desire to vote as opposition to the projects or refusal to sign a petition advocating a citizen vote as support for the projects.
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