Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sales Tax passes

In case you weren't in attendance last night or didn't catch the news this morning, the sales tax proposal passed on a 4-3 vote. Here's the story from the Southern. The DE has several articles on the story, including pointing out in a roundabout way that only $1 million has been raised for Saluki Way besides the city's donation and student fees. This story looks at the council meeting in general, while this one focuses on the critics, though only Linz C. Brown and Councilwoman Pohlman are mentioned. According to the Southern, about 150 people showed up for the meeting and 24 or 27, depending on whether you read the DE or the Southern, spoke.

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Poshard's attitude was truly combative. He acted as though the city owes this money to SIU.

Never mind that this is simply a blank check for the university, and who knows what stipulations will (or won't) be added to it at a later date.

Ricky McCurry has had several years to raise money for this project, and has less than $1 million committed so far. And now we are to expect that giving will accelerate because of the City's contribution. I'll believe it when I see it.

The fact is, Poshard is a consummate politician. He had Moccia working with Cole on this for some time. Anyone remember the picture that appeared in the Southern Illinoisan the day after the Mayoral election with Moccia (a Murphysboro resident) smiling and congratulating Cole on his victory with a beer in the other hand?

Poshard, and the University, is desperate for this money, and he knew that this was the fastest way to get it, because Saluki Way is in serious trouble. Never mind that it was a back room deal cut between Moccia and Cole and supported by idiots on the Council who are more concerned about 'urban sprawl' and the vines growing on Egon Kamarasy's property than they are in thinking critically and taking an issue of this magnitude to the citizens of Carbondale.
Well, now that the tax proposal is a reality, I want to know when all the doomsday scenarios will kick in....people won't shop in Carbondale won't locate in Carbondale...that things in general will go to hell.

We all know these things won't happen. So why to we give people who spout that sort of rhetoric any credibility?
people won't shop in Carbondale won't locate in Carbondale...that things in general will go to hell.

Of the 20 or so comments about the proposal, the vast majority of them mentioned none of these points. There was plenty of support for having a referendum, for example, since this issue was never raised in the election we just had (though its obviously been in the works for some time). There was also a lot of support for maybe just slowing down and seeing what the nature of the agreement/contract between the city and university will look like prior to the vote. Where is the harm in doing either of those two things? If you can listen to Don Monte's speech on this matter, you'll get a very reasoned, non-doomsday set of reasons why we should have at least talked about this as a community a little more.

What gets me is that this was basically done in such a way that the students had no chance to be involved in this decision. It was offered in the middle of the summer and decided the first week they got back. Their fees are already funding 25% of Salukis Way (while they sit in leaky classrooms, which everyone uses) and this creates the potential for them to fund up to another 12.5%. You're free to disagree, but this strikes me as blatantly unfair.
The Cole/Poshard spend-o-meter strikes again! Yes, oh, yes, the average student is just concerned about the new football stadium, other than, I don't know, meaningless things, like the a/c going off in Lawson Hall yesterday, leaky floors, cielings falling apart, concrete cinder block dorm rooms, etc. etc.

Who will save this city? SHAME!
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