The City of Cottonwood has a proud history of allowing its citizens to express their opinions by voting on the largest and most expensive projects the City Council considers.
I believe the Mayor and City Council should follow past precedents and allow the citizens to vote on whether they want an $8 million satellite wastewater plant in Riverfront Park that will not add any capacity to the current system.
For example, in 1987, Cottonwood citizens approved the construction of the main wastewater plant by voting to increase sales tax revenue by 1 percent. Then, when it came to a new library, voters were asked in 1997 to say “yes” or “no” to a .2 increase in city sales tax to pay for it. Finally, in 2006, voters were asked how they felt about building the $17 million Recreation Center by voting “yes” or “no” on a $1 million design bond.
Just because the $8 million or more for the unneeded Riverfront wastewater plant is not (yet) associated with issuing new bonds, that does not mean the precedent established in the past should be ignored.
The city should find a way to put the issue honestly and clearly on a ballet and let the voters decide. The $8 million for a little city like Cottonwood that affects only 4,500 sewer users is a huge expenditure. There remain hundreds of septic systems in the City.
Let citizens decide whether this is how they want this money spent. The only reason I believe the matter will not be referred to the voters is that the voters won’t agree with the mayor and the council on the issue.
But maybe I’m wrong about that. What better way to find the will of the citizens of Cottonwood on this issue than to ask them for their vote. That’s real democracy.