Central City Council opposes Amendment 74

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Council says “no” to Proposition 110 to raise state transportation taxes

By David Josselyn

Regular Council Meeting

Mayor Heider convened the regular meeting of the Central City Council at 7:18 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers preceded by a lengthy work session regarding opposition to Amendment 74 and support of Proposition 110. Remaining Council members; Jeff Aiken, Judy Laratta, Shirley Voorhies, and Mayor Kathy Heider were present. In attendance for Staff were City Manager Daniel Miera, City Attorney Marcus McAskin, City Clerk Reba Bechtel, Community Development Director Ray Rears, Public Works Director Sam Hoover, Utilities Director Jason Nelson, Fire Chief Gary Allen, County Undersheriff John Bain, and Sergeant Kevin Armstrong.

Mayor Heider led the Pledge of Allegiance and then asked for any amendments or additions to the evening’s agenda. Attorney McAskin requested an Executive Session be added at the end of the meeting to instruct negotiators regarding the 1999 Growth IGA. Alderwoman Voorhies moved to approve the addition to the agenda and was seconded by Alderman Aiken. The motion passed unanimously.

Alderwoman Voorhies moved to table Resolution 18-29 indefinitely. Resolution 18-29 was a statement of support by the City Council for Ballot Question 1B. Alderwoman Laratta seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Mayor Heider asked if there were any conflicts of interest for any member of the council. There were no conflicts expressed.

Consent Agenda

The Mayor called for a motion to approve the consent agenda which consisted of the minutes from the October 2 meeting and regular bill lists through October 10. Alderwoman Laratta moved to approve the Consent Agenda and was seconded by Alderman Aiken. The motion passed unanimously.

Public Forum

Mayor Heider opened the floor to the public for anyone who wished to speak to a topic on that night’s agenda. One person chose to address Council.

Resident Jack Hidahl, (Hidahl is a candidate for City Council to gain the seat vacated by Mary Bell; a special election will be held in December 2018), addressed the council. Jack stated, “It is okay to make a mistake as a Council body,” in reference to Resolution 18-29. He then noted that there is another resolution in support of Proposition 110 on the agenda and asked about the competing proposition 109.

No Support for Amendment 74

Manager Miera introduced Resolution 18-31 which urges a “no” vote on Amendment 74. The Amendment, per Miera, limits core functions of the City and the high costs of the adverse impacts will be borne by Central City taxpayers. Resolution 18-31 highlights the adverse impacts of Amendment 74 and “seeks to protect the citizens” of Central City by opposing the measure. The Resolution outlines nine negative impacts, including future improvements to the raw water intake systems that could be seen as diminishing property values in those areas and could result in costly litigation and possible abandonment of critical improvements.

Alderwoman Voorhies moved to approve Resolution 18-31 and was seconded by Alderwoman Laratta. The Resolution passed unanimously.

Support for Proposition 110… or not?

Manager Miera introduced Resolution 18-32 which would encourage a “yes” vote on Proposition 110. The Proposition increases the state sales tax rate by .62 percent for a dedicated funding stream for state, municipal, county, and multimodal transportation infrastructure: in other words, our roads.

Alderwoman Voorhies moved to approve Resolution 18-32 and was seconded by Alderwoman Laratta. The Resolution failed with Alderwoman Laratta and Alderman Aiken voting against. For a motion to pass, there must be a simple majority, so when there are only four council persons, a split vote automatically defeats the motion.

Staff Reports

Manager Miera noted that the Sheriff’s report shows statistics regarding contacts made by the department and that traffic stops are often a ‘warning’ and tickets are only issued when needed. There was no elaboration as to what “needed” means.

Council Comments

Alderman Aiken expressed his reasoning for voting ‘no’ to Resolution 18-32. He stated his position “is due to the change voters made to allow for tax breaks, and now this is a trickle-down tax for transportation funding.”

Public Forum

Mayor Heider opened the floor to the public for anyone who wished to speak to the council on any items not on the agenda. One person chose to address the Council.

Resident Jack Hidahl once again took the stand to comment that there are extra Xcel Energy poles that could be moved to locations where they would be more effective.

Mark your calendars

The council entered Executive Session at 7:44 p.m. Mayor Pro-tem Voorhies adjourned the regular meeting at 8:58 p.m. The next regular Council Meeting will be Tuesday, November 16, 2018. Note that there is no meeting on Tuesday, November 6, due to the election.

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