by John Minervini (candidate Avon Town Council)
Avon’s Town Council recently voted to put the Town of Avon – MILLIONS OF DOLLARS into DEBT – by a financial “slight of hand” – called “Certificates of Participation” – whose very design, is designed to sidestep TABOR.
HOWEVER – that Vote can be overturned by the Registered Voters of Avon!
Here’s How: It’s called a “Voter Referendum” – since Avon is what is known legally as a “Home Rule Municipality” – a Voter Referendum of ~200 signatures of (registered/validated Avon Voters) can sign a petition (the Referendum) within 30 days of the day their City Council voted to take on that debt!
Or more specifically – …The Avon Home Rule Charter, Chapter VII Initiative and Referendum, Section7.2, Referendum specifies 30 days after final passage of an ordinance (it was passed Tuesday, October 14th 2014) to file a protest petition. It must signed by “qualified electors” in an amount at least ten percent of the total vote in the last general (2012) election. The number of needed signature on this Referendum is (~200)
LET AVON CITIZENS VOTE DIRECTLY ON $6 MILLION TOWN HALL
On Tuesday, October 14th 2014 Avon Town Council completed its hurry-up approval for the purchase and remodel of the proposed Skier Building for a new Avon Town Hall. I again voiced my opposition to that purchase (at that Public Meeting), which deserves MUCH more review – especially since only very rough remodel cost estimates were made available.
My experience as a Vice President at multi-billion dollar AutoZone, Inc. included completing hundreds of real estate transactions – both new building projects and existing building remodels. I am a watchdog (and Avon Town Council Candidate) with the right skill set to speak out on this rush-job project.
I am less a politician and more a financial watchdog. A typical politician would have kept quiet until after the November 4th election. A typical politician would also have “stayed in line” and not disagreed with sitting Town Council members.
But again, I am a watchdog. And watchdogs speak up when something looks or feels wrong. At the November 10th meeting I asked about citizens’ rights to petition for a referendum (a direct special election for citizens to vote “Yes” or “No” on this project). That right to petition for a special election is part of the checks-and-balances built into the town’s governance. Avon Town Attorney (Eric Heil) provided information about petition requirements.
So here’s my Question for those current Avon Councilmembers opposed to a referendum: What is your objection to letting Avon Citizens vote “Yes” or “No” on this $6 million Town Hall project?
If the citizens vote “Yes” the Town Council will regain voter confidence, which I believe it lost with its $2 Million cost overrun on the Nottingham Music Pavilion project this year. On the other hand, a “No” vote will confirm that Town Council has indeed lost credibility with it citizens. The current Council has not succeeded in getting direct voter approval for ballot measure expenditures (witness the voters’ “No” vote last November on the “Rec Center” measure and tax increase). 3 current Avon Councilmembers are vacating their elected seats this November 4th 2014, yet the Millions in debt they voted for will go on for decades!
Some of my neighbors are going to circulate a petition to call for a special election that will allow Avon citizens to vote “Yes” or “No” on this $6 million project. I, (John Miniverni) will of course sign that petition!
If you want to sign the petition – or simply express your opinion – please send an email to: LetAvonVote@gmail.com
Don’t Forget Your Ballots Are In The Mail!
See you next week – The ECT Staff