My statement on the Library Plebiscite Update Cards
Just over 4 months ago, a group of roughly 50 people collected 6696 signatures petitioning council to have a public vote on whether or not to borrow 21.9 million dollars to construct a second library. The petition was deemed to be invalid, largely due to clerical errors. For example, one petitioner made a mistake with his affidavit of execution and 503 signatures were not counted and the petition was deemed insufficient, as the number the group was to collect to be deemed sufficient was 6465 signatures over only a 26 day period. However, a majority of council still voted to place three questions on the ballot in a non-binding plebiscite to determine public support for 3 capital projects. The question that was approved was whether or not you want a new ice sheet, a new pool or a second library with the costs and tax increases made known in the ballot question.
My position remains clear in that I have always believed that residents should decide these issues and I have agreed to abide by the results of the plebiscite. If more than 50%+1 support building a Library or another facility I will honor that and in turn if there is less than 50% support I will abide by the results of the plebiscite.
Since the plebiscite is non-binding, it does not force the newly elected council to abide by the results of the plebiscite, so whether the plebiscite will be respected will be decided by who is elected to council. The library plebiscite committee, knowing that this plebiscite is only valuable as a public support tool if it is respected by the council elect, realized they had to get their update and message to the public. They chose to create a brief card that updates the events since the petition was given to council, and have been going door to door handing out information contained here.
The Library Plebiscite Committee is a respected subgroup of residents, which evolved from those collecting petition signatures. They have a functioning executive committee, and a committee chair, Stan Lozinski, who serves as spokesperson for the group.
I fully support their efforts to engage in democratic efforts, and I am willing to do whatever I can to help this group. I am happy to have their recognition on my position on the plebiscite.
I have been informed that Hannes Rudolph, a council candidate, recently made a declaration stating that he too will abide by the results of the plebiscite. Stan Lozinski informed me that the postcard was produced prior to Mr. Rudolph’s declaration. As a result of this recent declaration, Stan and the Library Plebiscite Committee agreed with Mr. Rudolph that they will black out Hannes Rudolph’s name from the unknown position list on the card. I was also told that Liam Connelly will abide by the plebiscite results, but I do not know what, if anything, has been agreed to with the Library Plebiscite Committee.
The Library Plebiscite Committee has been clear and upfront about the information they are conveying and the information about the follow up actions by council since the petition was presented to council is accurate.
I strongly urge all candidates to agree to respect the will of the public to determine if the city should be constructing a second library or any other capital projects on the plebiscite at this time. This is essential to showing respect to the democratic process and recognizing that council is elected to represent the will of the majority of people.