property tax lid
The “Yes” side is spending all the money. The “No” side is dominating the debate.

If Mayor Sly James and his allies are to to pass the Go Bond issue on April 4, they absolutely need the support of the voters in the generally liberal, good citizen wards south and west of the Plaza. From the sometimes furious conversations posted on the normally placid “Nextdoor Country Side” list serve, one senses that they may not get enough of it.

The $800 million is divvied into three separate votes. Given that much of the chatter on the List Serve deals with lost pets–anyone missing two beagles?–there seems to be considerable interest in and support for the $50 million that goes for a new animal shelter and for mandatory improvements in public access for those with disabilities.

As to the $150 million for flood control, few participants have expressed much in the way of interest or knowledge.

It is on the issue of the $600 million set aside “for the purpose of paying for the construction and reconstruction of streets, bridges, and sidewalks,” that the interest is keenest and the back-and-forth most lively.

Although the “pros” may slightly outnumber the “cons”–“Vote YES on 1, 2, 3. We need it”–the cons are fiercer and usually better informed. Posts like the following will not help the mayor sleep well for the next week:

“I am a liberal voter who generally believes in taxation for the common good but this just doesn’t pass the smell test. It looks to me like a total bonanza for the banks, developers, law firms, etc.”


“If you think you’re getting new sidewalks, think again! The city has stated there are $500 mil existing sidewalks needing replaced and $800 mil of never existing sidewalks needed to be built. That’s $1.3 billion needed yet they are only allotting $150 mil for it. If the math doesn’t fit, well you know the rest.”


“I’ve got a bridge for sale for any of you who blindly vote ‘yes’ on some of these issues. This is the SAME city who has lied, cheated, billed us fraudulently and basically ignored us and our true needs.”


“I see very little detail in the information provided and again no allocations. Will all the improvements end up in retail areas. Where the list of priorities. Blank checks?”


“The animal shelter… We have a brand new Street Car, who paid for it? Sports arena – add tax to all sporting events. I’m voting NO.”


“If you want infrastructure repair but do not want to give the City the ability to tax ME for 40 years without a PROMISE of what money will be spent on.They will come back with a better request NEXT election for sure if this one is defeated – a better one!”


“Vote NO people to 1 2 and 3. They waste way too much on everything, It needs to stop!!! The city is leveraged to the hilt; Moody’s just downgraded the city’s credit rating. They cannot borrow anymore on “Special Obligation” bonds, so they are coming to you to get approval on “General Obligation” bonds.”

As more than a few taxpayers noted, only the “pro” side is spending money on the campaign. In the era of social media, however, money does not buy elections quite the way it used to.

Sly–and the promo material is making his the face of the campaign–needs 57 percent of the vote to pass the $600 million infrastructure bond. Smart money says he ain’t getting close..


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