When a responsible individual becomes concerned that elected officials are not properly representing their constituents, he approaches the town to file a referendum. While doing so he asks for guidance in order to properly fill in the blanks, dot the I’s and cross the T’s. Mr. Ray Johns approached the town’s staff and simply followed the direction given to him. He used the form that was provided to him and completed the paperwork. This petition was submitted in exactly the same manner that the previous referendum (Prop 421) was. It was readily accepted by the town with no mention made of any improper procedures at that time. Mr. Johns was simply following the informed guidance and precedence given to him.
The problem all comes down to high price lawyers grasping at straws. The lawyers questioned whether Mr. Johns’ petition was submitted on time as well as a number of other minor arguments. All of their arguments but one were rejected. This is the best they could come up with? I urge anyone who is not familiar with this issue to go to the Wickenburg Town Hall and see for themselves what this referendum petition form looks like. On the front page it directs the petitioner to insert a brief narrative of what the petition is about. One look at the actual form provided by the state and it becomes painfully obvious that there is NO space allotted to insert a description on that same page. Just below where it says to insert this descriptive narrative, it goes on to say “Before signing, make sure the title and text of the measure are attached.”
The next question I want to ask is who is going to be held responsible for the attorneys’ fees when the town has to go to court to defend itself against Mr. Johns’ attempts to have his referendum rightfully placed on the ballot? Why do the towns- people have to pay a lawyer to defend against something they want on the ballot already but the mayor obviously doesn’t? A considerable amount of the taxpayer’s money is going to be spent determining whether a staple is an appropriate method of attaching one piece of paper to another. Am I crazy or is this a complete waste of time and money?
At the recent March 6th Town Council meeting, Mayor Badowski appealed to our sense of fairness to allow the Country Club rezoning issue to be deferred until the next meeting’s agenda as Councilman John Zerby chose not to be present for that very important vote. Well, if the mayor honestly wants to be fair, he will not stand in the way of this referendum and will allow it to be brought to a vote of the citizens. My thought is that he is genuinely concerned that the referendum would be supported by the majority once again. Proof positive that our representatives are not representing what their constituents have stated they want.
I think the mayor will be surprised at the public’s response to his challenge to get new people on the council. I think honest citizens with integrity will step forward and run. It’s time for representation by folks who don’t have ties to real estate, development, home building, or mortgage brokerages. We deserve to be represented by people who stand to reap no financial gain whatsoever by the decisions they act on.
Last 5 posts by Jim Ferman
- Sun Continues to Edit Letters to Editor to Suit its Candidate's Needs - October 17th, 2008
- Concern about September 2 Elections - August 25th, 2008
- Town Council Retreat an Excercise in Futility for Townspeople? - March 21st, 2007
- Citizen Concerned about Hermosa Ranch Safety and Liability - January 12th, 2007
- Candidate Harassment Part of Wickenburg's Political Process - October 30th, 2006