Letter: Hudson shouldn’t rezone St. Croix MeadowsIn last week’s paper the Hudson Plan Commission, Hudson City Council and specifically Mary Yacoub (council member) were all taken to task in letters to the editor because they have had the temerity to ask probing questions regarding the wisdom of rezoning SCM (dog track) from commercial use to public use, thereby removing it from the property tax rolls.
In last week’s paper the Hudson Plan Commission, Hudson City Council and specifically Mary Yacoub (council member) were all taken to task in letters to the editor because they have had the temerity to ask probing questions regarding the wisdom of rezoning SCM (dog track) from commercial use to public use, thereby removing it from the property tax rolls.
Yacoub was chastised for the great sin of approving a city of Hudson donation of $5,000 to a bridge coalition group. But what does that donation have to do with building a high school at SCM?
The issue before the Hudson City Council and Plan Commission is not about whether or not Hudson needs a new high school. The city’s issue is whether or not to rezone 130 acres from commercial to public use. The issue is whether to permanently remove potentially $1.2 million in yearly tax revenue from the public trough. And they are being asked to do this with no assurance that the voters will pass a potentially $60-90 million referendum to complete the We Need A New High School Program.
So what happens if Hudson rezones and the voters get more accurate information about the true cost of the project and they say no? That’s what happened with the County UU property. Voters said yes, the district bought the land. When the full cost was made public the voters said no, and the land is still vacant. When the true cost of this newest proposal is disclosed, and with the financial pressure many voters are facing, the same thing may happen again.
Voters are not stupid. When they are given the real facts about how much this project will end up costing they may very well reject it. As of right now voters do not have complete information.
The Plan Commission and the City Council owe a fiduciary duty to the taxpayers of Hudson. It is their duty to be fiscally responsible and do what is best for Hudson. It is their job to ask hundreds of questions. It is not their job to destroy Hudson’s commercial tax base because the school district wants a new high school.
I am encouraging the Plan Commission, City Council and Ms. Yacoub to stay strong. Don’t succumb to convoluted attacks in the paper or personally. Do what you know is right for Hudson. Reject rezoning of St. Croix Meadows. The school district has other options.
Sandy Gehrke, Hudson
Editor's note: The writer is a member of the board of education.