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Letter- Not ruled by referendum

Dear Editor,

Mr. Holland's and Mr. Kaisersatt's dismay at the recent rejection of the board's rezoning request for St. Croix Meadows is perhaps understandable, and they may prove to be correct in the long run. It's probably too early to tell. However, in their bewilderment over the City Council's seeming dismissal of the referendum results, they seem to forget that we live, at all levels, with a government by representation, not referendum.

We elect representatives to act on our behalf in the best way they can,

given the information and limitations they have to work with, which cannot always follow in lockstep with the "will of the people."

I can lay claim to no pretense of philosophical consistency here since, although I question the value of referenda as public policy, I have nevertheless voted on virtually every one that has come up.

I happen to be in the 42 percent who voted no in this particular case. It just began to appear that the harder the board worked to sell the plan, their assertions that this was by far the best option, a "no-brainer," seemed less and less convincing.

The City Council may have seemed to have made up their mind before the night of the vote, but it can hardly be asserted that they hadn't heard the board's arguments, since they had received the same campaign that the rest of the populace had seen for months.

Their hope for greater tax revenues in the future may or may not be pie-in-the-sky, but it's a good argument when the alternative is to permanently remove 130 acres from the tax rolls.

The City Council made a courageous decision. For now, I applaud Mr. Holland's approach to his disappointment and his determination to find the best alternative solutions. I am sure they are out there if we can all keep an open mind.

Jim Cooksey, Hudson