Letter to the editor: Referendums give citizens voice

In an Oct. 25 CNJ article on the city charter commission, the CNJ quoted Commissioner Fred Van Soelen as saying that negative referendums cost the taxpayers too much money so it should be harder to have one.

However, that is just plain wrong.

If you will remember, the referendum this past summer, initiated by the High Plains Patriots, denied the city the ability to spend $1.4 million on the Hotel Clovis and then to give that building to the developer. It was to be a grant plus a loan, but a 40-year loan that didn’t need to be paid back if the developer didn’t make a profit doesn’t sound like it would meet most underwriting standards today. It wasn’t a good deal for the city.

So, since the referendum passed, the city still retains that $1.4 million in the Worker’s Compensation Fund. Since that fund is now more than required by the state, the mayor will likely try to find another project on which to spend it. Having money in the bank burns a hole in some pockets.

My point is that the referendums save money, and they save policies, and sometimes save us from elected officials who don’t read the full documentation on ordinances before they pass them. It’s worth the money to have the people’s voice. Remember that it’s the people who passed the referendum. The people spoke and said we were taxed enough already.