"It would help us govern better," he said.
The city already plans to fund an election to decide whether to rezone
the area on Talbert Ave. by Beach Blvd. from commercial back to
residential. The change may jeopardize Wal-Mart's plans to build a
150,000 square-foot retail complex at the closed Crest View school site.
The election is planned for either January or March.
Since we're already spending the money, why not "take the pulse of the
people" at the same time, Garofalo asked.
"It's a free ride," he said.
Infrastructure weighs heavily on the minds of city officials who estimate
fixing the sewers, sidewalks and streets, among other things, would cost
more than $1 billion over the next 20 years. While some funds have been
set aside, about $600 million remain unaccounted for, he said.
"How do you feel about a $600 million tax over 20 years?," he suggests as
one possible question to pose to voters. He also wonders whether people
would be willing to pay $5 annually for an admission card to help pay for
running the library. Then there's the proposal to build a forest at
Central Park, although the amount of money required remains undetermined,
But Wal-Mart's critics saw Garofalo's suggestions as a ploy to distract
voters from the rezoning issue.
"Do not try to muddy the waters," resident Debbie Josephson said.
The council didn't vote on the proposal.