Last weekend, signs popped up all over the city in support of the G.O. Bond. There is a community meeting tomorrow evening “educating” the citizens on the bond. Unfortunately, I can’t make the meeting due to a previously scheduled obligation.
I wish I could attend. I have a few questions. Like, who paid for the signs (I believe not identifying who paid for the signs is in violation of state code 20A-11-901).
If the signs were paid for, as many suspect, by the St. George Quality of Life Coalition, who makes up the coalition? I’ve done some minor investigation, and it’s not a registered 503C-B, or listed with the state as a lobbying organization. The only individuals I’ve been able to confirm that are part of the Coalition are Kent Perkins, retired Leisure Services Director and Terri Draper, St. George’s newest member of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Since we, the general public, don’t know who makes up the Coalition, apart from the two identified, we don’t know if city employees are part of the Coalition. And since we don’t know if city employees are part of the Coalition, we don’t know if any time, while being paid by the city, has been spent in trying to push the bond through, which could directly affect them individually. I’m not 100% sure of the codes around this particular issue, but from what discussions I have had I believe the city code does not allow a City Entity or an employee in an official capacity representing the city to support or oppose any measure such as this.
I’m sorry, but this reeks of potential conflicts of interest. And once again, the city does not appear to be telling the whole truth about the bond and it’s intended uses. Sure, if you go to the web page about the bond, there’s a long list of new parks and upgrades to existing structures. But when conversations have been had in public about the bond, eventually, one of the arguments that comes up is this will help with the budge for public safety.
Since the G.O. Bond can’t fund public safety directly, that indirectly tells us that the city doesn’t have enough funds under the current budget to cover all of what it has planned.
Do we need 9 additional trails, 5 new parks, 14 major park improvements, and 5 other facility upgrades right now? How many of our parks go unused 90+% percent of the year as is? Isn’t the city continually telling us we’re in a drought, even to the point of restricting how much grass can be put in with new home constructions? Don’t all these new parks include grass? Why is no compromise ever discussed?
To be clear, we do need a new park at Desert Edge area by the airport. There are a few upgrades needed sooner rather than later. I don’t believe we need this many projects immediately, that tourism will dry up without them. I also believe, given the ridiculous amount of money spent on the Sand Town Park bathroom reconstruction that the plans for many of these projects are filled with waste. How about we cut back on unneeded city expenditures, find and remove the waste, and just pay cash for the few upgrades and new constructions that make sense right now. Especially going into a recession.