Saturday, March 08, 2014

Referendum update

Today’s meeting to share information and discuss the referendum strategy went well. We even shared a few laughs.

A group of some 20 Richmond citizens discussed a few different approaches, including my idea of simply outlawing a stadium in the Shockoe Bottom neighborhood. As one who is (almost) always happy to go with a better idea, now I’ve put that thought on the back burner.

Everyone had a chance to speak. The discussion was thoroughly civil and orderly. A range of reasons to want a referendum were talked about. But most of our time was spent on what we want to say on the petition(s) to put before a judge, so we can start gathering signatures.

The two approaches that gained the most favor, somewhat of a consensus, take different paths. One would say that anytime the city wants to build a large stadium, arena, etc., and use public funds, it will require that a referendum be held before final approval from Council. The other would address the bonds to pay for it, and call for a referendum to be held beforehand.

We will probably not be trying to dictate to City Hall where to build a stadium, or where not to build a stadium.

Hopefully, the two ways of allowing the voters to weigh in that the group settled upon today will allow for some who questioned other approaches to now support the referendum effort. As far as I’m concerned, the most important thing at this point is to let the people have some say-so. I'm for democracy.

And, I’m confident the voters of Richmond will enthusiastically support a way to put the kibosh to the notion of baseball in the Bottom, whatever path is used.

We're going to be gathering again soon to look over the legal lingo Paul Goldman is in the process of crafting. More news soon.

To follow the discussion in the meantime, go here.

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