Excuse #1: We Know Better than the People
Why Won't They Let Us Vote on Open Space Funding?
This is the first in a series of posts about what Media Borough Council members have said about why Media residents shouldn’t be able to vote in November on whether or not to invest in saving our last remaining green open space in the borough.
KMG will also provide our responses to Council members’ arguments for denying voters a voice in whether or not our borough should invest in acquiring and saving open space.
Note: KMG reviewed video footage from the April 7, 2022 Borough Council Workshop meeting, when over 30 minutes was devoted to this topic, to ensure that the Council members are quoted accurately.
Excuse # 1:
We know better than the people
On April 7th, Councilman Peter Williamson concluded his remarks about why he opposed a voter referendum on open space funding by stating:
“We live in a representational democracy…every couple of years the citizenry here elect people to represent them to make decisions that they essentially farm out to us to make because they’re complicated and involve all sorts of tradeoffs.”
Video of meeting: Skip to time signature: 1:21:07
KMG’s Response to Excuse # 1
It’s true. We DO elect the members of Media Borough Council to make decisions for us. We ALSO elect Pennsylvania state legislators to do the same.
Even though Pennsylvania does NOT allow local voter referendums on most matters, the Pennsylvania legislature has enacted a law that authorizes a borough voter referendum on open space funding. Our state legislators recognized that investing in open space is a core municipal issue that impacts a community for generations to come and that therefore, voters should have a voice in the decision.
KMG believes that the voters of Media are smart enough to understand complicated issues and are totally capable of weighing tradeoffs involved in spending tax dollars to save our fast-dwindling green open spaces.
KMG—and over 1,000 Media residents who signed our petition—do not want to “farm out” the future of our town’s environment to seven members of Media Borough Council.
Our elected officials in Harrisburg gave us the opportunity to vote on open space funding, but our elected officials in Media think they know better than the people.