- Terry Rumsey
Excuse #6,7,8,9,10...Throw everything at the wall and see what sticks
Why Won't They Let Us Vote on Open Space Funding
This is the last 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 number 6,7,8,9,10…Throw it all at the wall…see what sticks
On April 7th, different Council members gave a range of excuses—often confusing, contradictory, and ill-informed—about why they opposed letting voters have a voice in funding open space.
We have posted just a few of the myriad excuses below, followed by brief responses from KMG.
From Council: It’s too expensive to buy land in Media’s current real estate market, buying land will unfairly burden taxpayers, BUT trust us to carry out the Open Space Plan and invest millions of tax dollars in land acquisition over the next three years.
KMG’s Response: Which is it? Please don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth.
From Council: An open space funding referendum might get voted down, then Borough Council won’t be able to implement the Open Space Plan.
KMG’s Response: Hmmm. If the people of Media did vote NO on funding open space, Keep Media Green folks would be devastated, but we would ACCEPT the outcome. That’s democracy. In our opinion, Council members don’t fear a NO vote, they fear an overwhelming YES vote. But it’s pretty simple, just let the people vote.
From Council: Borrowing is a superior way of making a purchase [of land for open space] than a referendum.
KMG’s Response: If Council members had bothered to read one of the 1,101 postcards sent to them from their constituents, they would know that the petition reads, “As a resident of Media and a taxpayer, I am asking you to conduct a voter referendum on whether or not to BORROW [our capitalization] $3 to $10 million to acquire and protect open space in the borough.”
It’s not borrowing versus a referendum; it’s a referendum to receive voter approval for borrowing—thus guaranteeing that it actually happens. Please read your mail.
From Council: Funding for open space acquisition will require a property tax hike. That’s the only way to pay for it.
KMG's Response: Wrong. A property tax increase is NOT the only way—or the fairest way—to pay for open space. The best way is to augment borrowed funds-in-hand for acquisition with county, state, and federal grants, then to pay back a loan or bond by restructuring current budget priorities. If the Borough Council did choose to raise taxes, it could raise the Earned Income Tax rather than burdening senior citizens and folks on fixed incomes with another property tax hike like the one Council just imposed for FY 2022.
OK. Enough. KMG encourages Media’s voters to view ALL the arguments (excuses, from our viewpoint) made by Borough Council members at the April 7th Workshop meeting.
View the meeting and advance to time signature 1:14:00. The discussion ends at time signature 1:48:15.
You can also view the public comments made by Terry Rumsey, KMG Co-Chair, in response to Council’s presentation: View the meeting and advance to time signature 45:55.
If you have any comments or questions about the pros and cons of letting the people of Media vote on open space funding this November, contact KMG: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for Borough Council to submit referendum language to the Delaware County Bureau of Elections is August 9.