Thursday, April 19, 2012

99 Blocks and Walker Sanders for Disenfranchising Greensboro Voters?: "Performing Arts Center: Can't We Just Bypass Voters?"

Rayne Brown said she particularly wanted to put a constitutional amendment before the voters
that would require lawmakers to seek voter approval before undertaking any borrowing.

The amendment would end so-called Certificates of Participation,
which are a way around constitutional requirements that all state debt be voter approved.

"Would it be possible to finance and build a performing arts center downtown
without needing voters to approve a $30 million bond referendum?

...what if the City Council just bypassed voters?

Piedmont Publius quoting Walker Sanders

That subject came up, albeit very briefly, this morning
when the performing arts center task force met at Greensboro College for an update.

It certainly intrigued us.

...Lewis Cheek spoke to the 60 or so task force members present.

Cheek, a task force member, is a former Durham resident.

More importantly, he was mayor-pro tem in Durham
when that city was just getting ready to start its own new arts center.

...No voter approval was sought from Durham residents for a bond issue.

Disfranchisement is the revocation of the right of suffrage
(the right to vote) of a person or group of people,
or rendering a person's vote less effective, or ineffective.

...The disfranchisement of British subjects in America led to the American Revolutionary War
under the rallying cry "No taxation without representation".
 Instead, that city used something called certificates of participation.

...Under some Certificates of Participation, the investing agency buys a share of the lease revenues
rather than the bond being secured by the revenues.

Voter approval isn’t needed for certificates of participation.

Cheek told the crowd ...The leadership decided
this was so important that we were going to do it."

He acknowledges it was controversial and "not politically correct."

...We understand that the idea of certificates of participation
has been at least mentioned in the task force’s meetings
of its Economic Impact/Feasibility Committee.

...Lisa Crawford, who is president and CEO of the Greensboro Symphony,
said her table of task force members believes the idea of a "no-vote pac"
should at least be explored.

So is it a possibility for Greensboro?

We don’t know.

We’re not sure the City Council would be willing to stick its neck out for that.

But in the end it might be more attractive
than doing all this preparatory work for a new performing arts center,
then having to roll the dice to see if voters approve it.

Political Alienation refers to an individual citizen's
relatively enduring sense of estrangement from ...the prevailing political system.

Political Incapability forced upon the individual by his environment...

Political Powerlessness.

An individual's feeling that he cannot affect the actions of the government.

Political Meaninglessness.

An individual's perception that political decisions are unclear and unpredictable.

Political Normlessness.

An individual's perception that norms or rules
intended to govern political relations are broken down,
and that departures from prescribed behavior are common.

Political Alienation is adversely related to political efficacy.

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