Here's a draft of our Wednesday editorial. Updated, 5:17 p.m., with comments from Garden City City Council member Jeff Souza:
On Nov. 6, 2,502 Garden City residents said they wanted to have the final say over Greenbelt policies.
On Monday night — only 20 days after the election — four City Council members decided they knew better. They voted unanimously to dump this voter-approved ordinance.
The council’s message couldn’t be much more clear, or much more disdainful. Thanks for dropping in, voters. Don’t let that door hit you on the way out of the polling place.
If City Council members wonder why they are credibility-challenged on the Greenbelt issue, they need only look in the mirror.
To be fair, the ordinance before the council Monday was heavy-handed in its own right. The ordinance, Initiative B on the Nov. 6 ballot, would have required voter approval of any Greenbelt restrictions. It struck us as overkill, and we opposed this initiative.
But while voters rejected Initiative A, which would have allowed bicycles on a 1 1/2-mile pedestrian path, voters ignored the urging of elected officials and passed Initiative B with a 52 percent majority.
The council was unmoved. Council member Jeff Souza attributes the outcome to voter confusion, and says the ordinance, as written, would have resulted in an ongoing series of elections on Greenbelt usage and regulations. “It’s unprecedented to have police powers restricted,” he said Tuesday. “It’s awful policy.”
Souza also said there was no way to amend the ordinance, as a supporter suggested Monday, and salvage anything that would still be recognizable. We’ll never know. Instead of honoring voters’ wishes and seeking to find a way to make this ordinance work, this council couldn’t wait to repeal it.
In so doing, the council joins state Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll in Idaho politics’ Sore Loser Hall of Shame.
Nuxoll, R-Cottonwood, hasn’t quite accepted the fact that President Barack Obama captured both the popular and the Electoral College vote this month. So she used her Twitter account to forward a flight of fancy: an article, written by Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips, that urged red states to boycott the Electoral College process. Without an Electoral College quorum, said Phillips, the presidential election would fall to the Republican House of Representatives, which would elect Mitt Romney.
The idea isn’t just desperate; it’s deeply flawed. Even World Net Daily, a right-leaning website, affixed an editor’s note to Phillips’ column. “Since this column was posted it has been discovered that the premise presented about the Electoral College and the Constitution is in error. According to the 12th Amendment, a two-thirds quorum is required in the House of Representatives, not the Electoral College.”
Details, details. There’s an election to ignore. Right, Sen. Nuxoll?
You can tell a lot about politicians and their respect for the process by their response to unsavory election results. After taking a trouncing at the polls — with the resounding defeat of Propositions 1, 2 and 3 — state schools Superintendent Tom Luna called the loss a “bump in the road.” However, both Luna and Gov. Butch Otter talked about working with stakeholders on education reform. That much sounds good. Only time will tell whether they mean what they say, or are merely saying the right things.
No such mystery surrounds the Garden City City Council, or Nuxoll. Both have shown their true colors.