The failure of the two propositions on the ballot August 7 in Olivette to pass caused swift reactions. Those on both sides of the issue had views of the inability of these two measures, for public safety and parks to pass.
The Proposition for Public Safety “S” gained 55.12 percent of the vote but it needed 57 percent (4/7th) to be put into effect. Proponents figured a swing of 22 votes would have pushed it across the finish line.
Parks did not fare as well. It failed to get a simple majority with 1,097 votes yes and 1,106 votes no.
Now, the big question is, do these propositions go back to the drawing board for redesign and community approval, or has the opportunity just passed the city by?
Mike McDowell, long time city manager points out this was the opportune time to move forward: “Interest rates to pay for bonds to do this will never be lower.”
Here are excerpts of what people had to say on both sides of the issue.
“I am glad the voters spoke and they said they were not willing to accept this excuse for a pathetic and incompetently developed plan. They sent a message to the city council that they need to wake up and get their act together if they are actually serious about doing something. If this is truly the best that they can do as they claim should we all throw in the towel?”
Nancy Novack, wife of Olivette architect Aaron Novack and opponent of Prop S.
“It is understandable that supporters of Prop S are disappointed but a costly bad plan is still a bad plan whether it took 30 minutes or three years (to create). It would be a shame not to consider a new plan that would be more cost effective, modern and a real improvement to the city’s image.”
Former Mayor/Alderman Missy Waldman
“My focus going forward is to have economic development. We are going to give a new charge to our economic development commission to make things happen. We cannot do projects of this sort without the financial backing and approval of the people.”
“This is a bunch of bull. Wah... Wah... Wah.... You presented an idea and wanted the taxpayers to pay for it. A plan would have entailed real facts and figures on what exactly would have been financially generated from these changes. You are entrusted to run our city government, not our city charity. Put together a real plan.”
Leif Hauser, Olivette City Councilman
“It sounds like Fiscally Prudent’s interests and the community interests are being somewhat separate and distinct. I remind you that the plans were generated by Olivette residents like yourself.”
Neal Novack, Olivette business owner
“We are pleased with the outcome of the election. We want the best possible solution for our public safety and municipal facilities and we are eager to take part in the next planning process. Like most Olivette Residents, we support our police and fire departments.”