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You’ve heard the old saying that opinions are like belly buttons. Everybody has one. Not every opinion is educated, legal or even rational. Often our opinions are emotional, sentimental, personal or otherwise arbitrary. When our county council hears an opinion, they must be discerning and act in our best interest. On Oct. 19 they failed to do this. Our council heard the opinion of petitioners led by Richard Hannemann. The petition asks for the new municipal building to be “fully rebuilt and restored at its original site and design.” That means on Ashley Pond, and in the form of the original 1967 building.
County Attorney Randy Autio advised our council that the petition is illegal. Mr. Autio believes that the petition raises an administrative issue. He cited county charter and state case law explaining that citizens can only petition legislative issues. Why? Because if citizens could petition administrative decisions, they would paralyze the council’s ability to effectively govern; and that’s exactly the situation we find ourselves in now.
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