Senior center denial no surprise
We can’t say we’re surprised that the utility tax was defeated. We anticipate the question of whether and how to fund the senior center will return to the county board with a request to be included on the ballot for voters to ponder in the fall.
The dust is still settling after Thursday’s decision, so we don’t yet know what exactly will appear on the ballot. Our feeling is that it should be in the neighborhood of the same question commissioners posed to themselves. Because it is on the ballot, the funding mechanism can be different.
We support the construction of a new senior center and will continue to do so. However, we understand the pressures commissioners came under to deny the ordinance.
Before the Jan. 4 approval, senior center proponents were quite vocal. Once commissioners approved the measure, however, that support mostly evaporated in the white heat of tax opposition.
No one wants to be accused of being a tax-and-spender, so the failure of the measure on Thursday was pretty much guaranteed.
Our support of the senior center is based on the need, nothing else. If the utility tax isn’t the appropriate funding mechanism, we know one must be found.
Too often residents of Douglas County complain about the county’s failure to provide services and then, when asked to pay for them, balk.
That’s why the county must rely on developers to build roads, why open space can only be acquired through deals on large projects, and why growth ends up paying for infrastructure that should have already been in place.
If Douglas County commissioners appear to be working deals with big developers, it is because county residents have been reluctant to give them other options.