I got a little irritated at the Carl Junction City Council meeting this week concerning this subject and I wanted to take a moment to explain myself. I don't have an issue with people disagreeing with the City purchasing this property. In fact I'd be astonished if there wasn't some opposition to it. What I have a real problem with is how a small group of the same people have repeatedly distorted facts to try to win people to their side of the debate. I stated this twice Tuesday night and I'll state it again here. There has never been a vote on the Briarbrook issue, city wide, with the exception of a vote to authorize the city of Carl Junction to float a bond in order for the city to purchase the property including the 95 acres in question as well as the remaining acreage that constitutes the golf course as it exists today. That issue needed a super majority of just over 57% in order to pass. It got a majority vote of just over 51%. If the people that are against the city purchasing the 95 acres insist on using that as a vote of the people on anything and everything Briarbrook as they have repeatedly then lets at least get the math right. 51% is a clear majority of the city of Carl Junction. A clear majority of the entire city voted in favor of Briarbrook. More specifically to the point of the 95 acres in question an even larger majority voted in favor of the community improvement sales tax for the purpose of improving the park system in Carl Junction.
My reasons for the support of this purchase are summed up in that it is in the best interest of the entire city for us to go forward with this purchase. Here's a breakdown of why I think this is a good idea.
- Ward 3 is the only ward in the city without a park.
- There is little chance that the 95 acres in question will ever be acquired at a lesser price that we can get it right now.
- There is now and will continue to be an increasing need for park space to provide high quality organized activities for the children in and around Carl Junction.
- Improving the current state of this 95 acres by simply getting it mowed and cleaned up helps all the neighbors in the area. (I know there has been talk to mow only the perimiter but I intend to get that changed if at all possible as I think it should be made usable as soon as possible).
- The green space will help to increase the value of those surrounding homes.
- Creating hig quality green space in an area like Briarbrook only enhances the subdivision making it more attractive for buyers. The more growth we see in the city the more our property taxes can go down just as they have for about 8 of the last 10 years.
- Briarbrook is a part of Carl Junction and deserves investment on the part of the city just as much as any other area of town does.
- The property will be paid for with funds derived for the express purpose of improving the park system. We can't use the money for anything else, even if we wanted to.
- We will still have $40k to $50k per year to put toward projects in other parks around the city.
- It makes it that much easier to continue the trail system in Carl Junction which is gaining in use and popularity all the time.
I am not trying to do anything else other than what I think is the best interest of the entire city of Carl Junction. I represent the people of Ward 2 and welcome comment from them on any issue.