Council puts two election questions to voters

Published on Thu, Jul 19, 2001
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Council puts two election questions to voters

Blaine city council agreed to have voters decide on funding a new fire station and a resident-led drive to change the city’s form of government although the latter measure failed to muster much enthusiasm.

For the second time in two years, voters will be asked to decide between the current system of a council-led government with an appointed city manager and one where the mayor is directly elected by voters. Under the current system, the mayor is appointed by fellow council members.

The resolution was made necessary after proponents gathered sufficient signatures to have the question placed on the ballot.

“My concern is that two years ago the citizens voted it down resoundingly – how many times do we continue to do this?” asked council member John Liebert. Other council members expressed similar distaste with the resolution, asking Jonathan Sitkin, the new city attorney, if it was necessary to actually vote on it. Told it was, council voted 6–0, with Liebert abstaining.

Council also approved placing on the September 16 ballot a fire facility bond for constructing a new fire station. The fire district is currently operating out of a temporary facility after being told the fire hall located next to city hall did not meet seismic standards.

The firehall is estimated to cost approximately $1.6 million. Fire district 13 will pick up the land acquisition costs separately and is currently negotiating with land owners on the east side of the city.

Fire chief David England told council that a group called Citizens For A New Firehall Committee had been formed to enlist support for the project.
Council asked Sitkin to advise them on how council could endorse the project..

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