Writer endorses voting for $12.3M bond issue

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dear editor,

Even though I heard the mayor and others explain the bond transaction before, I still learned something during the Feb. 19 bond hearing. While listening this time, I realized just how complicated and detailed those transactions are, and how someone can hear about them many times and still not understand.

My only disappointment was that Mr. Evans and Mr. Cain did not attend. Mr. Evans, Mr. Cain and Mr. Williamson seem to be the main people on the city council who keep saying either they do not understand or that they still

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have questions and do not support the bond. This was an opportunity for them to get their questions answered by the team of investment bankers, Robert Thomas and Bob Young, but Mr. Evans and Mr. Cain decided not to attend, and that was too bad.

The other thing that came through loud and clear is that Mayor Perkins does understand the transaction and that he has worked closely with the experts to ensure that the city gets the best deal possible. During that meeting, the mayor explained and re-explained the bond. He made available the department heads and the experts on bonds, and they explained in detail why the deal is structured the way it is. I left the meeting satisfied.

I watched Councilman Williamson nod in agreement as the mayor and bond team answered each question. Coach Reece explained how the bond will help the children through his department and why he is so passionate and supportive of the bond.

It was explained that each department involved has a special need in the bond. The fire department needs the new fire truck. The facilities department needs investments in our

old historic structures. Bruce Williams explained the need for technology improvements in the police and fire departments, and how the technology being proposed can be used by the city and citizens alike.

It is safe to say that this transaction is brilliantly put together by the mayor.

I was really impressed how the mayor explained why the 52 projects were put in as a single group for one vote. He said that it was not practical to expect people with curbs and gutters to feel that curb and gutter equipment would be a priority. But people without curbs and gutters would consider this equipment as a priority. He said that he wanted the community to work together to help each other with everyone&8217;s priority items, and by doing th e vote this way, it would be &8220;all for one and one for all.&8221;

In other words, in order to help self, we would have to help others at the same time. Again, after hearing the explanation, I agree and think that is brilliant.

I believe that when Mr. Evans says that he does not understand certain aspects of the bond transaction, he is telling the truth. I suspect that he is doing the best that he can, trying to understand. But the transaction really is complicated. I just hope that he and the other city council members who are openly opposing the bond will line up behind the mayor on this and support the bond. This will be the right thing to do.

And when we get this done, then we need to get on top of the school situation. They really need our attention.

Pastor Carl L. Toodle