So here’s my latest question on current events.
Will we be going back to the polls in Prince George for a provincial election before we go to the polls in Prince George for the referendum on funding for the swimming pool and firehall in October?
One of the problems I can see the city having in getting the voters out for the referendum is that there is no other election with it. When a referendum is held in conjunction with a municipal election, people are already voting in the election, so they don’t consider it a ‘burden’ to have to vote on the referendum at the same time.
On the other hand, when the referendum is a stand-alone vote, it has to be on something people see as important enough to learn about the issue and then take the time to get out and vote.
The ironic thing, to some extent, is if we still had three-year terms for municipal elections, the referendum would fall very nicely on the same schedule.
I see very few people questioning the need for a new swimming pool to replace the Four Seasons Pool or the downtown firehall. I suspect as we get closer to the date for the vote, we may see some people questioning the price tag for one or both of them.
I haven’t got enough information to know whether the proposed amounts are reasonable for a new building which will be useable for quite some time.
My one concern is there has been little said by the city about possible locations for either of the new facilities, if the referendum passes.
I have heard a few rather facetious suggestions, such as building them next to each other in Carrie Jane Gray Park so the firehall would always have a ready supply of water.
I have also heard a proposal to find a new location for the firehall, which has to be somewhere close to downtown, then tear down the old firehall and put the new swimming pool there.
I doubt either of these suggestions will be considered, but I would like to get a little more information about even possible locations before the referendum is held.
I don’t want this to be another transit situation, where the city finds out people don’t want the new facility where the city hoped to build it.
Then we might never see either of the facilities.