Carnes: And the survey says … (column)
To be perfectly honest, I have no idea what the words on the Town of Avon Survey Test (TOAST) say, much less their results, as tonight is when the Town Council is planning to approve final wording of the survey itself.
It will probably read something like this:
SHALL THE TOWN OF AVON BE AUTHORIZED TO SPEND UP TO BUT HOPEFULLY NOT TO EXCEED ONE MILLION DOLLARS BEGINNING AS SOON AS FRIGGIN’ POSSIBLE TO PROCEED WITH THE FIRST PHASE OF THE HISTORIC HAHNEWALD FAMILY BARN PROJECT, INCLUDING RELOCATION, A NEW FOUNDATION, A NEW ROOF, BLAH-BLAH-BLAH, YADA-YADA-YADA … ?
DO YOU GUYS MIND IF WE USE A MILLION TAX DOLLARS TO MOVE AN OLD BARN?
Reality says it will probably be something between the two, but either way, the surveys will be mailed out to all Avon voters as soon as possible in order to meet the council’s self-imposed deadline of March 27, since by June the barn will either be moved, demolished into a few million pieces or taken down piece by piece in an organized fashion to be rebuilt elsewhere.
All of this means that within three short weeks voters will have the opportunity to say “yay” or “nay” on the future of the 110-year-old structure.
Avon voters will receive the survey, but of course this is not an actual vote, hence the reason this is such a critical issue to publicize as much as possible.
To be clear, in spite of what I think is a funny acronym in my opening sentence, I love old barns, and would indeed love to see the Hahnewald barn be preserved somewhere. My personal issue is a disagreement with town tax dollars being used to do so.
It really is that simple.
If you agree with a local taxing authority using the taxes you pay (whether you want to pay them or not) to save the barn, then, by all means, vote “yay” and rejoice in democracy working regardless of the outcome.
If you disagree with said taxes being used to save the barn, vote “nay” and rejoice in democracy working regardless of the outcome.
However, plenty of questions still remain during the interim.
Will a simple majority of survey “votes” suffice for a winner?
Will a 51 percent “nay” and 49 percent “yay” be enough for council members to reverse their earlier decision that created this issue in the first place?
What are the current plans for fundraising private dollars?
What are the odds for the town of Avon being on the line for funding Phases II and III?
What are Phases II and III?
Councilwoman Amy Phillips will be joining me live at 7 p.m. on the Zephyr (97.7-KZYR) Wednesday night to answer them to the best of her considerable ability.
Whether you tune in or not, please don’t toss your survey in the trash thinking it’s yet another piece of junk mail, as this barn issue will be settled one way or another in just a few short weeks, and whining in hindsight only applies at the federal level.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.