Letter: Referendum petition is ‘game-winning drive’ for Bus. 51

To the Editor-

This letter is in response to Mr. Kontos’ column (“Beware the referendum, yet understand the tool,” Jan. 23).

Mr. Kontos, you refer to our current direct legislation as a “Hail Mary pass.” I would like to clear this up. A Hail Mary pass is an act of desperation to try and win a game at the last second, usually unsuccessful.

I would like to set our efforts on Business 51 straight.

Let’s call it a “well-coached game-winning drive” instead because this is exactly what the direct legislation referendum effort is.

I made it loud and clear at the September 20 city council meeting that the Business 51 road project was going to referendum. The alders didn’t listen.

Within a week after this meeting, I hired a brilliant lawyer and his legal team from a large law group out of Milwaukee. This group has an extensive background in municipal law.

Their legal team studied Stevens Point laws for well over 30 hours to come up with the current direct legislation that sets before us.

A “Hail Mary” I think not! But I would like to thank you for letting me clear up why we are heading down the road where the Business 51 project finally gets addressed.

You also mention, sir, that “each time $1 million dollars” are spent on public roadway or transportation projects that we are going to “constrain” the city in our referendum efforts.

The fact of the matter from the mayor’s office: There have only been seven road projects over $1 million dollars in the last nine years.

Not nearly the number of projects that our alders and you make it sound like.

The only way to move forward with Business 51 was to create a law forcing the city to put the project on a ballot as a binding referendum. Any other effort would be non-binding and a waste of time. If we do not go forward with our petition Business 51 becomes a road diet and the rest is history.

As the mayor put it before the December 20 City Council meeting, this is not about winning or losing, and I agree. But to counter your effort to discredit our current referendum I had to address your column appropriately.

Kevin Flatoff
Office of the President
Flatoff’s Gold Key Motors, Inc.

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