This was not my idea, it’s mostly Jim Duff’s and evolved in a conversation we had this week. He’s down with a horrid made in Japan Man Cold and maybe he’s slower than usual. Over the years he’s freely stolen and scooped many of my good ideas, sometimes with credit, so I’m thrilled that finally Jim’s had one really good idea worth beating him to the punch on.
There was a much derided omnibus bill early in the Prevost administration, so I hesitate to use that word here, but what I’m thinking is an Omnibus Referendum.
We have so many contentious issues and plans in Hudson that it might be time to hold a constructive multi-questioned omnibus referendum.I’d hate to ask our town lawyers and I’m not sure what the legal issues are about polling outside of a proposed bylaw for some of these, but those would just be directional opinion polling of all interested citizens.
Sandy/Pine Beach as re-proposed by the developer would top the agenda for me. Propose the bylaw required, skip the signing process and simply promise a referendum. The developer needs and deserves a clear statement of the general public, not Council, sentiment.
Mayfair semi-detached re-zoning would be important.
Let the Ellerbecks table their latest plans and have the town judge thumbs up or thumbs down.
Pine Lake repair. Table an estimated cost and see what the townspeople say about finally fixing it.
What about rezoning R-55 for a more marketable use like mixed townhouses, residences and condos linked to the sewers? Have town planning propose some densities and lot sizes and see how the people really feel about it.
I’d go long on several points like the Arts Center in the strategic plan, acceptable future development levels, water supply, spending priorities like recreation versus paving, zoning guidance like height limits and lot sizes in the downtown core.
There’s room for a few more, probably any more than ten issues would overwhelm the jungle drums and rumour mills in Hudson.
Hold a series of public meetings or question periods on the issues, several per meeting should be fine. For and against Facebook pages could evolve on the issues.
This would really ask the people at large what the Town of Hudson’s priorities should be. No one can hide from the results, everyone needs to be guided by the results and in the case of proposed bylaws we could be bound by the results.
We’d get a lot of bang for our buck all at once, unblock or kill some critical issues quickly, and generally force discussions into the light of day. At the worst case, it would give those considering seeking office in the next election, as well as sitting Councillors who might run again a solid feel of the average people’s thinking.