Now that Question A has been defeated by the voters of Worcester County, it is time to set the record straight. The People For Fiscal Responsibility, a ballot issue committee, was formed solely to bring the matter of a specific Bond Bill for a Sports Complex to the voters.
From the outset, we made it very clear that we are not opposed to a Sports Complex, per se; but we are opposed to the use of public funds to build it, to operate it and to pay an exorbitant price for the land.
For the County Commissioners to pay nearly $75,000 per acre, when land is readily available throughout the county for $10,000 to $19,000 per acre is ridiculous.
From the beginning, we were repeatedly told that the bond proceeds were to be used for construction of the complex and to purchase the 95 plus acres next to Stephen Decatur High School.
It was not until we had met the signature requirement that we then learned that bond funds could not be used to purchase the land.
Later, there was confusion about the language of the bond bill as it appeared on the ballot as Question A.
Some insisted that if the Bond Bill was defeated, a Sports Complex could never be built in Worcester County with bond proceeds. That was never true.
Question A pertained to one Bond Bill, and one Bond Bill only. Furthermore, our Committee never had any control over how the language was written on the ballot.
On behalf of the People For Fiscal Responsibility, we want to thank the 71 volunteers who gathered signatures throughout the county.
We also want to thank the 5,093 voters who signed the petition to place the issue on the ballot.
Finally, we want to thank the 11,760 voters who voted against Question A, thus defeating the Bond Bill.
What we learned from this initiative and this tremendous effort is that people still have the power to take control of their government.
While we all enjoy the right to vote, the power of the Petition to Referendum allows for citizens to override the actions of their elected officials in the passage of an ill-conceived bill.
The founders of our great Nation understood the right of the people “...to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” In Worcester County, Maryland, the Constitution is alive and well.
Vincent dePaul Gisriel Jr.