Council Member Kim Monson Dissents, Calling for Study
(LONE TREE, CO)–Connectivity, community and maintaining proper sequencing of the lights along Lincoln Avenue were all cited as rationale for the $6.8M architectural pedestrian bridge, complete with a large steel leaf, that was approved during the Lone Tree City Council meeting last night.
The only dissenting vote cast was by council member Kim Monson who asserts, "I support community and connectivity, but spending $6.8M of taxpayer money without effectively informing Lone Tree citizens of the true costs and effects of the project, without conducting a feasibility study or acquiring statistically accurate opinion data from key stakeholders, is one more example of government's lack of accountability to the people."
In his closing comments, Mayor Jim Gunning shot back at Monson during the meeting, stating that a study "would be worthless," and pointed to the outreach of the City to citizens to attend one of four meetings to learn about the bridge and express their opinion.
Monson responds, "That approach to informing citizens has the same value as a push pull survey on a website where folks are asked to respond to a question in the side bar. The accuracy of the results is questionable at best."
She continues, "The fact is we've learned that less than 1% of our citizens weighed in on a $6.8M expenditure. I am not opposed to the idea of a pedestrian bridge. I made a motion that we purchase the land for the bridge and allow for four weeks of study and time to effectively inform our citizens and hear from them." Monson's motion died with no second.
The money to pay for the bridge includes $3.5M from the Lone Tree Capitol Projects fund and the rest comes from community partners. Monson comments, "Another important point to communicate to our citizens is at this rate of spending, the $8M the City has in capitol reserves is projected to dwindle down to $108K by 2018."