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Referendum remains focus

Posted: January 19, 2012 11:44 a.m.
Updated: January 20, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Thank you for the opportunity to clarify the issue of the wording of the current petition on the proposed Camden Sports Complex. It has been suggested that the language seems to be in conflict with the cause of the Camden Recreation Referendum Coalition (CRRC) to let the voice of the people be heard. The driving force behind the CRRC was, is, and always will be the referendum, and the right for citizens to participate in government. However, in order to get to the point of a referendum, the State Code (and City Council) mandates that the format of the petition be written as an ordinance, requiring a statement of position, therefore giving City Council the opportunity to accept or reject the ordinance. Great pains were taken to create the petition language that would be receptive to an alternative plan, which would ultimately result in public endorsement and a united process to move forward, guided by the desires of the citizens.

 As a reminder, the previous petition, which simply called for a referendum, is being challenged in the court with a lawsuit brought by City Council, naming some of Camden citizens as defendants. This litigation is the result of presenting a petition which was not in the format of an ordinance. This time, the legal language is correct. CRRC volunteers inform every potential signer of the need for the format, and all are given the opportunity to read the full text of the ordinance prior to signing.

Finally, there is no language in the current petition which states opposition to the Y! CRRC well recognizes the value of the YMCA organization and does not choose to debate the pros and cons of that entity. We respect and appreciate the group that has created the ForTheY initiative, and thank them for their respect of CRRC. At some point, perhaps we will find our common cause.

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