Voting ended Saturday for a city referendum, which would cut a $100 check for each resident of Lewisville due to a budgeting error at City Hall. Not one person voted in the election though, causing a standstill among city officials.
“If I’m being honest, we don’t really know what to do,” City Manager Donna Barron said. “We don’t have anything in the city charter to address something like this.”
After city officials miscalculated the 2018-19 fiscal budget and found they had almost $10 million in surplus, an election was called for by council in December to let the residents decide what to do with the money.
Despite an alert on each of the city’s websites stating when the vote would be held and a link showing voting locations, not one vote was tallied. For full disclosure, we did not do any reporting on it as we are also just now hearing about this.
When residents were asked about it, some said they did not know about the referendum, while others said they just assumed others would go out and vote for the “obvious choice.”
“Obviously we’re going to take that money but I just didn’t have time today,” Lewisville resident Roy Melton said. “I thought others would take care of it.”
Oddly, election tallies from Denton County Elections office show that two voters did check in for the election. Despite the referendum being the only thing on the ballot, neither voter indicated a for or against vote.
“A couple of folks came in and I thought they were going to vote,” Poll worker Miles Hernandez said. “But it turns out they were looking for a public meeting about hippos at LLELA.”
Regarding the low turnout, officials are left to figure out what to do with the extra money and giving it back to the residents does not look likely. Councilman Bob Troyer said this is something council should have prepared for.
“I suggested a ‘give up’ clause months ago and nobody moved on it,” Troyer said. “I said something like this might happen.”
This “just give up” clause has been passed in cities across the country and has a reputation for saving city officials who feel overwhelmed by residents’ apathy toward the finer details of tax rate policy, land acquisition, commercial development and other ordinances.
To find out about future elections and to voice your opinion on the money at city council meetings, visit their website.
Today is April 1, 2018. The story you have just read is 100 percent April Fool’s material and not in any way true. We hope you enjoyed it!