After more than two hours of public input, the board opened its discussion with a motion to table the vote on the lake park resolution and put it to a referendum.
Alderman Noah Fiedler weighed in against doing so, saying that "you elected us, you pay us to make tough decisions, and I see that a referendum in this case is cowardly. It puts the responsibility back on you to do the job you hired me to do," Fiedler said.
Alderman Dan Soltysiak said he agreed that he's not been in favor of referenda in all cases, but hearing such a great response from residents both pro and con, he would support one in this case.
On a 4-3 vote the updated motion was defeated (Aldermen Tracy Snead, Keith Werner and Fiedler opposed), which continued the debate.
Ultimately, Soltysiak said his tendency to support a referendum was based on cost information. "I received an email thanking the council for doing their due diligence on this matter. I don't feel that we have done our due diligence in this matter."
Alderman Neil Borgman agreed, stating, "I don't feel I have the collective wisdom of 400 people, much less the entire community. All I'm asking is that we get a little more information; we pay a great deal of money to have people direct the parks department, if they can't give me an accurate estimate on what it's going to cost, I feel my money is misplaced."
A similar result in a motion to table the vote met a similar fate.
The remaining crowd grew upset with the council, often yelling out despite the calls for quiet.
In addition, the collection of signatures for direct legislation requesting a referendum, estimated at about half the amount needed to force one, would not affect a vote made Tuesday night.
The same 4-3 vote in favor of the original vote (Harenda, Borgman and Soltysiak opposing) puts the offer to purchase of $3.55 million in the hands of the homeowners.