The Tallahassee City Commission and the city’s attorney have released the text for the Nov. 8 coal-plant referendum, and some critics say that the wording is too hard to understand.
The referendum reads: “If a majority of the City Commission determines that the North Florida Power Project coal burning power plant will be built in Taylor County, regardless of the city’s participation, then the city of Tallahassee shall be allowed to partner in, and derive power from the plant. The city shall only participate if the plant is among the cleanest coal plants in Florida and the city increases its goals of using renewable and alternative fuels.”
The wording is certainly not very straightforward, and could lead some people to vote against their wishes or not at all. It does not seem to even ask a question, but is more of a statement, and the promise to set higher goals does not necessarily mean that they will meet those goals.
The City Commission should work to make the wording more understandable and to let people know if they are voting for or against something. Left as is, the commission will not get a very accurate portrayal of the people of Tallahassee’s wishes.
As it is now, the commission’s referendum seems meant to confuse and mislead the voting public. If local politicians are truly concerned with representing the interest and concerns of the public, then a more voter-friendly statement must be released.
If the local constituency is set on having their voice heard, they will speak out now to insure that politicians take their opinions into account when creating legislation. These are the demands that we must set.