Landrith pushing petitions - Proposal seeks seven year, 1/4-cent sales tax for new baseball complex

By Traci Chapman
Published on July 31, 2008

Mayor Jeff Landrith submitted a petition to city staff Monday, “starting the ball rolling” on a movement to put a ¼-cent sales tax increase aimed at funding a new baseball complex before voters.

The petition — one of three prepared by Landrith — stated, “Shall the city of Mustang enact an additional 1/4-cent sales tax for a period of seven years and place remittance in a fund to construct new recreational complex in Wild Horse Park, to include six new baseball ball fields, soccer facility improvements, football field improvements, five large pavilion shelters, a playground, 10 additional picnic tables, five shade structures for softball complex, a shared concession area and a platform for the purposes of an outdoor theater.”

Landrith’s other petitions pertain to sidewalks and zoning notifications. In one, he calls for the city to apply funds from non-restricted city sales tax revenue to install “a minimum 200 feet of sidewalk each year along major roads on such property which has been developed but no sidewalk has been installed for a period of 15 years.”

The other petition, the only one of the three that would not by law require approval of city voters, would change notification requirements for property owners with interests within 500 feet of any site requesting any type of zoning change. Current ordinances require written notice be sent to anyone owning property within 300 feet of any proposed zoning modification.

Landrith said his goal in the process was twofold, “first, to try to document this process — which is very complex and hard to get information about — and secondly to try to get three issues passed which interest me most as a resident, many of them the reason I decided to run for mayor.”

Landrith said he first hit on the idea to work from the viewpoint of a “normal resident,” rather than mayor or Council representative, after voters rejected two proposed bond issues for a new baseball complex and improvements to Czech Hall Road in April.

“One of the top questions I get is ‘how do I change or create a law as a resident?,’” he said. “I decided to check that out and find out how it’s done. It’s a lot harder than one might think.”

After researching “more than 20 hours” online, Landrith said he came up with more questions than answers, and he found there is no set process for residents to bring a petition for consideration by city leaders.

“There are so many specifics — how many signatures are needed, which I don’t know, who can sign the petitions, time requirements and things like that. It’s been a real learning experience,” he said.

Landrith said anyone starting a petition has 90 days from the time it was submitted to the city to collect residents’ signatures. All signers must be registered voters living in Mustang city limits.

He said once a petition is signed, City Council could elect to take action on some issues without a vote of the people, while other matters — such as taxes — are required by state law to be presented and passed by voters.

“Two of the petitions I prepared, for baseball fields and sidewalks, would need to go all the way through to a vote, which I would like to see happen,” Landrith said. “It will be interesting to see how the process really works when it’s in action.”


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