I don’t even know where to start with this:
A citizens group trying to change Columbus politics has turned in petitions seeking a ballot initiative to stop the city from paying on its purchase contract for Nationwide Arena.
The Columbus Coalition for Responsive Government submitted 17,200 signatures to the Columbus city clerk’s office yesterday to amend the purchase ordinance and stop payments to buy the arena by 2016.
While it’s a nice idea to try to undo a money-losing public bailout deal for the Blue Jackets from 2011, um, no, residents of a city can’t just vote to refuse to make good on contracts that the city already entered into. Or rather, they can apparently vote on it — if the petitions hold up, the referendum would be held — but it’s not going to stop the city from being obligated to make those payments. Or else I could suggest some other things we might vote to stop paying for.
The Columbus Coalition for Responsive Government is … well, the group is still rebuilding its website after it was hacked (in August, wha?), but it looks like it’s mostly dedicated to improving transparency in local government — one of its primary goals is “We support the return of public access television to the people.” (Its Facebook page features a cartoon of, man, I have no idea what’s going on there.) I’d cite the arena petition itself, but that page directs to an unrelated petition on district governance — curse you, hackers! — so it’s hard to say much more.
Except that clearly, enough people in Columbus are ticked off about the arena bailout that they’ll sign anything opposed to it, no matter who’s waving it in their faces and whether it will actually do anything. This is going to be the funnest ballot measure ever!