What Now, Ellisville?
The current Ellisville City Council is scheduled to vote on the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) proposal tonight. Last night’s election results – where a solidly anti-TIF candidate won the mayor’s race – will not go into effect for another couple of weeks. So, the question is, should the current city council, which appears to be pro-TIF (I would love to be wrong on that), make decisions during this brief “lame-duck” session that go against the pretty clear opinions of the voters? Obviously, I hope they listen to the voters and allow the new mayor and city council to make the decision.
They might not, though. In which case, Ellisville’s city charter thankfully allows for a referendum on ordinances. Here is the link (section 9 on page 24). Ellisville has about 6,700 registered voters, so if the city council passes the TIF ordinance tonight, opponents would have to file a petition within 10 days. After that filing, opponents would have a month to gather about 670 signatures to force a referendum. That referendum would allow the ordinance to either go to a vote of the people or require another vote of the city council, which would be the new city council that was elected yesterday. Because just about that number of people (667) voted for the anti-TIF, victorious mayoral candidate, I would think getting the signatures is certainly doable.
There are several other key questions here, but it could be a very interesting couple of weeks in Ellisville.