Why Not Buy Southard Street?
The City doesn't need to buy Wisteria Island to turn it into a park. The would be developers could do that and charge money to go there. It seems that the City Commission has linked annexation with development. Indeed, they are separate issues. The City could annex Wisteria Island any time its wants. The problem is the messed up laws the City has on development. If the City annexes the island, under the existing laws, the developers could build homes on the island. That's not an annexation problem. That's a development problem. That's what the City needs to work on, but, of course, it won't because the City is controlled by developers.
The Mayor is a realtor, after all, which is why one ought to be suspicious of any proposal that the City buy Wisteria Island. One has to ask, "Why?" The Mayor doesn't really want the voters' nod to buy the island; otherwise the proposed referendum would be given a green light and made a binding referendum. So what's behind all this wrangling over Wisteria Island? We're all ears, Mr. Mayor!
Meanwhile, we have a suggestion. If the City thinks it can buy Wisteria Island, why doesn't it buy Southard Street? It would likely cost a lot less and solve a whole bunch of issues for the City, not to mention that it would put an end to what may ultimately be a costly lawsuit for the City.
The reality is that the City does not have the money to buy (or even pursue eminent domain over) Southard Street. And the City doesn't have the money to buy Wisteria Island either. If the Mayor is proposing to ask the voters something, he 'd probably get a more positive response if he asked the voters whether they'd finance an eminent domain suit to take over Southard Street.