ATVs on River Road vote

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I have seen several of the posts on Facebook and most lead readers to believe the issue is over and done with, it is not. As someone who sits through the committee and regular board meetings for reporting purposes, I think it is important to get all the facts out there.

If you watched the meeting live or the replay, you will have observed that the issue is being scheduled for further consideration at the August committee meeting of the Intergovernmental committee.

I feel that it needs to be pointed out at this point that several of the commissioners that voted against the resolution were not dead set against approval; they just wanted more time to consider the issue. You have to remember that this request was made just two weeks ago by the Adventure Tourism committee; there had been no mention of this issue prior to that time. And, unlike road closures or other similar issues, does not require 2 public hearings.

At least one commissioner stated that he would also like to see the Adventure Tourism Committee put forward all the roads within the AT district that they would want the county board to approve for ATV access in one resolution, not one road at a time. Any roads approved now or in the future require notification to the state Department of Public Safety and posting of appropriate signage.

It should also be pointed out that the resolution was not even close to passing. State law required a two-thirds approval vote. This means that 10 commissioners would have had to vote 'yes' for the resolution to go into effect. 8-4 or even 9-3 would still have been a failed resolution. It didn't matter that two commissioners were absent; the two-thirds requirement is based on the total number of occupied commissioner seats (14 for Scott County). The only exceptions are vacant positions or direct conflict of interest.

The vote on the actual presented resolution was technically doomed before the vote was even taken. After a lot of discussion, Commissioner June Jeffers had made a motion to table the resolution until August so more information could be gathered and considered. This motion was seconded and a roll call vote taken. The vote was 6-6. The writing was on the wall from this point forward. The resulting vote on the resolution as presented was another 6-6 vote, with the votes for and against just flip flopping from the prior vote.

So before you go condemning commissioners for their failure to pass the resolution last Monday night, give them time to look at all aspects closer and another resolution will probably be drafted and presented.

Also, if you have a strong opinion on this matter, you need to attend the meetings and voice your support or opposition, or at least pick up the phone and contact your district's commissioners. Several commissioners mentioned receiving only calls requesting that they vote against the resolution.

The Intergovernmental committee will next meet on Monday, August 1st, sometime after 6pm.

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