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Council members have mixed views on whether a proposal to build a new City Hall should go to the ballot, the Union-Tribune reported yesterday.

Mayor Jerry Sanders and Councilman Carl DeMaio have said the proposal should go to voters, and Independent Budget Analyst Andrea Tevlin has voiced support for a public vote. But some council members said they weren’t sure. From the story:

Councilman Todd Gloria said if a vote isn’t legally required — there’s some question, as one version of the developer’s proposal involves selling city land — the council might be in the best position to mull the figures and decide.

“I’m concerned about the extent to which the question, if this is placed on the ballot, will be less about the merits of the project and (more about) who ran the best campaign,” Gloria said.

He is anticipating, as is likely, that the pro and con sides would mount public relations efforts, including mailers and even television ads.

Councilwoman Donna Frye noted in the UT story that putting it on the ballot can help avoid lawsuits.

The City Council’s Rules, Open Government and Intergovernmental Relations Committee voted to send the issue for a vote before the full council, which will decide if the city should start exclusive negotiations with the developer, Portland-based Gerding Edlen. A date for the full council vote has not been set.

RANI GUPTA

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