EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Here are statements released following the decision to approve the Eau Claire County referendum, which would contribute $3,500,000 toward the Confluence Project, and to reject the Eau Claire city referendum, which would have let voters decide whether the city
could spend $1,000,000 or more on arts-related building projects.
Statement from Darin McFadden, Board of Directors Chair, Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce:
Our Chamber Board would like to congratulate the project organizers on the positive result from the ballot issues in the April 1 election, which makes it possible for the Confluence Project to move onto the next stage for approval. We appreciate that a strong majority of city and county voters recognize that this project represents not only a wise public expenditure but it also serves as a sensible investment into our local economy.
The mission of the Chamber is to serve as “the advocate of business, striving to enhance and protect the business environment and the quality of life" in the Chippewa Valley. The Chamber believes strongly in this mission and firmly believes the project will enhance the economic vitality of the community while fulfilling community cultural needs. This is why our Chamber Board of Directors unanimously voted in favor of supporting this project in 2012 and reaffirmed it last December.
Although we’re very pleased with today’s ballot results, the Chamber recognizes that there is still a lot of work yet to be done before the Confluence Project becomes a reality. Enlisting philanthropic support will be one of the next critical steps to ensure that the decision makers in Madison clearly understand that our community stands ready to support this project. With more than one-third of the total amount required already raised, the Chamber is very pleased that many of our members have already stepped forward with their generous support. Companies like RCU, JAMF Software, Charter Bank, US Bank, and Northwestern Bank are a few early supporters.
Finalizing the State of Wisconsin’s contribution for UW-Eau Claire’s share of the project is also a critical next step, and our Chamber stands ready to work with project organizers to ensure that the State of Wisconsin recognizes our community supports the Confluence Project.
Statement from Citizens Referendum Committee:
"We are grateful to all the volunteers who worked so hard to insure that the citizens of Eau Claire had the right to vote on this important topic. Voter turnout was high, and the conversation on the confluence project dominated our spring thaw. We at the CRC hope that our leaders recognize all the great things that came from placing such an important decision in the hands of the voters and continue to involve the community as the project evolves. We had one simple mantra - "Let the people vote". - They have.
Statement from Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire):
“Yesterday’s election was a truly unique event in the history of Eau Claire and one of the most encouraging. Voters have proven that they support the Confluence Project and what it means for the future of Eau Claire. This has been a strong collaborative effort that we can all be proud of.
There is still a lot of work to be done. I look forward to working with local and state officials and my colleagues in the Legislature to make this project a reality.”
Statement from Voters With Facts:
Voters with Facts thanks its volunteers and the many citizens that supported its efforts. We were pleased at the turn out and impressed by the number of “yes” votes for the City referendum. The 5,584 “yes” votes are a significant number. They constitute 91% of the total votes cast during last year’s City Council election and more than any one of the individual at large council members received. Given that Voters with Facts was out spent by a ratio in excess of 20 to 1, the number of misleading statements made by the pro-confluence groups that were repeated by the media, and the minimal press (mostly negative) coverage, this is truly a remarkable result. Going forward, Voters With Facts expects the City and Council to recognize the fact that there are a substantial number of citizens that are concerned about the Confluence Project and henceforth provide full and honest disclosure of the impact of proposed actions on property taxes, debt, and future budgets.
Voters with Facts will continue in its role as a grassroots organization that provides facts to taxpayers.
Voters with Facts
Statement from Clear Vision Eau Claire:
The Clear Vision Eau Claire Board of Directors is pleased the outcomes of the City of Eau Claire and Eau Claire County votes on referendum questions related to the Confluence Project verify what the Clear Vision process first identified in fall 2007 – that improved events facilities are a high priority for our community.
The overwhelming votes of support affirm that our community is ready to embrace the strategic change necessary to enhance quality of life and spur economic development, as outlined in the initial Clear Vision report – which was developed through input from hundreds of our fellow citizens.
Clear Vision Eau Claire will continue to be active in the development of the Confluence Project and engaged in the public work necessary to achieve it.