City Challenges Validity of Petition

Salina City Commissioners on Tuesday voted 3-0 to challenge the validity of a petition that was handed in last week – that is seeking a public vote for the amount of bonds the city can contribute to the Fieldhouse Salina project.

City Attorney Greg Bengston addressed the council on several matters of concern regarding the petition that was steered by Salinans John Price and Ray Hruska and handed in to the City of Salina’s Clerk’s Office on April 25th.

Bengston pointed to pages that had separate issues in the filing regarding the Charter Ordinance.

Bengston also told the group that not all circulators of the document provided their address which is required by statute. Conflicting dates (signed before the ordinance was passed) also accompany some of the signatures found on the petition.

In 2015 the city had agreed to contribute up to $4.5 million to the project, with supporters raising private funds for the rest. Since that time Salina City Commissioners approved contributing $7 million to the project. The project was initially expected to cost $9 million total. But that total was based on 2013 estimates.

Mayor Kaye Crawford and Commissioners Jon Blanchard and Randall Hardy spent about 40-minutes asking Mr. Bengston questions as well as hearing from Ray Hruska who was present for the special forum on Charter Ordinance 39 that began at 1pm on Tuesday afternoon.