Voters can have say

While we elect our leaders, we also expect some important decisions to be made directly by the voters.

When it comes to the fate of the former Sherman’s Amusement Park in Caroga, we think town officials should seriously consider holding a referendum on any choice that is made for the site.

Officials have been looking at potential uses for the property, which was donated to the town about a year ago. For example, an idea that seems to be getting consideration is to turn the park into a music and arts education center.

At a recent Town Board meeting, it was suggested the town seek more ideas on what to do with the property and hold a referendum on the matter.

Those sound like good suggestions.

Making sure the town has truly considered all of the legitimate suggestions for use of the site should be a big priority. Town officials cannot say they are going ahead with the best plan if they don’t know what the others are.

We understand referendums cannot be held for every matter elected officials handle, but considering the importance of Sherman’s to the town, a referendum is probably the best way to go.

Perhaps the most important thing for the town to do is make sure town residents approve of any plans for the site.

The original deal for Sherman’s was made without public knowledge, which spurred quite a bit of suspicion and acrimony. Unfortunately, the way the deal was done presented a hurdle to actually focusing on what could be done with the site.

Town officials should keep that in mind. Public opinion matters, and a referendum may be the best way to ensure town residents approve of a deal its officials have made – before a contract is signed.