In a land governed by the people, for the people and of the people, the people of New Braunfels have spoken loud and clear. They want to keep the city’s rivers clean.
Voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly upheld New Braunfels City Council’s ban on disposable food and beverage containers by an unofficial 5,166-3,791 margin, or 57.68 percent to 42.32 percent. The official results will be finalized during the canvassing of the vote on Nov. 16, City Secretary Patrick Aten said.
The divisive campaign is over, and now the healing must begin.
How do we move forward? For starters, the hundreds upon hundreds of signs “for” and “against” the ban need to come down immediately, and they need to be disposed of properly. The longer these signs stay up, the longer it takes for the city to recover.
In addition, ban opponents, who used the phrase “let us decide” on their campaign material, need to accept the fact that the people did indeed decide this matter — in a convincing fashion. The vote should be honored and accepted as the will of the people. That means desperate, trivial efforts to discount the vote or even overturn the results should be abandoned.
The misguided effort to recall Mayor Gale Pospisil also should be dropped. Tuesday’s vote effectively stands as a referendum on Pospisil’s first few months in office, and the majority of New Braunfelsers obviously approve of the job she’s doing. Going forward with a recall petition after such a resounding statement at the ballot box only throws salt in a fresh wound and curtails the healing process.
As for the lawsuit seeking to overturn the ban, plaintiffs would be prudent to take a step back and reevaluate their decision to sue the city. Continuing to pursue legal action shows disregard for the people’s will, and the city’s legal team signed off on the ban before council members voted. A prolonged court battle over something the people clearly want will only deepen the chasm between the two sides.
The people have spoken. Now let’s move on — together.