Sensible Wilton told the Board of Selectman Sunday it would pursue “judicial intervention” if the Town of Wilton refuses to call a second referendum on the Miller-Driscoll school renovation project.
But, the board remained steadfast in opposition at its meeting Monday, telling Sensible Wilton it would not vote to hold a second Town Meeting on the topic.
“I asserted at the last meeing that I did not believe the Board of Selectmen have the legal authority to order a revote. Unfortunately, I haven’t heard anything tonight to persuade me otherwise,” Selectman Michael Kaelin, a lawyer and former member of the Wilton Charter Commission, said.
“The only reasoning I’m hearing here, or seeing, is [an argument from Sensible Wilton that says] we now have the power to repeal the authorization because the authorization is the same thing as an ordinance under the Charter. I don’t think you can bend the English language like that.”
A note sent out Sunday by an official Sensible Wilton email account said the group “will commence litigation to pursue the electors’ rights as secured by the Charter” if a second vote is not called.
A letter sent by Sensible Wilton’s attorney Simon W. Reiff to First Selectman Bill Brennan on Sunday asked the “Board of Selectmen to respect its legal obligations under the Town [Charter] and to submit the Petition to a vote at a Special Town Meeting so as to avoid the unnecessary escalation of this matter.”
Wilton’s legal counsel, Ken Bernhard, has previously argued his client has no obligation to call a revote on a bonding issue, and the Board of Selectmen agreed.
“After a resolution is passed by the Town Meeting,” Bernhard wrote in a recent legal opinion. “the Charter… does not provide for further legislative input by the Town Meeting, by ordinance or otherwise.”
Because the “power of a municipal corporation to repeal an ordinance or resolution is… as broad as the power to enact it,” if a group of citizens does not have the right to call a bonding resolution, they do not have the right to call for the repeal of a bonding resolution, either, he wrote last week.