Letter: $50-million revote — Here we go again

To the Editors:

Upon reading last week’s uninformed pronouncements by town counsel and in various op-eds, I thought of Ronald Reagan’s famous response to Jimmy Carter in their debate, “There you go again.”

In August 2011, Turner Construction estimated the cost of a new school would be $42 million. So why are Wilton taxpayers being asked to spend $50M on a renovation that will reduce square footage for the kindergarten-2 program, when a new school would cost less?

Since the Federal Reserve has a 2% inflation target, and Turner stated $42M for a new school, town officials citing construction escalation costs of 4.5% a year and new building costs of $75 million don’t add up.

As for the revote, Sensible Wilton seeks a lawful referendum where statutes are followed and voters can make an informed decision based upon facts.

The SEEC (State Elections Enforcement Commission) unanimously voted to investigate Sensible Wilton’s complaint based on the extensive documentation provided. We subsequently added significant other evidence of violations provided to us by Wilton citizens who were also outraged at improprieties related to the referendum process.

As an example, Connecticut State Statues (Title 9, Chapter 153) clearly defines what can and cannot be done when referendums are pending. The intent is clear that all municipalities and their employees are not allowed to present an advocacy position while utilizing town facilities or resources. The SEEC further states, “Use of School Teachers, Administrators, Facilities, Supplies, and Equipment Prohibited.” The intended objective is clear, that the citizens should be given unbiased information to allow them to make the best decision. This was not done for the Miller-Driscoll referendum.

Last week’s op-ed by the “impartial” moderator of the town meeting raises serious questions as to whether he conducted his duties properly. His clear bias for the project may indicate the reason opponents were silenced at the town meeting.

Recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests identified contradictions such as the $42M cost for a new school. More FOIAs may reveal other contradictions. Citizens of Wilton are entitled to the facts and to know how decisions are made.

Hundreds of Wilton voters signed our petition on Election Day and they expressed many of our same concerns. I ask other Wilton citizens to express their opinions by e-mailing sensiblewilton@outlook.com

Why not have a revote? Why not “go again?”

Alex Ruskewich

Calvin Road, Nov. 10