Letter: Columnist treats vote critics with contempt

To the Editors:

In his Jan. 29 column, Stephen Hudspeth expressed his disdain for, “the small group whose regular letters ... assure that the [Miller-Driscoll] matter is never left unaddressed in any given week’s issue.” Evidently, Mr. Hudspeth regards the views and interests of the 1,100-plus voters who signed the petition for a re-vote beneath his contempt, since he chose to ignore them. And those who take the time to comment on this timely and critical matter are said by him to “drone,” like mere insects he intends to crush.

Hudspeth then referred to my letter in the Jan. 15 issue pointing out the deepening economic depression. He made no attempt to disagree with my position that depression prevails. But what he then did is beneath the dignity of a professional advocate: he contended this was the sole basis of my argument.

In fact, Mr. Hudspeth carefully avoided the first premise in my letter: The amount to be expended is far higher than those officially proposed for repairs and improvements in 2009 and 2010: $11.7 million and $10.4 million, respectively (see the Sept. 11, 2014 issue of The Wilton Bulletin). Indeed, he was careful to ignore these inconvenient facts which raise so many concerns among the voters and taxpayers, who are now expected to shoulder the burden of a $44,000,000 debt encumbrance. I have observed the disparity between these previously proposed amounts and the many-times-greater current price tag in three letters published recently, but neither Mr. Hudspeth nor those he is acting for, have challenged or even mentioned this disparity.

But then Mr. Hudspeth chose to discuss the matter of repaving the town’s roads. Apparently he somehow confused this with the Miller-Driscoll project. This odd diversion notwithstanding, the costs of each project compete for the limited funds available to the town, and each adds to the taxpayers’ burden. So, despite his apparent and insouciant conceit that the town can easily afford such debt with interest rates “at all-time lows” (a circumstance naturally accompanying the deepening depression), the principal amount must still be repaid. And, as I pointed out in my Jan. 15 letter (a premise also ignored by Mr. Hudspeth), deflation accompanying the depression will effectively render the amount to be repaid ever more onerous.

The Board of Selectmen will soon act on the petition signed by the 1,100-plus voters. Whether the board has the authority to grant the petition is a matter of interpretation that could fairly be decided either for or against the possession of such authority. It’s disposition will, therefore, be a political act. Will the board, in its discretion, choose to respect the requests of the 1,100-plus voters who signed the petition, or will it treat them with the same degree of contempt with which Mr. Hudspeth treats his readers?

Eugene L. Flanagan

Juniper Place, Feb. 2