Letter: Officials' response to revote efforts is an outrage

To the Editors:

The efforts of Sensible Wilton to achieve fiscal responsibility in town governance have, of course, been strenuously opposed by those who expect to derive some benefit from the enormously expensive Miller-Driscoll building project. Those who oppose fiscal responsibility have raised a number of peripheral arguments:

1) They argue that the law does not permit a new vote on the question whether the town should incur a crippling debt of $50 million. That remains unsettled. But the argument ignores that the recent vote only considered the question whether the overall expenditure should be approved. This left a great deal to be decided in the future, which will be the subject of multiple measures, each subject to action pursuant to a “Special Town Meeting.”

2) They solemnly invoke the “democratic process,” implying that they won “fair and square.” They view with contempt the matters raised by Sensible Wilton’s complaint to the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC). In fact, the procedures of the SEEC provide that the commission will initiate an investigation where the facts alleged in the complaint, if proven true, would violate the state election or campaign finance laws. It is also a fact the SEEC has initiated such an investigation in response to the complaint; those commenting on the complaint have been remarkably silent concerning the truth or falsity of the facts thus alleged.

The practices complained of are time-worn means employed by the town government and its operatives to create a widely held belief among the electorate that approval of the expenditures so promoted is inevitable. These practices are a crude device designed to discourage voters, viewed by town officials merely as hoi polloi, from participating who are not inclined to vote for still more spending, no matter how reckless.

The argument that the vote was a fair one thus abrades the open wound created by the egregious activities of the town’s governing agents, and accomplishes nothing beyond stoking the pride of those who hope to benefit from the monies to be appropriated.

But more importantly, these sycophants studiously ignore a central issue affecting this project: the amount now to be spent far exceeds those officially proposed for repairs and improvements in 2009 and 2010: $11.7 million and $10.4 million, respectively. Thus, the initial proposals for arguably necessary repairs and improvements to the Miller-Driscoll facilities have metastasized into a grand design for a pharaonic monument with a splendid “line of sight.” The reasons for these discrepancies need to be thoroughly explored and explained to the public, and most likely contested by the electorate, before this matter can be put to rest.

As a first step, Sensible Wilton urges all voters to sign its petition for a revote; they will have this opportunity at The Village Market this Saturday and Sunday between 1 and 3 each day.

Eugene L. Flanagan

Juniper Place, Nov. 11