Letter: Sensible Wilton petition should be addressed

To the Editors:

The petition by Sensible Wilton for a new vote on the $50-million Miller-Driscoll project should be considered by an official body of the town very soon. However, as announced by its public officials previously, those who would decide its fate are predisposed to dismiss the petition out of hand.

But the 1,100-plus voters who signed the petition are each bound to view such a decision as a backhanded slap in the face. They deserve a substantive response, rather than an imperious and legalistic dismissal of their concerns.

And their concerns are well founded:

(1) 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;

(2) Those of the voters who pay attention to economic developments throughout the world recognize it is in the grip of depression as evidenced by (a) collapsing activity in Japan and much of Western Europe, and a slowdown in China; (b) tumbling commodity prices, especially petroleum, and (c) rock-bottom interest rates. They recognize also that international financial systems are under great strain due not only to historically huge debt levels and the de facto insolvency of the largest Western financial institutions, but also due to the precipitous decline in petroleum prices and the rapid rise in the dollar exchange rate.  These portend an international financial crisis far worse than that of 2008, and a consequent depletion of the town’s tax base;

(3) Deflation resulting from the economic depression will render the amounts to be repaid with interest ever more onerous; and

(4) Debt once incurred cannot be voted or legislated away. One way or another, the bankers who eventually hold the debt will extract the last penny owed, whether through taxes or through execution on both public assets and taxpayers’ private property within the town.

These concerns ultimately must be addressed, assuming that the appearance of a democratic town government would be maintained. Will those perched in their official aeries pause to consider the concerns of the population on which they feed, or will they ignore even their own self interests?

Eugene L. Flanagan

Juniper Place, Jan. 13