Letter: Sensible Wilton urges citizen participation Feb. 2.

To the Editors:

More than 1,100 Wilton citizens/taxpayers petitioned the town for a lawful revote of the $50-million Miller-Driscoll renovation. On Feb. 2, the Board of Selectmen will present their position on the petition.

Sensible Wilton believes the board is obligated to call a Special Town Meeting under the Town Charter:

“The Board of Selectmen shall call a Special Town Meeting whenever It is requested to do so by petition signed by at least 2% of the electors of the Town and filed with the Town Clerk.”

Sensible Wilton pursued the petition because the referendum did not follow state laws:

  • Town officials participated in a Vote Yes Campaign. By law, town officials/assets cannot influence a Yes or No vote. Yet, officials distributed Vote Yes fliers attributed to the town.
  • Advocacy meetings were held on school grounds. By law, schools must be neutral.
  • Improper brochures: The town spent $12,000-plus on glossy brochures/outreach. There is no evidence this was properly approved by law and the materials didn’t provide a detailed cost justification.
  • Improperly formed building committee: By town process, only citizens can be building committee members. But school officials, who are not taxpayers and are not  incentivized to recommend lower-cost options, were on the committee and heavily influenced the $50-million project.
  • Citizens were not informed: By law, subsections of a community can’t be targeted.  However, advocacy meetings and emails targeted school parents and other special groups, but not the broader community.

When Sensible Wilton and other citizens questioned aspects of the Miller-Driscoll project, we were criticized by town officials. But if there is nothing to hide, why not make the project widely known?

Sensible Wilton encourages participation in the Feb. 2 Board of Selectmen meeting to express concerns on the process/project that will saddle Wilton with $50 million of debt and inevitably detract from educational programs. Write to the town officials or us at sensiblewilton@outlook.com or sensiblewilton.org to support a lawful revote.

Alex Ruskewich, President

Sensible Wilton

Calvin Road, Jan. 27