News

 

Petition deliverySmOn January 8th Sensible Wilton submitted the petitions we collected with the signatures of over 1100 Wilton residents requesting a revote of the Miller-Driscoll bonding referendum.

We have subsequently distributed a press release describing why we feel a revote should be held. To read the press release, click on the link below.

Press Release -Sensible Wilton Delivers 1100+ Petition for Revote of $50M School Renovation

 

January 28, 2015

Prior to the BOS meeting on Feb 17 to discuss our submitted petition we have sent Letter’s to the Editor to our various Town publications.
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A  Law is a Law

Over 1,100 Wilton citizens/taxpayers petitioned the Town for a LAWFUL REVOTE of the $50M Miller-Driscoll renovation. On February 2 (now Feb 17th), the Board of Selectman will present their position on the petition.

Sensible Wilton believes the BOS 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 $12k+ 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 $50M 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 February 2nd (now Feb 17th) BOS 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 www.sensiblewilton.org to support a lawful revote.

Alex Ruskewich, President Sensible Wilton
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Revote Referendum

WILTON TOWN CHARTER REQUIRES BOARD OF SELECTMEN TO CALL SPECIAL TOWN MEETING ON A REVOTE OF SEPTEMBER REFERENDUM ON $50 MILLION MILLER-DRISCOLL PROJECT

Sensible Wilton supporters have collected more than 1,100 signatures on a petition calling for a revote of the September referendum on the $50 million Miller-Driscoll renovation project. The signed petitions have been filed with the Town Clerk. The relevant section of Wilton’s charter reads as follows:

“C-9. Special Town Meeting: options and duties of Board of Selectmen: power of initiative; the petition process.

  1. The Board of Selectmen shall call a Special Town Meeting whenever:

(1) 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 pursuant to Subsection C below;” (2% is about  220 and the petitions have been filed with the Town Clerk.)

NOTE: “Subsection C below” deals with administrative matters. It does not in any way offer the  BOS an “escape clause” from this important element of the democratic process.

Town officials are trying several routes in order to ignore the Charter section quoted above. First there is the “bond offering” argument that this charter section doesn’t apply if a bond offering was included in the vote (which it was). There is no explicit language in the charter to support this argument. It is all done by inference in a lengthy memorandum of law prepared by Town Counsel.

The second argument involves “who is calling for the Special Town Meeting.” Sensible Wilton and its supporters are asking the BOS to call for the Special Town Meeting. (This is as specified in the above quote from the charter.) BOS is saying that Sensible Wilton and its supporters (the “electors”) are calling for the Special Town Meeting and that is improper.

The democratic process, which all of us value so highly, calls for the 1,100+ petitions to be honored and for the BOS to respect the explicit instructions in the Wilton Town Charter.

Curtis Noel
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