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Should Sewer Referendum Get New Vote?

After 1,700 left the question blank during the Nov. 8 election, the Town Council is considering offering voters another chance.

The Town Council is considering whether to add a referendum question on the sanitary sewer project to the upcoming budget vote or at another time. The question, whether to appropriate $2.5 million for a low-pressure sanitary sewer main that would serve 95 properties on Wood Pond Road, Woodruff Road, Shady Lane, Blue Ridge Drive and Ridgeview Drive, was narrowly defeated Nov. 8.

But of the 28 percent of registered voters who cast a ballot in the municipal election, more people left the question blank than voted for or against it. Many voters coming from the polls reported not even seeing the question.

Nancy Nickerson raised the issue and asked if the council could consider the project again.

"People are not used to seeing something like this when they're voting on an election," said Town Manager Kathy Eagen Tuesday as the Town Council was discussing the issue.

John Vibert said the ballot, which placed the question above the rows of candidates, was poorly designed.

According to the Secretary of the State's office, 4,779 voters participated in the Nov. 8 election in Farmington. The results of the referendum question were 1,435 in favor of the projecct and 1,611 against.

Joyce Godin December 16, 2011 at 12:43 PM
Yes. If many did not see this on the ballot, we should have another opportunity to consider it.
sarah torbick December 16, 2011 at 12:59 PM
Farmington is quickly becoming the "do over" town. If the budget fails, "do over". If the Unionville project passes, "do over". If the sewer referendum question fails, "do over". This is NOT democracy at its best....it is Farmington becoming a town that is afraid of standing by decisions. Why bother to have votes at all, if Farmington will "do over" them?
Mark Blore December 16, 2011 at 01:13 PM
The appetite for government to devour taxpayer funds is never ending. The vote was clear..."NO". Someone needs to get a big stick and drive this animal back into it's hole.
Saul Freedman December 16, 2011 at 03:13 PM
+1 what Sarah said. Questions above the November ballot are not a new concept, it was done a few years ago with the Barney Library question. Of course, that passed, so no one considered having a re-vote for that question. What will be the standard for a re-vote going forward? Or is it just "we [the Town Council/BOE/whoever] didn't get the result we wanted?"
Robin Lindstedt December 16, 2011 at 04:25 PM
C'mon really? I echo Sarah's comments above. If people prefer to not vote on something that is their choice,. After all isn't that what voting is about? It's not always Yes or No, perhaps ballots should include another choice? Abstain.
Dave December 16, 2011 at 08:25 PM
It may be as simple as that people in other parts of town saw fit not to opine on the question. Why is everything to "do over", as the above commenter raised?
sarah torbick December 16, 2011 at 08:58 PM
One more thing......since the recent election had a low turnout because of the power outage from the storm, maybe the republicans and democrats want to "do over" the election as well? Where will it end, I ask you???
Farmington resident December 16, 2011 at 10:22 PM
We voted against it, now leave it alone. Just because you don't like the results you shouldn't get a redo. If they do this then soon no one will vote because they will feel that it might not count. I didn't vote for every position on the ballot because I had no view for either candidate. Does that mean we should have a revote for those people?
Paul Chotkowski December 22, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Enough already. It is holy writ with Progressives that if “the people” are not smart enough to spend their money on what these same self-styled “Enlightened Elites” think they should spend their money on - NBD, just find a work around [Federally that would be an Executive Order, Recess Appointment, or an Administrative Rule - think EPA and carbon regulations which Congress would not pass]. Locally we call it a “broken charter”, reconsideration town meetings, or a re-votes. The citizens of the town who cared voted. They said NO to $4.0 million in costs plus interest on the $2.5 million in borrowing to retro fit 95 homes. Frankly, it is appalling that a cogent case was never made for such a large expenditure before the vote - just paint it green [the color of environmental orthodoxy not Islamic Fundamentalism - though when it comes to intolerant adherents, one could be forgiven for a degree of confusion] and if you vote against it, you are an apostate in favor of brutally raping and then killing "mother earth"! Stop, please! Enough with the “imaginable horribles” and fear mongering about the “cost of potential failures”. Basic risk management, cost benefit analysis, fiscal prudence and common sense should apply! But no, Progressives continue to use the "Green Movement" as the reason / excuse for higher taxes, more spending, larger / more intrusive government and a way to achieve a more equitable distribution of resources. No Zombie Sewer Referendums!
Lorren Pogson February 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Wow Paul! I second your remark "Basic risk management, cost benefit analysis, fiscal prudence and common sense should apply!" We have to consider quality of life for folks when making these decisions on how and what to spend. Money can make and break relationships, turn over families and ruin quality of life for people especially when it is tight and people are trying to get by as is. VFW post 10361 (my affiliate) has set up a fund for veterans in need of some cash. People who are having a hard time getting by. It is used up regularly. We also donate to the Farmington Food Pantry and that well runs dry all too often. SO before we get all gun ho to spend maybe we should consider what is happening to our people in town due to this spending. We shouldn't have to sacrifice eating or being able to be with our families because we work two jobs to get by and have good services. I think we expect far too much. Right on to everyone else who has posted so far! Happy Valentine's Day folks.

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