Location of Feb. 4 referendum saves town money

FI-Letter-to-the-Editor[Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the voters of Monroe, rather than the editor.]

At the regularly scheduled Town Council meeting on Jan. 27, the Monroe Town Council voted unanimously to change the location of the usual polling places for the Feb. 4 referendum on the Pepper Street reconstruction project. This will be a one-time change only and will not apply to future votes (unless similar circumstances exist in the future). There are several reasons for this change and on behalf of the council, I wanted to take the time to explain why.

Connecticut General Statutes Section 7-7 dictates that when a town meeting is adjourned to a town-wide referendum it must occur “not less than seven nor more than fourteen days thereafter, on a day to be set by the town meeting.” Therefore, the town of Monroe has a timeframe of Feb.3-10 to hold the referendum. As a result, this provides a small window of opportunity for the vote to take place. Further, since this is an unscheduled referendum, the schools where the vote would normally take place – Masuk HS, Monroe, Stepney and Fawn Hollow Elementary – all have scheduled events taking place that cannot be canceled or rescheduled without causing undue hardship.

Since the locations of the polling places would have to be moved anyway and since the traditional turnout for these types of votes are typically less than 17% of registered voters, the town decided to consolidate to one polling place for the entire town. Financially, having all four polling places open would cost the town $5,830 in anticipated expenses. Having only one will cost significantly less, coming in at about $1,300, therefore saving the taxpayers over $4,500. Even though turnout is predicted to be low, the town still wanted to allow for adequate and convenient parking — so we feel it’s in the best interest of the voters to hold the referendum at the senior center, located at 235 Cutlers Farm Road next to the main entrance to Wolfe Park.

The town of Monroe will be communicating this polling location change through signs in town and via the media — both printed and social media. There will also be posted signs at all usual polling locations directing voters to the senior center. I encourage all eligible voters to come out and vote on Feb. 4 and tell your friends, family and neighbors about the change to help alleviate any confusion. With your cooperation, we can continue to move Monroe forward.

 

JP Sredzinski
Monroe

The author is the chairman of the Monroe Town Council

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