On Tuesday, a vote that centered around facing the town of Killingworth in recent years, took place. The town came out to vote, in a higher-than-usual voter turnout, on whether they supported a to the existing town hall.
The referendum motion did not carry. Out of a vote tally of 1,424 plus 48 absentee ballots, 472 voted YES, but the NO vote of 1000 defeated the motion.
Lifelong Killingworth native Dave Adametz of the Republican Town Committee was glad, “We aren’t against having a new town hall addition per se; we object to the way in which this project was presented. It contained too many options and amenities and was just too expensive for our economic climate. We’re hoping they’ll go back to the drawing board for a more reasonable alternative.”
Overjoyed with the results of the vote was staunch opposer Peggy Bushie, overheard to say “Thank God” as the tallied vote came up more than 2 to 1 favoring NO.
Representing John Samperi, the Republican candidate running for the 35th District House seat, Bushie said prior to the votes being tallied, if the YES votes win, “This will raise people’s taxes and mil rate. Before I’m a candidate, I’m a taxpayer and that affects me. Because bonding rate is low and artificially manipulated that doesn’t mean people should go out and spend money that they can ill afford to pay. We can’t buy what we can ill afford.”
“He (Samperi) stands firmly behind rejecting this proposal as it stands.”
An obviously polarizing issue, the signs on lawns leading to the polling place, , also seemed overwhelmingly NO rather than YES.
Democrat Tom Vicino, Clinton Selectman, came out to support the YES vote for the referendum supporting the Building Committee’s proposal for a new Killingworth Town Hall.
According to Vicino, “It’s one of the best times with the lowest rates for bonding. It’s to improve infrastructure, to push Killingworth far ahead.”
Matt Young of Killingworth, the Chairman of the Republican Town Committee, countered to Vicino, “Do you support every single thing that your party supports?”
Young said, “I think it’s far too elaborate for the town’s needs. I’m in construction, and I question, does it really need to be post and beam? How about sticks and bricks, traditional construction for schools? One of the things we don’t want to do is spend money on office space. With my views, I mean no disrespect to the committee.”
Vicino and Young agreed to differ, which is what democracy is all about.
Meanwhile, another disappointed YES vote supporter, Killingworth First Selectman and Democrat, , commented in the face of defeat that she was “Gratified that the voter turnout happened. The 33.54% turnout shows that we were right to hold the referendum now. The voter turnout was three times higher than the school referendum vote in the spring.”
“I’m disappointed, but doing nothing is not an option. The Board of Selectmen will revisit the charge to the committee and see how we can find a solution to the needs that we have that the townspeople will accept,” Iino said.
She further noted, “I am really grateful to the committee for the years of work.”
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Building Committee members James Lally, Lou Annino, Sr., David Gross, George Keithan and Gina Regolo were on hand for the decision.
Lou Annino spoke on behalf of the committee: “I agree with Cathy Iino that we need a new charge. It’s unfortunate that there are some people who think they can start pouring concrete tomorrow. . .”
As Scott Perry pointed out previously on Patch, “There is no doubt in my mind that they (the building committee) did a great job and followed the parameters they were given by the Board of Selectman.”
And, if the current proposal is rejected, “It will not be a negative reflection on the quality of the committee's proposal, but simply a respectful request for a more reasonably sized and priced permanent addition to the Town Hall.”