Town Hall Debate Builds as Referendum Vote Nears

The conversation over the proposed Killingworth Town Hall Addition has residents fired up and choosing sides.


The proposed has not only sparked debate in public meetings, but has trickled over to online commentary. In some cases, commenters have had to be reminded to keep to the issue at hand and avoid personal attacks.

Here’s a small sampling of what some of you have had to say:

Jim Lippert, Killingworth Republican Town Committee, in a Letter to the Editor said, "It seems like the Selectmen of Killingworth need to more seriously consider repairing leaky roofs, which definitely need fixing, at a much lower cost to the town or coming up with a more practical fiscally responsible solution to solve the issue."

Bill Romero-"No way should the Town be doing a $4million building project at this time. Economic climate does not support this type of thinking."

Jane Baldwin-"...with Emergency Management, you prepare for the worst and hope for the best. Certainly, there are legitimate concerns for projects of this magnitude. Ensuring that our town is prepared for the unforeseeable isn't a valid criticism."

Lauren K. Blaha, Registrar of Voters-Killingworth, in a Letter to the Editor said, "I hope that voters will understand why the ability to conduct polling at the Town Hall will benefit Killingworth. Of course, the planned meeting room would be useful not only for voting but also for large board and committee meetings, Town Meetings, and meetings of all sorts that community groups might wish to have."

Matthew Young-"This town hall proposal has the potential of being the most corrupt, irresponsible spending I have seen at the town level. At the meeting the other night, it was made clear to all of us that the rendering of the new town hall building is just conceptual."

Peggie Bushey, in a Letter to the Editor, said "How do we ask all the seniors in Killingworth to pay more per year in taxes to pay for this extravagance out of their fixed incomes? How do we get people who have recently lost their jobs or who are struggling to feed their families to 'buy into this'?" 

Daniel Haas-"The deeper I dig into the proposed town hall expansion the more concerned I become about the proposal and the process we are following to get it passed...We seem to be in a headlong rush to hold a referendum on the 24th of July while half the town is on vacation."

Kathleen Amoia said in a Letter to the Editor "Twice, in 1967 and again in 1998, the tough decisions of building a real Town Hall were put off. We now have a convergence of favorable factors. We have a highly professional Town Office Building Committee, low bond rates, and lower than usual construction costs. We also have a seriously compromised Town Hall addition that is way passed its use-by date and a proposed building that is a graceful fit for this town. Let’s do it!"

Ed Ricciuti-"Please people, for once put away the political knives and think about the welfare of the town. Inject politics and people will vote politically rather than on the merits of the proposal. Argue the pros and cons of the building and its costs, not personalities. Stop trying to use the issue to gain political advantage. Act responsibly and earn respect."

Raymond Szumilas said in a Letter to the Editor "I have heard the claim that this new renovation/addition will benefit our children. Please, tell me how. My sons only visits to town hall are when I get my dog's license and I pay my tax bills. What possible benefits to my sons' lives could be derived from this new town hall? Honestly, that is one of the most puerile strawman arguments I've ever heard."

David Gross, Killingworth Building Committee-"For the record: 
The building committee was given its charge before First Selectman Iino was even in office. She has never given direction or established parameters for the design short of giving logistical advice on town services when asked. The proposed project is driven by the building committee’s response to the following charge: 
1) Inventory the town hall space needs of today and for the near future. 
2) Consolidate town service locations for efficiency, especially in emergencies. 
3) Develop a plan for a permanent building addition that will replace the modulars as well as incorporate present and future space needs. 
4) Utilize energy efficient and low maintenance construction techniques that will last for generations to come. 
5) Design a building that reflects the rural character of the town. 
6) Develop a plan that is in the town’s best long term financial interest. 
The building committee always welcomes constructive input on how best to address this charge. We are taxpayers as well as volunteers and have the town’s long term interests in mind."

Christine Conlon-"This is a very important issue in our town, and issue that needs careful consideration along with healthy debate. It does not help anybody to get emotional, call people names, and make snyde remarks. The bottom line is it is much more than we need. Spending on more than we need is waste. And as Benjamin Franklin says, 'Waste not, want not'."

Click here to read all the articles and debate related to the proposed town hall addition.

The Killingworth Town Hall Addition Project referendum is scheduled for July 24, 2012 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m at the .

Scott Perry July 23, 2012 at 10:41 AM
Selectmen and Building Committee failed to account for operating costs of New Town Hall. Long term operating expenses of $17.5 million were not included in the BOS and Building Committee's tax calculations. The BOS and BC mailing states, "[o]ver the life of a building, construction accounts for less than 20% of the total cost; in the long term, operating expenses dwarf building costs." Based on their own information, the cost of the proposed $3.5 mil building will be. $17.5 mil over the life of the building and if the proposal were for a $2.0 mil building the lifetime costs would only be $10 mil. The $70 predicted increase tax rate does not take into cosideration the lifetime operating expenses of 17.5 million. Again, these are not my numbers or words but the BOS and BC's. The 3.5 million will be "dwarfed" by the long term operating expenses of at least $17.5 million


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