Vote with Facts and Context – By Maria Moran
Recent letters to the editor point out how crucial it is that Clinton citizens vote on the May 11 budgets armed with real facts and information, rather than untruths and negative accusations.
The annual blitz of negative referendum letters paints Clinton as somehow extreme in its budgets and taxes. These letters often accuse Clinton of high property taxes, but on the same house in Branford, Westbrook, or Old Saybrook, taxes are similar, and in Guilford and Madison, they are higher. These letters will describe extreme budget increases in Clinton, while throughout the shoreline in recent years, most towns pass three- and four percent increases while ours have been, at most, half of that. The letters will assert that Clinton is spending too much to educate the next generation, while every town on the shoreline supports these investments as worthwhile, with most spending more per pupil than Clinton spends.
Last year, shortly before referendum day, I received a yellow postcard telling me I needed to vote “No” because my taxes had gone up more than 70% since 2000. A few days later, a letter to this paper advised that my taxes had in fact gone up more than 80 percent since 2000. Perplexed by how this could be, I called Clinton’s Assessor’s Office, got the necessary numbers, and did the math. The increase in my taxes was less than half that, and on par with inflation. A friend who did the same, with information from the Assessor’s Office, found the same.
It’s so crucial to use factual information from the real world when deciding the future of our town and our schools. I encourage your readers to vote with facts and context on May 11.
Published April 13, 2016. http://www.zip06.com/letters/20160413/vote-with-facts-and-context