To the Editor:
The vote on the upcoming referendum has weighed very heavily on me as it has, I’m sure, on others. I understand our elected officials have united in their support of accepting state money to build a new school and tear done the current Sandy Hook School.
My dilemma is that I know Newtown would not spend our own money to do this. I also know that the State of Connecticut is not in a fiscal position to fund $50 million. I know it bothers me greatly to destroy a school worth perhaps $30 million dollars, a school my children went to. I know a terrible thing happened at Sandy Hook School, but the school itself is not terrible. I understand that many are reluctant to send children and staff back to the school. I know we want our children back home as soon as possible. I know we have declining enrollment and this decision will likely result in closing another school and potentially redistricting hundreds of students. I wonder if we could repurpose the building to meet the needs of the police department, the senior center and the recreation department.
So how do I reconcile my fiscal responsibility with my social conscience? If I vote No do I contribute to a defeat which sends us into chaos. Do I vote Yes despite my best judgment?
I have decided not to vote. Not voting will send a message that this decision was rushed and is not and should not be the only solution offered to the taxpayers. Not voting, rather than voting No, will allow the community to move forward. I expect the referendum will pass; I just can't, in good conscious, come to a comfortable decision to vote either way.
12 Glover Avenue, Newtown October 2, 2013