Feels Poor Decision Was Made On EPURA Vote Scheduling
To The Editor:
The Town Board has been very transparent in it efforts to ensure that voters will support the proposed new Fire District in November. It has also been transparent in supporting the continuation of EPURA despite the petition to have this decision put to a public vote. There is nothing wrong with the Board taking public positions that the Board believes are in the long-term public interest. There is definitely something wrong, however, with the Board manipulating the election process in order to achieve its goals. The argument that the public would be confused by having two complicated issues on the same ballot is simply not credible. The public deals with far more complex election ballots in almost every election.
It certainly appears to a rational observer that the primary reason for postponing the EPURA election is to enable the Town Board to devote its full attention to supporting the Fire District until November, and then to devote its full attention to supporting the continuation of EPURA (evidently with the aid of a $20,000 consultant) before the vote in January. And, as Bill Van Horn has cogently pointed out, the timing of the EPURA election is likely to reduce voter response because of the Christmas holidays. The Town Board and EPURA have had plenty of time over the past two years to make their case for EPURA, and citizens have repeatedly urged them to so. The fact that they have not done it, or done it badly, is not a reason to postpone the election.
Again, there is nothing wrong with the Town Board actively supporting the goals it believes in, but manipulating the democratic election process in order to do so is not appropriate. I acknowledge that this decision may have been made with good intentions on the part of individual Town Trustees, but it is nevertheless a wrong decision that potentially undermines the credibility of the Town Board, the public voting process, and the eventual vote on EPURA.