Tuesday, September 22, 2020


The Political Posturing

I would like to respond to Bob Hale’s March 5 letter “Politics, Obfuscation, and Disappointment” and Eileen Banisch’s March 5 letter “Evident from the Shenanigans”. I find these letters hypocritical. Let’s look at facts. Since 2001, the Town of Madison has held five stand-alone referendum, four of which were held when Republicans held the majority on the Board of Selectmen (BOS).

Four out of the five stand-alone referendum had bonding included. Two passed and two were defeated. The non-bonding referendum was a May 1, 2007 referendum, led by a Republican majority to make the Planning & Zoning Commission an elected board. Twenty-one days later, a budget referendum that included Ambulance and Senior Center bonding questions was held. I don’t recall outrage on a separate referendum that could have easily been placed with the budget.

Two stand-alone referenda were in 2017. The first was for the library referendum. At the Dec. 19, 2016 BOS meeting, I set the wheels in motion for the February 2017 referendum. Bob Hale seconded the motion. The Republican majority—Tom Banisch, Bob Hale, and Bruce Wilson—voted in favor of it.

The Ryerson School referendum was held in September 2017 rather than the November election date. That started at the June 7, 2017 BOS meeting when a motion moved by Bruce Wilson and seconded by Scott Murphy passed unanimously and started the wheels in motion and solidified the date for the September 2017 referendum. There were not outcries of voter suppression at that time; this could have easily been put on the November ballot.

It appears that it is only voter suppression when the Democrats vote for it. I encourage everyone to get past the political posturing and focus on educating the public for this important October referendum.

Joan Walker

Joan Walker chairs the Democratic Town Committee.