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01/19/2022 07:00 AM

Request a Reschedule

Most Madison residents are unaware of the details of the massive spending referendum scheduled for vote on Tuesday, Feb. 15. The referendum is for the School Renewal Project and also for converting Academy School to a community center.

The cost of these two proposals is more than $105 million. We will be voting on the largest borrowing and spending proposal in the history of Madison.

The major problem with this Feb. 15 date is that most voters will not participate. History shows us that a special referendum vote will likely get less than 25 percent of voters to the polls. Compare this to the November 2020 election when about 90 percent of voters participated. The referendum is scheduled for a time when many residents are out of state traveling to warmer climates or on winter ski vacations. In addition, COVID will make the turnout even worse. Yes, we have absentee ballots, but history also shows us that many voters will not go through the absentee ballot process.

In summary, it is unconscionable to schedule this vote when we know most voters will not participate in helping decide our town future. Madison is alive with a full population when all the residents are back in the summer. We must reschedule this referendum to the summer of 2022. This will also give voters time to learn about and debate these spending plans.

Madison is a wonderful town with qualified, intelligent people. Let’s give everyone the chance to take part in making a decision on this massive $105 million referendum. I encourage your readers to call or email our Board of Selectmen to request a rescheduled referendum vote to this summer.

Charles Lehberger