Budget Passes at Referendum!

All budgets passed, all programs remain intact.



The budget passed last night to the joy of some and the dismay of others.  First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker said that it was a great night for Bethel.  "Everyone did a good job.  There was strong support for the school and the town, and we will be able to continue to address the roads and infrastructure."

Of 11,000 voters, 3,000 came out to vote, almost a full third of the town's voters. Knickerbocker said he was very pleased with the strong showing of Bethel residents. 

Superintendent Kevin Smith, Ph.D., who received the news of the budget's passing while in a Board of Education meeting, said, "I am deeply grateful to the residents of Bethel for once again generously supporting our schools. The budget will allow us to continue moving the schools forward on our upward trajectory of success."

Outside, Planning and Zoning's John Lennon was not as certain the budget passing was a good thing.  "We have to learn to make do with less," he said, shaking his head. "We are living in interesting times."


Here are the numbers of how residents voted by district:

District Town Budget

Yes No Too High Too Low

Total 1,683 1,343 1,762    702

1 165 113 146 65

2 437 345 449 196

3 673 482 653 267

4 268 323 392 119

5 115 60 98 44

Absentee  25    20 24 11



Yes No 

Total 1913 1090 

1 184    94

2 508   268

3 758   388

4 322   265

5 116   57

Absentee     25  18



Yes No Too High  Too Low

Total 1627 1399 1647 890

1 161 119 130 89

2 434 349 409 243

3 641 509 614 339

4 161 346 390 138

5 122 56 82   67

Absentee   25 20 22   24



Total Combined

Yes No Too high  Too Low

3310 2742 3409 1592

Jim Mangi May 18, 2012 at 07:11 PM
We should make the separate Yes/No and Too High/Low votes one vote with three choices: Yes, No-Too High, and No-Too Low. If the referendum were to fail, you would clearly see which way you need to nudge the budget for the next try. With our current polling, if the budget fails, the Too High, Too Low numbers are not accurate. You could have 40% voting Yes and Too Low, 20% voting No and Too Low, and 40% voting No-Too High. What you would see in the results are 40% Yes, 60% No, 60% Too Low, 40% Too High. Those results would make you THINK that to pass, you needed to lower the budget, when in fact, doing so would make MORE people vote NO, not less. Polling should be meaningful. The current method is not.
Gavin May 18, 2012 at 07:47 PM
All I know is that my family is doomed, we can't live where we are as it is. I didn't have SMART boards when I went to school, does thay make me stupid?
Bill Hillman May 18, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Jim, State law dictates the present form of questions, and it's very unlikely that can change. Any question can have only yes or no as choices, and the law allows an advisory too high too low. Nothing the Town can change on its own.
Bill Hillman May 18, 2012 at 07:51 PM
I'm thrilled at the wonderful participation from so many who could have sent letters to the editor, helped to call out the vote and express themselves the only way that really counted. In agreement with @small: "If you don't bother to vote, you get the government (and the mil rate) you deserve."
Brian C May 19, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Matthew Knickerbockers says he is "very pleased with the strong showing of Bethel residents.". Out of 11,000 voters, 3,000 bothered to vote, and of those only 1,683 voted yes. Hardly a strong showing. Nice spin.


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