A few weeks ago I had the privilege of casting the first vote for the North Stonington school project by completing the first of many absentee ballots at the North Stonington Town Hall before I left for a conference in San Diego. Later that week, a friend e-mailed me the results of the referendum — a solid, more than 2-1 margin in favor of the project.
In spite of the angst felt by many from having to put this vital project at risk again, in retrospect it is good that it has been firmly validated as the will of the North Stonington residents rather than continuing as marginal by having only the previous approval by only three votes.
As easy as it would be for the 1,352 voters for the project to celebrate a "victory," the 611 voters against the project must be favorably recognized and thanked for fully participating in a democratic process and for doing their best to articulate arguments against approval.
The results of the full and open debate over the issue can be sensed by the "nays" having dropped by some 300 votes. What now remains as an obligation to the remaining 611 is for the administration, teachers and students of Wheeler High School (among Connecticut's very best) to prove that the project will truly benefit everyone in the town by attracting more new residents and businesses, increasing the tax base, and perhaps even reducing individual taxes.
James H. Patton Jr.