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All Voting on Pepper St. Bonding Will Be at the Senior Center

Monroe Town Council Chairman JP Sredzinski explains how the Feb. 4 referendum will go in an open letter to voters.

Town Council Chairman JP Sredzinski
Town Council Chairman JP Sredzinski

To the Monroe Voters,

At the regularly scheduled Town Council meeting on January 27th, the Monroe Town Council voted unanimously to change the location of the usual polling places for the February 4th referendum on the Pepper Street Reconstruction Project. This will be a one-time change only and will not apply to future votes (unless similar circumstances exist in the future). There are several reasons for this change and on behalf of the Council, I wanted to take the time to explain why.

Connecticut General Statutes Section 7-7 dictates that when a town meeting is adjourned to a town-wide referendum it must occur "not less than seven nor more than fourteen days thereafter, on a day to be set by the town meeting." Therefore, the Town of Monroe has a timeframe of February 3rd – 10th to hold the referendum. As a result, this provides a small window of opportunity for the vote to take place. Further, since this is an unscheduled referendum, the schools where the vote would normally take place — Masuk HS, Monroe, Stepney and Fawn Hollow Elementary — all have scheduled events taking place that cannot be cancelled or rescheduled without causing undue hardship.

Since the locations of the polling places would have to be moved anyway and since the traditional turnout for these types of votes are typically less than 17 percent of registered voters, the town decided to consolidate to one polling place for the entire town. Financially, having all four polling places open would cost the town $5,830 in anticipated expenses.  Having only one will cost significantly less, coming in at about $1,300, therefore saving the taxpayers over $4,500.

Even though turnout is predicted to be low, the town still wanted to allow for adequate and convenient parking — so we feel it’s in the best interest of the voters to hold the referendum at the Senior Center, located at 235 Cutlers Farm Road next to the main entrance to Wolfe Park.

The Town of Monroe will be communicating this polling location change through signs in town and via the media — both printed media and social media.  There will also be posted signs at all usual polling locations directing voters to the Senior Center. I encourage all eligible voters to come out and vote on February 4th and tell your friends, family and neighbors about the change to help alleviate any confusion.  With your cooperation, we can continue to move Monroe forward.

JP Sredzinski,

Chairman, Monroe Town Council

G.W. January 28, 2014 at 11:39 PM
This is a blatant attempt at voter suppression. Sredzinski couldn’t push this scam through on the quiet with a town meeting vote, so he has opted for the next best thing, truncating voter access by opening up only one polling location which is unfamiliar to most voters. By the way this has never be done before for a referendum vote in Monroe and I wonder how legal it is. It seems Vavrek and Sredzinski will do anything to get Kimball his new road no matter what it takes. Vote NO new 5 million dollar road for Kimball Commercial Properties.
Nance January 28, 2014 at 11:41 PM
This idea makes a lot of sense. Saves the town money and provides a good location. Only wonder why we can't do this al the time
Steve Kirsch January 29, 2014 at 01:32 AM
G.W., please add both the Republican and Democratic Registrar of Voters to this scam since they presentated the proposal, costs, and turnout analysis to the Town Council for their action. Also, don't forget all of the other members of the town council since they all voted in favor of using the center. Vote yes on the $500,000 town expense which gets us a reconstructed section of Pepper St, better access for all of us existing Pepper St onto north bound Main St, and a real off-street trail section which will improve safety for all of us that use the trail on Pepper St.
Gerald M. Gaynor January 29, 2014 at 06:39 AM
Lets hope that all who feel strongly about this issue show up and vote. Lets also hope that when the ballots are counted and a result determined that those who use every event in town as an excuse to air their partisan bias will finally accept that the people have spoken. Anyone who can't find the Senior Center can reach out to a senior in their family or neighborhood and ask them for directions; a more productive response than complaining about imaginary voter suppression.
Joel Leneker January 29, 2014 at 08:44 AM
For many in town this is an opportunity to vote and to see the Senior Center. I know I have not had an opportunity to visit the center.
James Wadsworth January 29, 2014 at 10:14 AM
G.W. - glad to hear you are the only one who knows the truth. Now that Vavrek knows you are on to him you better keep a lookout for his talking dog. Did you know his talking dog can read minds? He lets it out at night to spy on people like you. Better put on your tinfoil hat. You should also know that Sredzinski has been seen flying in black helicopters at night.
SCHAP January 29, 2014 at 02:52 PM
If our administration at Town Hall had explained what the entire project entailed and that the cost of the project would be a bonding of 10% of the entire amount, maybe we would not be voting at a referendum. Having attended the meeting on Monday a lot was explained that was previously not identified. The leader of the GBRC advised that this project was submitted by Monroe years ago and the funds were designated for our town for this purpose and this purpose only. Either accept the $4,500,000 as a gift for the project or we will give the funds to another town, like Trumbull or Stratford. There is every reason for Monroe to vote YES and accept this 90% gift. We also have the opportunity to get other funds for improvements at the junction of RT 25 and RT 111 in the future and for other projects that available through this regional authority. I believe the First Selectman could have communicated this in a better fashion and advised the print media and social media to lead with the story being a $500,000 bonding instead of a $5,050,000 bonding.
Steve Kirsch January 29, 2014 at 03:09 PM
Schap, what should have happened for something like this, is that it should have been brought to the Town Council in Dec, with a plan to bring it back for a vote at the Jan 13th TC meeting. This would have been more in-line with Rule 27 and it would have provided the people of Monroe time to learn about the project, ask questions, come to the Jan 13th meeting to ask more questions or simply make their views known before the TC voted. It would also have given the press several weeks to write articles explaining the project and answering questions raised by the citizens. I think this would be a better way to run things than dealing with public reaction after the fact.
Kim Collins January 29, 2014 at 08:26 PM
Does anyone know why the public does not have use of the Senior Center anymore for propgrams such as Zumba? I'm interested in knowing why we don't have more access to use of this wonderful building when not in use by our Seniors.
G.W. January 29, 2014 at 10:22 PM
Scam Politics. This is why Town Council meetings are not televised. This is why Vavrek and company will not bring cameras into council chambers. Other towns televise their meetings but not Monroe. Limiting public access in this way, keeping the majority of Monroe citizens in the dark allows the few to advance their agendas without much objection. Now they are limiting access to the usual polling places and are not providing mailed notice to voters about this referendum all in an effort to get their way. Scam Politics. Vote NO new 5 million dollar road for Kimball Commercial Properties.
Frank Toth January 30, 2014 at 12:16 AM
Is the senior center going to be opened this day? If it is, Where are the voters supposed to park?
Crown Royal January 30, 2014 at 11:05 AM
Frank, I believe they are expecting a voter turnout of around ~2000 voters, and I would bet the majority will vote early morning or late afternoon.

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