Easton voters on Tuesday approved joining the Westport Weston Health District and voted in favor of appropriating $249,400 to construct a multi-use pathway along Sport Hill Road.
The proposals were among five referendum questions on the ballot, all of which were approved by voters, according to the unofficial results. The health district was approved by a 755 to 551 margin, and the pathway received 708 votes in favor with 561 against.
The remaining three questions to approve police body and dash cameras, increase stipends for Firefighters and EMS volunteers, and approve the Tax Relief for the Elderly Ordinance, were all approved by wide margins.
The pathway vote is advisory only and therefore will not determine the outcome; the Board of Finance has already voted 3-3 to deny the appropriation. Whether this majority vote in favor of the pathway will lead to a reversal of the board’s decision remains to be seen.
“While I am pleased with all the results the real winner is the Town,” said First Selectman David Bindelglass. “The level of involvement in the discussions before the vote and the huge turnout speaks volumes about how we are becoming a more engaged town, educated and thoughtful about the issues we face. I am very proud.”
Selectmen Kristi Sogofsky and Bob Lessler also remarked on the excellent voter engagement and support for the five ballot questions.
“The turnout for this referendum was remarkable,” said Sogofsky. “I’m grateful that so many people took the time out of their day to cast a ballot. The voters showed their support for all five items, which will help shape the future of our town.”
“Today, there was a tremendous voter turnout,” said Lessler. “I am so proud of our community for paying careful attention to the debate and for showing up in huge numbers to vote. All five questions passed. Now what is left to do is for the Board of Finance to honor the voice of the people by quickly voting to authorize a special appropriation.”
The referendum questions are reprinted below with the unofficial results included under each question.
1. Shall the Town of Easton appropriate the sum of $49,770 for the purchase of body and dash cam cameras for the Easton Police Department as mandated by state law?
2. Shall the Town of Easton approve an ordinance revision increasing the stipend for our volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Medical Service volunteers?
3. Shall the Town of Easton approve the Tax Relief for the Elderly Ordinance as recommended by the 2021 Senior Tax Relief for the Elderly Committee?
4. Shall the Town of Easton join the Westport Weston Health District?
5. As an advisory question, should the Town of Easton appropriate $249,400 for the local match requirement (20% of the total project cost of $1,247,000) for the costs associated with constructing a multi-use/pedestrian path along Sport Hill Road from the entrance of Helen Keller Middle School to the crosswalk at Silverman’s Farm pursuant to the Town’s “transportation alternatives set-aside” application submitted to the Connecticut Department of Transportation on August 29, 2019?
Official results will be posted when they are confirmed.