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Oxford Avoids Recount by One Vote

If the margin of approval was seven, town officials would be counting ballots.

If you think your vote doesn't count, think again: Oxford's budget officially went into effect this week because of just one vote.

Had one more person voted against the , the town would have been forced to recount the ballots, said Town Clerk Margaret West.

The budget passed Tuesday by just eight votes – 725 to 717. By law, a recount needs to be held if the margin of approval is less than one-half of 1 percent of the total number of people who voted, West said.

So, because 1,442 people voted for the municipal budget, the margin of victory necessary to avoid a recount was 7.21 votes.

First Selectman George Temple said he believes a recount would have been for naught because it would have shown the same results. He has said he believes the municipal budget was so close to clean catch basins on private property in the 55 and older communities Meadowbrook Estates and the Village at Oxford Greens.

The municipal budget, coupled with the $26.54 million school budget and the $734,000 allocation to repair seven roads in town, brings the new tax rate to 24.1 mills, a 3.83 percent tax increase.

Based on the new tax rate, someone with a house assessed at $250,000 will pay $223 more in real estate taxes next fiscal year, which begins July 1. Currently, that homeowner pays $5,802 in real estate taxes and will be expected to pay $6,025 next fiscal year.

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Connecticut Yankee May 17, 2012 at 01:21 PM
The voter turnout for this budget was unbelievably low, but maybe that's status quo. Regardless, it's a sad commentary when, according to an earlier story, less than 18 percent of registered voters show up. Given that the votes for and against each budget were competitive, only about 10 percent of the total registered voters approved budgets which the other 90 percent are going to also have to live with. Did the low turnout signal tacit approval? Are voters so disenchanted with the state of our nation that they have given up voicing their opinion? I'd be interested to hear what others think.
Paul Singley May 17, 2012 at 02:53 PM
That's a good idea for a poll. I will post one later today. Thanks for the idea
Ann Krane May 17, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Part of the problem might be that residents just didn't know there was a referendum. Lots of parents voted because they got phone calls.There were no signs (like a week beforehand around town) to remind voters. Voices is out on Wednesday - after the fact. Perhaps Patch could do more in the coming months with primary and elections to remind voters to get out and vote.
Nancy May 17, 2012 at 05:06 PM
I think Paul posted many reminders on Patch about the elections and on the patch fb page
Elise May 17, 2012 at 05:20 PM
If 18% of registered voters actually voted .. does that mean only 18% will complain about the results? If it's important to you .. isn't it your responsibility to know when there's a vote? To know what is being voted on and how it affects you? Giving up voting doesn't seem to equate to giving up voicing an opinion. The close numbers on this one just go to show that your vote DOES count!
Paul Singley May 17, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Hello Ann Krane. I posted many, many stories about the budget. I will look, but I'd guess I posted about 20 budget stories out of Oxford.
Will Wilkin May 17, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Agreed...about local elections and budgets. But for Congress or President? It makes no difference, they are equally destructive of our future. Voting there would be like "approving" of either party. Lesser-evil voting is taking us backwards fast. But you're right Elise, about the budget vote.
Elise May 17, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Will, while I agree with you in theory, that voting in larger elections is less effective since clearly we have a very, very broken and ineffective two party system ... I am also a believer in exercising the rights that are given to us, as there are so many people in the world who do not have anywhere near what we have when it comes to that. I believe if you don't exercise your right to vote, you should also give up your right to complain about what other people choose for you. Sadly, it does come down to the "lesser of two evils" a lot of the time, but if enough people push enough for change, that could change. Maybe. Hopefully ... Someday ....
Will Wilkin May 18, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Hi Elise thanks for the discussion. Sorry to all for talking national under an article about local. I do find it a tad Orwellian to think I have no right to criticize the govt of Dems and Repubs because I won't vote for either. I wish I could believe one of those parties at the national level was not bought by Wall Street free-traders and Pentagon Capitalism, both of which are ruining the country. Third parties are so marginalized by the mainstream news media and the corporate-funded multimillion dollar congressional campaigns.

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