To the Editor:
On Tuesday, Feb. 17, the Selectmen will discuss Sensible Wilton’s request for a revote for the Miller-Driscoll renovation bond issue. I strongly urge that any revote be denied.
The reason is simple. Sensible Wilton has consistently misrepresented the information in their communications to the electorate. The data they chose to communicate was so slanted – they cherry-picked the data – that the entire Sensible Wilton position doesn’t hold up.
I went to the Internet links provided by Sensible Wilton and reviewed their source data.
They frequently cite cost per square foot – but neglect to talk about school capacity. How many students will the school service?
Here are examples of what I found:
- For the Williamsburg, VA elementary school, which Sensible Wilton says cost less per square foot than the proposed Miller-Driscoll plan, the projected cost is $46.5 million for a school population of 630. Miller-Driscoll has a projected capacity of 933 students, which is 303 more students or 48-percent greater capacity for essentially the same cost.
- For the Wilmington High School (in Massachusetts) cited by Sensible Wilton as an example of less cost per square foot, the cost is $83 million for 960 students (about the same number of students as we have here in Wilton) – but $33 million more than the projected Miller-Driscoll renovation cost.
- I don’t know how or why Sensible Wilton missed the best comparable – Newtown, CT, right in our own backyard. The key information in Newtown is: $49.25 million was approved by the Newtown voters. The enrollment capacity of the Newtown elementary school is projected at 584 students. The Miller-Driscoll projected capacity is 933 students. That’s 349 more students – 60-percent more student capacity in Wilton than in the Newtown project, for essentially the same money.
Bottom line – a review of the source data shows that the Sensible Wilton position is fatally flawed. The foundation of their rationale crumbles and takes with it any argument for a revote.
Ross Tartell, Ph.D.