If you haven’t been reading everything and closely following the local political races (admittedly it’s hard to do when there’s so much noise around the fight for the presidency), it’s not surprising that there’s a good deal of confusion about some political signs that have appeared around Wilton.
These signs don’t mention any candidate by name. Unless you really focus in on them, you don’t even easily identify a political party. Some people find them scary and alarmist. What do our schools need protection from–COVID? Budget Cuts? Both signs mention ‘local’–sometimes in small print–but what’s that all about? Many people are confused–what actually is on Row A and Row B that they want us to vote for?
After more than one reader reached out to ask if this vote was about the Wilton School Budget–NEWSFLASH, it’s not–it was clear that the signs needed some explanation.
We’re going to try to do that without editorializing on the issues. We’ll let the candidates do that in their own words a little further down in the article. But first…
What’s Row A and Row B?
Those are the rows of candidates on the ballots. Row A lists the Democratic Party candidates and Row B lists the Republican Party candidates. See below:
There is no referendum or question regarding Wilton Schools on the ballot. There is not one single referendum on the ballot about anything. In this election, voters are only considering candidates for five offices: President/Vice President (actually voting for electors); US Congressional Representative; State Senator; State Representative; and Registrar of Voters.
Then What are the Signs About and Why are they Posted?
Republican supporters posted their “Vote Row B” signs first. Republicans have made two issues central to their campaign–fighting against school regionalization and fighting against land use/zoning regulation reforms.
In both of those issues, the question is about whether state legislators in Hartford should or shouldn’t write, support or pass legislation that either mandates certain statewide changes to schools in Connecticut or mandates statewide reforms of land-use laws–in other words, maintaining local control of schools and planning & zoning.
Wilton Republicans have accused their Wilton Democratic opponents of supporting regionalizing school districts and reforming land-use regulations because Democratic legislators from other parts of the state were the ones who introduced or wrote legislation supporting both of those things.
Wilton Democrats say they don’t support regionalization and land use reforms that come from Hartford, but they stand for “local control over local matters.” Thus, the “Vote Row A” signs appeared soon after.
Each side has published op-eds, articles and letters about local control, and they’ve spoken extensively on it. Rather than rehash and analyze what’s been said on each side, we thought we’d let the candidates speak for themselves, directly to you.
Below are the clips from our interviews with the local candidates answering our questions on both topics: In the race for State Senate (26th District) are Will Haskell (D) and Kim Healy (R); running for the State House of Representatives (143rd District) are Stephanie Thomas (D) and Patrizia Zucaro (R).
[Editor’s note: We did not interview Tom O’Dea (R), who is running unopposed in the election for State Representative (125th District). Voters who vote in Wilton’s 2nd voting district at Cider Mill School will be considering O’Dea, not Thomas and Zucaro.]
Side by side, they’re answering our questions on regionalizing schools and land-use reform. You can compare and then decide which candidate on which row you’ll support.