The FLHS Prospect Staff encourages all town residents to make their voice heard in the upcoming election on Tuesday, November 2. Polling locations will be open from 6 AM to 8 PM. A secure ballot drop box is available in front of the Town Hall on 611 Old Post Road for voters who have requested an absentee ballot.
The positions on the ballot include Board of Education, Board of Assessment Appeals, Town Plan and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Constables, and Representative Town Meeting. Know Your Reps, a nonpartisan voter education website for Fairfield, has prepared a guide on positions and candidates here.
While municipal elections often receive less attention and garner less turnout than federal and state elections, they exert a real impact on critical issues related to our town. According to Know Your Reps, “town elections have an outsized impact on three major aspects of our lives: our children’s education, our financial health (in the form of taxes and real estate values), and the character and sustainability of our community.”
Recently, much attention has centered around the ongoing “fill pile investigation,” which commenced in 2017 by the Fairfield Police Department. The investigation has exposed illegal dumping of contaminated soil on the Fairfield Department of Public Works property and numerous park and school locations throughout town, necessitating environmental remediation efforts. The investigation into former Fairfield employees and contractors, as well as testing and remediation fees, have already cost the town of Fairfield $2.9 million. Additionally, the rebuilt Penfield Pavilion will not be permitted to take reservations past October 31, 2022 due to horizontal beams that were placed in violation of Federal Emergency Management Administration codes when it was built in 2017. First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick is currently investigating options for the rebuilding process.
The Penfield Pavilion and environmental remediation situations have underscored the importance of financial accountability in town governance. Citizen participation and bipartisan cooperation is needed to rebuild our community from these issues and to ensure the structural integrity of our community.
Education also holds critical importance in this election, especially as the District continues to adapt to pandemic-related challenges to learning. Education accounts for nearly ⅔ of the annual town budget; the Net Current Expenditure per student as reported by the Connecticut State Department of Education is $20,780.87. It is vitally important for the Fairfield citizenry to have a voice in how that money is allocated. The elected Board of Education members will have a voice in implementing new policies such as the Black and Latino studies course and the District Improvement Plan.
Increased voter participation strengthens our community in coming to a consensus on these issues and many others. We hope to see you at the polls on November 2!