Opinion: Revote on Middlebury project is insulting to some

In support of the upcoming Article 1 (former Article 6) municipal building vote, I’d like to point out that the vote in March was very consistent in favor of the project: Article 6, yes; petition to take more time to consider other plans, no; selectman who most vociferously opposed the project, not re-elected — all with a large voter turn out.
I find insulting the idea that yes voters are ill-informed and that taking time to have us “re-educated” would get a “better” result. Yes — the community is split. Would the minority “no” voters like to educate themselves into a “yes” position for the sake of community unity? I respectfully suggest not. Well, please show us “yes” people the same respect.
I don’t believe that a unified, workable, funded alternative proposal would arise after further delay and debate. I see the opponents of the current proposal divided between many options including, but not limited to: building on Route 7 south; rebuilding the municipal building while saving the gym; doing major renovations bit by bit to both structures; and doing basically nothing, just spending the minimum on maintenance (probably quite a popular position amongst the quieter “no” voters). Some “no” voters suggest that the college should/would/might chip in substantial money after going through this process and being turned down. I say, don’t count on that.
Add to that, a large population of disgruntled “yes” voters who just had their will thwarted by a revote, and the chance of a better plan arising by consensus is remote. If the result is overturned, I believe it will be because of quirks of voter turnout and not because of true changes of voter will. Don’t let that happen. Please make the effort to vote again.
Barbara Merz

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