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[Update] Budget Passes Despite Second Lowest Voter Turnout

Taxes will increase by 2.45 percent.

Despite having the second lowest voter turnout at a budget referendum – 9.97 percent – Avon's proposed 2012-13 budget passed by 385 votes.

That means the tax rate will increase by 2.45 percent to 25.65.

"It seemed to go very smoothly this year. There were very few calls and emails to the office," Town Manager Brandon Robertson said.

Out of 1,193 voters, 789 (66 percent) endorsed the $78.72 million budget and 404 (34 percent) voted no.

"I'm very pleased that voters have overwhelmingly supported the budget as recommended by the Board of Finance," Thomas Harrison, chairman of the finance board, said. "That means we did our job well."

If voter turnout hadn't breached 9 percent, the budget would have passed by default, as per the town charter.

The lowest voter turnout since Avon started having budget referendums in 1999 was 5.1 percent (534 people) in 2001.

The following list provided by Harrison represents the four other lowest voter turnouts.

  • 1999: 10.1 percent, 1,016 people
  • 2007: 12.6 percent, 1,400 people
  • 2000: 13.4 percent, 1,353 people
  • 2011: 15.5 percent, 1,868 people

Between 19 budget referendums, 23.2 percent marked the average voter turnout.

"It's nice to have the budget adopted and we can start thinking about implementation come July 1," Robertson said.

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Ilene Kaplan May 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM
I was very disappointed that the vote passed and it's sad that so few lacked interest in voting. We have a Town Council that works hard for our town. Since they felt that the budget should have been reduced by a substantial figure,why didn't Avon residents take their advice? Reality will hit when they see their tax bill. Ilene Kaplan
PJM May 17, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Not sure what Town Council you're talking about but I know that about half of the Council and 3 members of the BOF thought the increase was too small. Harrison dictates what we all have to live with regardless how out of touch with residents and reality it is. Avon style democracy.
PJM May 17, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Why were there no signs on Old Farms Rd and an email announcement sent before this vote? That might explain the low turn out. You need to remind people...most of us are very busy.

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