The budget referendum results from May 23 are in. Berlin voters found that the town budget was too high and the Board of Education budget was too low.
This result threw the budget back to the Board of Finance for further tweaking, and on May 25, the BOF met to modify the budget.
However, instead of making changes consistent with what the voters sought, the Board of Finance decided to leave the budget unchanged.
This move, a bipartisan decision – supported by both Democrats and Republicans – was approved by a 5-1 vote. It also successfully ignored the will of the voters.
Every year our elected officials scratch their heads and ask why more voters don’t turn out for elections and referendums.
The answer is simple: at every turn, the voice of the residents who take the time to turn out and vote are merely ignored. So, why bother?
Improving voter participation begins with outreach and concludes with elected and appointed officials respecting the conclusive vote results of the people.
The latter is something that did not happen with this referendum.
Despite this horrible status quo result, I am encouraging all Berlin residents to stay informed and act accordingly.