THE SPECIAL REFERENDUM
on the
INTERIM GROWTH ORDINANCE
September 30, 2003

At last we come to the day of the special ballot vote on the Interim Growth Ordinance (IGO).

Polls were open from 8 A.M. to 7 P.M. Voters checked in, got their blissfully comprehensible one-issue paper ballots (later counted by hand, the old honest way, the way we all understand) by the faithful gang manning the polls this day.

Turnout was light, but what mattered is that the citizens of Farmington who did cast ballots voted overwhelmingly for the IGO (208 to 68) - recognizing that we have some serious growth and resulting fiscal and quality-of-life problems, and that we need time off to examine and, it is hoped, to fix those problems in the best way possible for the benefit of the majority of the citizens of Farmington.

There is a tremendous amount of work to be done by the Zoning and Master Plan Subcommittee (ZAMPS) in the year that the IGO is in place, and if the all-volunteer ZAMPS (which has some of our best and brightest people on it) is to get the task before it done, done well, and in a timely fashion, they need all the support they can get from the rest of us - including all the support and help from our Town Fathers and Mothers, and especially from the few holdouts on the Planning Board who seem hellbent on undermining the work and progress of the ZAMPS by creating a maze of bureaucratic procedural rules and barking out makework orders to put the kibosh on the solemn work ahead of the ZAMPS. (Imagine! - Some of our elected officials who should be wholeheartedly supporting the ZAMPS committee now that the people have spoken, have been heard to mumble things about the illegality (bunk! hogwash! lies!) of the IGO, and even hint of lawsuits lurking in the bushes the developers haven't yet cut down.)

Here are photos taken at the polls on September 30. We see the women minding the voter checklist. During slow times, ballot-box minder Tom reads state statutes, while Betty helps Margaret unravel her crochet yarn. (Ah, those always-multi-tasking Farmington women - they know idle hands make the devil's work.) And you will recognize other familiar faces among the citizens coming to vote.

. . . While citizens were trickling in to the polls, the town carried on its other affairs on that last, pleasant day of a glorious September. Businesses were doing business. We see Chet of Imperial Garden meticulously washing his storefront windows, and Said in la Contadina making sure his ship is sailing along smoothly. Ron of Palmer's Hardware takes a break in the warm sun, and over at the library, the expert staff carries on, disseminating information, fostering scholarship, upholding the Sacred First Amendment.

And then, a peek down Mechanic Street shows the Old Firehouse - the proud accomplishment of the determined Farmington Preservation Guild - looking downright spiffy with its fire-engine-red (what else?) doors.