Candidate left out of process, voter guide by town

To the Editor:

I would like to thank the 361 people in Milford who voted for me for selectman on snow-rescheduled Election Day on Saturday.

The town of Milford, and by that I mean Town Administrator Mark Bender and the five members of the Board of Selectmen, did not offer me a chance to be listed in the town-published Voters Guide. I think that by not listing my name in the guide, the town severely impacted my ability to attract votes. And this is the one election where most voters bring the guide, or a “cheat sheet” into the voting booth (all those warrant articles!), but that guide did not list my name. That’s outrageous!

The town also did not invite me to participate in the televised Candidates Forum. Had they invited me to the forum, here are a couple of things I probably would have been able to say: “I’d like to offer the voters my expertise and experience gained from 28 years working for Wall Street firms, and put my financial and analytical skills to use as a new set of eyes on how Milford works, and how Milford makes its decisions. My voice and my new set of eyes could prove important on the town of Milford’s budgeting process, how departments use those budgeted funds, especially when it comes to the Department of Public Works bulldozing critical habitat for endangered and threatened species at the Broxprop.”

I may also have been able to say: “I think we should rename the property. I like the ‘Heron Pond Wetlands and Wildlife Preserve.’ “

And I didn’t know it at the time, but now it’s kind of obvious that we need a fresh set of eyes on the administration, especially when it comes to contacting candidates for election! There’s five candidates; you can’t make a phone call? And then you do ONLY after a newspaper contacts you? Really? Wow.

Here we have a Board of Selectmen riding roughshod over rules, regulations and state laws when it comes to threatened and endangered species; and then we have that board’s hand-picked administrator not allowing me to be in the voters guide!

This isn’t some simple mistake that we should all gloss over. This was the one candidate who is just vocal enough, just loud enough and just committed enough to really raise the awareness and shine a light on what this board is doing. It appears as though the board’s actions at Heron Pond skirt requirements of state law, actions required when disturbing endangered or threatened species. And I’m sure the board would say it is doing everything “by the book.” It may not be technically illegal (unethical and backward thinking, yes), but they certainly are on a fast track to what could be a cataclysmic outcome for some turtles. And when we stop caring about the turtles and the circle of life, then we’re on the wrong track.

A fresh set of eyes, Milford. A fresh set of eyes might just help us avoid the wrong track.

Not allowing me equal space in the voters guide is a true travesty of electoral justice! One that so easily could’ve been rectified by a simple phone call. But the town chose not to make that call. As another recent candidate for office said, “The system is rigged.” Well, maybe not across the country, but it certainly is rigged against me in Milford. And so you have to ask yourself why?

To those 361 people who voted for me, I say, good job! And over the next year or so, I hope to convince the other 10,788 registered voters in Milford that a fresh set of eyes on Milford might just be what this cozy little community of ours needs.

Roger Tilton