The Region 12 budget referendum on May 8th represents what may be one of the the last opportunities to allow you to demonstrate in a clear manner your dissatisfaction with the region’s half-baked AgSTEM plan to hand over major control in our school system to the state of Connecticut.

The increases in the taxpayer’s share of the project have increased by 45 percent — even before construction has begun — and will likely multiply as needed infrastructure issues that were previously unfunded now become necessary to complete construction in an acceptable manner.

As an empty-nester who had hoped to age-in-place here, I am saying to all those of modest means in our communities — aside from the increased and unacceptable construction cost — huge operating deficits have been forecast and will accelerate our direction toward the status of states like New Jersey with unsustainable property taxes. You deserve predictable and reasonable costs for a public school system you have supported for decades.

This does not have to be. Vote NO on May 8th and NO on all subsequent budget votes until the 12 people who control 60 percent of your precious tax dollars allow your voice to be heard by setting a go-no go referendum on AgSTEM.

This is probably one of the most important votes or series of votes you will ever cast as a citizen in our lovely towns.

Thank you.

Douglas Delisle

Bridgewater