18 June 2007

How Taxpayers Can Win

If there is any doubt about the power of ideas, organization and sheer hard work, one can look no farther than the decisive win by the West Hartford Taxpayer's Association who helped defeat the town's bloated budget proposal.

The vote was overwhelming, 7,893-2,939. The spending plan would have increased spending by 3.48 percent but with recent revaluation factored in, it would have raised property taxes 6.6 percent.

The WHTA educated the voters, stood up to the West Hartford Mayor Scott Slifka at public hearings, ignored the biased reporting of the Hartford Courant, ground out information from the town manager and got their people to the polls.

Slifka, an amiable leader and Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor in 2006, tore into the group and its leader, Theresa McGrath, accusing her and her followers of disinformation and lies. This is always a sign of someone doing their job. When you get thumped at the ballot box, sore losers always say their opponents lied and played dirty. But the WHTA simply ran a grass roots campaign, put up their signs, made calls and won.