I'll give you one person's perspective on the reasons I did not vote and why there is now such a lack of interest in this project.
Yes, a majority of us here in Preston thought that purchasing the Norwich Hospital property from the state for $1 three years ago was a great idea. I thought so myself as did my companion. Since 2007 we have resided one mile down on Route 12 from the property and would love to see it developed. Which is why we both voted in past elections for the project to go forward and also attended town meetings.
But like a spouse promising you a roll in the hay, and then reneging a number of times, you eventually give up.
First came the grand "Utopia" proposal, which fell through. Then, at a town meeting last year another prospective developer came forward, only to be rebuffed. It seems that town residents, such as myself, basically said when it came to this current vote, "Why bother?"
This redevelopment effort is going to go on beyond our lifetimes. It will be one thing after another.
And by the way, the lousy weather that day had nothing to do with poor voter turnout as some suggested. With Hurricane Sandy approaching the day the Preston Redevelopment Agency conducted tours of the property for residents, people still showed up, including myself and my companion. So we don't buy that weather theory when it comes to voter turnout.
Town residents are just plain and simply fed up with the PRA, the town honchos, and the promises. Hence, the low voter turnout and the defeat of the borrowing proposal. Or in other words, "enough is enough."
As in the past presidential election, where the losing party is now attempting to lay blame on their defeat on everything but the real issues, so too are Preston officials. They still don't get it. Probably never will.
Yes, it was a fairly good deal when you think about it. For every 100 jobs created $1 million would be forgiven from the loan, up to $4 million of the $8 million loan package, plus it would have attracted a nearly $1 million federal grant.
But jobs in what century? I personally felt not in my liftetime. Maybe if I'm reincarnated.
So now the plan is to possibly hold another vote for another loan in December. Hey, if you don't get the vote you wanted the first time, vote, vote again.
I suspect that unless Preston officials wake up and accept the real reasons the loan vote was rejected, the same outcome will happen if it is put to a vote in December, possibly with even a lower voter turnout.
Then again, if Republicans couldn't figure out why they lost the presidential election, what the heck are the chances of Preston officials waking up and figuring out the real reason that funding was rejected?