Miltonians encouraged to sign petition for referendum

November 21, 2023

The Town of Milton, after a flurry of recent annexations, is seriously considering another. With the recent annexation of several parcels and the new phases of Cannery Village and Heritage Shores, the town’s population is estimated to swell from around 2,900 to more than 6,624 when all is completed, assuming nothing else is built! This number uses 2.2 residents per household and does not include Scarlet Oaks! Some in town see this as positive growth and some don’t. This is why a public referendum should be called. 

Our town charter allows annexation decisions to go to a public referendum. If the council votes to annex, the citizens of Milton have an opportunity to call for a referendum. This is done by submitting a petition signed by 10% (115) of the town’s registered voting residents within 30 days of the council's annexation vote.  

Our mayor and four council members decided not to call for a public referendum. Consequently, some residents are organizing a petition to call for a referendum. The petition is not whether you are for or against annexation, but if you think the residents should vote to make the decision.  

A few reasons for a public referendum:

• Because our town charter gives the residents of Milton the right to. As residents, we can and should be encouraged to exercise our political rights and powers. Referendums are one way of doing this

• Because of its intrinsic worth as an exercise in direct democracy. Be aware some elected officials are slow to relinquish power to the very people they are supposed to represent

• Decisions this big and impactful to residents’ daily lives should be voted on by those directly affected. It’s hard to think of a better way of engaging the residents of the town in the decision-making process and taking ownership of how Milton matures

• Referendums can foster a healthy political culture and involvement. It’s a great way for Miltonians to know that their names and opinions matter 

• It’s a way of empowering the sometimes-neglected voice of the residents

• It’s a great way for those elected to represent the people of the town to gauge the will and desires of the residents they are charged to represent

• This ability to have a direct say gives residents a feeling of ownership in the decisions and direction of the town, and a say in the future

• It encourages residents to get involved in the political process, to educate themselves and then cast a vote based on their desires.  

Registered Milton voters interested in calling for this referendum can sign the petition at the Mercantile in downtown Milton. You'll find the signup sheet at the front counter where we'll also have a current voter registration roll. If you are unsure of your registration, check the roll or call Stephanie at town hall. If you find you are not registered now, it might be a good time to register. 

Allen Sangree


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