Sunday, March 11, 2012

From 1962: Referendum Set Monday On Airport Proposal

The following article is from 50 years ago today, published in the Hartford Courant on March 11th, 1962.
An airport was to be state-owned and operated airport, on land near Mile Lane and Ridgewood Road. The legislature approved the proposal in March of 1961, with backing by Senator John Picket, Jr, of our city. The referendum on the airport turned out 23% of the eligible voters, and a municipal airport in our city was rejected by a vote o 2,739 to 916.

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Last-minute preparations were being stepped up Saturday to get out the vote for Monday's referendum on the airport.

The city has 15,000 voters and the political experts are guessing that many less than 5,000 will turn out to vote on the question.

Voting will be from 2 to 8 p.m. and tbe short voting period will cut the vote total.

There was both strong opposition and support to the proposal. Paid advertising and radio time is being used by both groups, in addition to telephone solicitation and a mail campaign.

Parties help.
The opposition is spearheaded by a strong sentiment in Westfield, the site of the propsoed airport, against the proposal. It is opposed in many other quarters of the city.

However, the propoennts are headed by the mayor, leaders of both political parties and several industrialists here.

Both parties are opening headquarters to help get out the vote, the Democrats actively pushing the airport and the GOP leaving it to the voter.

3 comments:

Bob Jones said...

Does anyone know who the Mayor was at this time? Was the Mayor Steven Bailey? He was the one who had the stupid idea to knock down the beautiful City Hall with the clock tower and begin the redevelopment of Main Street by destroying & eliminating the Center Street neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I thought most elections and referendums are held on Tuesdays and the polling hours for referendums were either 12 p.m.-8 p.m. or 6 a.m.-8 p.m. Why the shortened hours and voting on Mondays? Does anyone know when the change to longer voting hours and the day change to Tuesday voting took effect? Are there any history buffs out there who know the answer?

Greg Amy said...

Very interesting. I'm a private pilot and resident of Westfield; that would have put an airport less than a mile from where I live...would have been convenient, and could have make for a nice fly-in community. But I can certainly understand why the community did not want the associated noise.