Sixty-seven percent -- or 4,700 of about 7,000 people who responded -- voted yes in the automated poll, which asked whether Danbury police should proceed with a partnership with ICE to enforce illegal immigration laws.
"People have expressed that they wanted input. What better way than to call up and ask them?" Boughton asked. "It's certainly not scientific. But because we had over 7,000 responses, you definitely get a sense of what people think."
However, Paul Rotello, a Democrat serving his second term representing the 6th Ward on the Common Council, questioned the motivation behind using a telephone system normally used to tell people about snow emergencies and road closures.
"There was no uncertainty in a so-called 'poll' the mayor himself states was unscientific," Rotello said in a prepared statement. "So why create more controversy? I can think of many reasons. But hijacking the people's 311 system with disingenuous leading questions that preordained results suggest the real motivation was to shore up ill-thought political positions, stifle critics and still debate."
Boughton and City Hall staff prepared a recorded poll Tuesday and then used the city's Connect-CTY system to call 20,000 residences Tuesday night.
Of the 7,000 responses, 19 percent (1,337 people) answered no, while about 14 percent (972 people) wanted more information.
Fifth Ward resident Pearl Turk was one of the undecided poll participants. She was disturbed by the poll because it was used to gauge support on a hot-button issue.
"It seemed to me the way it was worded was to make me respond yes," Turk said. "I wondered if it was just a maneuver to gain support."
Apparently Boughton didn't learn anything from 2008, if anything, he's become more arrogant and hyper-political in his abuse of the city's emergency system.