Wilton voters turned out in underwhelming numbers to vote on the town budget for FY 2019–only 13.04% of Wilton’s 12,373 registered voters actually cast votes in the town’s annual budget vote. Those that did vote were overwhelmingly in favor of the proposed budget:  twice as many people voted to approve the budget as proposed. The vote was 1,084 in favor of the budget, 532 who voted “NO, Too High” and 13 who voted “NO, Too Low.”

But the only number that mattered was the 13.04%. Due to rules set by the Town Charter, the budget passed automatically because fewer than 15% of eligible voters actually voted. There were 1,631 people who voted, either after the Annual Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 1 or on Saturday, May 5 (or by absentee ballot). Of that total number, there were 17 non-elector property owners who voted.

The budget that voters approved represents a 1.51% increase over last year. The total town FY’19 budget is $127,563,331 (broken down that’s $33,510,999 for the Board of Selectmen and $81,876,563 for the Board of Education).

All three referendum questions passed by large margins too.

  • $3,000,000 in bonding for year two of a five-year road restoration/paving project:  1,416 Yes, 211 No
  • $700,000 in bonding to replace the 10-plus year old crumb rubber turf at Lilly Stadium with a new coconut husk turf (plus shock padding):  1,054 Yes, 568 No
  • $400,000 in bonding to repave and install lighting at the Bus Barn:  1,010 Yes, 610 No

First selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice had mixed emotions about the results. She participated in GOOD Morning Wilton’s live Facebook report immediately following the tabulation of votes.

“I’m really happy that the budget passed, but horribly disappointed in the turnout,” she said. “We did more this year than we’ve ever done in the past, to drive turnout, so it’s really frustrating that we’re only at 13%. Two years ago we were well over 17%. Thank you everybody who voted, and for those that didn’t, let us know why.”