To the Editor:

Every year, Wilton citizens come together at the Annual Town Meeting to adopt a budget that represents the will of Wilton’s citizens in the services they want and the amount of taxes to be raised to fund those services. Wilton is a self-governing democracy where its citizens — all of its citizens — have a voice in shaping the budget priorities for our town.

The entire process is designed for our citizens to participate, to be heard and to have significant input into the town’s budget. And in the end, it is those same citizens — you — that vote on the budget at the Annual Town Meeting on May 3. In every way, it is your budget. The first, and probably best, opportunity for your voice to be heard is at the upcoming Board of Finance public hearings on the budgets.

On Monday, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Middlebrook auditorium, the Board of Education will present its budget to the public. The majority of the meeting will be reserved for citizens to come forward and voice their opinion on the school budget. The following evening, Tuesday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the Middlebrook auditorium, the Board of Selectmen will present its municipal services budget and capital projects that will require bonding if approved. Again, the majority of the meeting will be reserved for public comment. On both nights, we will hear every citizen that wishes to speak, no matter how long it takes. There is no better way to be heard by the town’s elected officials than showing up and letting us know your opinion on the budgets.

Last year, only 11.5-percent of eligible voters exercised their right and responsibility to vote at the Annual Town Meeting, below the charter threshold of 15-percent and resulting in an automatic approval. With a heightened interest in the town’s activities over the past 18 months, it is likely that we will see well over 15-percent voting participation, so your vote on the budget will count this year.

Please attend the public hearings to be held on March 28-29, stand up and be heard. After all, it is your town, your government and your vote. Make it count.

Jeffrey Rutishauser
Board of Finance