First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice released a statement on Friday, Oct. 29, making an endorsement in the race for the Wilton Board of Selectmen. She endorsed fellow Republican Kim Healy and, in a noteworthy step, crossed parties to also provide official support for Democrat Bas Nabulsi.
“I hope you will join me in concluding that Bas Nabulsi and Kim Healy are the two best qualified candidates for the Board of Selectmen,” Vanderslice wrote in her statement.
In her endorsement, she outlined Nabulsi’s and Healy’s credentials and provided detailed reasons for how each candidate would be an asset as a BOS member. Vanderslice said in making her decision she considered three things: community priorities for the next four years, the kind of experience and background that would best address those priorities, and the experience and background to meet the most current needs of the BOS.
For Nabulsi, Vanderslice mentioned his decision-making and analytical skills, supplementing his professional and educational background as an intellectual property attorney and chemical engineer as well as the more than 10 years he served on Wilton’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
These qualifications, Vanderslice wrote, “will be assets to the Board of Selectmen as we analyze much-needed potential investments in town infrastructure and amenities.”
For Healy, Vanderslice pointed to her professional CPA experience, her former position on the Wilton Library Board of Trustees, and her volunteer work as treasurer of many Wilton non-profit organizations. “Having an additional Board member with a professional financial background and town budget experience will enhance the Board’s budgeting activities,” Vanderslice said.
Tom Dubin, chair of the Wilton Democratic Town Committee, recognized the unusual bipartisan move Vanderslice made in her endorsement of Nabulsi.
“Wow, we greatly appreciate the leading Republican in Wilton endorsing a Democratic Board of Selectman candidate, and withholding her endorsements for the other boards. All Democratic candidates will do well on Tuesday if voters carefully review the competence and experience of all candidates and vote for the most qualified regardless of party.”
GOOD Morning Wilton has reached out to the Wilton Republican Town Committee and Healy for comment. This story will be updated accordingly.
UPDATE: WRTC Chair Peter Wrampe sent this comment regarding Vanderslice’s endorsement:
“We are very pleased that the First Selectwoman has endorsed Kim Healy for the Board of Selectmen, and we applaud her statement.
“During her decade and a half in Wilton, Kim has been an integral part of the town. Her participation in Wilton’s organizations — from the Library, to town commissions, to multiple nonprofits — her financial and budgeting expertise as a CPA, her deep knowledge of our town and its people, and her spirit of collaboration will make her a valuable asset for the Board of Selectmen.”
Healy also expressed her thanks to Vanderslice. “I am very grateful for Lynne’s support. Like all of the highly qualified Row B candidates, I look forward, if I have the honor to be elected, to representing all Wiltonians and to being their advocate, and to working collegially with fellow board members and those across town government.”
Wilton will head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 2 to fill open seats on the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance, Board of Education, and Planning and Zoning Commission, as well as Board of Assessment Appeals, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Constable.
Below is the full text of Vanderslice’s endorsement:
When casting two votes for the Board of Selectmen, I ask residents to consider three things:
- • What are our community priorities over the next four years?
- • What experience and background are best suited to help address those priorities?
- • What experience and background are currently needed on the Board of Selectmen, specifically, to address those priorities?
After doing so, I hope you will join me in concluding that Bas Nabulsi and Kim Healy are the two best qualified candidates for the Board of Selectmen.
Bas Nabulsi has a proven record as a thoughtful, non-partisan and intelligent decision maker. The knowledge he acquired while serving as an elected member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, plus his analytical skills as an intellectual property attorney and a chemical engineer by education, will be assets to the Board of Selectmen as we analyze much-needed potential investments in town infrastructure and amenities. This analysis, like the Board of Selectmen itself, works within a framework of state statutes and town ordinances. As an attorney and long-serving member of a town board that had regulatory authority over often complicated land-use matters, he understands what that means and requires as a board member.
As a 29-year resident who raised two active sons in Wilton, Bas also understands how important Wilton’s schools, recreational amenities and natural environment are to this community. Balancing the costs and benefits of developing these assets will require diligence and sensitivity to community-wide needs and concerns. Importantly, as Bas has himself expressed, he recognizes that taxes are the number one issue for most residents, and as Board members, we should never lose sight of that fact in achieving that balance.
I first met Bas and his family more than 20 years ago, when our sons played on the same Little League baseball team. Through the years, I have crossed paths with him and his wife through mutual volunteer efforts. Bas’s knowledge of a wide cross section of residents will be a benefit to the Board.
Kim Healy is a former CPA, a former Wilton Library Trustee and a former treasurer of many Wilton non-profit organizations. A central Board of Selectmen responsibility is developing and recommending an annual budget for town departments, nonprofit grants and funding for tax relief programs, as well as projects for bonding. The Board of Selectmen’s budget, debt service and tax relief account for over one-third of the annual town budget. Kim is already familiar with the town’s budgeting process as she was involved with budget discussions as the treasurer of the Wilton Library, which receives approximately 75% of its funding from the Town. Having an additional Board member with a professional financial background and town budget experience will enhance the Board’s budgeting activities.
As a mother with teenage and adult children, Kim will also bring an underrepresented demographic to the board. Ross and I (and Bas) are empty nesters with children in their 30’s;
Josh is the father of young children. She is also the daughter and sister of police officers. Kim’s unique perspective will provide valuable insight.
In summary, considering their knowledge of the Wilton community and town government and their professional and volunteer experience and backgrounds, Bas and Kim are the best qualified candidates for the next four years. Please join me in voting for them on Nov. 2.
Lynne A. Vanderslice