Every Friday until Election Day, GOOD Morning Wilton publishes Letters to the Editor that we’ve received about the candidates and/or election-related issues. Learn more about our election coverage guidelines and policies, including requirements for Letters to the Editor. Letters are printed in the order in which they are received. To send a letter to the editor, email it to editor@goodmorningwilton.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Our Election 2019 guidelines have included a policy limiting publication of letters to 10 per week; Since the start of campaign season we received no more than 10 letters by each Friday, so we published what we had–until this week. We’ve had a deluge. As a result, we’ve decided to extend our limit and publish all the letters sent to us by first-time letter writers (per our guidelines), to encourage as much participation as possible.

Bob Russell Supports Mike Kaelin for Bd. of Finance

To the Editor:

I am endorsing Michael Kaelin for the Wilton Board of Finance. We have known Michael since the mid-90s, shortly after he and his family moved to Wilton. From the beginning, he was an active member of our community and volunteered his service to several organizations. He was elected to the Board of the Wilton Library in 2006 and served as its president from 2012-2014. As a member of the Wilton Charter Commission in 2008-2009 he gained a thorough understanding of how our Town Meeting form of government works well for Wilton. He was on the Board of Selectmen for four years (2014-2018).  Michael has the experience and leadership skills to serve the Town well on the Board of Finance.

Bob Russell

 

Democratic Bd. of Finance Candidates will Move Wilton Forward in New Direction

To the Editor:

I encourage you to vote for the entire Democratic slate of carefully chosen and vetted Wiltonians who are dedicated to leading the Town over the next four years.

But I want particularly to ask you to vote for the Democratic Board of Finance candidates. Two are known to the community and proven in their skills, knowledge, and experience. Mike Kaelin and I have been good friends even as he was chair of the Republican Town Committee and I was chair of the Democratic Town Committee. We have always found much common ground. As a former selectman, Mike knows what needs to be done. Chris Stroup, entrepreneur and CEO of a company he formed, has four years of experience on the Board of Education. Two candidates are new names. Kevin Gardiner is a young, successful businessman with young children who has shown proven results as vice chair of the Energy Commission. Jung Soo Kim is the ideal Board of Finance member. She is the young working mother with children in Wilton schools who has a business-related master’s degree, whom I have always thought should have a voice on the Board of Finance.

While carefully reviewing  proposed and approved budgets of the schools and the Town, these four individuals will move Wilton forward in a new, fresh, and reasonable direction.

John Kalamarides

 

Jung Soo Kim Knows Main Reason Families Move to Wilton–Good Schools

To the Editor:

This letter is to endorse Jung Soo Kim for the Board of Finance. I met her on the soccer fields while we were both cheering for our kids and we bonded over shared experiences in raising kids and caring for elders. Jung Soo is a working professional in the finance and software sector and is raising three youngsters in Wilton. She is “socially liberal but fiscally conservative.” I support Jung Soo since she knows that the main reason families move to Wilton is because of the good schools. She is a smart woman who is not intimidated by financial statements and she has my highest endorsement. Go, Jung Soo!!

Kathy Dhanda

 

Jung Soo Kim will Bring Valuable Insights and Perspective to Finance

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my support for Board of Finance candidate Jung Soo Kim.  I met Jung Soo not long after we moved to Wilton five years ago.  We had opportunities to get to know each other as we both have three boys in the Wilton schools. I learned she approaches issues in an intelligent, thoughtful, and rational manner. I also came to understand she has the energy and drive to get things done. She was able to complete her graduate degree in software engineering and computer science while raising her boys and helping in the care of an elderly family member.

Jung Soo has poured herself into Wilton by moving here, sending her children to our public schools, and volunteering in our community.  This has given her both practical and personal experience to provide good insight on some of the issues facing our Board of Finance. I believe Jung Soo Kim will bring valuable insights and perspective to the BOF, and she will do so while working to ensure prudent decisions to support the assets that make Wilton shine.

Laura Rowley

 

‘Analytical & Effective’:  As Working Parent, Minority, Female who Understands Seniors, Jung Soo Kim Represents the Underrepresented

To the Editor:

I am submitting this letter in support of Jung Soo Kim for the Board of Finance.

Jung Soo brings many different perspectives to the board that have historically been underrepresented – as a working mother of kids in the schools, a minority, a female, someone who understands the needs of the aging population (her in-laws live in town), and someone who has lived in Wilton long enough to have witnessed many changes over the years. Her analytical style and organized approach to collecting facts will ensure that the Board of Finance is presented with an objective and rational analysis of any given issue. She is not intimidated by vocal and sometimes forceful individuals, and will undoubtedly be very effective at making her points known and understood.

I believe that Jung Soo Kim will be a tremendous asset to the Board of Finance, and will represent Wilton very well. For this reason, I fully support Jung Soo Kim during our next election, and hope that you will too.

Vivian Lee-Shiue

 

Peter Balderston Balances Maintaining Schools and Town Services with Declining School Enrollments and Sluggish Real Estate Market

To the Editor:

Peter Balderston, Republican Board of Finance member, deserves your vote on Nov. 5 for a second term. Wilton needs a Board of Finance member who is committed to maintaining our strong schools and high-quality town services, while being mindful of their costs at a time of sluggish real estate markets and declining school enrollments. Balderston has been able to achieve this balance. Wilton’s town Charter explicitly mandates that BoF members “find savings within [the Board of Selectmen and Board of Education] budget requests.” During budget deliberations, Balderston has asked hard questions of town boards when reviewing submitted budgets, finding savings which have kept our property taxes under control.

As a town, we must keep in mind the needs not only of our schools and town services, but also of our seniors who live on fixed incomes and seek to preserve their homes’ values and avoid being unduly burdened by yearly tax increases.

During Balderston’s tenure, the Town’s mill rate increased an average of approximately 1.5% annually, well below the rate of inflation for the same period. Balderston has also accumulated valuable experience as one of the BoF members serving on the Board of Education’s Operations Subcommittee, working with Board of Education members and Dr. Kevin Smith toward the goal of reducing non-teaching related costs. He has also served on the Board of Education’s Teachers and Administrators Collective Bargaining Negotiations team. This experience and detailed knowledge of school budgets will serve him well in his second term.

Rob Kyle

 

New Perspective of Jung Soo Kim Needed on Board of Finance

To The Editor:

Having lived in Wilton for over 23 years, I believe a new perspective is needed on our Board of Finance (BOF). With this in mind, I urge you to vote for Jung Soo Kim.

Jung Soo’s connections to Wilton run deep. Her husband was raised here and her in laws remained in town as retirees. She currently has three boys in the public schools, and has volunteered in our schools and library. Jung Soo understands the needs and priorities of those with children, and those without. She will work toward charting a fiscally sustainable course, balancing the need to provide the high quality town services Wiltonians expect with the need to control the tax burden placed on Wilton’s taxpayers.

Jung Soo’s educational and employment background eminently qualify her for a position on the BOF. She has an undergraduate degree in history, recently earned a Masters of Software Engineering, and has embarked on a second career as a Product Specialist at FactSet Research Systems. Her diverse educational and professional background honed her qualitative and quantitative analytical skills, and cemented her reputation as an organized, budget conscious, open minded, communicative collaborator.

She will lend her unique skills and voice to the BOF, helping guide the BOF’s process to the desired result-a fiscally prudent budget that invests in Wilton and meets the needs of Wilton’s diverse constituencies. I ask for your vote for Jung Soo Kim for Board of Finance.

Sincerely,

Heather L. Wilcauskas

 

Ross Tartell Combines Working Effectively and Collaboratively with Deep Knowledge of Wilton

To the Editor:

I intend to vote for Ross Tartell for Board of Selectmen and I hope you will too.  His proven track record of working effectively and collaboratively on boards, combined with his deep knowledge of the town and how it works makes him a uniquely qualified candidate.  The Board of Selectmen is going to face some big issues like controlling costs by regionalization of services and generating economic activity to increase the grand list. Ross’s non-partisan and creative problem-solving approach will be an asset to the Board. Vote Ross for Board of Selectmen on Nov. 5.

Margaret Creeth

 

Ceci Maher will Bring Management Skills, Energy and Openness

To the Editor:

I am delighted to endorse the candidacy of Ceci Maher for the position of Selectwoman. She has exactly the experience and temperament that can energize the Board of Selectmen and enable it to meet its vital role in making Wilton fulfill its potential as one of Connecticut’s leading towns.

For almost 15 years, Ceci was the CEO of Person to Person, an important social service agency, that helps more the 25,000 people annually. She has served on the boards of such organizations as Minks to Sinks, A Better Chance of Wilton, and the Wilton Library. In each of these important organizations, she provided vision, improved operations, and created new programs.

Ceci can bring her vast management skills, energy, and openness to our town. She has the demonstrated ability to reach out to the large number of our neighbors who are concerned about the future and reassure them that our beloved town can shine again for all of its citizens.

Let’s bring a new, vibrant approach to the Wilton’s governing body by electing Ceci Mayer.

Jeff Miller

 

Mike Kaelin–Prepared, Reasonable and Ready to Serve

To the Editor:

Wilton is fortunate to have so many thoughtful people running for town board positions! I want to highlight one in particular. Michael Kaelin continues to champion his efforts to make Wilton better. For two decades, Mike has made public service to our town his priority! He volunteered considerable time and energy to our library as a member of both the Executive and Finance Committees. He then doubled those efforts as the president of the Wilton Library Board of Trustees. He served as vice chair of the Charter Commission and as vice president for Civic Affairs for the Wilton Chamber of Commerce. He continues to be active in Wilton’s CERT program and can regularly be seen directing traffic on Memorial Day or at a busy intersection during severe storms when the traffic lights are dark.

In 2015, the Wilton YMCA appropriately recognized Mike and his wife Carol with their Distinguished Citizen Award for the Kaelins’ contributions to our town. Mike served as a selectman for four years–two as our second selectman. Now he would like to contribute his time and skills by serving on the Board of Finance. His integrity, intellect and genuine friendly manner, would benefit any important Wilton committee. However, Wilton’s finances are facing critical choices and decisions in the months and years ahead. I am grateful that Michael is willing to take on these challenges. He is prepared, reasonable and ready to serve on Day One. Vote Kaelin for Board of Finance on Election Day.

Jonathan T. Woods

 

As Special Educator and Active Parent, Jennifer Lalor can Help the Board of Education

To the Editor:

I am inspired by Jennifer Lalor, who is running for Board of Education.

Her personal and professional background as a special educator and an active volunteer and parent in our community give her the roots to take on this responsibility. Her desire to work on projects like communication and awareness of the work of the BOE in the community is admirable. There are wonderful things happening here in Wilton, but it’s not without a lot of hard work. As a community, it’s good for us to know about the issues the board is facing each year and how they are responding to these challenges and working together with all of the organizations in town.

Jen has been an active, transparent and knowledgeable candidate, which speaks volumes about how she will serve as an elected member of the BOE. As an independent, I tend to look for people and not parties. Jen is someone that can help continue the good work of the BOE and help it grow.

Michelle Haggerty

 

Jennifer Lalor is Committed to All Students

To the Editor:

I am writing to support Jennifer Lalor for Wilton Board of Education. I have known Jen in a lot of different capacities and have seen first-hand her commitment to all students and enthusiasm for Wilton schools. Jen brings many years of education experience, which will be exceptionally beneficial for everyone in Wilton who cares about keeping Wilton schools at the highest level and finding ways to enhance educational outcomes for all students.

Best,

Maggie Bittner

 

Michael Kaelin–Man of Integrity, Thought and Passion for Wilton

To the Editor:

I write in support of Michael Kaelin’s candidacy for the Board of Finance. I have known Michael personally and professionally for more than 20 years. He is man of integrity, thought, and passion for our town. He has been actively involved in town government and many town organizations, including serving in leadership positions such as president of the Wilton Library Association and a member of the Board of Selectmen. We would be well served to have him continue to assist the town on the Board of Finance.

Matthew C. Mason

Jake Bittner a Valuable Asset to Wilton 

To the Editor:

I am writing to support Jake Bittner for Wilton Planning and Zoning Commission. Our family has become very found of Jake over the three years since we moved to town. Jake is a valuable asset to the Wilton community, and I believe his years of design and construction experience will benefit the town of Wilton greatly.  Couldn’t think of a better person to assist in the planning of Wiltons future.

Sincerely,

Frida Piazza

 

Jake Bittner Passionate about Keeping Small Town Feel While Encouraging Development

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Jake Bittner for Wilton Planning and Zoning Commission.  I have known Jake for six years since we moved to Wilton. I have seen him interact with the Wilton community in personal, volunteer and professional capacities. He even developed a plan for our house when we added a front porch and advised me to the permitting process and on various construction aspects for the project. He is committed to helping Wilton through high quality and well thought out development.  Jake brings many years of design and construction experience, which will be invaluable to the Wilton Community. He is passionate about keeping intact our small town feel while developing new, unique construction projects in order to grow our community.

Sincerely,

Sarah McCall

 

Josh Cole Shows Real Commitment to Wilton

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my support for Josh Cole for the Board of Selectmen. My husband and I have known Josh for a long time. He and his wife, Melissa, have two young children who will be in Wilton schools for many years, and Josh has shown real commitment to our community. As a member of the Board of Selectmen, along with Lynne Vanderslice and David Clune, Josh has collaborated effectively and worked very hard to deliver impressive results that we need to see continue in Wilton. I am very proud to be working with him and encourage all voters to consider supporting Josh.

Jennifer Lalor

 

Support for Savet Constantine, Mike Kaelin & Jung Soo Kim

To the Editor:

I support Savet Constantine for BOE. Savet has lived her commitment to the Wilton Schools for many years, including three as Wilton High School PTSA president. She has demonstrated the skill, temperament and interest [to] represent Wilton for the greater good of our town, students and schools. She always brings a balanced, dedicated voice representing parent perspectives and serving as a conduit between the school, district and the parent community. Savet’s track record and in-depth, hands-on knowledge of the people, schools, systems, and processes make her ideal for the BOE.

For Board of Finance, I support Mike Kaelin and Jung Soo Kim.

Mike has a strong track record of supporting Wilton across many organizations and will bring a collaborative, balanced voice to the Board of Finance. From working with him in our church, I’ve seen his ability to serve with skill, pragmatism and positivity. With his refreshing can-do spirit, he finds and brings out the opportunities and good news, even in challenging situations.

Jung Soo Kim would bring fresh air and a broader perspective to the Board of
Finance. If elected, she would be the only member with kids currently in district and thus she is familiar with our most critical asset in a deeper way than current members. Through her in-laws–who raised their family and retired here–she also understands the needs and challenges our senior population faces. Pairing these lived experiences with strong academic and professional credentials, Jung Soo is well positioned to serve Wilton effectively on the BOF.

Kim Hall

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