Election2017 Candidate Op-Ed: Al Alper, BOS Candidate
We love Wilton; we’ve raised our children here and couldn’t be prouder of them as they transitioned to adults. While we like to think, as parents we’ve done a good job there is no mistaking the fact the Wilton has, too played a large part in who they are today. Kaitlin is getting her Doctorate at UNC Chapel Hill, AJ has just begun Veterinary School at ISU and Alexandra is in the throes of her senior year at UConn, Storrs.
We are very proud of them, and so should all of you be as part of our larger Wilton family. Our shared values, sense of community, compassion for each other, volunteerism and charity, and the myriad other nuances you’ve personified have helped reinforce our teachings and have now become cherished qualities within them.
With my children gone, many have asked, either why we are still here (meaning why are we paying such high taxes) and/or why am I running for office. The answer to both are incredibly simple and intimately related.
We’re here because we love this Town; because Wilton is reflected in the eyes of my children, in their laughter and smiles. Wilton’s shadow is long and growing as they mature, leaving a contrail in their life. We couldn’t imagine them not one day calling this home.
I’m running for Selectman because I want that for everyone’s child. I want Wilton to be affordable and attractive, transparent and accountable, compassionate and respectful. I’m running because Wilton is the portrait of a family with a value system worthy of the heirs we leave, and I want to keep it that way.
These last few years the discourse is harsher, the level of tone and respect has degraded, and lines have been drawn that threaten the Wilton family. Some use social media as a cudgel to attack and demean, rendering an unappealing public face of our Town for potential new residents. Others take their anger out in less obvious ways–not saying “Hi” at the Village Market or when brushing by a neighbor on the street.
Much of this, I believe is a manifestation caused by the precipitous increase in taxes and the high cost of living here. Costs that have devalued our homes and turned away prospective new home buyers.
I am running for selectman because I believe in Wilton, I believe in you and I believe that we can do better.
Having spent 13 years in public service on the Board of Finance, Planning & Zoning, Zoning Board of Appeals and SW Regional Planning, I have an intimate understanding of the budgets and their line items. I know where efficiencies can be levered and cooperation can be cultivated to bring down the costs and lower taxes. I understand the intimate relationship between taxes, services and zoning, and how a balance between them can make Wilton an affordable place to live, work and play again.
In addition to public service, as a nearly 10 year town committee chairman I have had the great pleasure of meeting and befriending Wiltonians of all stripes. It gives me a broad and deep understanding of what our Town wants and needs. Coupled with my experience, I can deliver where those with less experience cannot. The learning curve is too steep, and we don’t have the luxury of time for on-job-training.
We need a selectman who can hit the ground running.
We need a selectman with the knowledge and experience to drive down costs, increase efficiencies and make Wilton affordable again.
We need a selectman who is willing to speak up for the seniors and the less fortunate among us; defending them and advocating for them.
We need a selectman who is grounded in fiscal responsibility and eschews party politics, and puts Wiltonians first.
I am that candidate for selectman and I respectfully ask for your vote on Nov. 7.
Vote for Fiscal Responsibility.
Vote Row 3.
Vote Al Alper for Selectman.