First, I want to address the overarching issue that goes to the core of who we are as a town and who we want to be.
The recent incidents of hate and targeting of minorities in Wilton is alarming. It is an urgent, defining issue we must address as a community. In a short period of time we have had:
- Vandalism of the Hindu Temple property
- White supremacy hate flyers
- Multiple incidents with Swastikas in the schools
- An Instagram at the high school of a gun with the phrase, “let’s have some fun”
- A Jewish 6th grader had a note, “Jews will burn” left on her locker
The norms of civil behavior and good citizenship in America are changing. The fact that these incidents of hate occur in Wilton, a community with a highly educated population is stunning. In Wilton, we are tolerant of most things, but there can be no tolerance for this kind of behavior.
Our community has a crisis we need to treat with urgency on all fronts. Every responsible citizen and every community organization needs to stand up and declare that hatred in any of its forms is unacceptable.
Already the schools, town, and clergy have taken action. The local media have not only reported but editorialized on the issue. In February of this year, citizens led the effort for the Board of Selectmen to have a Proclamation on Civility. The Board of Selectmen did pass a Civility Proclamation calling for civility, respect and understanding, attributes we still need to emphasize.
Our nation has historically taken pride in our heritage as a “land of immigrants.” We have celebrated the richness that diversity brings to our culture. Wilton prides itself on our family values.
I pledge to do what I can to be an advocate for those different from myself; and be an active opponent of those who would demean, persecute and target any part of our town family, in any way.
I want to return to the Board of Selectmen so the voices of all of the citizens of Wilton—no matter what their political affiliation or personal background–are heard and respected. We need to engage community-wide dialogue and collaborative action so, together, we shape the future of the kind of town we want to live in.
As Selectman, my three areas of focus will be:
- Fiscal responsibility, economic development and updating our Plan of Conservation and Development; executed with sensitivity toward preserving open spaces and historic preservation; and growing our grandlist.
- Quality of life for all our citizens, with emphasis on first-rate schools and support of our senior citizens. We need civility and tolerance as we work together for bipartisan solutions to community issues.
- Open and transparent government. Encouraging communication with the public and between town boards and committees, so we are benefiting from the best ideas and working in a united effort.
We are all concerned about rising taxes because Wilton is so dependent on property taxes, and property values have not recovered from the recession. That is why citizen input is so essential to the updating of the Plan of Conservation and Development. We need to have all stakeholders come to the table to explore and discuss Wilton’s future. I feel we should look at ways to promote our arts community and accentuate our progress and stature as a “green” community. We need to highlight and leverage our natural resources such as the Norwalk River.
I have strong relationships with congressional, state and surrounding community leaders that can benefit Wilton.
My prior municipal experience as a member of the Mayor’s staff in a major western city, for two Mayors, provides added perspective and knowledge. I helped advance citizen participation in the governing process and served as a troubleshooter for complex issues. I facilitated communication in both directions–in and out of City Hall.
Organizations are healthier and find more robust solutions to challenges when diverse views are shared. If not elected, there would be no Democrats on the Wilton Board of Selectmen. This would leave a significant segment of our town without representation. Voting for me will bring important perspective to the Board of Selectmen to the benefit of everyone.
My commitment to Wilton and our community values coupled with experience and skills will allow me to contribute immediately to this town I love.
I ask for your vote on November 7.