As part of GOOD Morning Wilton‘s coverage of the elections for the 2019 municipal elections, we have set out guidelines inviting each candidate to submit one 800-word op-ed piece before Election Day. Dave Clune is an unaffiliated petition candidate for First Selectman.

Have you seen the work done at Schenk’s Island to open views of the Norwalk River while also improving the river’s flow and habitat? It is well worth a walk over.

This is an example of the Town, with the participation of residents, volunteers and non-profit organizations, working together for the benefit of the Town, residents, visitors, businesses and the environment.

Regardless of your age or interests, Wilton has a lot to offer, including a fabulous education system, recreational activities, retail, history and the arts. The current Board of Selectmen has worked hard and collaboratively to maintain and improve the level of service and amenities residents enjoy while reducing costs.

One area the current Board of Selectmen has supported is the Town’s increased use of technology. Three easily accessible improvements are the town website, e-alerts and increased use of SeeClickFix. Less visible to residents are behind the scenes technology improvements, including the use of Street Scan to help plan for road paving.

In addition, the Board has actively taken up new ideas and processes, including shared services within town while prudently planning for the future, as evidenced by committees established for the Police Station and Town Hall and the Schenck’s Island/Merwin Meadows projects.

Wilton has seen recent development up and down the Rte. 7 corridor, which increases tax revenue and draws people to Wilton. I am particularly excited to see the Wilton Heights/Crossways project move forward and hope there will be additional development in and around Wilton Center as a result. We can maintain our small town feel while offering additional housing options to enhance the community feel in and around Wilton Center.

When I first ran for the Board of Selectmen, a goal was to increase active participation. I am glad four candidates are running for the two open selectmen seats. You have a great set of choices amongst the Board of Selectmen candidates. Why should you vote for me?

Like most Wilton voters, I am not affiliated with a political party and am pleased that, with Lynne Vanderslice, we fought for and achieved a fair path for unaffiliated or minor party residents to serve on the many citizen led Boards and Commissions.

Unaffiliated residents who wish to be considered for an open Board or Commission seat can complete an application and submit a petition (see page 2 of application) with 25 signatures in order to be considered by the Board of Selectmen.

I am committed to the public good. As a Wilton High School student, I volunteered as an emergency medical technician with the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps. After graduating from Boston College, where I met my wife Robin, I worked as a medical mission coordinator for Operation Smile, a non-profit that provides reconstructive surgery to children in developing countries. In that role, my job was to facilitate all logistical details, including housing, transportation, licenses, food, water and access to equipment that enabled volunteer medical professionals to provide medical care.

After graduating from Fordham Law School, I spent four years with a trial bureau at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. As an assistant district attorney, I prosecuted criminal cases. Each case represented a potential trial and required interviewing witnesses to determine credibility, presenting evidence to a grand jury when warranted and making regular appearances in court.

From the DA’s Office, I entered private practice and conducted internal investigations, represented individuals on criminal matters in both state and federal court and responded to regulatory inquiries on behalf of an investment bank.

I then joined the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in a compliance and ethics role. Two years ago, I became the Chief Operating Officer for the Bank’s Legal Group. The ideas and issues I work with during the day parallel those coming before the Board of Selectmen.

During my current term on the Board, and in addition to the regular responsibilities of preparing for and attending meetings, I chaired a subcommittee resulting in the selection of new Town Counsel;  I went before Planning and Zoning, researched what other towns have done and wrote a policy for the Board that has enabled sponsorship banners to be placed at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium and Lilly Field; I am an ex officio member of the Parks & Recreation Commission; and I was named Second Selectman.

I am aware of the concerns of Wiltonians–my parents and several former classmates, teachers and coaches still live or work in town; my immediate family enjoys the Town’s services and amenities; and through my sister, who is much younger, I see what is of concern to her family as they consider where to live.

Wilton is at its best when everyone participates. Vote on Nov. 5 and remind your friends and neighbors to do the same. Learn more at my website.

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