GOOD Morning Wilton received a Letter to the Editor on Wednesday, Nov. 3, from Kim Healy, who was elected to the Board of Selectmen in the municipal election just the day before. She asked GMW to publish it, which we have, below.
In it, she thanked Wilton voters and campaign officials along with two of her fellow candidates on the Republican ballot, Jess Christ and Jared Martin, of whom she wrote that she is “deeply disappointed they won’t be serving on the Board of Education.”
Healy also wrote she is “very disappointed that there is no unbiased media in this town, with consistent editorial policies.”
Dear friends and neighbors,
I want to thank you, the voters of Wilton, for doing me the honor of choosing me to represent you with the highest number of votes in the Board of Selectmen race. You looked past the high degree of partisanship in this election to vote for me, and I am very grateful. We are all Wiltonians, and the bonds we share as neighbors are far more important than any political party and always should be.
I must recognize Jess Christ and Jared Martin, as I am deeply disappointed that they will not be serving on the Board of Education. Despite the tactics used to oppose them, they can be proud to have conducted themselves always with grace and dignity, and I am very proud of them as well. They were tireless campaigners, and the outcome of my race would have been very different for me if it weren’t for them. I thank everyone who worked on the campaign, especially Jake Lubel, Gail Lavielle, Bill Lalor, Toni Boucher and many others, without whom the success of so many Republicans would not have been possible.
There is one more point I must make, and it is of vital importance. As I said many times throughout the campaign, and during the League of Women Voters forum, Wilton residents need access to objective, factual information about how our town is run and what is happening on our boards and commissions. I am very disappointed that there is no unbiased media in this town, with consistent editorial policies. Throughout this campaign, hundreds of deeply concerned residents told me the same thing again and again. It is my hope that this issue will be resolved in the immediate future.
Finally, I thank my family for all your love and support, always.
Healy, who signed her letter “selectman-elect,” had, on Wednesday morning, sent a similar letter to at least one other local media outlet, including Wilton Patch, which published her message to voters Wednesday morning. That letter, which was accessible online for most of Wednesday, was nearly identical to the one above, but it included the statement, “as a member of the Board of Selectmen I will make addressing this issue one of my highest priorities once I take office.”
The letter she asked GMW to print does not mention the Board of Selectmen or making the issue of unbiased media a priority on the Board of Selectmen. Instead she said it’s an issue she “hope[s]…will be resolved in the immediate future.”
Because the letter to Wilton Patch was published and is a matter of public record involving a public official, we asked Healy for comment about the discrepancy.
She informed us she contacted the Patch to revise her letter and remove the reference to the Board of Selectmen, which they did.. She then provided GMW with the following statement:
“I want the residents of this town to have access to as much transparent, objective, factual information as possible using every platform available. I will work with our other town officials to find new ways to promote public input and more engagement.”
First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice declined to comment on any of the points raised in Healy’s letters.
While Healy didn’t mention any media by name, her statement appears to refer to GOOD Morning Wilton, which the Republican Town Committee also criticized during the campaign with a statement asking GMW to apologize for reporting about candidates.
GOOD Morning Wilton is the only local news media owned by a Wilton resident actively covering Wilton. In the last year, the Wilton Bulletin has reduced its coverage of Wilton following its purchase by Hearst Media. Online news websites Wilton Patch and Wilton Daily Voice are media outlets that often print materials and press releases distributed to them but rarely have reporters who actively cover news or events in town.
Response from Another Newly-Elected Official
Wednesday evening, Ken Hoffman, who also was elected yesterday to a seat on the Planning and Zoning Commission, sent a response to Healy’s letter, which he said he read on Wilton Patch.
As a newly elected member of Planning and Zoning in Wilton I look forward to working with you, Lynne Vanderslice, and my fellow Democrat, Bas Nabulsi, on the Board of Selectmen as Planning and Zoning wrestles with issues critical to Wilton. As Lynne has said about you, “having an additional Board member with a professional financial background and town budget experience will enhance the Board’s budgeting activities.”
However, while I hope you will focus on the challenges all of us face in Wilton, I disagree completely with your negative characterization of the press in Wilton as well as the reasons Jess Christ and Jared Martin lost.
Jess and Jared did not lose because of press manipulation. They lost because they confused their passion about personal issues with their own children’s education and achievement with broader district-wide items they presume need remediation or resolution. They lost because when questioned it was obvious that they hadn’t read the details of the BOE policies they presumed objectionable. They lost because they posted publicly available information that confirmed their biases regarding COVID precautions that Lynne wisely suggested and the BOE has enforced. And, they also lost because when you compare the education and employment histories of Jess and Jared versus their opponents it is clear the Democrats were better qualified in every measure to help guide our schools.
Until this year, the BOE has been largely non-partisan. Being on the BOE requires significant skills in the management of complex issues affecting students and their parents as well as the careers of our faculty, leadership, and staff. The school budget is complex and demands an understanding of how to balance capital commitments and shorter-term requirements. And, it requires calm and measured deliberation free from any individual board member’s personal circumstances.
I believe the voters of Wilton chose wisely and voted for candidates that emphasized selfless service, expertise and character. I also believe the press coverage in Wilton was fair and represented good reporting.
I do wish you the best in your future service to Wilton. Those that have served before us have given us a great place to live, learn, and play. I hope we leave Wilton a better place for the future.
Planning and Zoning Elect