Two candidates are running as Petition Candidates–they are not endorsed by a political town committee but instead have petitioned onto the ballot.
Al Alper is running as a petition candidate for Board of Selectmen, and Melissa-Jean Rotini is running as a petition candidate for the Planning & Zoning Commission.
We cannot simply cut our way out of the financial crisis that has caused our home values to be depressed and Wilton to no longer be considered an affordable option for potential homeowners. Moreover, as other candidates and politicians proclaim “economic development” as a panacea, the realties are that the building owners that rent the space to businesses and offices pay their taxes regardless of whether or not there is a tenant.
For these reasons “economic development” is a sound-bite; a platitude without substance only serving to distract from the issues. We need solutions, not platitudes.
Mine is a solution-based platform whose focus is on a lower cost of government and lower taxes through greater transparency and accountability. It is built on a stronger relationship between the Town, Planning & Zoning, Board of Finance and the Schools; all whom I have longstanding relationships with and an intimate understanding of how they operate.
It is a long-term, sustainable solution that delivers a cost effective mix of services based on the needs of our community as the Plan of Conservation & Development (POCD) is finalized and its changes implemented. Leveraging my deep understanding of the POCD and P&Z, and its impact on the budget vis-à-vis my eight years on the Board of Finance, I’ll move to establish a multi-board advisory panel to inform the POCD’s development and its impact on taxes, the school system and the quality of life in our bucolic Town. It will provide P&Z and the community long-overdue insight into the financial and service-delivery impact of the POCD. That will carry through to the zoning changes they might affect, such as AROD.
Further, it will allow both the Town and Schools to better plan for their respective long-term needs as they will have more insight as to the future makeup of the Town; reducing, for example, the likelihood of buildings being constructed and then large portions going unused.
Had such a solution been in place just a decade ago, I’m confident our taxes would have been significantly lower through, at a minimum, lower debt service and a much larger Grand List.
Wilton deserves a solutions-oriented selectman with the knowledge of how the Boards and Commissions work, and how they could work better together to deliver the services our Town needs today, and in the future.
I am running for Selectman on Row 3 because I can deliver these solutions.
My name is Melissa and I’m running for Planning & Zoning. I’m an Unaffiliated candidate, not a member of a political party. I believe that our town needs qualified candidates with real world experience.
For more than 14 years, I have been a practicing attorney. I began my career handling general negligence cases and represented hundreds of firefighters, police, and widows of the 9/11 terror attacks in the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and subsequent Federal Litigation. Thereafter, I focused on municipal defense work, and operated a small real estate agency. I have handled a wide range of legal cases including: administrative proceedings with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and EPA, lawsuits involving roadway design, planning decisions, environmental reviews, septic reviews, building code issues, affordable housing, and more. I’ve worked with engineers and planners, and have familiarity with stormwater and wastewater systems, and other relevant matters. I currently work for a NY municipality, and want to use what I have learned to try to help our town.
A few months ago, I submitted my resume to the Board to fill a vacancy and was selected in a 6-1-1 vote of existing members. Since joining the Board, I’ve done my best to conduct thorough reviews of applications, and ask questions I believe need answers.
I recently suggested adding the location of the meeting audio to the minutes, to promote participation in and review of Board meetings. That proposed addition has gone into effect. As I’ve spoken to people in town with planning and zoning concerns, to the extent I can assist, I have tried to do so.
I believe the Plan of Conservation and Development should guide the future of the town. Members of Planning & Zoning should enforce existing regulations, and approve new regulations that are in line with the Plan, citizen input, and are compliant with the law, as interpreted by town counsel. Planning should assure adequate facilities and promote orderly, functional growth. Zoning should make the town functional, and provide predictability and safety.
I am running to lend my experience to the town. We need to promote our assets, find creative solutions for our historic enclaves, and generate an overall plan to meet peoples’ needs. I hope the residents elect me to continue working with the other Commissioners and our Town Planners to enhance our town. You can reach me via email.