Last Friday, June 2, the Wilton Planning & Zoning Commission interviewed two candidates in the effort to fill an open seat left vacant when Franklin Wong resigned last month. After interviewing residents Brian Lilly and Melissa-Jean Rotini, the commissioners voted 6-1 on the motion to appoint Rotini to fill the seat and join them on P&Z.

Rotini, a municipal attorney in the Westchester County Attorney‘s office, submitted her own name for consideration rather than go through as a member of a political town committee. During Friday’s meeting, P&Z chair Joe Fiteni noted that Rotini is a registered Democrat; however, according to preliminary minutes from the meeting, Rotini clarified during her interview that she is considered a member of the Democratic party “for statutory purposes” but recently changed to unaffiliated status. P&Z was required to fill the vacancy with either a Democrat or an unaffiliated candidate, as under minority representation laws, the commission already has a maximum number of Republicans serving.

According to the meeting minutes, Rotini also said she “has witnessed the change in the community and respects the concept of balance between growth and community preservation.” She also acknowledged how “polarized positions…often occur in communities over such issues as school budgets, community growth and community services.”

During a discussion about growing the grand list, one area Rotini suggested that could be addressed is in improving Wilton Center’s visibility from major thoroughfares, including “efforts…to enhance connectivity between Rte. 7 and the village center.”

Recently Rotini has spoken up as a resident during the last two P&Z public hearings about age-restricted zoning and development on Ridgefield Rd..

She told GOOD Morning Wilton that she is looking forward to serving the town.

“I’m very pleased to have been selected by a 6-1 vote of the P&Z Commissioners to fill the vacant P&Z seat. I’ve been interested for some time in becoming more involved in town matters, and particularly P&Z. My family and I really enjoy being part of the Wilton community and I want to help it thrive. We’ve lived in Wilton for 10 years, and our oldest child is going to be entering kindergarten in the fall, so I’m not going anywhere!

“I’m a municipal attorney and public service is something I believe is very important. Through my legal work I’ve been able to familiarize myself with many of the issues that come before P&Z. I’ve been involved with cases about environmental review of proposed projects, I am involved with permit matters, and I work with the departments of Planning, Environmental Facilities, Health, Finance, and many others. I believe that I bring well-rounded experience to P&Z, and will endeavor to engage in thoughtful analysis of our town’s past, present, and future in matters before the board, including the upcoming POCD review.

“I look forward to working with the other Commissioners and using my experience for the benefit of our town.”