Republican Town Committee Platform [OPINION]
The Row B GOP slate comprises an unusually experienced group of individuals who have no agenda other than to serve Wilton’s best interests.
Nine months ago, I stood at on the stage at Trackside Teen Center before a packed house of concerned Wilton citizens to begin a community wide effort to stop the school regionalization bills coming out of Hartford. That concerned, but impassioned group was made up of Wiltonians and many from other towns of all backgrounds, including parents, people with no kids in the schools, Democrats, Republicans, unaffiliateds, Libertarians, Independents–you name it–all focused on one goal: protect our schools. As a diverse grassroots group working together, we succeeded.
Wilton works best when we work together. Statewide, towns like Wilton have faced serial challenges affecting local business, schools, home values, taxes, tolls, budgets, grand lists, and preservation and development priorities. The Row B Republican and unaffiliated candidates know that solving these challenges requires teamwork and skill, mixed with a common love for Wilton and an inspired vision for what makes Wilton the best it can be.
It has been Wilton’s great fortune to have outstanding Republican leaders with vision and a bipartisan effectiveness on Town boards, starting with Lynne Vanderslice, who has led as first selectwoman with executive acumen and an indefatigable, team approach. Working alongside Lynne, Josh Cole has added exceptional value as a reasoned, incisive commercial real estate attorney and as an enthralled and involved parent of two children starting in Wilton schools. Lynne’s and Josh’s success in bridging divides and elevating Wilton above politics has benefited everyone in Wilton. The results are compelling: despite the difficult statewide environment, Lynne and Josh have kept promises and delivered creative solutions and high-potential grand list opportunities while safeguarding our schools and achieving productivity and results.
Similarly, Wilton’s Republican leaders on the Board of Finance have striven to balance responsibly the needs of Wilton’s outstanding public schools and town services with those of taxpayers, retirees, and business owners pressured by increasing taxes, costs and mandates from Hartford. Both Peter Balderston and Warren Serenbetz bring proven records of dedication and service to Wilton, along with shrewd finance and business guidance.
On the Board of Education Jennifer Lalor and Mandi Schmauch—both working mothers of young children in Wilton schools— will bring dynamic, forward-looking ideas that will enhance educational outcomes for all Wilton students. Jennifer’s 20 years in education, including special education, and Mandi’s outstanding professional record, together with their admirable volunteer service in Wilton schools and elsewhere, provide much needed perspectives.
The Row B Planning & Zoning Commission slate embodies vision, leadership and experience for Wilton. Fresh off completing the 2019 Plan of Conservation and Development for the Town, three incumbents–Rick Tomasetti, Melissa Rotini and Matthew Murphy–will lead with newcomers Jill Warren and Jake Bittner in implementing its vision for the best planning, development and preservation strategies for appropriate growth in Wilton over the next 10 years and beyond.
Libby Bufano, Anthony Cenatiempo, and Monty Du for Zoning Board of Appeals, along with Gerald Holdridge for ZBA Alternate and Dan Falta for Board of Assessment Appeals, are similarly fine candidates with the right qualifications.
The Row B slate represents the best people with the best vision and best ability to execute on that vision with teamwork and the full strength of the diverse Wilton community. The slate includes Republicans, unaffiliateds, parents, retirees, immigrants, empty-nesters, educators, working mothers, lawyers, other professionals and recent college graduates, and names both familiar and new. They will represent all of Wilton with skill, vigor and distinction. Please vote Row B on November 5.