Deborah McFadden is the chair of the Wilton DTC.

“If we want to remain the same, we must grow.”

Doris Knapp, one of our Democratic candidates for the Planning & Zoning Commission put it perfectly. Democrats believe that growth that nonetheless preserves our town’s quality of life is possible. We believe this kind of growth is necessary if our town is to meet current financial challenges, attract the young families that want our quality of life without an unreasonable tax burden, and retain the “empty-nester” senior citizens who love this town and did so much to build it. But this kind of growth is not simply a matter of counting our pennies; it is a matter of creating more of them. That means growing the grand list, actively courting corporate investment, and welcoming development ideas, such as multi-use buildings in the town center, that attract both new families and business alike. Eric Fanwick, Knapp and Bas Nabulsi, our candidates for Planning and Zoning, will work for Wilton’s future while keeping our past in mind.

We believe that our schools are our greatest asset, a major reason our town is so desirable. We will work to keep improving them through the adoption of best practices from around the country, especially with regard to technology. We will measure their success not only in test scores and college acceptances, but by seeking to measure and monitor individual students’ progress.  At the same time, we are committed to adjusting school budgets appropriately  if enrollment continues to decline. We will not, however, sacrifice quality to deal with challenges such as less state financial support for our schools. Deborah Low and Gretchen Jeanes candidates for Board of Education will serve our students and town well.

We believe in the environmental stewardship that has made us one of Connecticut’s leading “green” towns, another reason for Millennials to choose Wilton when they have left urban areas to raise their families, and will continue to promote and support efforts such as the Wilton Energy Commission and our participation in the Norwalk River Valley Trail. We need to seek ways to prudently enhance the quality of life in Wilton, such as focusing on our arts community.

We believe that the key to meeting all of these goals—economic, educational and social—is an open and transparent government in which all citizens feel welcome and informed. We believe that all parts of our community should be represented in town government and that our governance suffers if any Party or block of voters, is not represented on all boards. We work cooperatively and on a bipartisan basis to find solutions to our problems. This is a town filled with smart people. This is a time when smart people get to work.

We are committed, during a period of great economic challenge and political upheaval, to civility and tolerance in public life.  We oppose attempts by extremists or hate groups to divide us. We believe forcefully resisting such attempts is the key to protecting that sense of safety and tolerance. We welcome all to the discussion, and reject suggestions that only certain groups or people belong.

We face Wilton’s challenges today with a sense of urgency. Seeking broad input on the Plan of Conservation and Development as a guide, we will move with alacrity to create the kind of growth that will allow us, as Doris said, to remain the same Wilton we love. Led by Board of Selectmen candidate Deb McFadden, we are a slate of candidates who have devoted decades in voluntary, appointed and elected positions to serve this town.

We ask for your vote to let us do more.