The resignation of former Board of Finance member Peter Balderston on Aug. 17 has left a vacancy that, per the Town Charter, the remaining BOF members are working to fill. They issued a call for Wilton residents to apply for the opening.

That call for volunteers generated interest from 12 residents who stepped forward to express an interest in the seat. Interviews with the applicants have been scheduled with the remaining five BOF members over two evenings. (Jeff Rutishauser, chair of the BOF, said that two candidates removed themselves from consideration, however, “due to personal reasons, basically work-related conflicts,” leaving 10 candidates remaining in the selection process.)

The BOF has 30 days to select a replacement for Balderston’s seat. If it does not fill the vacancy within that time, the Board of Selectmen shall appoint someone to that vacancy. The term of the BOF appointment will only be until the next Town-wide election in November 2021, when the appointee–and anyone else–can run for the remaining two years of Balderston’s term.

Balderston’s resignation leaves two Republican members and three* Democrats on the BOF. With minority representation rules limiting the maximum membership of any one political party to four, there is still an opportunity for any person, regardless of political affiliation, to fill the seat–Democrat, Republican or unaffiliated.

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, the BOF conducted interviews with seven residents. The resumes, statements, and credentials are available on the town website.

On Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 7 p.m., the BOF will conduct interviews with three more residents (statements/resumes in links). This meeting was rescheduled after the original meeting date, Thursday, Sept. 10, was canceled.

The interviews are being conducted in executive session, with the vote on the final candidate to be conducted in public in a meeting immediately following the second executive session on Sept. 16. That is the final day the BOF has to choose Balderston’s successor before the duty becomes that of the BOS.

*BOF members Rutishauser and Stewart Koenigsberg are registered Republicans; Michael Kaelin and Kevin Gardiner are registered Democrats. Even though Chris Stroup is an unaffiliated voter, he is counted as a Democrat because he was elected as an endorsed candidate on the Democratic slate in 2019.