BREAKING NEWS, May 7, 2022, 6:40 PM — After polls closed on Saturday, May 7, 2022, the unofficial results were posted at the Clune Auditorium. They show that, with less than the required 15% turnout of eligible voters, the FY 2023 budget has automatically passed as proposed at the May 3, 2022 Annual Town Meeting.
While vote counts are still unofficial, Wilton Registrar of Voters Karen Birck read the vote tallies and posted the machine tabulated vote count at Clune Auditorium shortly after the polls closed at 6 p.m.
In all, 1,099 votes were cast this year, which is a turnout of 8.9%. Of those, 1,076 people voted in person; 22 people voted by absentee ballot; and one ballot needed to be hand-counted after the machine tabulator couldn’t read it and rejected it.
The actual vote count on the proposed budget and mill rate showed that those who cast ballots approved the budget by the following count: Approved — 818; No, too high — 257; No, too low — 19.
That means the proposed FY’23 operating budget of $$130,942,900 to run the town and the schools for FY2023 — a 1.67% increase ($2.2 million) over FY’22 — passed. The mill rate will increase 1.29%.
The six individual bonding questions for FY 2023 also all passed, although these didn’t require a turnout threshold. They all passed on the actual vote.
- Road restoration/paving, $1,100,000: Yes — 985, No — 100
- Bridge reconstruction program, $760,000: Yes — 956, No — 127
- New Police Headquarters, $1.64 million: Yes — 836, No — 252
- DPW vacuum truck, $500,000: Yes — 815, No — 258
- School district roof replacements, $600,000: Yes — 958, No — 130
- Planning and design of Middlebrook and Cider Mill HVAC replacements, $100,000: Yes — 874, No — 214
Town officials were pleased with the turnout and results.
First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice: It was a great turnout relative to last year, two times the number of voters. I’m so happy to see that everything passed — I’m particularly excited about the Police Headquarters passing and especially with the really strong support, more than 75% of the voters supported that. So I’m really pleased for Chief John Lynch and Captain Tom Conlan and Captain Rob Cipolla and all the members of the department. They really deserve this new headquarters. I’m happy that the voters understood that. And thanks so much to all the folks that worked on this, from Building committee co-chairs Dave Waters and Patti Temple and the other members of the building committee, to the architects, to Chris Burney, and everybody else that really helped. It was a lot of work. A lot of thought went into this, but we brought a great proposal and fortunately, the voters recognized that. Normally a police headquarters doesn’t pass on the first vote, but I do think that there has been so much transparency and information out there on this project. I think that made the difference and we’re really excited.
Board of Education Chair Deborah Low: “The budget process is long and this year has had its share of ups and downs. Now that it’s over, it’s terrific news that the budget passed and by a healthy margin. We are very grateful for the community support.”
GOOD Morning Wilton has sent requests for comment to Board of Finance Chair Michael Kaelin and Police Chief John Lynch. The story will be updated if we receive a response.
UPDATE, 7 PM: Chief John Lynch: “I am thankful for the overwhelming support of our community. I hope it is a reflection of our dedication and positive support for our citizens. The new facility gives us the ability to better protect and serve. It is not just a police facility but serves as a town-wide emergency operations center. The time it took to come to fruition was a process that was difficult, rather lengthy but needed to ensure it was right for everyone. We are humbled by the overall support, the building committee and police commissioners that helped pave the way. Their willingness to volunteer and provide expertise that was second to none. We thank the hard work of Chris Burney who has a unique skill set and most of all the incredible leadership and support of lynne Vanderslice. Without the support of lynne, the board of selectmen and board of finance this would not have been possible.
I also thank all of the police officers past and present who worked hard and were patient during this lengthy process. They protected and served regardless of the difficult conditions. Thank you Wilton!
UPDATE, 9 PM – Board of Finance Chair Michael Kaelin: “I am pleased more than one thousand people voted and that all the items passed by a wide margin, especially the police station. I am sure that everyone who worked so hard to present these questions to the voters appreciates their support. I certainly do.”