At a meeting Tuesday night, Jan. 12, the Wilton Republican Town Committee selected Lori Bufano as their choice to fill the empty Board of Selectmen seat created when Ken Dartley resigned.
“Lori will bring a contemplative, alternative set of ideas that will fully round out the thought processes of the Board of Selectmen,” said RTC chair Al Alper, who added that Bufano’s background makes her well qualified.
“She’s an active member of the [Republican] Town Committee, she’s been an active volunteer in town—she’s vice-chair of Planning & Zoning; before that she sat on ZBA [Zoning Board of Appeals]. So she has an understanding of what zoning and land use means relative to the tax base and governance. Once she’s approved by the Bd. of Selectmen, she’ll be the only one on the board with that experience, and who can fully appreciate that relationship and really brings a unique perspective, and a much needed perspective.”
According to Alper, Bufano was in fact chosen by the RTC in executive session, rather than in open, public session; as such, he couldn’t make details of the selection process public. He wouldn’t say whether she was endorsed unanimously by all members or if there were any other candidates considered.
“I can’t comment on any of it.”
[Editor’s note: An earlier version of the article incorrectly stated that Bufano’s selection was voted on only by the RTC executive committee; in fact Bufano’s endorsement was approved by a majority of the entire RTC.]
The next step is that Bufano will be considered and voted on by the four current members of the Board of Selectman at their next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Per the Town Charter, the BoS has the authority to decide who will be appointed to fill the vacant position.
“But we don’t anticipate a problem with that,” Alper added, noting that he informed first selectman Lynne Vanderslice on Wednesday morning, Jan. 13 of Bufano’s selection by the RTC.
If Bufano is confirmed by the BoS, that would mean that the RTC would need to then choose someone to endorse to replace her on P&Z. Alper said that would be done by the end of the RTC’s February meeting.
Alper also announced that the RTC had elected two new members during their Jan. 7 caucus: Prasad Iyer and Jennie Wong (who was recently named as a member of Wilton’s Economic Development Commission).
“They’re both young, they’re both minorities as well, which is awesome to add a diversity of thought to our community,” Alper says.