The choice of Mike Kaelin as successor to Hal Clark on our Board of Selectmen is certainly very wise. Hal\u2019s service as second selectman has been outstanding, and he and Alison\u2019s presence here will be sorely missed as they split their time in retirement between Maine and Florida. Whether presented in public meetings or one-on-one outside the sliding doors of the Village Market, Hal\u2019s articulate explanations of issues facing our town and of decisions made or soon to be made by the selectmen offered cogent insights, and his wit and good humor would definitely enliven any discussion. He also always actively sought out and weighed public comment. Thus, those one-on-one conversations he regularly took the time to engage in might as easily have been to seek a resident\u2019s opinion as to explain a viewpoint of the Board of Selectmen. Those are significant shoes to fill, and Mike Kaelin is definitely an excellent choice to do so. His wisdom and well-honed leadership skills have been evidenced in, among other things, the fruits of his service as president of the Wilton Library Association\u2019s board. He also brings to the Board of Selectmen the skills of an accomplished attorney and principal in the law firm of Cummings & Lockwood at a time when First Selectman Bill Brennan estimates that selectmen\u2019s time devoted to legal matters has more than doubled over only several years. Mike and his wife, Carol, are longtime Wilton residents, and their four children are graduates \u2014 or, in youngest child Jack\u2019s case, a soon-to-be graduate \u2014 of our schools. David Frankel of Washington Post Drive wrote a letter to the editor of this paper a month ago in which he reflected upon \u201creturn[ing] respectful, civil sensibilities to local political debate.\u201d He said, \u201c\u2026 perhaps the best outcome for Wilton is that we all simply think back to the reasons why we moved here in the first place. Remember that it is our responsibility to take ownership and understand the issues facing our town and to treat each other as members of the same Wilton community with respect and civility as we grapple through our differences.\u201d Mike Kaelin is a great person to have by your side in a leadership role in living out Mr. Frankel\u2019s eloquent words. As Mike begins his service, it is also a good time to consider our own duties as citizens. Last spring I reflected here on the word \u201ccivitas\u201d as used in the school pledge that calls the students of Wilton\u2019s Montessori School to be part of a \u201ccivitas community\u201d in which they \u201cstrive to build life as if life were a work of art.\u201d Courtesy of information from Max Gabrielson, Wilton High School\u2019s extraordinary classics teacher, I reported that the Latin noun \u201ccivitas\u201d means \u201cthe condition or privileges of a (Roman) citizen, citizenship, freedom of the city.\u201d It also means, more concretely, \u201cthe citizens united in a community, the body-politic.\u201d The related Latin adjective \u201ccivilis\u201d means, among other things, \u201ccourteous, polite, civil.\u201d One manifestation of \u201ccitizens united in community\u201d is that they take the time to express their opinions in town votes. We are a very well-educated and sophisticated community, and our town benefits greatly from the well-informed wisdom, judgment, and insight of each one of us expressed in public life. Data that our town Registrars of Voters Tina Gardner and Carole Young-Kleinfeld have compiled show the sad reality, though, that turnout for town votes (both annual and special) has actually gotten much worse in recent years: down to the truly pathetic single digits in the last few years versus 25% a decade and more ago, with even the recent very significant Miller-Driscoll special town vote garnering only 17%. By contrast, the 1997 special town vote on $37 million in renovations to Middlebrook and Cider Mill schools garnered a whopping 49% voter turnout. In fact, more than 60% of town voters turn out for gubernatorial elections and more than 85% for presidential, so we definitely know how to find our polling places! The failure to vote is a missed opportunity for broad collective insight, and the failure to be informed about important town issues because of busy lives would have appalled our Greek forebears in the democratic form of government for whom their electoral duties to their city-state \u201cpolis\u201d were central. People have given their lives for our right to vote, and people elsewhere in the world today would give essentially everything they have for that right. We owe the political process here in town no less. Mr. Hudspeth lives on Glen Hill Road.