Nobody Told Me That: Annual Town Meeting
When is Wilton’s Annual Town Meeting and budget vote this year?
Wilton’s Annual Town Meeting is on Tuesday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m. at the Wilton High School Clune Center. Machine voting on the town budget and two proposed bonding questions will take place immediately following that meeting in the auditorium. For those unable to attend the meeting, voting will continue on Saturday, May 7, at the Wilton High School Clune Center from 9 to 6.
What’s on the Annual Town Meeting ballot?
This year the ballot includes one question about the annual budget and two bonding questions: road restoration and stadium turf replacement. The registrars of voters page on wiltonct.org contains a link to the sample ballot. Budget information is also on the town website, including the proposed 2017 budget and a list of videos pertaining to the budget. The Wilton Board of Education budget may be viewed online at wilton.k12.ct.us. This year’s Annual Town Meeting will be broadcast on Wilton’s Government Access Channel (Ch.79) and on the town website on May 4.
Will the Annual Town Meeting represent the wishes of town residents?
That depends on voter turnout. If voters choose not to attend the Annual Town Meeting, they are allowing others to speak for them. Voters are allowed to make motions at the Town Meeting to decrease a budget line item but not to increase it. Voters in the auditorium that night may vote on such motions which might change the proposed budget. In 2015, only 11.5% of eligible voters participated in the two-day budget voting. According to Wilton’s charter, the proposed budget automatically passes if voter turnout is less than 15%. Bonding questions are passed by a majority of those voting.
Who is eligible to vote at the Annual Town Meeting?
The following people may vote:
- All registered voters, regardless of whether they own property in town.
- All U.S. citizens, resident and nonresident, liable to the Town of Wilton for taxes on real estate property — or a motor vehicle — with an assessment of at least $1,000 on the Oct. 1, 2015 grand list.
If you have purchased property in Wilton after Oct. 1, 2015, your name will not appear on this grand list. In that case, you must be a registered voter in order to cast a ballot at the Annual Town Meeting. In all cases, you must be a U.S. citizen to vote and at least 18 years old.
You may register to vote online if you have a valid Connecticut driver’s license. Go to the secretary of the state’s website at https://voterregistration.ct.gov to register to vote online. You may also:
- Register to vote at the Wilton Town Hall, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 to 4:30;
- Download a voter registration application from wiltonct.org;
- Call the registrars for information at 203-563-0111.
Absentee ballots will be available from the town clerk at the Wilton Town Hall beginning Wednesday, May 4, through Friday, May 6, from 8:30 to 4:30. All absentee ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 6.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government. For information, visit our web site wiltonlwv.org or write to us at P.O. Box 71, Wilton, CT 06897.