It is not often Wilton has a contested election, but this year there are three races where voters will have a choice. These races have offered voters a chance to hear an exchange of ideas that will inform their selections when they go to the polls on Nov. 7.

Party should never be the sole reason for casting a ballot, and voters should always look outside their own party to hear and weigh the opinions of others. Wilton is fortunate to have many worthy candidates, but there are a few who stand out.

Deborah McFadden should be returned to the Board of Selectmen. She is a staunch proponent of Wilton and has made many contributions to the town. One of her greatest strengths is the ability to get to the core of differing opinions and offer a path to addressing concerns or finding compromise. She will likely offer different thoughts on issues before the board, but several steady voices are always better than one.

Lori Bufano has proven herself to be an able selectman filling an unexpired term and thus deserves to be elected in her own right.

Wilton will be fortunate to have Deborah Low on the Board of Education. As a career educator she will have insights different from those of her colleagues. With the benefit of an insider’s view — given her experience from the classroom to the superintendent’s office — she may offer budget suggestions to benefit both students and taxpayers. As a Ridgefield superintendent she was known for careful spending.

Gretchen Jeanes has proved a faithful member of the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee and has voiced concerns about spending. She led the subcommittee that approved furniture purchases at a sum substantially below what was budgeted and she led the subcommittee that put together two impressive playgrounds. She will be a welcome member of the Board of Education.

Glenn Hemmerle, who also serves on the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee, has always put the needs of students first and has striven to meet parent concerns on the project. He has served Wilton well and deserves another term on the Board of Education.

Two candidates for the Planning and Zoning Commission merit special consideration: Melissa-Jean Rotini and Peter Shiue.

Both candidates look to a future Wilton that embraces all generations with housing to meet their needs. They also have a realistic view of the place of commercial development in a town where residents have very strong feelings about their surroundings. Rotini in particular appears to be sensitive to the needs and desires expressed by residents. Both deserve to be on the Planning and Zoning Commission.