Wilton voters split a number of races in the Nov. 5 election but gave the top spot once again to incumbent Republican Lynne Vanderslice. The GOP took the majority of races, but the Democrats took one seat on the Board of Selectmen and Democrat Mike Kaelin and Unaffiliated Chis Stroup, who ran on the Democratic line will be on the Board of Finance with Republican Peter Balderston.

Vanderslice cruised to a second term as Wilton’s top elected official, defeating Democrat Deb McFadden and petitioning candidate Michael Powers.

Preliminary results from the registrars of voters show Vanderslice earned 3,051 votes to McFadden’s 1,652 and 118 for Powers.

A total of 4,881 people cast ballots, of 12,355 eligible voters, for a turnout ot 39.5 percent.

Republican Josh Cole was reelected with 2,336 votes, with the second spot going to Democrat Ross Tartell 2,160 votes. Democrat Ceci Maher had 2,059 votes. David Clune, now serving as second selectman, was not reelected, receiving 1,631 votes.

In the Board of Finance race, Balderston was the biggest vote getter with 2,527 votes, followed by Kaelin with 2,518 and Stroup with 2,484.

More Information

First Selectman

Deb McFadden (D)


Lynne A. Vanderslice (R)


Michael Richard

Powers (P*)



Ross Tartell (D)


Ceci Maher (D)


Joshua S. Cole (R)


David K. Clune (P)


* Petitioning Candidate

Incumbent Balderston promised to help manage future budgets “proactively as our town faces significant financial headwinds.”

Stroup has said he will “approve budgets that represent the will of the people of Wilton — not merely the will of the Board of Finance.”

Kaelin said the main issue facing Wilton was simple: supporting the schools and the town.

In the Board of Education race, Republicans Jennifer Lalor and Mandi Schmauch will be serving with Democrat Ruth DeLuca who just nosed out Savet Constantine by 10 votes.

Schmauch will put an emphasis on communication. “Parents and family members from pre-school through high school must be involved” in the work of the Board of Education, she said.

Lalor said, “I will advocate for enhancements to communication and community involvement. I will also continue to stand against forced or coerced regionalization of our schools and support innovative, forward thinking policies.”

Serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission will be Unaffiliated incumbent Melissa-Jean Rotini, who ran on the Republican line, Republican incumbent Richard Tomasetti, Republican incumbent Matthew Murphy and Democrat Florence Johnson.

Unaffiliated Jake Bittner, who ran on the Republican line, received more votes that Johnson, but because of minority representation rules, she will take the seat.

Rotini ran on the Republican line and therefore is designated as a Republican in terms of party representation on the commission, according to Wilton Town Clerk Lori Kaback. Bittner also ran on the Republican line.

Filling a two-year term on the Planning and Zoning Commission will be Republican Jill Warren.

Winning a spot on the Zoning Board of Appeals were Republican Mangtao (Monty) Du and Republican incumbents Libby Bufano and Anthony Cenatiempo.

The constable seats went to Republicans Christopher Gardner, Lianne Acosta-Rua and Raymond Tobiassen.


During her campaign, Vanderslice, 61, said when she ran for office four years ago her focus was on insulating Wilton from the state’s economic difficulties. Her goal was to reduce the cost of government, grow the grand list and protect Wilton’s schools, infrastructure, natural environment and quality of life.

She moved toward those goals first by presenting town budgets with an average annual increase of 0.82 percent.

She also worked to reduce the municipal employee headcount and combined municipal job titles with the school district. She accelerated road paving, and worked to expand elderly tax relief. Still, she has said, there is more to do. “We need to continue the acceleration of road paving, replace the stadium track, address the need for more field time, move forward the recommendations of the Schencks Island/Merwin Meadows study, and maintain and continue work in the area of the Norwalk River,” she told The Bulletin during her campaign.

She believes communication and transparency have been improved.

“The implementation of SeeClickFix, the new town website, e-alerts, increase in meeting broadcasts, the use of Facebook, lunches and walks with Lynne and community policing initiatives have all resulted in town government being more connected to residents and thus more responsive,” she said.

During her next term Vanderslice has promised continuing cost-efficient initiatives, working with surrounding towns to share the cost of certain functions where possible, address cell service issues and advocate for state binding arbitration and mandate reforms.

She also expects to complete the road paving plan, replace the track at Wilton High School, and address additional amenity, environmental and building needs.

One of her priorities will be master planning for Wilton Center and Route 7 around the Center, which is a task that will be taken up by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Future development along Route 7, she has said, must be “both responsible and respectful of our history.” It is an opportunity, she said, for alternative housing for those seeking to move from or are not ready for single-family homes.

Uncontested races

In uncontested races, Democrat Kevin Gardiner will serve a two-year term on the Board of Finance. Bob Zsunkan, a Democrat, and Republican Dan Falta will serve on the Board of Assessment Appeals.

Democrat Sunila Kapur will serve a two-year term on the Zoning Board of Appeals and Republican Gerald Holdridge will serve as a ZBA alternate.

This story was updated to reflect preliminary numbers released by the registrars of voters.