Wilton first selectman race goes to Lynne Vanderslice
WILTON — First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice cruised to a second term as Wilton’s top elected official with a victory in the election on Nov. 5. Vanderslice, a Republican, defeated Democrat Deb McFadden and petitioning candidate Michael Powers.
In unofficial results, Vanderslice earned 2,924 votes to McFadden’s 1,541 and 116 for Powers.
With the exception of Powers’ third-place finish, the result was similar to the the 2015 race when Vanderslice defeated McFadden by more than 1,500 votes.
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.