Wilton letters of endorsement
Board of Finance
I write in support of Peter Balderston, Republican Board of Finance member running for a second, four-year term. Balderston has demonstrated deft skills balancing Wilton’s need to fund our schools and town services with our need to keep costs affordable for taxpayers. Balderston’s career focus on finance and accounting has made him a valuable member of the Board of Education’s Business Operations Subcommittee, where he delves into Wilton school financials, seeking ways to save money without undermining the system’s excellent outcomes. This is a critical skill set at a time of lower school enrollments and challenging real estate markets.
I write in support of Michael Kaelin’s candidacy for the Board of Finance. I have known Michael personally and professionally for more than 20 years. He is man of integrity, thought, and passion for our town. He has been actively involved in town government and many town organizations, including serving in leadership positions such as President of the Wilton Library Association and a member of the Board of Selectmen. We would be well served to have him continue to assist the town on the Board of Finance.
Matthew C. Mason
For two decades, Michael Kaelin has made public service his priority. He served on the Library Executive and Finance committees before being elected President of the Wilton Library Board of Trustees. He was Vice Chair of the Charter Commission. In 2015, the Wilton YMCA recognized Mike and his wife Carol with their Distinguished Citizen Award. Mike served us well as Selectman for four years. Wilton’s finances are facing critical decisions. I am grateful that Michael is willing to take on these challenges and willing to serve on our Board of Finance. Vote Kaelin for Board of Finance on Election Day.
Jonathan T. Woods
I support BOF candidate Jung Soo Kim, who I got to know as we each have three boys in Wilton schools. She approaches issues intelligently and thoughtfully, and has energy and drive to get things done. She completed graduate studies in engineering and computer science while raising children and helping care for an elderly family member. She committed to Wilton by moving here, sending her children to our schools, and volunteering in our community, which has given her practical experience to provide insight on BOF issues. She will work to ensure prudent decisions to support assets that make Wilton shine.
It’s not easy holding the line on taxes and spending when there are so many priorities and so little help from the state. But Peter Balderston has proven himself capable of making the right decisions with the long-term financial health of Wilton in mind. He’s a conscientious and analytical steward of our tax dollars. I plan to vote for him for the Board of Finance and I hope you will too.
Please join me in supporting Jung-Soo Kim for the BOF. As a member of a multigenerational family living in Wilton, Jung-Soo is keenly aware of the needs and challenges of the town and will bring a unique perspective to the table. She is a thoughtful and deliberate person who will listen to, engage with and advocate for all the constituents of this town.
Very importantly, Jung Soo’s deep financial acumen, coupled with her ability to creatively work through problems and develop reasonable positions, will be a great asset in developing a fiscally sound budget that invests in the future of Wilton.
Peter Balderston says his first priority is to preserve Wilton’s first class schools. His actions on the Board of Finance would suggest otherwise. He led the charge to cut the school budget by more than one million dollars even though the Board of Education submitted a budget lower than the BoF’s 1.6% guideline. The justification was a revaluation which shifted some of the tax burden to lower valued properties. This trend was expected when the guidelines were set. Eroding the quality of our schools has a much greater impact on our property values than a less than 1% tax increase.
Our state is going through a trying economic period. Fortunately, Wilton has remained in solid financial condition, thanks to Lynne Vanderslice as our First Selectwoman and Warren Serenbetz and Peter Balderston’s skillful leadership on the Board of Finance.
We need to keep Wilton in safe hands by re-electing Lynne Vanderslice for First Selectwoman and Warren Serenbetz and Peter Balderston to the Board of Finance. They will work to protect all Wiltonians by structuring a budget that provides for responsible, necessary spending on essential school and town services, while holding the line on taxes during a time when so many of our residents cannot afford substantial increases.
Board of Education
I am writing to support Jennifer Lalor for Wilton Board of Education. I have known Jen in a lot of different capacities and have seen first-hand her commitment to all students and enthusiasm for Wilton schools. Jen brings many years of education experience, which will be exceptionally beneficial for everyone in Wilton who cares about keeping Wilton schools at the highest level and finding ways to enhance educational outcomes for all students.
Jennifer Lalor has the calm, thoughtful, attentive, and cooperative characteristics that we critically need from Board members. Her background in education/special education speaks for itself, making her uniquely qualified. I am confident Jen will represent all students, parents, and community members when making BOE decisions. I’m thrilled she has included a focus on STEM opportunities in her platform; this sets her apart, and is one of many reasons why she will earn my vote. BOE decisions are vital to the long-term health of our community. I urge all voters to elect the most qualified and committed candidate, regardless of political party. Elect Jen Lalor for BOE.
I am writing to express my support for Jennifer Lalor for the Wilton Board of Education in the coming Nov. 5 election. My family and I have known Jen personally for a number of years and have no doubt that with her background in education and special education, she would be a tremendous addition to the board.
We need BOE members with experience in education along with experience as professionals, volunteers and consumers of the Wilton Educational System. Jen Lalor is a mom with children in Wilton Schools. She has 20 years experience as a speech pathologist and brings unique perspectives for education and special education. Mandi Schmauch is a Wilton mom and healthcare professional who has worked tirelessly to provide the leadership needed by Wilton schools. These candidates have the skills motivation to drive Wilton schools forward. Join me in supporting Jen and Mandi for BOE.
I am writing to share with Bulletin readers my enthusiastic support for Board of Ed candidate Mandi Schmauch.
Mandi is skilled at making things happen, in both her professional life and in her volunteer activities. As a member of the Miller-Driscoll Building Committee she worked to ensure its on-time and under-budget completion. As a PTA volunteer, she developed innovative events, such as the annual Miller-Driscoll carnival, to provide funds for that school’s PTA’s mission. Her two children study attend Cider Mill and Middlebrook.
Mandi Schmauch for Board of Ed on Nov. 5.
Planning and Zoning
I am writing to support Jake Bittner for Wilton Planning and Zoning Commission. Our family has become very fond of Jake over the three years since we moved to town. Jake is a valuable asset to the Wilton community, and I believe his years of design and construction experience will benefit the town of Wilton greatly. Couldn’t think of a better person to assist in the planning of Wilton’s future.
I am writing to support Jake Bittner for Wilton Planning and Zoning Commission. Jake’s professional expertise in the construction industry will be a valuable asset to the Wilton P&Z and the commercial businesses looking to invest in our town. As a resident of Wilton, he understands the character of our town and will work hard to represent us all.
My family’s health was damaged by exposure to toxic chemicals. I have worked with Peter Squitieri for years. He is not only exceptionally bright and diligent but has shown an unusual sensitivity to environmental issues. He would make a great addition to P&Z.
Board of Selectmen
I am writing to express my support for Josh Cole for Board of Selectmen. My husband and I have known Josh for a long time. He and his wife Melissa have two young children who will be in Wilton schools for many years, and Josh has shown real commitment to our community. As a member of the Board of Selectmen, along with Lynne Vanderslice and David Clune, Josh has collaborated effectively and worked very hard to deliver impressive results that we need to see continue in Wilton. I am very proud to be working with him and encourage all voters to consider supporting Josh.
The Board of Selectmen sets the tone for Wilton’s government, and as its Chair, Lynne Vanderslice has created a culture of continuous accomplishment with vision, responsiveness, fiscal discipline, transparency, and collaboration.
Selectman Joshua Cole has been instrumental in creating this culture. Focused on work and results, his goal is protecting and improving Wilton’s assets. Trusted and diligent, he brings needed legal expertise to the BOS. Josh favors work over politics. The team he plays on is Wilton’s.
Please join me in voting for four more years of results, with Lynne, Josh, and the experienced, capable members of the Republican slate.
State Rep. Gail Lavielle
I hope you will consider voting for Ceci Maher for Board of Selectmen. She has volunteered and served on numerous local boards. Ceci recently retired as CEO of Person to Person, transforming the agency to include aid to eight towns including those in need here in Wilton. As head of Person-to-Person, Ceci interacted with volunteers, the agency’s clients, donors, politicians and a multitude of others to get things done — just as she will here in Wilton. Her breadth of experience, willingness to listen and disseminate information and her desire to do what’s right for Wilton is just what need for a selectman.
The candidacy of Deb McFadden offers Wilton voters an important opportunity to move the town forward. Deb has demonstrated the skills necessary to confront the problems that many of us have complained about. She has the vision, wisdom, and fortitude to achieve economic development, additional public/private partnerships, more diverse housing, while still being a prudent steward of our environment and budget. Her work with town boards and activities over the last 20 years, her remarkable work ethic, and her experience with municipal governments make her our best chance to accelerate the changes necessary to allow Wilton to achieve its potential.
Deb McFadden exemplifies everything that is great about Wilton with her truly kind demeanor, incredible work ethic, and collaborative style. Who better to represent this wonderful community then the embodiment of everything that makes Wilton such a special place?
Deb is uniquely qualified, capable, and willing to dedicate herself to this town in a manner that ensures Wilton not only reaches but exceeds its potential.
I will be voting for Deb McFadden for First Selectwoman to create a better Wilton that is open, genuine, and represents the best of everything this town has to offer.