Wilton voter guide: Meet the 2021 election candidates for town office

Board of Selectmen

Kim Healy (Republican)

Healy has a record of public service in the community. She is currently a member of the Wilton Conservation Commission, co-chair of Wilton’s Minks to Sinks and acts as treasurer for the Wilton Youth Council Project 2022.

Prior to her current obligations, Healy spent six years on the board of the Wilton Library and held the roles of treasurer, Finance Committee chair and secretary.

In addition, Healy has acted as a CCD teacher for Our Lady of Fatima and a library assistant at Cider Mill School.

Healy is a retired CPA. She was an auditor with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and currently is a volunteer tax preparer for the AARP. Healy and her husband, Mike, moved to Wilton in 2008 and have four children, two of whom are still in high school.

“It has been a tough year for our kids, small businesses, and our residents,” the Wilton Republican Town Committee said. “Kim will bring a balance to the BOS as we all navigate the challenges of post-pandemic life. She values accountability, transparency, and smart, responsible governance.”

Bas Nabulsi (Democrat)

Nabulsi has been a Wilton resident since 1992, having served twice on the town’s Planning & Zoning Commission totaling more than 10 years. A major part of those two stints were the contribution to Wilton’s last two Plans of Conservation and Development.

His community involvement spans to other experiences, having served on the boards of the World Affairs Forum as a chairman and the CT Legal Services. He has also taught as an adjunct professor at Quinnipiac Law School.

Professionally, Nabulsi works as an intellectual property attorney. He has helped establish two pro-bono clinics with CT Legal Services: A “pardons clinic and a housing justice program aimed at addressing pandemic-related housing issues.” Nabulsi has two two sons, both of whom graduated from Wilton High School.

“As a former Planning and Zoning commissioner, I have a strong interest in seeing the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development executed and the community’s vision realized,” Nabulsi said. “I understand the important role the Board of Selectmen plays in that process.”

Keith Denning (Democrat)

Denning is a transplant from Ohio, having moved to town in 2017. He has served as a practicing Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist for the past 38 years, working initially as a staff anesthetist in hospitals in Missouri and Ohio and then as the chief anesthetist for two outpatient surgical hospitals in Cincinnati.

Earlier this year, Denning was appointed as an alternate to the Wilton Zoning Board of Appeals. In addition, he has served the public whilst on medical missions, first working with Operation Smile and then with PCRF, a medical organization that works throughout the Middle East.

Denning wants to focus on key topics such as Wilton’s Master Plan, promoting more affordable housing developments around town, lowering taxes and brainstorming ways to bring more people from out of town into Witon to boost local businesses.

“I hope to bring my experience of service to Wilton and build a strong and welcoming community for the next generation of families and businesses,” Denning said.

Board of Finance

Sandra Arkell (Democrat)

In 2020, Wilton’s Board of Finance unanimously voted for Arkell to fill a vacancy. Arkell and her family decided to make Wilton their permanent home in 2017 after falling in love with its “charm and scenic countryside, spending summers and holidays here.”

Arkell is the executive vice president and principal accounting officer for MasterCard, responsible for the global financial reporting function and ensuring the quality of the company’s financial statements and internal controls. Her 25-plus-year career includes financial leadership positions in accounting and finance, strategic planning, risk management and mergers and acquisitions at several Fortune 500 companies.

She began her career as a CPA in the audit and assurance practice of PriceWaterhouseCoopers after earning her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Pennsylvania State University, where she currently serves on the Accounting Advisory Board for the College of Business. She also serves on the board of the Women’s Business Development Council of CT, a charitable organization supporting entrepreneurs through financial education and other services that create and grow sustainable jobs and businesses across the state.

“I am running for office because I want to give back to this wonderfully unique town and feel my skills and experience are best contributed to the Board of Finance in carrying out its important work overseeing Wilton’s finances,” she said.

Frank Bria (Democrat)

Bria and his wife moved to Wilton in 2008. He has served on several nonprofit boards focused on the educational needs of underserved children.

He is a senior vice president with Gen Re, specializing in advising property and casualty executives and boards on strategic growth, designing new products and potential business investments and risk transfer solutions. Prior to Gen Re, Frank was an associate with Day Pitney, working on commercial disputes, federal securities, class action lawsuits, white-collar criminal investigations, SEC enforcement actions and internal investigations.

He started his career as a federal law clerk in Texas. Prior to that, he received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and his JD from Boston College Law School.

“I am running as a fiscal guardian and a passionate advocate for children’s education. Education for our children is a critical and strategic long-term investment for our community,” Bria said. “In order to support our educational goals and priorities, it is vital that we attract and retain businesses in Wilton.”

Stewart Koenigsberg (Republican incumbent)

Koenigsberg currently serves as a member of the Wilton Board of Finance and has done so for four years. He has also served as a trustee of the Wilton Employees’ Pension Plan and as a member of the Investment Committee.

He is a longtime resident, having lived in Wilton since 1989 with all three of his children having attended Wilton public schools.

Koenigsberg is the former president and CEO of GE Capital Markets and has served as a board member of public and private companies, as well as charitable organizations.

He has extensive experience in budgeting and financial management, having spent over 30 years in a variety of financial roles at GE Capital, including as a chief financial officer, director of financial planning and strategic planning, as well as having started his career as a CPA at large multinational public accounting, auditing and consulting firms.

“He is committed to maintaining and improving Wilton’s strong school system and town services, while very carefully managing costs to residents,” the RTC said of the current finance board member. “During his tenure as a Board of Finance member, school rankings and performance have continued to improve, while costs have been contained to an average annual increase of around one percent with excellent collaboration between the BOE and BOF.”

Rich Santosky (Republican)

Santosky is the principal/president of one of New York City’s largest and most active real estate development/construction firms. With billions of dollars in completed projects, his firm is currently managing an active portfolio of approximately $1 billion in new work.

“In a business where fiscal responsibility is a must, he understands the difference between costs and investments, the constraints of collective bargaining agreements (union contracts) and is astute at setting demanding budgets that are realistic and achievable,” the RTC said.

Santosky is a former military commander, longtime volunteer firefighter and EMT, holds a degree in fire science and spent nearly two years embedded with a civilian police department while serving in the Army’s Counter Drug Taskforce.

A parent of four children who attend school in Wilton, Santosky advocates for investment in local schools. He spends his free time coaching youth sports in town.

Matt Raimondi (Republican)

Raimondi is a native Wiltonian, having graduated from Wilton High School in 2008. He recently moved back to Wilton with his wife, Kristen, in March 2020.

He is intimately familiar with the town and its history and has career experience investing in private companies, giving him professional insight into financial intricacies of building and managing financials and budgets.

“Matt is running so that he can work for all Wiltonians by bringing transparency and rigor to Wilton’s finances — and to make sure that our taxpayer money is allocated appropriately,” the RTC said.

Since moving back to Wilton, Raimondi joined Wilton’s Economic Development Commission.

In addition to his day job and working with the EDC, he serves on the boards of the Kennedy Children’s Center, which provides special education preschool services to roughly 600 children in Harlem and the Bronx, N.Y.; and of the REACH Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that mental health care reaches all children and families. At both Kennedy and REACH, Raimondi serves on the finance and investing committees. Additionally, he sits on the board of Friends of Sherwood Island State Park in Westport, where he serves as the board liaison to the legislature.

He earned his degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Monty Du (Republican)

Du is an engineer trained at Columbia University. He has spent the past 25 years designing and building transportation infrastructure locally in Connecticut, New York and in other parts of the world. He is a principal and member of the board of directors at an engineering firm headquartered within the state.

Du has been in the United States for 28 years and has lived in Wilton for seven of those years with his wife and son. He has been an active participant in many community activities relating to local and state issues.

“As an immigrant, having grown up under an authoritarian regime during a rather draconian era, Wilton’s self-sufficient, locally controlled, small-town government format constantly inspires me to be part of it, and to help carry on this invaluable tradition,” Du said.

Board of Education

Jess Christ (Republican)

Christ has lived in Wilton since 2010, noting that she and her family moved here for the school system.

She has been a real estate agent in Wilton and the surrounding area since 2015, and has successfully juggled work and volunteering while raising three children. Ella and Liam attends Wilton High School, and Phoebe attends Middlebrook Middle School.

She was an integral part of a group of women who started the Miller Driscoll Spring Carnival, “Cider Mill’s Got Talent” talent show, Cider Mill Bingo and, most recently, Middlebrook’s Class of 2025 Spirit Night.

Christ is currently serving the second of a two-year term on the vestry at St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Wilton. She has recently expanded her volunteerism to include The Circle of Care, where she is part of a team that makes over bedrooms for children with cancer; and Helping Hands, delivering groceries twice a week to town seniors.

“I grew up in a small, tight-knit community in Massachusetts. and Wilton has that same comfortable feel. I love knowing the many faces that I see as I drive up and down Ridgefield Road,” Christ said. “I love knowing that if I’m late to pick up my kids from a sporting event, they will be safe or that another parent will stay with them until I get there. I love that most folks genuinely care about their fellow Wiltonians.”

Jared Martin (Republican)

Martin and his wife, Marnellu, have been Wilton residents since 2015 with two children that attend Middlebrook and Miller-Driscoll schools. He has spent a successful career in the financial and FinTech industries for over 16 years from Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, State Street and Charles River.

He is well-versed in dealing with and delivering efficiencies to global financial firms. He regularly conducts seminars for industry professionals teaching how to leverage applied quantitative finance concepts within existing investment management frameworks.

Deborah Low (Democratic incumbent)

Low, a 24-year town resident, was elected to the Board of Education in 2017 and elected chair in 2019. She was superintendent of the Ridgefield School District for eight years. Before that, she worked for 20 years in Wilton public schools, including serving as Wilton High School principal and district assistant superintendent.

Under Low’s leadership, the Board of Education has worked to define strategic goals, evaluate progress, support new programs, set policies and advocate for necessary resources. Last year, she led the BOE during the global COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on providing a quality experience for all students while ensuring their safety and working within the extraordinary confines of the new guidelines.

The board continues to focus on priorities such as strengthening the math program, improving public communication and outreach and producing a budget that meets district needs and is fiscally responsible.

“I am excited to run again because of the challenges ahead. After last year, we must ensure a smooth transition back to more normal conditions and provide students with support tailored to their individual needs,” Low said. “We recently endorsed an ambitious portrait of the Wilton graduate and now need to match our curriculum and instruction to those aspirations. My commitment remains to maintain and improve upon Wilton’s legacy of educational excellence.”

Pam Ely (Democrat)

Ely has been a Wilton resident for nearly 40 years and has spent her entire career devoted to education and child advocacy, giving young children the tools and confidence to become lifelong learners. For the past 20 years, she has been the director of The Children’s Day School in Wilton. Prior to CDSW, she was the founder and co-director of the Mitten Hill School a preschool that served as a state model of mainstreaming special needs children. She worked in special education at the Miller-Driscoll for 10 years.

Ely holds both a master’s degree in early childhood special education and a master’s degree in teaching. She has lived in Wilton since 1983 and her daughter graduated from Wilton High School.

“I have a mission to give young people a good start in life, and that means providing an enriched and wonderful educational experience, helping the young become confident learners and approaching life with a sense of adventure,” Ely said. “I want to give back to the town I love. I feel my mission and experience as an educator fits perfectly with the Board of Education.”

Nicola Davies (Democrat)

Davies and her husband moved to Wilton in 2005 for the small-town feel and excellent schools. She quickly involved herself in a variety of organizations in town, including Minks to Sinks, A Better Chance, Wilton Youth Council and Wilton Go Green.

Her true passion has been the schools, she said, having devoted a great deal of time to all four PTAs over the last 10 years. She is treasurer at the Wilton High School PTSA and a board member of the Music Boosters. She has served as a substitute teacher at Middlebrook and also as a parent voice on many district-level committees, where she is valued for her experience, positivity, and ability to see the big picture.

Her two sons are students at the high school. Davies has a bachelor’s degree in economics.

“As an active member of the PTA, I have built strong relationships over the past year 10 years,” Davies said. “I believe I can make a difference by working with the Board of Education, the schools and Wilton parents to improve the channels of communication and increase transparency.”