This is an updated version of a previously published article.
Wilton First Selectman Bill Brennan officially announced his retirement at the Board of Selectmen meeting Monday evening, June 15.
Brennan’s retirement will be effective Nov. 30, at the completion of his fourth term as first selectman. He has served for 10 years.
“It’s been an honor to serve the citizens of Wilton,” said Brennan, “and I have a full agenda for the next five months, I can assure you,” he added lightheartedly.
“I believe it is timely to retire, and hopefully this will be my third and last retirement. I am truly retiring; that’s it; so is my wife! I’ve been working since I was 12, so, I’m ready to retire,” he joked.
Selectman Michael Kaelin took the opportunity to reflect on Brennan’s career.
“Well, I wasn’t gonna say anything until you announced your retirement there, and I’m just reminding you that I was on your original campaign committee,” he said with a laugh. “I think it was 10 years ago, and I remember Bill saying he was gonna serve one, maybe two terms, and we’re very fortunate that you didn’t stop at two terms; I think you’ve done a fabulous job as first selectman.”
“Thanks, Mike,” Brennan replied.
Kaelin is not the only one to sing Brennan’s praises. Now that the word is out, others have come forward.
State Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26) pointed out how Brennan was instrumental in the completion of the Route 7 widening project. She also noted he has made aesthetic improvements to the town’s appearance.
“He has worked to ... improve the appearance of our town center, which has benefited greatly from the new light posts, sidewalks and sculptures that have beautified our community,” said Boucher.
In the words of Wilton Republican Town Committee Chair Al Alper, “Bill has been a terrific first selectman. He is a man of tremendous character and will be sorely missed. Though we wish him well with his retirement, we’re sad to see him go.”
A certain skill set is required to be first selectman.
“Being first selectman is a huge full-time commitment that demands a range of managerial skills, an ability to deal with many different issues at once, and real attention to detail,” said State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143).
“Bill has given that commitment to Wilton for 10 years,” she continued, “in a job where the pressure never lets up. His dedication to Wilton actually dates back much farther than that, as he served on numerous boards and commissions over the years before becoming first selectman.”
Prior to being elected first selectman in 2005, Brennan served on the Board of Finance, Board of Assessment Appeals, and several other town committees.
He worked for American National Can Company from 1962 to 1996, working his way up to vice president, international, and from 1996 to 1999 was an international management consultant in plastics packaging.
Brennan has lived in Wilton for 40 years. He was born in Hartford, and moved from there to Long Island, to Westchester and then finally to Wilton in 1975.
Brennan is a veteran. He was a United States Air Force captain.