Annual Town Meeting is May 1
Wilton taxpayers will vote on the town’s budget and bonding authorizations for the fiscal year 2019 (FY19) at this year’s Annual Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 1, in the Wilton High School Clune Center.
At the meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m., the Board of Finance will recommend the appropriation of a budget for expenditures amounting to $127,563,331, which includes:
- Board of Education operating budget: $81,876,563.
- Board of Selectmen operating budget: $32,319,728.
- Board of Selectmen capital budget: $1,182,271.
- Debt service: $10,921,766.
- Charter authority: $1,263,003.
The finance board appropriated these figures earlier this month and settled on a recommended FY19 mill rate of 28.1875.
The town’s estimated beginning fund balance for FY19 is $15,762,589, and the estimated ending fund balance is $12,756,333.
At the Town Meeting, attendees may ask questions and may make motions to reduce a budget line item. Line items may not be reduced below the town’s legal obligations. Any motions will be voted on by those in the audience. The budget may not be increased.
If fewer than 15% of Wilton’s registered voters come out to vote, the budget will pass automatically, but the questions on capital projects to be bonded will not. They must pass by a simple majority.
At the Annual Town Meeting, citizens will also be asked to share their opinions on the following bonded capital projects for FY19:
- $3 million for repaving 15 miles of road, as part of the town’s five-year repaving plan.
- $700,000 to replace the artificial turf at Kristine Lilly Field with coconut husk infill turf with shock padding.
- $400,000 for repaving and installing additional lighting at the Board of Education bus barn, where school buses are stored, on School Road.
First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice announced April 24 there will be some refinements to how the meeting is conducted. These and the meeting’s agenda are posted online at wiltonct.org.
“As a result of feedback we received from voters, we will be segregating voters from guests,” she said. “Voters will receive a colored card upon check-in. Voters and guests will enter the auditorium through separate entrances. Voters are to sit in the lower section. The upper section will be roped off. Although we do not expect it to occur, should the lower section become full, we will open a voter-only area within the upper section.
Guests will enter into the upper section of the auditorium and sit in a designated area. An accessible seating area will be available for those who cannot use the stairs.
When votes are taken during the meeting, voters must display their color cards. Only those in the voter-designated section will be counted.
Those who wish to speak from the floor on items other than the bonding resolutions will be limited to three minutes. Any speaker who addresses more than one item will be given up to six minutes to speak.
According to Robert’s Rules of Order, by which the meeting is run, a member of the audience may “call the question” for a vote to cut off debate and end discussion. The meeting will adopt a rule to give the moderator discretion on delaying that vote and allowing those who still would like to speak to do so.
Voting on the budget and bonding resolutions will take place after the Annual Town Meeting on Tuesday, May 1, in the Clune Center lobby. For those unable to attend the Annual Town Meeting, an adjourned town vote will take place Saturday, May 5, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Clune Center.
A sample ballot is available on the registrars of voters page at wiltonct.org.
Absentee ballots will be available at the town clerk’s office in town hall, 238 Danbury Road, beginning Wednesday, May 2, and must be completed and returned to the town clerk’s office by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 4, to be counted.