Financial report ‘very good,’ Rodgerson named to economic commission

The town is in overall good health, Wilton CFO Sandy Dennies said at Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting. In fact, it’s even better than was expected.

“This is a very good financial report,” First Selectman Bill Brennan said after Ms. Dennies’ initial comments. “We have the potential to put a good chunk of money back into the general fund.”

As one might expect, better revenues and lower-than-expected expenses helped the town’s coffers this year.

Taxes came in “perfectly,” Ms. Dennies said, and revenue from the town clerk’s office was very good due to conveyance fees from two personal estates, and a large commercial property.

Per usual, she said, revenue from building licenses, permits, and fees were up, as well.

An area of future concern, Ms. Dennies said, was the Board of Finance’s decision to restrict her ability to choose discretionary investments.

“Interest income was exceptional” this year, she said, “but will be reduced significantly in the next few years” due to the Board of Finance’s restrictions on her capabilities.

In addition to high revenue levels, the CFO praised the town’s department heads who, she said, don’t spend money just to spend money.

Two areas she said she will review closely for next budget season were workers’ compensation, and medical supplies for the contracted town paramedic. This year, she underestimated costs associated with those facets of the budget.

Economic appointment

The Board of Selectmen also announced Monday it had named Keith Rodgerson a candidate for state representative in Wilton, to the Economic Development Commission.

Mr. Brennan said he was an extremely qualified candidate for the position.

Mr. Rodgerson is executive director of the Neighborhood District Economic Development Corporation, an economic development think tank and business assistance organization based in Wilton.

A press release from Mr. Rodgerson says he is certified by the National Development Council as an economic development finance professional. He has worked over the last decade on key Connecticut-based historic preservation and neighborhood revitalization projects, working with the state Department of Economic Development, HUD, local governments, business groups, and private and nonprofit developers. Mr. Rodgerson is a former two-term member of the Bridgeport City Council and a graduate of Harvard University.

“Economic development capacity is key to lowering Wilton’s residential tax burden and maintaining our rural New England charm,” he said in the release. “I am excited to have been extended the opportunity to serve and help Wilton achieve its development goals.”

Joseph McGee, vice president of The Business Council of Fairfield County, is quoted in the release as saying Mr. Rodgerson is “a well-respected voice on economic development initiatives in Connecticut and will be a great resource for Wilton.”