Kaelin says ‘the time is right’ to leave Wilton Board of Selectmen

Selectman Michael Kaelin. — Kendra Baker photo
Selectman Michael Kaelin. — Kendra Baker photo

Wilton selectman Michael Kaelin announced his resignation in a letter to the Board of Selectmen on May 30.

The reason behind his resignation is a busier than usual work schedule, he said June 4, after news of his departure had circulated.

”The main thing is I really just have too much work to do at my day job,” said Kaelin, who is a litigation trial attorney with the firm of Cummings & Lockwood in Stamford. “There’s never been a busier time than now at work, and it’s been this way for more than a year now.”

It’s always been difficult to juggle work with the time spent on the Board of Selectmen, Kaelin said, but he believes there are plenty of new people ready and willing to serve, and that all the selectmen now have at least two budget cycles of experience.

Also in the background is the fact that his children are grown and out of the home. This gives him more time to travel with his wife.

“My wife and I finally have a chance to travel and I also want to do that,” he said.

Kaelin has been a past president and member of the Wilton Library Board of Trustees. The recent outcry from the library over being asked by the selectmen to raise $25,000 for operating costs has nothing to do with his decision, he said. “Everything is good between me and the  library,” he said.

A future serving on other boards and commissions seems unlikely at this time. “It would depend upon if there is board or commission that really needed somebody like me and I was available and had time. Right now I don't believe there is one that needs me and I’m definitely not available.”

Kaelin described his departure at this time as a positive thing. “The fact of the matter is, I would not be resigning if I thought I was putting anyone at a disadvantage or hurting the town in any way. But I know that’s the not the case.”

Kaelin joined the Board of Selectmen on Nov. 17, 2014, replacing Hal Clark. He was elected to the position in November 2015 as a Republican. In December of 2016, he changed his party affiliation to unaffiliated.

According to the town charter, no more than three members of the Board of Selectmen may be of the same party. First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice and Selectwoman Lori Bufano are Republicans, Second Selectman David Clune is unaffiliated, and Selectwoman Deborah Fadden is a Democrat.