Nobody Told Me That: 2015 Annual Town Meeting
When is Wilton’s Annual Town Meeting this year?
The Annual Town Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5. The meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. at the Middlebrook School auditorium. Voting on the town budget and three proposed bonding questions will take place immediately following that meeting in the cafeteria. For those unable to attend the meeting, voting will continue on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at the Wilton High School Clune Center from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
What’s on the Annual Town Meeting ballot?
This year the ballot includes the annual budget referendum and three bonding questions — improvements to the Fire Station #2 (Ridgefield Road), paving of Wilton High School and Middlebrook School parking lots, and improvements to Middlebrook School’s HVAC system. The registrars of voters page on wiltonct.org contains a link to the sample ballot. For information on the budget issues to be decided at this year’s Annual Town Meeting, residents can visit the town website. The proposed 2016 budget and a list of videos pertaining to the budget are available. The Wilton Board of Education budget can be viewed online at wilton.k12.ct.us. This year’s Annual Town Meeting will be recorded and aired on Wilton’s Government Access Channel (Ch.79) and streamed on the Town of Wilton’s website on May 6.
Who is eligible to vote at the Annual Town Meeting?
The following people may vote:
- All registered voters, regardless of whether they own property in town.
- All U.S. citizens, resident and nonresident, liable to the Town of Wilton for taxes on real estate property or a motor vehicle with an assessment of at least $1,000 on the Oct. 1, 2014 Grand List.
If you have purchased property in Wilton after Oct. 1, 2014, your name will not appear on this grand list. In that case, you must be a registered voter in order to cast a ballot at the Annual Town Meeting. In all cases, you must be a U.S. citizen to vote and at least 18 years old.
You may register to vote online if you have a valid Connecticut driver’s license. Go to the secretary of the state’s website at: https://voterregistration.ct.gov/OLVR/ to register to vote online. You may also register to vote at Wilton Town Hall, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 to 4:30, download a voter registration application from the Wilton website wiltonct.org or call the registrars for information 203-563-0111. Absentee ballots will be available from the town clerk at town hall beginning on Wednesday, May 6, through Friday, May 8, from 8:30 to 4:30. All absentee ballots must be returned to the town clerk’s office by 4:30 on Friday, May 8.
Will the Annual Town Meeting represent the wishes of town residents?
That depends on voter turnout. If voters choose not to attend the Annual Town Meeting, they are allowing others to speak for them. In 2014, only 9.6% of eligible voters participated. According to Wilton’s Charter, the proposed budget automatically passes if voter turn-out is less than 15%. However, bonding questions are passed by a majority of those voting.
This is a series of columns in which the Wilton League of Women Voters discusses commonly asked questions about Wilton’s town meeting form of government. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government. Information: wiltonlwv.org or PO Box 71, Wilton, CT 06897.