Unaffiliated voters who wish to serve on an appointed town commission will have to collect 100 supporting signatures or pursue a recommendation from either the Republican or Democratic town committee. That was the 3-2 decision of the Board of Selectmen at its meeting on Monday, April 18. Voting in favor of the process were Michael Kaelin, Dick Dubow and Lori Bufano. First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice and David Clune voted against.
The decision follows several months of discussion and taking into consideration the positions of both town committees, which preferred to maintain the previous system where they undertook all vetting and recommendation of candidates. In those instances, both committees invited unaffiliated voters to apply but expressed a preference for candidates from their respective parties.
The selectmen thought this was not a strong enough welcome for unaffiliated voters, who, despite numbering a slight majority in Wilton, held very few appointed seats. For the last few months, the selectmen have been directly interviewing unaffiliated candidates for vacancies, but admitted this process has been inadequate since they have a limited amount of time to speak with each one.