Letter: An excellent campaign for first selectman

To the Editors:

As a 50-year resident of Wilton, I would like to thank our two candidates for first selectman for giving Wilton the best local election for this position that Wilton has ever had. It shows how important contests are because issues got raised and discussed. I told Deb McFadden and Lynne Vanderslice that I wished we could elect them both, and we posted signs for both on our property.

I first met Lynne at the well-attended and much-appreciated forum she held for longtime residents of Wilton. Deb is married to a senior, and during the campaign, she and her husband, Jack, coped with the football injury to their high school junior. She will be greatly missed on the Board of Selectmen, which again becomes all male as does the Board of Finance. Two very important boards had no contests, the Board of Education  and Planning and Zoning, and there were no candidates forums for them to discuss their issues. I do not vote when there were no contests, and again I left that part of my ballot blank.

Wilton's latest charter has been of concern to many citizens because the town budget was voted down but prevailed because, once again, 15% did not vote last May. At the Board of Selectmen meeting on Nov. 16, those in attendance and those of us watching on Channel 79 learned from Selectman Ken Dartley that his appointment did not cover the remainder of Jim Saxe's term. According to the current charter, Ken would have to go through the approval process again, and this he refuses to do. Selectman Richard Dubow voted against his appointment merely because Ken signed a petition requesting a re-consideration of the Miller-Driscoll project. I also signed a Sensible Wilton petition twice, one of 1,100 citizens the first time and almost 300 voters the second time. In Stephen Hudspeth's recent column, United in Community, this retired civil attorney and current law professor writes this: "Even though I understand Selectman Dick Dubow's concern about Ken's position on one issue specifically …" The "Great Pontificator" needs to step down to the Letters to the Editors column. Ken Dartley will also be greatly missed on the Board of Selectmen. He and Michael Kaelin were a great team raising the issues that concerned me at the Board of Selectmen on Nov. 2 and Nov. 5.

With all due deference to the accomplishments of the retired white executives who filled the position of first selectman after Peggy Gill and before that, Rosemarie Verrilli, I welcome another female first selectman as we begin a new era in Wilton on Dec. 1.
Barbara B. Holdridge
14 Forge Road, Nov. 17