Letter: Wilton budget out of balance

To the Editors:

At this year’s town meeting there were complaints because we had not increased school spending for several years. It was pointed out that we sent $$$ to the state for schooling and we only received $ back. “That’s not fair!” “Why are we paying for Bridgeport Schools?” were some of the outcries. Yet when some of us who think we should have excellent schools, but that we do not need to be in the top 1%, the outcry was deafening. “Our darlings are precious and we are doing a disservice to our children if we don’t give them every opportunity!” “People come to Wilton because of the excellent schools.” “Our housing values will crash if we don’t have the best schools.”

To that I say poppycock (I would rather say the BS word but …). I have never had a child in the Wilton school system but strongly feel we all have a responsibility to support education for children. Not just “our” children.

Don’t be selfish. I think $1,000 spent in Bridgeport would do more good for educating children than $1,000 spent in Wilton. Your child’s “wants” shouldn’t become my (or our town’s) “needs.” You live in Wilton. You probably have a good education from a school that was not in the top five in your state. You probably own a beautiful house and drive two late-model cars. You can make “wants” happen without asking for a handout.

Think about the dynamics. You say people move to Wilton so their kids can get a great education. That education is subsidized by the 50% of residents with no kids in school. Many seniors and people whose children have graduated try to sell up and move away. Why? Could it be possible the taxes are not seen as returning value? (As a senior, I get a $0.50 discount on my Transfer Station ticket, period!)

Don’t fool yourself. Our homes stay on the market far longer than neighboring towns (173 Ridgefield, 212 Wilton). Taxes keep getting higher while funding for everything except schools is squeezed. Many of us volunteer for organizations that raise money and contribute time for town improvements and amenities that make Wilton the welcoming place it is.

Wilton is like a one-trick pony — schools. If we had a more balanced perspective of what our town might be, we might attract people from other demographics. People without school-age children might want to move here. Seniors might want to stay here.
Dean Keister
Ridgefield Road, June 4