Letter: Wilton needs to rise to the level of status symbol

To the Editors:

Are high taxes the only factor depressing our property values?

During the last town election the candidates discussed branding Wilton, public-private partnerships and a need to grow the grand list to increase revenue.

The last administration grew our school capacity to a point exceeding even the most optimistic growth projections. Can we utilize the excess capacity?

When a young family considers residing in Wilton the schools are a major attraction so they visit the schools. Drive along School Road or most roads in Wilton and notice what you see. Rusted fire plugs, bent rusted and damaged street signs. Then visit Middlebrook School. Notice the rusted open shipping containers with their contents spilling out onto the playing fields, the decrepit portable classroom with bent blinds, notice the junked Dial-A-Ride buses surrounded by tall grass parked forever right next to the road that takes prospective families to view the school next to our $10,000,000 renovation of the community center, then head down Route 7 and notice the “sandwich signs” (against zoning regulations). Then drive through surrounding communities and “see the difference.”

We drive by the mess every day and we don’t notice it but prospective residents will see the mess and those with pride will consider other communities.

Why are the businesses and Realtors silent? Why are residents accepting of the mess?

Do we have enough pride in Wilton to square it away? If not, we will remain a “value proposition” with house prices declining.

We have more playing fields than surrounding communities; we have an active award-winning green community, a plan of conservation that includes dark skies, and new empty classrooms.

Here is one idea (we need more). Though initially derided as a tree hugger’s car, the Prius became a status symbol. Building on our award-winning green community as a brand and getting our school budget under control will differentiate Wilton from surrounding communities. Think status symbol.

Regardless, lets have enough pride to demand the mess be squared away.
Woodson Duncan
Middlebrook Farm Road, July 12