Advancing a united Wilton

After a decade of uncontested elections for first selectman, a predominant message of my candidacy was: “Finally, Wilton has a Choice!” As the voting results came in shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3, Wilton’s choice was resoundingly clear. At that moment my attitude changed from being an opponent of Lynne Vanderslice to being one of her strongest supporters as our next first selectman. In my concession message, I urged all who voted for me to do the same.

Looking back, I am proud of the race we waged against each other. It was strong, positive, and clean — the kind of race that I would hope to be typical of Wilton. I also believe that key issues, by necessity, were examined with care and an intensity that could not have happened otherwise. In the process of the “debate,” each side stretched a bit beyond their comfort zone, resulting in an elevated public discussion that will help shape the future of this town we all love. Lastly, voter participation at 38% was the highest in recent years.

I am encouraged by the comments of our newly elected officials who were in the audience at the somewhat contentious marathon session of the last Board of Selectmen meeting, on Thursday, Nov. 5. Although neither took sides on the Miller-Driscoll issue being discussed, they shared perspective that, in my mind, bodes well for their leadership going forward.

First, David Clune, demonstrating apparent trust in the current board, stated there was no need to delay voting so the new board could decide. Second, Lynne Vanderslice wisely counseled that in voting, the members of the board should use their own best judgment, since “that’s what you were elected to do.” As is often the case in a democratic form of government, there were differences of opinion, but I would hope, now and in the future, no lack of respect for sincere opposing views.

In closing, I want to express my thanks to all who exercised their privilege of voting in a free society; and especially to those who worked so tirelessly to support my campaign and “fought the good fight.” In leaving the board, I also want to publicly thank First Selectman Bill Brennen for his many years of service. We are from different parties and have not always been on the same page in every instance, but as a dedicated public servant he deserves nothing less than our gratitude and appreciation.

Perhaps the best way to remember “Election 2015” is that in the end Wilton won.
Deborah McFadden