Creeth, Rutishauser and Koenigsberg run for Board of Finance
Three Wilton residents are running for three seats on the Board of Finance this November — Democrat Richard Creeth and Republicans Jeff Rutishauser and Stewart Koenigsberg.
Creeth, who currently serves as the board’s clerk, said he is running for another term “because we are in a very challenging fiscal environment.”
“We need a budget which supports the town’s needs and provides essential services in a very cost-efficient way,” he said.
The state has not only “eliminated almost all aid to the town,” said Creeth, “but is proposing to impose significant teachers’ pension costs on us.
“My eight years on the Board of Selectmen and four on the Board of Finance give me the experience to help manage the balance of needed services and tax increases,” said Creeth, whose top priority as a finance board member will be to “keep property tax increases to a minimum while making sure that essential services do not suffer.”
“This entails encouraging the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Education to strive for ways to improve the quality of service without increasing costs,” he said.
Rutishauser is the finance board’s current chair and is also a member of the Investment Committee of the Wilton Pension Trust.
He said he is running for re-election to continue serving Wilton “in a financial management oversight role” and provide “leadership for the sound management” of the town’s finances and borrowings.
“After many years of service on the Board of Finance, I have significant experience in all aspects of financial management of the town,” said Rutishauser.
“In addition, I will continue to work hard to make sure that Wilton’s tax dollars are spent wisely and accurately reported.”
Upon re-election, Rutishauser said, his top priorities would be to:
- “Continue to work hard to keep tax/mill rate increases to the minimum possible, while preserving essential services;
- Preserve the town’s Aaa Moody’s credit rating, enabling the lowest cost borrowing for our long-term debt;
- Focus on areas where our operating performance could be done more efficiently — especially staffing efficiency at Board of Education and Board of Selectmen.”
Including his service from 2001 to 2003, Rutishauser has served on the finance board for a total of seven years.
Koenigsberg — the only non-incumbent finance board candidate — is a Wilton resident of more than 25 years with experience in financial management, financial and operational controls and regulations.
He retired from General Electric as a GE company officer in 2015 and was most recently the president and CEO of GE Capital Markets, where he managed all capital markets activities for GE Capital worldwide.
Before joining GE in 1989, Koenigsberg served as a senior manager at global accounting, auditing and consulting firm Arthur Andersen & Co., where he led audit and consulting engagements. Koenigsberg has also served on a variety of corporate boards.
Koenigsberg said he is running for the Board of Finance because he believes he can “help effectively manage” the town’s finances.
“I can also work with the board and key stakeholders to find alternatives to runaway tax increases, while maintaining the quality of our town’s core strengths,” he said.
“Unfortunately, we will be faced with increasingly difficult choices given the difficulties in Hartford, and will need a town executive team with the ability to develop creative alternatives.”
Koenigsberg said he believes the town needs to “think differently” about its commercial tax base.
“We will need to grow that base so the burdens being pushed our way from Hartford do not land entirely on residential homeowners,” he said.
Koenigsberg said one of his priorities as a finance board member would be to find ways to control Wilton’s expense base, “while still maintaining the high quality of schools and services that make this town attractive.”
“These are very challenging times and will require a capable town leadership team and engaged residents committed to effective management.”
Polls will be open for Wilton’s municipal election on Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Click here for election information and a sample ballot.