Republicans nominate Lynne Vanderslice for first selectman

At its meeting Wednesday evening, July 22, the Republican Town Committee unanimously nominated Lynne Vanderslice to run for first selectman. Vanderslice is currently a member of the Board of Finance.

The committee also nominated Michael Kaelin as a selectman and Peter Balderston and Walter Kress to run for Board of Finance.

Vanderslice, who is currently vice chair of the Board of Finance, is a certified public accountant.

"The first selectman is a CEO position and one for which I am uniquely qualified," she told the committee members assembled at Trackside. "I have the necessary executive experience. I have managed a staff equal in size to the town's workforce. And I have the additional experience of being a CPA, which brings a level of financial expertise not currently found on the BOS."

Vanderslice has a wealth of civic experience. In addition to being a member of the Board of Finance since 2008, she has been associated with A Better Chance of Wilton, the Wilton Playshop and Wilton Library Association.

She was president of A Better Chance, known as ABC of Wilton, from 2004 to 2006, and was a board member and volunteer for two periods of time, 1996 to 2008 and 2011 to 2013. She was a board member and treasurer for the Playshop from 2007 to 2011, and a board member of the library association from 2000 to 2002.

Vanderslice's resume includes 12 years of financial experience including serving as corporate controller for Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of New York from 1979 to 1991.

In her short acceptance speech Wednesday night, she said the next first selectman will be faced with many problems, "not the least of which is taxes."

"Holding the line on taxes through lower costs and increased revenues will be my focus throughout the campaign and as first selectman," she said. "No question, we will need to work hard to achieve cost reductions. It begins with scrubbing the numbers, questioning the givens and identifying cost efficiencies."

Looking toward economic development as a means to increase revenue, she proposed a series of "selectman listening lunches" with members of the business community, property investors and town officials.

To better engage voters, she proposed "selectman open office hours" when members of the community may visit town hall and share their ideas.

"Everyone should be given the opportunity to be heard and everyone should be encouraged to vote."

Vanderslice's opponent will be Deborah McFadden, who was endorsed by the Democratic Town Committee last week.

This will be the first contested election for first selectman in 10 years. The fact that it will be two women facing off is "awesome," said RTC Chairman Al Alper. "The female population in Wilton is the most vocal," he said. "It is terrific they are being represented." He also predicted the race will drive people to the polls.