Voters Guide: 2015 Municipal Election

On Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, Wilton voters will go to the polls to choose candidates for local offices. This voters guide is presented as a service of The Wilton Bulletin, which encourages all citizens to exercise their right to vote. Click here to see a sample ballot.
Wilton is divided into three voting districts and each polling center will be open from 6 a.m to 8 p.m. on the day of the town election:
District 1 (143rd Assembly District) will vote in the Clune Center at Wilton High School, 395 Danbury Road.
District 2 (125th Assembly District) will vote at the Cider Mill School gym, 240 School Road.
District 3 (143rd Assembly District) will vote at the Middlebrook School gym, 131 School Road.
Click here for a voter look-up service and a map of Wilton’s district division.

First Selectman

Lynne Vanderslice (R)
As first selectman, I will continue to serve my hometown of 28 years in a nonpartisan manner. With 20 years of demonstrated leadership and accomplishments within many Wilton organizations, a deep knowledge of the town and schools acquired throughout seven years on the Board of Finance and management experience as a CPA, I will hit the ground running on day one.
I will work to minimize taxes and increase transparency, citizen engagement, business investment, alternative housing and amenities to ensure desirability and affordability while still maintaining our small town charm for a citizenry ranging from young families to seniors.

Deborah McFadden (D)
Eighteen years ago, my family choose to live in Wilton — a community we love. I want to be your first selectman, because I believe my knowledge and experience in a major city under two mayors reflect the appropriate balance between hands-on problem solving and strategic vision. No one has all of the answers.
My leadership style is inclusive, collaborative and transparent. Whether charting a course for economic development or establishing priorities among capital projects, I will look to town stakeholders for advice and always listen to what our citizens have to say.
That’s the way town government should work.

Board of Selectmen

Michael Kaelin (R)
I am running for the Board of Selectmen because we need to do things differently to maintain our quality of life in Wilton. We cannot continue to increase taxes to maintain our quality of life. We need to take a fresh look at what we are paying for and how we pay for it. I have been involved in town for 20 years and know the greatness in our community organizations and schools does not depend upon spending more on them, but upon our working together to make them great. Together we can continue to make Wilton great.

Gilmore Bray (D)
Twenty-seven-year Wilton resident; elected two terms to Wilton Board of Education (chair, vice chair); director of Misys’ Global Managed Services, a U.K. financial software company. I am running for selectman because I believe “smart” economic development is the key to better aligning municipal expenditures with available revenues. If we want to reduce our tax burden while also maintaining quality services and public safety, we need to encourage new investment in our community, expand the commercial base of our grand list, and work more closely with P& Z to ensure a more business-friendly climate. I hope I can count on your vote.

David Clune (U)
Wilton has a great tradition of community involvement and I want to participate in the process of shaping Wilton's future. I grew up in Wilton, returned to raise my own family and now have children in the schools with grandparents around the corner.
I am a member of the Economic Development Commission and serve as a compliance and ethics officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. My experience, background and interests add a fresh perspective to the Board of Selectmen and will help people move their good ideas forward. To learn more, please visit daveclune. org. Vote Nov. 3.
Also on the ballot but did not respond: Brian Lilly (D)

Board of Finance

Walter Kress (R)
Moved to Wilton in 2010 with wife Sharon and two sons.
Thirty years in financial services: managing director at JPMorgan.
Concerns: Despite a stronger real estate market, our town’s grand list sits well below its peak in 2007, while a number of surrounding towns are now close to their grand list highs from 2007/2008.
Goals: Be a good steward of town assets; preserve our AAA bond rating to keep financing costs for necessary long-term capital projects low. Research creative ways to reduce expenses via cost-sharing within town and neighboring communities. Benchmark Wilton against similar communities and adopt sustainable cost-saving best practices wherever possible.

Peter Balderston (R)
Personal: 23-year Wilton resident; raised three children with wife Kathy.
Professional: 20-plus years’ experience in divisional financial management at JP Morgan and other financial services companies.
Concerns: Significant year-over-year tax increases have left homes in Wilton saddled with sizeable tax burdens making Wilton less attractive to new buyers. Extremely low voter turnout for town budgets but apparent townwide frustration with taxes.
Focus: Identify common goals between the Board of Finance and Board of Education so the two organizations can work closely together to find the right path between moderating property taxes and maintaining our first-class schools.

John Kalamarides (D)
As a current member of the Board of Finance, I know how challenging the next four years will be to keep the tax burden low and still in balance with our expectations for a quality school system and for excellent town services. While there are no quick fixes to the issues, we do need new ideas, some imagination, and some real diligence by the board. As a resident of Wilton for 33 years and a financial executive for 31 years, I am willing to work and determined to keep Wilton financially strong and a welcome place to live and work.

Board of Assessment Appeals

Don Drummond (R)
I am a candidate for the Board of Assessment Appeals and intend to carefully listen to appeals brought by property owners and ensure that no resident or business is forced to pay one penny more in taxes than is legally required.
As a 40-year resident of Wilton I have seen our town's increased reliance on property taxes and recognize this course is neither smart nor sustainable. By helping ensure taxes are assessed fairly we can maintain Wilton as an appealing place to live both for our seniors and for young families considering putting down roots.
Also on the ballot but did not respond: Charlie Lewis (D)


Chris Dubrowski (R)
My name is Chris Dubrowski and I am standing for re-election to the post of town constable. I am a 23-year resident of Wilton, with three children that have graduated from the Wilton school system. My wife Carol recently retired from teaching at the Children’s Day School of Wilton. I am a CPA and partner at Deloitte in Stamford. I currently serve on the Board of Advisory Trustees of the Wilton Family Y, am a past president of the WiltonChamber of Commerce, and served on the Board of Directors of the United Way of Norwalk/Wilton and the Wilton Education Foundation. I am running for office to continue to serve our fine town.

Chris Gardner (R)
Since 1984 I have been a constable and would like to continue my service to the town of Wilton and its citizens. I own a Wilton-based first aid, CPR/AED training and AED sales company. I am a Connecticut-certified EMS instructor. I served on the executive board of the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps and was a member for 17 years. I received the Paul Harris Fellow award from the Rotary Foundation. During my term as constable I helped found CERT. I earned an MBA from Iona College. I served four years in the USAF.
Also on the ballot but did not respond: Bo Mitchell (D), John Gardiner (D), Richard Ziegler (R)

Zoning Board of Appeals

Gary C. Battaglia (R)
I am running for a second term on Zoning Board of Appeals because I want to help maintain the ambiance and beauty of Wilton. My wife Michelle and I moved here in 1989 and our daughter Amanda attended Wilton schools and then University of Virginia. I am currently also serving as a Wilton Library selectmen trustee, communications adviser for Wilton Security Task Force, Wilton representative to Area 9 Cable Council, and communication chairman on Wilton Republican Town Committee. I am a retired corporate communications executive with Pitney Bowes with 35 years professional experience in internal/external communication strategy and execution, government relations and event creation/management.

Joshua Cole (R)
As a current member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, I enjoy being able to help assure that Wilton's zoning regulations are properly applied and its citizens are treated fairly in the zoning process. I have been a practicing real estate and commercial finance attorney for more than a decade. My experience allows me to thoroughly and thoughtfully review applications before the board. Drawn to Wilton for its idyllic setting and solid school district more than eight years ago, my wife and I are proud to be raising our two young daughters here.
Also on the ballot but did not respond: Andrea Preston (R), Kenny Rhodes (R), Tracey Serpa (R)

Board of Education

Laura Schwemm (D)
I have lived in Wilton most of my life. I grew up here, attending Wilton schools K-12. My husband Bob Hoch and I moved back in 1997 so our 3 children have gone to Wilton schools. Helen Martin loved to joke that I was a Driscoll girl who married a Miller boy.
It has been an honor to serve for 4 years, and I look forward to another productive term of strengthening our schools. I am proud to have grown up and to have raised my family in Wilton. I want everyone to feel the same pride in our community.

Christine Finkelstein (R)
Candidate for Board of Education It has been my honor to serve on the Board of Education for the past four years. My priority is to establish Wilton as one of our nation’s premier school districts by ensuring a challenging curriculum, taught by outstanding teachers, that is at the forefront of “best practices” in teaching and learning. I will protect our community’s investment in our schools by delivering fiscally responsible budgets that take advantage of opportunities to increase educational quality while controlling costs. As a 22-year resident, my children have benefited from Wilton’s tradition of academic excellence, and I will build upon those high standards.

Lory Rothstein (R)
I would like to continue to serve on the Board of Education because basically I like what's happening in our schools right now. Under Dr. Smith's leadership, our schools are embarking on an exciting journey in education. We are looking at, evaluating, and challenging the status quo on everything — curriculum, policies, grading, learning models, teaching methods, staffing, technology etc. There is a real sense of change and excitement in our schools right now and I am happy to be a part of it all.

Planning and Zoning

Scott Lawrence (R)
Current chairman, Wilton Zoning Board of Appeals. Vice president, Business Development and Legal at Investment Capital Partners, Ltd., a commercial real estate firm, with extensive experience in zoning, development, leasing, financing, environmental and related matters. Wilton RTC member. BA, Government, Harvard (1999); JD/MBA, UCLA (2006). Family has lived in Wilton since 2010, with two boys in Wilton schools.
I will work with my fellow commissioners to enforce and develop Wilton’s zoning laws to achieve the right balance of revitalizing our essential commercial, retail, community and residential areas and protecting the character, property values, environment, health and safety of our town.

Lori Bufano (R)
Wilton resident since 1974 Education: Bachelor of Arts Villanova University, MBA University of New Haven.
Occupation: Supply Chain Management, Yale New Haven Health System.
Previous member: Zoning Board Of Appeals. Current member: Planning and Zoning Commission.
Planning and Zoning is very important for the future of Wilton. I would like to be an integral part of this plan.
Also on the ballot but did not respond: Karin Venditti (R) and Keith Rodgerson (D)