The Wilton Republican Party is proud of its record of service to all the people who comprise the community of Wilton. Over many years, Republicans in both elective and appointive positions have helped to shape the quality of life we enjoy in Wilton today. Character of Our Town:
The Republican Party pledges to preserve the historical and semi-rural character of our town while protecting individual property rights. Prudently managing development, preserving historic resources and open space, and guarding our precious natural environment including scenic roads and vistas, will enhance the quality of life for all.
Form of Government: The Republican Party supports our historic Town Meeting form of government because it offers the purest form of participatory democracy. It confers on each individual equal rights and responsibilities, which can only be realized if each voter participates in making decisions by voting. The Republican Party pledges to encourage openness in government in an effort to inform and educate all residents. The Town Meeting form of government offers all engaged voters the opportunity to affect every budget, tax rate, and important decision made by their government.
Citizen Participation: Our government is based on the efforts of volunteers who give their time, expertise, and dedication to serve on town boards, commissions, and committees. We recognize that we could never duplicate our volunteers’ talents and commitment or afford to have a government of paid personnel only. We will continue to urge public recognition and appreciation of our citizens’ many contributions and their serious commitment of personal time. We seek to find and encourage even more residents to serve our community by participating in town government.
Responsiveness of Boards, Commissions, and Town Agencies: We also recognize that our Board and Commission members must be knowledgeable and well-trained for their positions and urge the Town to take the responsibility to provide the necessary training. We encourage mutual respect among all Boards, Commissions, Town departments, and the citizens they serve. We recommend that all Boards and Commissions communicate openly and work cooperatively in order to deal most effectively with those issues that cross jurisdictions.
Tax Growth Reduction / Cost Effective Government: We urge our elected and appointed Boards and Commissions to work tirelessly to reduce growth in the costs of government; to reduce the costs of personnel, health care, and retirement benefits; and to learn to do more with less. The Party also supports revisions to the Town’s current budget process. To ensure acceptance of proposed budget changes, we suggest comments be obtained from all Town departments.
Preserving Autonomy: The Republican Party believes that it is in the best interests of Wilton’s citizenry that our town retains its autonomy. Without thorough due diligence and community input, Wilton should not cede to the state government or a regional body any rights or responsibilities that will affect the character of the community or the quality of life of our residents. This does not preclude the study of those areas where cooperation with similar contiguous towns might result in reduced costs and improved service.
Planning for Wilton’s Future: The Republican Party strongly recommends that the Board of Selectmen develop a Long Range Plan for the Town of Wilton. The growth of the community requires a vision of the Town’s future needs and capital requirements. To plan more effectively for public facilities expenditures, maintenance / renovations, equipment replacement, open space / land use expenditures, etc., we believe a long range plan that prioritizes projects based on critical need, public safety, financial resources, and other criteria, is essential.
Transportation Issues: The Party endorses the current plan to widen Route 7 from Wolfpit Road to Olmstead Hill Road and recognizes the critical need for the best traffic management possible during the construction period. We recognize the need for continued vigilance against the implementation of a Super 7 highway. Further, if this highway is ever proposed again, we insist that a thorough new Environmental Impact Statement be undertaken by the Connecticut D.O.T. We urge the state to designate the Route 7 “takings” as open space, greenways, or recreational land. We support a mass transit solution to traffic congestion and support budget proposals that include new equipment investments and maintenance funds to improve overall rail service in the area.
State Issues: We urge our state representatives to work: to reduce the cost of state government; to resist its efforts to intrude on our town’s right to retain its character; to impose unfunded mandates on our government; to modify the State’s onerous binding arbitration provisions; to resist the expansion of Indian affairs and gambling; to reform the State Citing Council so that it is as responsive to the concerns of towns and residents as it is to the utilities and the telecommunications industry; and to redraw the State Affordable Housing Regulations, which benefit developers at the expense of the town. The Party also stresses that vigilance be maintained regarding the underground power lines project during the construction process and especially if the Phase II decisions are appealed to the Superior Court. Lastly, we support tax policies that will make our state’s business climate more competitive.
Security Concerns: Recognizing the need to plan and coordinate Homeland Security issues, we urge that all emergency services and town and school bodies continue to work together and with neighboring towns to provide effective public safety management.
Integrity: The Wilton Republican Party pledges that its candidates, those elected to public office, and those appointed to Boards and commissions will practice the highest standards of integrity and ethical behavior and will administer public policy in a fair and equitable manner. We urge our Town officials to continue to use the Wilton Ethics Board for guidance when any questions or doubts arise.
The Republican Party supports the Board of Finance’s goal of ensuring that Wilton’s tax dollars are spent wisely and agrees with the following operational imperatives to provide maximum benefit for all of its citizens:
Encourage cost containment initiatives by the Boards of Education and Selectmen.
- Maintain Wilton’s strong financial position and Aaa bond rating by adequately funding the General Fund and prudently controlling debt service.
- Ensure that the financial reporting and internal controls of the Boards of Education and Selectmen meet current professional standards.
- Communicate Wilton’s financial condition to its citizens on a regular basis.
We urge prudent financial management within the context of delivering a high-quality education to the children of Wilton. We encourage seeking of all opportunities to maximize cost efficiencies and comprehensive review of all line-item expenses during the annual Board of Education
budget process to identify possible areas for cost savings. The Party supports the following initiatives by the Board of Education:
- Ensure each child is well-grounded in the fundamental academic subjects of reading, writing, mathematics, sciences, and the arts and understands the values inherent in our American system of self-government.
- Encourage open and ongoing dialogue throughout the educational process to strengthen communications between teachers and parents.
- Continue leadership in the benchmarking of educational performance measurements against those of the best educational institutions. Encourage the use of technology as a teaching tool to enhance student learning in all areas of education.
- Work in partnership with the Boards of Selectmen and Finance to develop sound and cost-effective plans for all building projects and to balance the quality and efficiency of educational services with the required costs.
The Wilton Republican Party strongly supports a system of land use regulation that preserves and enhances the historic, semi-rural, residential character of our Town. Continuing rapid development within the Town Center and on Route 7 is radically changing the character of the
Town and is inconsistent with resident surveys and preferences. To address these issues, we support the following initiatives:
- Maintain local control over land use regulations and decisions. We need to be alert to and oppose state legislation that would superimpose state or regional land use judgment over that of our Town’s officials and volunteer government.
- Review the Wilton Center Plan of Development and related zoning regulations to reflect the current desires and preferences of the community. We encourage public hearings and residents’ participation in this process.
- Control excessive development in order to avoid urbanization of our community. We are concerned that the rate of “tear-downs” is changing the roadscape, the neighborhoods, and the affordability of Wilton. Methods should be explored to moderate this trend before Wilton is irrevocably changed.
- Maintain and enforce Wilton’s zoning and sub-division regulations. The Party urges Town personnel and land-use boards to be cognizant of the burdens placed on our residents by some conditions and to recognize the impact of those requirements.
- Take a proactive stance on environmental issues in order to protect Wilton’s wetlands, water courses, ground water sources, mature trees, steep slopes, and other natural resources. Consistent with the Town’s economic priorities, we support the selective acquisition of open space or development rights to land as one way of providing this protection.
- Recognizing that extension of sewer and water lines lead to significantly increased density of development, we urge avoidance of such extensions except under extraordinary circumstances.
The Republican Party is keenly aware of the importance of our senior citizens and their contributions to the quality of life in Wilton. We encourage the implementation of policies that will motivate seniors to continue to live in Wilton and remain active and involved in the community.
We support the following initiatives:
- Physical expansion of a Wilton center for senior activities and programs.
- Frequent review and enhancement of Wilton’s elderly tax relief ordinances. To analyze various tax relief alternatives, we recommend financial modeling methods be used to project and compare costs more accurately.
- Stronger cooperation among the various Town boards and commissions on advancing the development and construction of Wilton Commons.
- Active involvement in and support of Trackside by the parents of teenagers and the Town as a whole. We also support Town and School efforts to reverse the high incidence of underage drinking and other substance abuse.
- The Republican candidates in this November election are in agreement with this Platform, which we believe fairly represents the views and desires of Wiltonians for their Town. We urge all Wilton voters to support the outstanding slate of Republican candidates on this November 2005 ballot.