Connecticut has enjoyed self-determination for more than 350 years. Connecticut played a significant role in the establishment of self-government in the New World when settlers refused to surrender their local authority to a British governor by hiding the original Royal Charter in a large oak tree in Hartford, called the Charter Oak.
Connecticut’s legislative branch, the General Assembly, is composed of a 151-member House and a 36-member Senate. It meets annually for legislative sessions lasting three to five months. Originally, each town, regardless of size, had at least one Representative in the House of Representatives but that changed in 1965 when a new constitution was adopted that created districts for Senators and Representatives based on population.
Below the state government are 169 Towns that act as separate and fiercely independent local governments. These local governments maintain roads and provide elementary and secondary education and police and fire protection. County government was abolished in 1961 and their boundaries exist today only for statistical purposes.
Government in Wilton, as with other Towns, was based on the Town Meeting, at which the citizens come together once a year to vote on pressing issues and elect selectmen to run the town between the annual meetings.
As Wilton grew and administration became more complex, a variety of boards and committees have been established with specific responsibility for the town’s finances, planning and zoning, education, police, etc . Wilton citizens volunteer their time and expertise to staff these boards and committees as part of a proud New England tradition of self-government.
A full list of all the town boards, committees, and commissions can be found HERE.
The Board of Selectmen, along with the Town Meeting, is the legislative body of the Town. The Board consists of five members, all of whom serve four year terms. The Selectmen are responsible for town government activities including carrying out town policies, town ordinances, and administrative and budgetary management of the Town.
Currently serving on the Board of Selectmen are: Lynne A. Vanderslice (First Selectwoman), Lori A. Bufano (Second Selectwoman), Joshua S. Cole, Deborah A. McFadden, and Ross H. Tartell.
Board of Selectmen meetings are generally held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month at Town Hall at 8:00 pm. The public is invited to attend and comment at these open session meetings.
Photo by Sage Ross