WILTON — Three residents are seeking election to a three-year seat on the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday. 

Selectman Terry Brann is being challenged by John Black and Gerald Whitney.

Selectman Paul Berkey and school board director Keith Swett are unopposed in their bids for three-year terms.

The election takes place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office.

The annual town meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 16, at Academy Hill School. A barbecue will be served starting at 5:30 p.m.

Each candidate was asked the same questions about why they want to serve, their experience and issues facing the town.

Brann has served on the board nine years, and that brings a lot of history and experience to the board, he said. During those years, he has served on the Franklin County Budget Committee, as well as the Cemetery, Recycling and Fire Department Truck committees.

As a selectman, he has tried to speak for the people who can’t or don’t go to the meetings, he said. He wants to continue serving to keep a balance on the board, because too many want to spend money the town doesn’t have, he said.

“I have always been aboveboard and honest with my comments and strived to help keep the board transparent and save money for the taxpayer,” Brann said.

A strong desire for Wilton to be the thriving community it once was prompted Black to seek the seat, he said.

“Wilton was once a flourishing town,” he said. “It can be again.”

A lifelong resident, Black said wants to “encourage more people to get involved and help make changes that make this a better place to live and work.”

Part of that is learning more about the management of the town and to educate others on the issues faced in order to collaborate and make the best decisions for everyone, he said.

Black runs a successful and growing corporation in Wilton. Rocky Hill Landscaping is now celebrating its 20th year.

Prior experience as patrol deputy for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department and as a horticulturist for Franklin Memorial Hospital “give me an understanding of how other large organizations are operated and the importance of public services.”

Black also has the experience of community involvement with several organizations, committees and churches.

Whitney has a longtime experience with the town as a highway worker within the Public Works Department for 30 years. He has also served on the town’s Recycling Committee, he said.

He seeks the seat to work on taxes and to get “a lot of town codes relaxed,” he said. 

“I want to serve to try to get taxes lowered and to try to help people with taxes,” he said. 

He also wants to help avoid putting liens on properties.

All three candidates expressed concerns about the rising taxes the town faces due to school and county needs.

One major issue is “keeping the taxes down when RSU 9 and county budgets are increasing,” Brann said. “With the exception of the Police Department, the other Wilton departments are holding the line.”

“RSU 9 taxes are out of control,” Whitney agreed.

“Wilton faces higher taxes due to insufficient state reimbursements and school budget increases,” Black said. “The town needs to put together a rational plan to encourage new businesses and current business growth in order to create a tax base.”

For Brann and Whitney, the tannery property and Forster building are issues of concern for the town.

“Selling the tannery property and working with the Forster building owners has been a tough road,” Brann said.

Although the town “has many positive attributes, it also faces its fair share of issues,” Black said. “Primarily, there is a lack of vision, planning and leadership in some areas.”

[email protected]

Age: 68

Occupation: Retired

Age: 38

Occupation: Owner, Rocky Hill Landscaping

Age: 58

Occupation: Highway worker for Wilton, 30 years


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