Preface to Town of Wilton, CT – Democratic Platform 2019-2021
Letter from the Democratic “Listen to Wilton” Platform Chairperson
The Wilton Democratic Party understands that economic considerations frequently drive government decisions in the 21st century. At the same time, we believe social issues & values influence decision making. Therefore, we choose to “say something” socially and economically with our planks in this Wilton Democratic “Listen to Wilton” Platform 2019-2021. As “real change” is presently taking place, our mission is to continue to strive for “quality of life”. We continue to open our doors of dialogue to all as the need for community involvement is essential. Does every Wilton Democrat support each individual plank with equal fervor? No. This is a guideline for our elected and appointment officials to utilize in their representation of the Wilton Democrats and indeed all citizens of Wilton. We believe adherence to these guidelines will make for a better tomorrow.
Ernest G. Ricco
Chairperson, Democratic “Listen to Wilton” Platform Committee 2019-2021
Wilton Democratic “Listen to Wilton” Platform for 2019-2021
RATIFIED by Wilton Democratic Caucus 7/16/2019
The “Listen to Wilton” Platform provides a leadership tool for our elected and appointed officials and Democratic Town Committee members. Our obligation is to emphasize the importance of electing Democrats to local & state offices. Wiltonians share a core value for the well-being of their neighbors which forms the philosophical underpinning of each plank contained here. We will maintain Wilton’s character, preserve its values, and meet future challenges by embracing creative social solutions balanced with fiscal prudence and accountability.
- Commit to fiscal responsibility, beginning with a balanced budget but extending to efficiencies that maximize tax dollars and preserve the highest possible credit rating. Achieve cost savings, economies of scale, and financial efficiency by eliminating redundant costs, utilizing energy conservation and streamlining and/or combining support functions among the town’s major boards, commissions, and essential services. Make a priority the pursuit of additional financial savings by developing regional initiatives to eliminate redundancy borne by Wilton and its neighboring towns’ essential services.
- Support efforts to grow the Grand List by developing a Master Plan to ease the tax burden on individuals, allowing seniors, younger citizens and town workers to continue to live in Wilton, but that maintains the character of our town.
- Encourage long term financial diligence by setting realistic budgets and expectations so changes to taxes and mill rate are reasonable, and so those on fixed/reduced incomes can retain their homes.
- Maintain the necessary financial reserve to allow Wilton to maintain a AAA credit rating.
- Explore and advocate financial incentives for use of mass transportation.
- Explore gradually increasing a livable wage.
- Strive to build a diverse community which welcomes town employees, seniors, families with children, all races, religions, nationality, citizenship, ages, sexual/gender orientations and socio-economic levels.
- Work to protect and promote diversity in hiring, housing, education and participation to make us a stronger, more attractive, vibrant community.
- Support equal pay for equal work and all bills that enhance equality.
- Commit to a Green Wilton, supporting initiatives that make our buildings environmentally sound, promote open space and conserve our town’s natural resources.
- Urge all elected, appointed and volunteer board, commission and committee officials to perform their jobs conscientiously, with integrity and in a spirit of cooperation and civility. We believe in political discourse characterized by civility, tolerance and respect, no matter how divided the issue or passionate the debate.
- Commit to transparency in government at every level, and support the continued video-recording of all major town meetings.
- Support cost efficient bills that promote our town’s character including but not limited to the town center, open space, town forest, farm land and public facilities.
- Support social services, youth services, senior services and the town library.
- Work for a safe community by supporting education, legislation and funding that calls for:
A. The elimination of assault and ghost weapons, as well as high capacity magazines.
B. Universal background checks for weapon purchases.
- Promote mental health and social support.
- Promote measures to increase voter participation through voting reforms that include the approval of early voting, approval of no excuse absentee voting and automatic voter registration at DMV locations.
- Support an increase in tax deferral and abatement for senior citizens, disabled citizens, young singles and families based on financial needs.
- Promote efforts which move us away from fossil-fuel based energy and towards renewable energy sources.
- Support efforts to enhance communication and interaction between the schools and the community.
- Provide sufficient and appropriate resources to keep Wilton’s school systems amongst the best in the state and country:
- Provide our students with the personal, academic and technology skills necessary for them to be responsible and productive citizens,
- Meet and endeavor to surpass state and federal requirements while providing a quality education for all students,
- Maintain “differentiated classroom instruction” that encourages teachers to address the varied needs of individual students.
- Continue to support funding for two School Resource Officers.
- Oppose any ‘participation fee’ or ‘pay to play fee’ in principle and practice for public education while supporting funding for families in financial need for activities such as sport’s fees, art classes, band instrument rentals to allow the children to stay connected to the community, their peers and adult mentors, as well as, to develop into future leaders.
- Oppose “one size fits all” bills that do not drive educational outcomes.
- Promote State and Federal efforts to make four year public education affordable to all residents through means of free tuition, as well as, support bills which propose incentives to employers that offer student loan repayment to graduates of institutions in our state.
- Promote universal pre-kindergarten.