With drug and alcohol problems an enduring problem among Ridgefield’s young people, Board of Education member Mike Raduazzo has been named to fill a Ridgefield Prevention Council seat vacated by fellow school board member Irene Burgess.
The council fights drug and alcohol abuse through public information and education programs, and leadership initiatives among youth.
Mr. Raduazzo was appointed by a unanimous vote of the Board of Selectmen on Wednesday night, Dec. 12.
“We traditionally had a board member on the Ridgefield Prevention Council,” Mr. Raduazzo said of the school board. “Irene Burgess has been on a number of years. She asked me if I would assume that.”
First Selectman Rudy Marconi noted that the last program the prevention council had organized, a talk by former professional basketball player and recovering drug addict Chris Herren, drew a tremendous crowd.
“A thousand people,” Mr. Marconi said. “They were standing in the hallway.”
The prevention council works closely with the Ridgefield Community Coalition Against Substance Abuse, which includes Mr. Marconi, school Superintendent Deborah Low and other town officials.
Mr. Raduazzo told the selectmen that the problem is one he’s concerned with, having three children.
“I have a 17-year-old who does not go to school in Ridgefield, who goes to school in Queens,” he said. “I do have two in the elementary schools, and would look at this as a long-term haul.”
The selectmen seemed to have no questions or doubts about putting Mr. Raduazzo on the council.
“This last year — I’ve said it many times — has been a body blow for the town,” Selectwoman Di Masters said. “Thank you very much for volunteering.”