In 2017, Ridgefield Democrats successfully fielded a broad, substantial slate combining several first-time candidates and respected veterans. That combination of proven leadership and energetic new voices is a winning formula for our town. In the years since, Ridgefield has elevated its already enviable quality of life, school system, and public services while keeping property taxes in check and continuing the fiscal prudence pioneered by First Selectman Rudy Marconi, enhanced by Board of Finance Chair Dave Ulmer, and continuously maintained by Democratic majorities on the Boards of Selectmen and Finance.

Ridgefield Democrats are poised to surpass that 2017 success in this year’s municipal elections, preparing to put forward an even more compelling combination of outstanding, established public servants and energetic, innovative newcomers. Democrats are determined to nominate the best possible slate to lead our town in readying our children for 21st-century challenges, adding to the grand list without changing Ridgefield’s small-town feel, retaining Ridgefield’s excellent bond rating, and protecting our precious land, wetlands, and local ecosystems for future generations.

For the past several months, the Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee has publicly solicited, recruited, interviewed and vetted dozens of Ridgefield citizens who possess the integrity, qualifications, and desire to beneficially serve our town in local elected office. To boost transparency, public awareness, participation and engagement, and to reach the widest, most diverse possible pool of potential candidates, in January the DTC published a new webpage (ridgefielddems.net/nominations-elections/) detailing its recruiting efforts and calendar, the caucus and nominating process, and all the local offices up for election this fall.

This will be the largest, most consequential local election in memory, as Ridgefielders will elect our first selectman and entire Board of Selectmen, town clerk, town freasurer, tax collector, and seats on the Board of Finance, Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission, the newly independent Inland Wetlands Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Board of Police Commissioners, and Board of Assessment Appeals.

Having exhaustively recruited and carefully vetted dozens of prospective candidates, the DTC will present an endorsed list for nomination at the Ridgefield Democratic Caucus on Monday, July 22. Every Democrat registered in Ridgefield is invited and entitled to participate in the caucus, to propose and vote to nominate candidates for general election this fall.

Despite the facts that most local elected offices are entirely volunteer, and every office entails often grueling personal sacrifices, Ridgefield is blessed with an abundance of talented and focused Democrats who wish to offer their time and energy to our town. The greatest blessing, of course, is that Rudy Marconi, Ridgefield’s outstanding and unmatched first selectman, wishes to continue putting his nuanced listning skills, boundless energy, inspirational leadership, and impeccable management acumen in service to all Ridgefield residents.

The caucus provides registered Democrats a superb opportunity to contribute to the betterment of our town. All registered Democrats are urged to participate: Town Hall, lower-level large conference room, Monday, July 22, 7:30 p.m.

Joe Shapiro is corresponding secretary for Ridgefield’s Democratic Town Committee. The DTC provides this column.