Over the past few months I have had the opportunity to meet many people in Ridgefield and I am thankful for the time and courtesy they have shown me.

As I have traveled around our great town, I have heard the same concern expressed — “Ridgefield is losing its small-town charm.”

My wife and I decided to move to Ridgefield after having spent most of our lives living in a city. We choose to live in Ridgefield, where people know their neighbors, and where we could enjoy the quiet beauty and atmosphere of a small town. Unfortunately, in the years we have lived in Ridgefield, we have seen big city traffic issues, road, bridges, town and school buildings falling into disrepair and big city politics being played out in our town.

Developers cozying up to get approvals for big commercial developments in residential neighborhoods. Our first selectman running to Hartford every chance he could to advocate for tolls, which would put even more traffic on our already overburdened roads, and then promising us one thing when it came to the sewer system upgrade, only to force a 60% increase in sewer taxes on to sewer users, while burdening non-sewer users with paying for debt for a service they will never use.

And now, Gov. Lamont is withholding over $1 million due to the people of Ridgefield to plow and fix our roads and maintain our sidewalks unless he gets his vote for a transportation plan that includes the very tolls Mr. Marconi supports.

Enough is enough.

As first selectman, I will work to institute a fair sewer use fee that is based on usage, not a flat fee. You pay for what you use. I will direct our town’s public services director and town engineer to develop a plan to bring our roads, bridges and buildings up to snuff, and I will institute an online reporting system that will allow residents to report issues and be able to follow the process from receipt to fix. I promise that I will release all the information related to the ballfield fire, including all funding sources, who received the money, and how it was spent. Transparency will be the hallmark of my administration.

I believe in the beauty and ambiance of Ridgefield. Our greatest strength is the people who choose to live in Ridgefield, raise their family, start a business and contribute to our community. As first selectman, I will work to build upon this strength and make our town of Ridgefield even stronger.

As we enter the next decade of the 21st century, we need to find new ways to approach old problems. We need to forget about party labels and bring all those who want to be part of the process into the discussion and work together to build upon our strengths while ensuring that our greatest strength — our small-town atmosphere — is the priority of our mission statement.

As Ridgefield’s next first selectman, my primary concern will always be to keep Ridgefield a town and never a city.

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, I ask for your vote to serve you, and the people of Ridgefield, as your first selectman.

Together, we can build a great town.

Thank you.