RTC responds to town hall use

DTC Headquarters at Town Hall.

DTC Headquarters at Town Hall.

Photo contributed by The Ridgefield Republican Town Committee

Submitted by The Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee.

Starting on Sept. 17, the Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee (DTC) has been using the front steps of Town Hall as its campaign headquarters.

Mike Raduazzo, chairman of the Ridgefield Republican Town Committee (RTC), inquired about the legality of the DTC use of Town Hall for political activities with First Selectman Rudy Marconi. Marconi informed Raduazzo that the DTC had been permitted to reserve the use of Town Hall for 11 dates over five weekends prior to the Nov. 3 election. In response, the Ridgefield Republican Town Committee put forth the following statement:

“It has come to our attention that the Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee has recently begun using Town Hall as their election headquarters — holding events, courting voters, and disseminating political signs and information. To allow for equal representation, the Republican Town Committee reserved 3 days for possible use, from the remaining available dates before the election. However, after reviewing Town Hall documents, we believe the legality of using Town Hall in this fashion is dubious at best. The ‘Ridgefield Town Charter-Standards of Conduct 11-3’ (concerning the use of Town Hall property) states ‘Officials and employees shall not offer or render preferential treatment to others on the basis of family ties, financial interests, friendships or political consideration.’ In addition, Town Hall is a drop-off location for absentee ballots, and a political presence so near the ballot box could inadvertently serve to intimidate voters. The RTC believes Town Hall represents all of Ridgefield and should not be used for political purposes. Therefore we will offer the 3 days we were able to reserve to local charities for their use.”

RRTC Chairman Mike Raduazzo added, “As of Sept. 1, the Republican Town Committee rented a vacant storefront in town, as is customary during election time. We will continue to offer information, signage, and events at our location at 392 Main Street until the election. We encourage everyone in town, regardless of political orientation, to come in and say hello to one of our volunteers and find out more information about our candidates.”