Rep. Frey appointed to national historic preservation council

State Rep. John Frey

State Rep. John Frey

Contributed photo / Hearst Connecticut Media

The White House has announced that State Representative John H. Frey of Ridgefield was appointed by President Donald Trump to serve on the The National Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), an independent bipartisan federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our nation's historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.

“It is truly an honor to have been asked to serve, combining my deep appreciation of history and love of public service,” Rep. Frey said in an announcement of the appointment Friday, June 26.

Completing twenty-two years representing Ridgefield’s 111th Distrcit in the state General Assembly, Frey is the longest serving state representative in Ridgefield’s history. The second longest was the first, Col Phillip Burr Bradley, who served for 13 years starting in 1776.

Frey announced in the spring that he would not seek re-election to the legislature this fall.

Frey will serve a four-year term, beginning immediately, on the advisory council, which meets several times a year in Washington, DC.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is an independent federal agency with the primary mission to encourage historic preservation in the government and across the nation.

The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), which established the ACHP in 1966, directs federal agencies to act as responsible stewards when their actions affect historic properties. The ACHP is given the legal responsibility to assist federal agencies in their efforts and to ensure they consider preservation during project planning.

The ACHP serves as the federal policy adviser to the President and Congress; recommends administrative and legislative improvements for protecting the nation’s diverse heritage; and reviews federal programs and policies to promote effectiveness, coordination, and consistency with national preservation policies.

A key ACHP function is overseeing the federal historic preservation review process established by Section 106 of the NHPA. Section 106 requires federal agencies to consider the effects of projects, carried out by them or subject to their assistance or approval, on historic properties and provide the ACHP an opportunity to comment on these projects prior to a final decision on them.

The ACHP, served by a professional staff in Washington, D.C., and led by a full- time chairman, comprises 24 members who meet throughout the year to oversee its work. ACHP members include: Four expert members and four public members and a list of public officials that range from the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to a representative of Native American tribe or Native Hawaiian organization.

Rep. Frey, who lives in a restored 1753 houise which was the home of a revolutionary war soldier, has had a demonstrated interest in historic preservation. He served as President of the Lounsbury House (community center, formerly the home of the late Connecticut Governor Phineas C. Lounsbury), is a former trustee of the Ridgefield Historical Society and a member of the State Capitol Preservation and Restoration Commission.

This is the second Presidential appointment for Frey, a lifelong Ridgefield resident. In 2007, then President George W. Bush appointed him to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Frey has also served many years as one of Connecticut’s representatives to the National Republican Committee.