Democratic View: Connecticut’s No. 1 town

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RP Democratic view web sig GOP Viewpoint / Hearst Connecticut Media

People who live in Ridgefield love Ridgefield. It’s easy to see why . . .

Our Main Street is the most beautiful around — and I’ve worked hard to protect its mom-and-pop charm. Even simple things like flower baskets go a long way.

Our schools are among the state’s best. As first selectman, I led the way to rebuild our educational infrastructure.

We have beautiful open spaces. I’ve helped protect more than 600 acres from development, and we’re nearing our 30 percent goal.

We are a magnet for arts and culture. In addition to the Aldrich and RSO, during my time as first selectman we’ve welcomed the Ridgefield Playhouse, CHIRP, Michael Chekhov Theatre Festival, ACT, the Prospector, Thrown Stone, and rebuilt the library. They keep our restaurants packed, too!

Through creative planning, we added Parks and Rec and Founders Hall, one of Ridgefield’s gems.

We made Ridgefield the safest town in Connecticut and led the state in emergency planning.

We’re financially strong. With the 10-year planning I instituted, we’ve maintained our AAA bond rating.

Our strength comes in part from our growth. The question isn’t whether we grow but how we grow. I’ve worked over the past 20 years to carefully manage growth and have thoughtful plans for our future.

For example, we can use transit-oriented development principles to bring the businesses and housing we need to the Branchville station — limiting sprawl and reducing stress on roads and infrastructure.

To return more control to the town, we’re working to create a local alternative to the state’s 8-30g (the affordable housing law.)

We’ll continue working to ease the flow of traffic. Our “Main Street 2021” project will reduce congestion while protecting our downtown charm.

Of course, I can’t do it alone. That’s why I urge you to elect the carefully selected Democratic candidates who share my vision. All are highly qualified individuals willing to give time and energy to our town. Barbara Manners, my valued longtime Board of Selectmen partner, continuously generates initiatives that enhance Ridgefield’s specialness. Sean Connelly, my new Board of Selectmen running mate, has displayed keen judgment informed by insights and priorities of a public-school parent during his Board of Finance tenure. Molly McGeehin has been transformative as town treasurer. Dave Ulmer, Board of Finance chair, is the guardian of Ridgefield’s finances, and gifted professional Karen Ogden will enrich that crucial board. Our 17 other candidates are just as strong — check the ad in this week’s Press to see all the people who will keep Ridgefield at its best. I ask you to vote for them on Nov. 5 and I’m hoping for your vote, as well.

I am proud of my record as your first selectman in helping Ridgefield grow carefully. I am proud to run for office with such qualified, dedicated Democratic candidates. Together we will work to keep our town No. 1 and we’ll do it for the love of Ridgefield.

The Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee provides this column. Rudy Marconi is the first selectman of Ridgefield.