As I knock on doors and talk with people at the gym, the grocery store, on Main Street, the one constant sentiment I hear is the frustration with direction that Ridgefield is heading. Be it the 60 percent increase in the sewer fees, over development, the traffic, the increase in the fees to play pickleball, people are upset and feel like Town Hall is not listening to them. In the past, I have heard Ridgefield residents express their concerns, what I did not realize, was the intensity of feelings about the direction our town has taken.

Many people have expressed the feeling “It’s not the Ridgefield that I remember.” While people understand that, as time passes, things change; unfortunately, the direction that the leadership of our town has taken Ridgefield, over the past few years, does not reflect a positive change. There is a lack of urgency in dealing with our town’s problems, as well as a lack of transparency in how issues are dealt with by the first selectman’s office.

While there is a myriad of issues that Ridgefield is facing, the most compelling at the moment is the 60 percent increase in sewer use fees which, is the increase for the first phase of the sewer system upgrade. If Ridgefield sticks with the first selectman’s plan, the 60 percent increase will be the first of a number of increases in sewer fees.

There are significant issues facing Ridgefield that could have a negative impact on the quality of life in Ridgefield, as well as result in the continued deterioration of our property values, including the management of: our sewer fees, the costs of recreational activities for seniors, the ever increasing maintenance costs of our town’s buildings and the imposition of tolls (a tax increase the first selectman calls a “no brainer”), which will force more truck traffic onto our already dilapidated roads.

While change is inevitable, that change must be positive and, more importantly, be brought about by consensus of the residents. I believe we can maintain the small town feeling that has made Ridgefield a great place to live, work and raise a family. I know that by working together, we can maintain the character and ambiance of Ridgefield. As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, we need to utilize today’s technology to plan for tomorrow. Ridgefield, like every other town in Connecticut, faces challenges. The question is — how do we best prepare to meet those challenges? There is a saying in baseball, “You can’t win today’s game with yesterday’s homerun.”

The November election brings about an opportunity that Ridgefield has not had for eight years — a contest for first selectman. As the campaign moves forward, I intend to visit as many homes as I can, to meet voters and, not only let them know my ideas for Ridgefield but, more importantly, get their input and ideas on how to best move Ridgefield forward.

I look forward to these conversations.

Thank you.