To the Editor:

Below is a response to the recent letter by Julie Schmidt titled “Ridgefield is ruined.”

My parents, much like Ms. Schmidt, were charmed by Ridgefield about 20 years ago while they searched for a place to raise a family. We, too, fell in love.

The fact that money has taken over Ridgefield is not unique to our town, nor to our time. Developers, from the perspective of residents like Ms. Schmidt and me, will always buy and demonize property they can get their hands on.

Our New England charm is not destroyed with every demolished home; that charm lives on in our town’s history and—subject to our participation in its governance—in our town’s future. I agree that Ridgefield’s beauty is hurt with every cementing over, but this is not happening quickly, as Ms. Schmidt asserts, nor is it affecting our charm.

I, for one, believe that charm is a feeling, not a physicality. We can maintain that feeling, including through the prevention of commercial developments on our scenic properties, by taking an honest and fearless stand against those who disregard it.

None of the things that give Ridgefield its charm is disappearing quickly, though each of them is under threat to slowly fade away. The responsibility for ameliorating that lies squarely with us. We, too, are responsible for the current state of our town, and voting on rash principle is no way to own that responsibility.

We must vote for what we deeply believe in, and then participate in our town’s betterment. Then, our dear charm will thrive.

Max Jarcho

Barrack Hill Road, Nov. 11