Role of Ridgefield's Economic & Community Development Commission

Hearst Connecticut Media Letter to the Editor graphic 

Hearst Connecticut Media Letter to the Editor graphic 

Contributed photo

To the Editor:

Thank you for the article on Ms. Gelfman’s “old white men.” Joe Milano, host of CT Radio Station I-95 (Oct. 6, 2022) recently wrote: “Ridgefield is for extraterrestrials.”   Perhaps he is right.

RECDC would be far more effective if they focused on the collection and analysis of granular local economic data, including the town’s means of production, efficient operation and growth of its free market, and the Town’s specific needs and demands. They might even want to consider the limits of our Town’s "rent-seeking" economy, dominated by a "leisure class" that produces little or no useful, tangible goods that add capital value, instead consuming goods produced elsewhere. 

To those who prize "art & culture,” RECDC’s website:  https://www.ridgefieldct.com/site-selection  seems to indicate that these represent only a small proportion of local commerce and employment.  One could argue that the State’s "Cultural District Act" offered nothing more than the opportunity for a “beggar’s banquet.” Ridgefield’s “district,” the State’s first, comprises a mere two city blocks, mostly older commercial structures, predominantly occupied by brokers, food service, trinket and clothing stores, and banks, with four proximate chain “drug stores” that sell “everything but.”  When combined with the extraordinarily high commercial rents, there are many “terrestrial” reasons why it’s tough for small businesses to grow and compete in our town. 

In the opinion of this “old white man” we would all be better served by an ECDC that focuses on the collection and analysis of local economic data, prudently applies generally accepted free market economic principles and forms, by popular consensus, common sense policies designed to maintain and attract businesses that will bring, increase and retain capital & value in Ridgefield.

John Tartaglia

Danbury Road