Looking Back: Ross Perot, petitions
President George H.W. Bush had better get campaigning!
That was the message given in a Press story published Oct. 22, 1992, that covered the mock election at Ridgefield High School.
“Ninth graders routed the president yesterday, as 98 students went for Ross Perot and 60 for Gov. Bill Clinton,” The Press said. “Bush came in a distant third, with 45 of the 208 student votes.”
Jennifer Miller, a ninth grader at RHS, told The Press she voted for Perot.
“I didn’t really like Bush,” she said.
There was some speculation about whether the Independent presidential candidate could do the job.
“Perot can’t do it because he can’t decide if he wants to run,” said Doug Smiley, a student who voted for Clinton.
It was clearly a time for change — at all levels of the government.
“None of the incumbents won,” said Georgiana Castellania, president of the League of Women Voters, who helped organize the mock election.
It wasn’t the only headline regarding students. A school bus carrying 39 East Ridge Middle School students struck an electrical pole on East Ridge Road, knocking down several live wires and trapping the kids — and bus driver Marlene Laedke.
Fire Chief Richard Nagle and Laedke decided to keep the students on the bus until a power company crew came to assess the situation, The Press reported.
“You could hear the pole break,” said sixth grader Zach Smith after being escorted from the bus.
“It was scary,” said eighth grader Tim Pambianchi.
50 years ago
History has a way of repeating itself.
As today, sending petitions to the Planning and Zoning Commission was in vogue in October 1967. The Press reported in its Oct. 19 paper that 340 residents had signed a petition in opposition to a 200,000-square-foot electric plant off Route 7.
The project, which was proposed by Norwalk-based Electric Indicator, drew 50 residents to the commission’s meeting that week — most of whom were from residential areas near the proposed building site. Sound familiar?
The Press described the scene as “a crowded, five-hour-long meeting.” Despite the turnout — and the duration of the meeting, zoners didn’t make much of a decision with the project that night.
“Some commissioners indicated a desire to have the public hearing two weeks after the application is ‘formally received,’” The Press reported.
Also on the front page that week, John Mitchell and Gary Frulla — two Ridgefield firemen — were among the class of 40 completing a 30-day fire training course at the New Haven Department of Fire Service.
“They studied all phases of firefighting, rescue work, lifesaving, and the care and use of equipment,” The Press said.