Looking Back: Two for Congress; School projects

Two Ridgefielders running for Congress? That was the case 25 years ago.

“Former Planning and Zoning Commission member Joseph Heyman was accompanied by his daughter, Jodi, Monday night when he told the Democratic Town Committee he will seek the party’s nomination for the Fifth District seat in Congress,” the Feb. 13, 1992, Press reported in the caption for a page one photo of the two.

“Not only was a Ridgefield Democrat announcing for Congress,” the accompanying story said, “but it was the second such announcement in a week. Computer consultant Jack Halbert had made public his quest for the nomination only a few days later.”

Neither ended up getting the nomination, but Heyman later ran a successful campaign for and served on Ridgefield’s Board of Selectmen, following his long tenure on the P&Z Commission.

First Selectwoman Sue Manning was making budget news. “Sue sends budgets back,” read a headline. “Tells seven department heads to reconsider 10% increases.”

The story quoted the straightforward Manning as saying, “After taking a look at what’s been submitted, it’s much higher than anything I could even consider supporting.”

The story added, “By an informal count, the departments’ requests called for a total of 10 new employees as well as increasing a couple of part-time jobs to full-time. ‘I don’t think we can warrant any new employees this year,’ she said.”

Ridgebury was the scene of a zoning battle — not the first, nor the last.

“Distressed Ridgebury residents are pushing the Planning and Zoning Commission to have another public hearing on rules for a ‘golf community’ proposed for their neighborhood.

“‘Very few people had understood … what the real implications were of the public hearing,’ said Stratford Sherman, a spokesman for the Northern Ridgefield Homeowners Association. “‘People didn’t know how important it was to attend this.’”

50 years ago

Apartment zoning was controversial.

“The Connecticut Supreme Court this week sustained the judgement of the Court of Common Pleas in finding that the former Ridgefield Zoning Commission had acted properly when it created the garden apartments zone on north Main Street,” the Feb. 16,1967, Press reported.

“The 33-acre zone was established by the commission in September 1964 at the request of builder Jerry Tuccio, who owns the former Olcott estate.”

Today, that’s Casagmo, the 307-unit condominium complex with a name carried over from the previous estate, reflecting the name of its owner: Casa-gmo, casa (house) of George M. Olcott.

“An upstairs fire in the home of Charles Coe at 6 Greenfield Avenue … heavily damaged a stamp collection valued at $5,000.”

That’s a lot of money today, too — $5,000 in 1967 would be worth more than $36,000 in today’s money, and that’s just on the changing value of a dollar, never mind inflation on the worth of collectible stamps.

The Fairfield County Trust Co. said one its “sharp-eyed tellers” had detected a counterfeit $20 bill passed to the bank. The story said: “Mrs. Nazzareno Marconi, who works for the RIdgefield branch on Main Street, said she spotted the bills while counting a deposit. The shading on Andrew Jackson’s portrait was poor; his forehead had very few lines, creating an overexposed effect …”

Yes, the late Mrs. Nazzareno Marconi was current First Selectman Rudy Marconi’s mom.