As many of you know, our Town faces a local Election on November 5th unlike few in recent memory. While many years past we had few candidates running for local seats while competing for visibility against our State and Federal or Presidential Elections, which as 2020 will indicate, show a likely massive interest in the Presidential election again. This is year however, the local stage will be spotlighted as will its candidates who hope to earn your trust and the confidence of your vote.
Our First Selectman, the Board of Selectmen, and Board of Education, Board of Finance, and Planning and Zoning are the most notable as they get frequent press and discussion regarding the issues that are seen as affecting our town the most. The higher taxes, threat of more out of control 8-30g building, and our out of control spending at the Board of Education which forces us to look at efficient spending and planning practices, which some seem hesitant or unwilling to do. Despite its continued widespread fearmongering that our children's health is at risk because of school start times, no studies have been done which confirm this inaccurate hypothesis, yet it still comes up on Facebook groups as a discussion. These topics and many others are worthy considerations for your review of the candidates.
Mr. Dick Moccia is a widely respected candidate for Frist Selectman, as are Joe Savino and Bob Hebert. The three have shown through their past experiences and my conversations to be respectful and pragmatic in their concerns of our town and the problems facing our way of life. Challenges include less state aid, the imminent threat of tolls which would dramatically augment our traffic, and the 8-30g overbuilding of "affordable housing" with no demand of such in the market, while our real estate brokers are still facing a glut of housing inventory requiring owners who need to sell their homes for less than it may be worth. Buyers are avoiding homes here frequently as school regionalization is mentioned and more taxes are foreseen. We need to consider better ways of keeping our town's character and not falling victim to the belief that we need to remarket our town to attract buyers. People know and love this town, however bad policies are hindering it.
8-30g being forced upon us by the state is an necessary loophole allowing town builders to aggressively build and market their applications for development as affordable, so they get approved. The glut of overbuilding, and now overcrowding of homes in concentrated areas of town makes us look like Danbury, and now Wilton is moving this way. Do we want this? Is this what will attract people to come to live here? This constant abeyance to builders needs to stop. They may own the property, but their constant demand to build multi-units is wasteful and adds extra strain on our sewage system. Are they being charged for adding to this? Why are all the applications by the P&Z accepted with no consideration at all for the community perspective at all in the charter for their governance? Zero credibility with its current management.
The Board of Education is a tenuous subject but it shouldn't be. Local politics has corrupted its purpose. Children should be its priority but instead, a small vociferous group of local parent have taken their "false science-driven agenda", and made it all about their persistent demand to change school start times regardless of almost unanimous local opposition, they still resist in their pursuit of this ill-sighted belief that we should enact a radical change which would add approximately 3 million to the local budget. Along with our second Superintendent in two years it seems a swift intervention is needed to overcome the rot that has infested this Board. People can disagree with each other politely and with civility, but when you call a local slate of candidates a "horror show" because their "Republican candidate lost his primary, it shows you really weren't interested in a conversation at all, but a further majority owning the votes of the Board. This shameful behavior should be derided.
I dislike how our town's current leadership is doing its job caring for our community and kids. I want a return to respectful discourse for our Boards. Our Board of Education should be about putting children first and not politics. I urge for your polite and respectful consideration of our Republican candidates this year:
First Selectman: Dick Moccia, Selectman: Joe Savino and Bob Hebert
Board of Education: Rob Ceccarini, Liz Floegel, Sean McEvoy, Rachel Ruggiero, and Bryan Ward
Planning and Zoning: Dean Cohagan, Carl Kristofferson, and John Katz
Police Commissioner: Terry Kirkpatrick and Tom Reynolds
Bob Cousins, Ridgefield