Steven Zemo, Connecticut, 1995
Elected November 1995
Skipped one term
Re-elected 1999, 2001, 2003
Campaign Statement by Steve Zemo for 2001 Election
The Importance of Open Space
As a current member of the Board of Selectmen I voted in favor of allowing Ridgefield residents to decide the fate of Bennett’s Pond, the largest piece of undeveloped property in our community. First Selectman Rudy Marconi, myself and Selectmen Manners and Yanity created a proposal that combines open space with corporate development in accordance with Ridgefield’s Master Plan. We recognized our responsibility to provide leadership on this critical issue. We listened to the community and to the experts. We recognized the importance of balancing tax ratables with quality of life issues such as open space and traffic. We also wanted to take advantage of the State’s $4 million contribution towards the preservation of open space.
As a Selectman I have long supported a pro-active open space acquisition program to attain the 30% open space goal stated in our Master Plan of Development and Conservation. In addition to Bennett’s Pond, I supported the town’s efforts to preserve McKeon Farm and Brewster Farm, helping maintain the rural quality of Ridgefield. It is our rural feeling that many are afraid will be lost forever if we don’t continue to preserve land for the future. I also created a “pocket park” on Grove Street and supported the rail trail, which provide outdoor opportunities for residents in the center of town.
Though Bennett’s Pond is the largest undeveloped property in Ridgefield, it should not be the last parcel we preserve. If re-elected I will support the preservation of the remainder of the McKeon Farm. I also believe we need more pockets of neighborhood open space throughout Ridgefield. I will support preservation efforts that include combinations of grants, donations and outright purchase. Open space will continue to be one of my top priorities because it is key to Ridgefield’s future.