Letters To The Editor
Ridgefield Record

Letters to the editor are published unedited and unsubstantiated and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Ridgefield Record. They represent the opinion of the author alone, who must be identified by name and town of residence, which is subject to authentication by the editor. All facts presented are the responsibility of the author and best practices are encouraged to provide sources and or links to sources of fact. Letters are to be submitted by email only to: editor@ridgefieldrecord.com, with a subject line "Letter to the Editor Submitted for Publication." Letters are published at the sole discretion of the editor. If the author dose not provide a headline to the letter, the editor reserves the discretion to add one.
April 16, 2023
Letter to Editor Ridgefield Press & Ridgefield Record
By:       John Tartaglia
“Eldin Bernecky The House Painter Who Never Leaves”
Candice Bergen, gifted comedienne, star of the 1980’s TV series “Murphy Brown,”  played a sharp DC journalist, a recovering alcoholic, who, among other things, needs her townhouse re-painted. She hires “Eldin Bernecky” (Robert Joseph Pastorelli, dec. 2004), who never seems able to leave.  Ridgefield’s Affordable Housing Committee, and its chairman, are reminiscent. 
Consider a discussion of the Town Charter Review, the Unapproved Minutes of RAHC’s March 22, 2023 meeting, found at https://www.ridgefieldct.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif4916/f/minutes/rahc_minutes_03-22-2023.pdf“There were notes submitted to dissolve RAHC, which cannot be done as the RAHC is not in the Charter.”  A second note submitted by a Committee Member suggested that RAHC be placed under the authority of Ridgefield’s Planning & Zoning Commission, but it as retracted out of concern that RAHC is “an illegal committee.” Chairman Dave Goldenberg (the “Eldin “of our story) indicated that there is a provision in the Town Charter that “ad hoc committees can be appointed at any time, but it was agreed that if any questions remain about the legitimacy of RAHC they should be addressed to Town Hall.” Dave (Goldenberg) supported a proposal that RAHC be put in the Charter so that the Committee could be “reappointed and streamlined.”
The recent riot over the mandate, scope of jurisdiction and authority of RAHC, and its “Affordable Housing Plan” now seems civically justified. There is no such thing as an eternal ad hoc committee, and RAHC has been improperly operating that way since the 1990’s.  Even RAHC admits it has been, and is now, an illegal Committee.
Ridgefield should consider forming a legally constituted, properly mandated and appointed Committee, with a prudent, restrained, non-biased Chairman, not a rogue housepainter who never leaves.
Planning and Zoning Proposes
Inclusionary Zoning Mandates for Ridgefield

RPZC’s self-initiated Zone Change application (#A-22-5), heard on December 27, will mandate
that to all property in Town be subject to a new Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) Law. Every property will be
subject to mandatory set aside., overseen by an unspecified “not-for-profit.” Non-compliance punished
by $400,100.00 “fee per theoretical unit” deposited in an unspecified “Affordable Housing Trust”
overseen by we don’t know who.

RPZC says State Law requires mandatory IZ. Not true. Since 1990’s, State Law, C.G.S.8.2.i,
requires a PZC only to evaluate and consider voluntary, mandatory IZ, or none at all.
The Chairman presented zero evidence, saying only that it “just feels right for Ridgefield” - his
“feeling” based on regulations from Darien.

PZC claims that by gaining “more power,” it will avoid the dread 30% “Subsidized-as-of-Right,”
C.G.S. 80.30g. False. That law supersedes either way.
23 attended, none were in favor, 5 opposed submitting data demonstrating inadvisability,
indeed infeasibility, which RPZC ignored.

Ridgefield has never had IZ; there is no “emergency need.” Existing “incentives” are little used.
IZ requires set aside at substantial cost discount (app. 150%-250%). Result: lower quality, reduced size,
more density, more verticality, increased price of the non-set-asides. Mandates cause price distortion.
That night RPZC amended parking regulations to make it more difficult to build “subsidized” in
town center, thus foisting subsidization on the one family zones.

The IZ movement originates from “not-for-profits” operating under the banner of “Democratic
Socialism” (e.g., Leon Trotsky, Bernie Sanders), whose aim, among others, is to destroy local zoning,
impose central planning, and redistribute private property (e.g., Karl Marx, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)
in the name of “social equity” (e.g., H. George Frederickson, Ibram X. Kendi). The consequences of
Democratic Socialism are discussed in “The Road to Serfdom” (F.A. Hayek).

Additional meetings are scheduled for January 2023. Please attend.

John Tartaglia,
Ridgefield, CT
December 29, 2022