Letter to the Editor:
By Jim Demark, Member of the Darien RTC
Submitted to The Darien Times for publication in its August 13, 2020, issue.

​Darien residents should know their reps supported police bill

To the Editor:

Darien residents should be aware that Sen. Bob Duff, who represents Norwalk and part of Darien, and Sen. Carlo Leone, who represents Stamford and part of Darien, both voted in favor of the new police bill.

This bill includes a modified rollback of the qualified immunity clause, which opens up police officers to personal lawsuits. Do Duff and Leone realize that this bill creates hesitation for police officers due to the legal ramifications of trying to do their job? Police officers want to protect people, but this bill will cause police to retreat from dangerous situations where they view their personal risk as too high. This vote by Duff and Leone hurts the safety of everyone, but it is more harmful to lower income communities that tend to need more police protection.

It would be more beneficial to provide officers better training and integrate common sense reforms such as de-escalation and incidence reporting, but this bill does not accomplish those things, and instead will make police forces less effective in the areas that need them most.

Due to the misguided votes of politicians like Duff and Leone, police officers across Connecticut are now questioning if they have the support of the state and local authorities and for good reason.

Jim Demark
Darien Republican Town Committee


​Letter to the Editor:
By Bert von Stuelpnagel, Treasurer of the Darien RTC
Submitted to The Darien Times for publication in its August 13, 2020, issue..

The future of housing in Darien?

To the Editor:

Democrats and Republicans want more equality and fairness, and housing policies are part of this. They disagree on the methods and speed of change. Real estate markets adapt gradually.

There is not enough space available to add multifamily housing quickly, and private developers only dedicate a small share as affordable units to larger projects, even when allowed to ignore setbacks. It requires sensible planning to put up new residential buildings as two or more family units on land that was formerly dedicated to one.

If Darien rushes this, we end up with more commercial and aesthetic failures. What about the remedy that DesegregateCT advocates: the Holy Grail of a statewide uniform mill rate? Do we want Hartford to take property taxes and redistribute them from towns to cities, as already happens with income taxes? I guess that’s one way to achieve “affordable housing” — drop real estate prices by increasing property taxes. That solution would be about as popular as closing the school district. Regionalization of education is a very similar attempt at social engineering, also cleverly labeled as desegregation on the outside — but in the core meant to change the system of government and our way of life. In a recent contribution, a former selectman and Hartford housing official appears to withdraw her support for Darien’s zoning regulations and the progress the town has achieved.

Does the Democratic Town Committee want to move planning and zoning to the state as supported by the rival ANDD? Where do Democrats stand on a third housing memorandum? Darien Republicans want town developments to continue at the measured, thoughtful and intelligent pace that the town has employed for a long time. Ideology has no place in that strategy.

Bert von Stuelpnagel
Darien Republican Town Committee, Treasurer


​​Opinion: Wood provided comfort, compassion when needed
By Marcy Minnick, The Darien Times, August 11, 2020

As election season creeps up, many of us are bracing ourselves for the volatility and ugliness that is likely to erupt from our divided and dysfunctional two-party system. Candidates are already being intentionally provoked and bombarded with trick questions designed to pigeonhole them into certain ideologies and party positions.

Let’s be honest — no one agrees 100 percent with their registered political party.

Over the weekend, a Facebook post appeared on ANDD’s (Action Network of Darien Democrats) Facebook site accusing State Rep. Terrie Wood of suggesting that a vote for Biden was a vote for socialism. It then proceeded to question Wood’s commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement.

As a friend of Wood’s, I feel it is my responsibility to share a story which highlights her swift action and compassionate response to an unfortunate and uncomfortable experience my family recently had here in town.

I am in a mixed-race marriage. I am white, and my husband, Emanuel is black. We are currently in the trenches raising three biracial children in the town of Darien. Our children are young and they are impressionable.

We have lived in town for nearly eight years. We adore Darien. From the very start, we have felt welcomed, included and often encouraged and sought out to participate in the shift in the Darien culture. We enjoy being pioneers and we understand its purpose.

That being said, just a few weeks ago my husband had an experience at the town transfer station that was a blatant example of “white privilege” and “entitlement.” It shook us both to the core.

​The experience was unusual, and triggered a response about race relations in my husband that I have never witnessed in our 15 years of marriage. It sparked conversations at home about what we can do to grow, prepare and educate both our children and the community of which we are a part.

I reached out to State Rep. Wood as both my friend and local leader. She could not have been more compassionate, nor angrier about my husband’s experience. She was fully motivated and willing to bring to light the injustice and blatant racism my husband and two Latino men working at the transfer station had experienced.

My husband has been strongly encouraged to write an op-ed regarding what transpired that day, and other town leaders have also reached out to show their support and encouragement for my husband to use his voice. I pray he chooses to do this.

However, in his kindness, my husband chooses not to forget the life and family of the perpetrator. This person who displayed an obvious and belittling display of “white privilege” also happens to be a mother here in town, an active member of the BLM movement and a loud voice on equality and women’s rights.

Although I, many of my friends (across the political spectrum), and Representative Wood believe this woman should be called out for her behavior and exposed for her hypocrisy, my husband struggles with the release of her identity as it would easily destroy her reputation and “activism” here in town.

This is just the kind of man my husband is. A gentle soul who continuously looks for the good in people and protects the weakest in a community.

So please, before anyone suggests Mrs. Wood needs to “take a stand” on BLM, I suggest ANDD and those who follow their ideologies take a hard look at members of their own community.

Mrs. Wood’s actions demonstrate that Black Lives Matter, as she was the one who showed up on the doorstep of the black family in her hometown. She provided comfort, encouragement, compassion and a platform for my family at a time when we felt just a tinge of what million of families of color feel each and every day.

Lawn signs, marching, t-shirts, kneeling — none of it matters if you don’t change what’s on the inside.

For this movement to be successful, we need to begin in our very own living rooms. Let’s all make a choice to care for one another — to lift each other up and help each other succeed, regardless of the color of our skin.

Marcy Minnick
Darien


​​Letter to the Editor:
State Rep. Terrie Wood responds to comments attributed to her on social
By Terrie Wood, The Darien Times, August 11, 2020

Campaign season is often a time for unfortunate behavior to surface.

It’s disappointing that conversations on key issues become twisted beyond the truth. Fabrications are made to fit the narrative of the opposition to suit their goals.

In a less than two-minute conversation with a constituent while campaigning last weekend, we touched on several topics including the presidency. I did not support Donald Trump in 2016, and I will not support him this year. Joe Biden is a non-starter for me as well, as he has adopted the socialist agenda of Bernie Sanders. Serving in Hartford, I’ve seen how damaging a far-left agenda has been to our state, and I do not want that for our country.

I am a lifelong, moderate Republican and believe deeply in self-determination, hard work, accountability, equal opportunity and a limited government. While the vast majority of Republicans serving in the Connecticut legislature are fiscally conservative and socially moderate/liberal, we get painted by a group of local Democrats as being extremists. This kind of discourse devalues everyone in our community because it’s simply not the truth.

Click here to read the entire letter.


​​Letter to the Editor:
By Bert von Stuelpnagel, Treasurer of the Darien RTC
Submitted to The Darien Times, for publication in its August 6, 2020, issue.

The future of housing in Darien?

Democrats and Republicans want more equality and fairness, and housing policies are part of this. They disagree on the methods and speed of change. Real estate markets adapt gradually. There is not enough space available to add multifamily housing quickly, and private developers only dedicate a small share as affordable units to larger projects, even when allowed to ignore set-backs. It requires sensible planning to put up new residential buildings as two or more family units on land that was formerly dedicated to one.  If Darien rushes this, we end up with more Leroy-Wests, commercial and aesthetic failures.

What about the remedy that DesegregateCT advocates: the Holy Grail of a statewide uniform mill rate?  Do we want Hartford to take property taxes and redistribute them from towns to cities, as already happens with income taxes? I guess that’s one way to achieve “affordable housing”: drop real estate prices by increasing property taxes! That solution would be about as popular as closing the school district.

Regionalization of Education is a very similar attempt at social engineering, also cleverly labeled as desegregation on the outside -- but in the core meant to change the system of government and our way of life. In a recent contribution, a former Selectman and Hartford housing official appears to withdraw her support for Darien’s zoning regulations and the progress the Town has achieved. Does the DTC want to move planning and zoning to the State as supported by the rival ANDD? Where do Democrats stand on a third housing memorandum? Darien Republicans want town developments to continue at the measured, thoughtful and intelligent pace that the Town has employed for a long time. Ideology has no place in that strategy.


OpEd: Sweeping zoning and land use reform agenda
By First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, The Darien Times, July 17, 2020


....​Here in Connecticut, there is growing support for the idea that racial segregation and inequities are rooted in and perpetuated by discriminatory land use laws and zoning regulations that discourage the development of affordable and higher density housing.

Sweeping zoning reforms are now being proposed by various legislative caucuses (see
SenateDems.CT.gov - Juneteenth agenda) and advocacy groups (see DesegregateCT.org), and pressure is mounting to add consideration of the legislation to an upcoming special session agenda.....

Please click here  to read the entire opinion piece.

Opinion: Extraordinary challenges, extraordinary opportunities
By Terrie Wood, The Darien Times, June 25, 2020


We live in extraordinary times. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives came to a standstill with shelter-in-place orders on March 14. Following this public health and economic crisis came the national debate on racial disparities and police accountability. Every one of us has been directly impacted. It’s a time to feel sobered and be reflective. So, how do we move forward?

Please click 
here  to read the entire opinion piece.

Letter to the Editor:
​New Democratic Party Leadership in Darien?

By Bert von Stulpnagel, The Darien Times, January 27, 2020

To a person, Darien has experienced, thoughtful and caring Democrats on the Representative Town Meeting and on all boards and committees. The residents of Darien are grateful for the time and dedication of our local public servants. Republicans and Democrats work well together, and it shows.

The Democratic Town Committee had a strong hand in finding fine candidates to town offices. However, where the DTC’s performance is often disappointing is in the discourse when state and municipal interests collide....

Click here to read the entire letter.

Local Editorials & Letters to the Editor

​​Paid for by the Darien Republican Town Committee
P.O. Box 937, Darien, CT 06820   ​
www.darienrtc.com​    darienrtc@yahoo.com

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