Letter to the Editor:
By Hutch and Ryann Pegler, Darien, CT
October 15, 2020


We are proud to support our friend Terrie Wood

We are proud to support our friend Terrie Wood in her re-election campaign for state representative in the 141st District. We have known Wood since we moved to Darien 20 years ago, and she has always been a responsive and strong advocate for everyone in our community. Wood tackles issues such as health care, education, the budget, and the environment with an open mind, common sense and the ability to work effectively with colleagues on both sides of the aisle — qualities that are sadly in short supply these days!

Regardless of whom you support at the top of the ticket, a vote for Wood is a vote for equal opportunity, sustainable economic growth, fiscal responsibility, and local control of our schools and zoning regulations. We are lucky to have someone of Wood’s high energy, intellect and integrity representing us in Hartford.

Letter to the Editor:
By Charlie Koons, Darien, CT
October 15, 2020​


Wood takes a levelheaded, bipartisan approach

Terrie Wood continues to represent Darien and Norwalk in Hartford with a levelheaded, bipartisan approach from which we have all benefited. She has consistently worked on our behalf to seek common sense solutions to the challenges that we face in Connecticut. She has fought for local control of schools, zoning and public health in our communities. Wood values individual choice, personal responsibility, accountability and equal opportunity. Over the next two-year term, Wood will focus on meeting our historic health challenges head on, addressing our education needs as they continue to evolve, rebuilding our local economy and small businesses, and bringing long overdue fiscal discipline to Connecticut.

We need more representatives in Hartford like Wood who will work tirelessly to find long-term, sustainable solutions that will benefit all of Connecticut.


Letter to the Editor:
By Morgan Whittier, Former member of Darien's Board of Education
Darien, CT, October 15, 2020​


Former Board of Ed member supports Maroney and Dineen

​I support Dennis Maroney and Duke Dineen for election to the Board of Education.

Dennis Maroney has spent two decades dedicated to the children of Darien as coach on the athletic fields, seasoned RTM Education chairman, and collaborative member of the board. I sat across the table from Dennis during budget seasons and he asked insightful questions, holding the board accountable to the taxpayers. He is willing to fund innovative learning technologies and supports the emotional wellness of our students, while responsibly evaluating the budget “extras.”

David Dineen has proven to be an effective board member. He has the respect of the administration, Board of Finance, and fellow board members. There’s no agenda, except working with school professionals to deliver the best public education.

We need Dennis and Duke to navigate our education system through this pandemic and the very likely shortfall in state reimbursements in the near future.


Letter to the Editor:
​By Jim Demark, Darien, CT
Member of the Darien RTC
October 15, 2020


Dineen and Maroney personify long-standing commitment

Nov. 3, voters can select two of four candidates running for the Board of Education. Together, Duke Dineen and Dennis Maroney personify powerful, long-standing commitment to and care for the town of Darien.

Dineen, the current vice chairman of the board, is also a co-chairman of the Ox Ridge Building Committee. Dineen was a critical contributor during negotiation of teacher contracts and led the development of the district’s master facilities plan. He is a consistent advocate for student voice and sensible budgetary decision-making.

Maroney, a former chairman of RTM Education Committee, is chair of the Facilities Committee, currently charged with the important work of removing portables from schools. He is the sole board representative on the Portrait of a Graduate Committee and sits on the Negotiations Committee. Maroney is passionate about strong educational standards, social emotional learning, and responsible budgeting.

Join me in voting for Dineen and Maroney.


Letter to the Editor:
By Sandy Savage, Darien, CT
​October 15, 2020


Maroney asks the hard questions

I will be voting for Dennis Maroney in the election. I have known Maroney for over 12 years; we served on the RTM Education Committee for many of those years. I have great respect for him and for his opinions and thoughts on the education of the children of our town. Maroney always had great questions to try and get the real answer to the problems facing the district. Maroney is always thinking of all the children in the district and the best way to serve them. Maroney always had a great respect for the administration and board members. When Maroney first went on the Board of Education, I was happy to see him handle the challenge in the same way that he handled the RTM. Maroney was never afraid to ask the hard questions. Please join me and vote for Maroney on Nov. 3.


Letter to the Editor:
By Tom and Ann Dickson, Darien, CT
​October 15, 2020


Maroney has shown passion for the Board of Education

We are writing to give our support for the re-election of Dennis Maroney to Darien’s Board of Education. We have known Dennis and his family for over 20 years. He is the proud father of two fantastic girls who attended Darien schools from kindergarten through high school graduation. He brings a parent’s perspective to his work with the board. Over the past three years, Maroney has shown his passion for exceeding the educational needs of Darien’s children. He is forward thinking, willing to collaborate and ask tough questions. Darien needs Maroney’s leadership to continue to provide exceptional education opportunities to our children. We will be voting to re-elect Dennis Maroney to the Board of Education on Nov. 3 and hope you will join us.


Letter to the Editor:
By Rob Hulick, Member of the Darien RTC
Darien, CT, October 15, 2020


Dineen and Maroney have firsthand experience as Darien school parents

Did you know there are four candidates running for the Board of Education with three positions open, but you can only vote for two?

I hope those two will be Dennis Maroney and Duke Dineen. Both Maroney and Dineen are dedicated and experienced community leaders who are committed to making Darien’s school system the very best it can be for the benefit of our kids, their parents, and all of Darien’s residents. They have firsthand experience as parents of children who are attending our schools or who attended them from kindergarten through 12th grade and graduated from Darien High School. Together, Maroney and Dineen bring a broad range of management skills, technical expertise, commitment, insight and vision for Darien’s school system.

I hope you will join me and vote for Maroney and Dineen on Election Day on Nov. 3.


Letter to the Editor:
By Alexander H. Davidson, Chair of the Darien RTC
Posted on www.DarienTimes.com, September 14, 2020


Reject divisiveness, support Maroney and Dineen for Board of Ed

The divisiveness caused between our Board of Education and our Board of Finance last spring was unacceptable and unnecessary. Our Board of Finance members have children in our schools but they were brazenly accused of seeking to hurt those schools and its students. Their crime? In light of COVID-19 and the shutdown, they asked the Board of Ed for a reduced budget increase. Certain Democratic leaders seized upon this opportunistically, mischaracterizing the request as a budget “cut” and even “draconian.” This unnecessarily alarmed school parents when it was the last thing anyone needed.

Let’s work together as a town. Let’s reject divisiveness and opportunism. Send a message by voting to re-elect Dennis Maroney and Duke Dineen for Board of Ed on Nov. 3.


Letter to the Editor:
By Ian and Jessica Cadieu, Darien, CT
The Darien Times, September 14, 2020

Wood serves all her constituents regardless of politics

I want to share my support for and experiences with State Rep. Terrie Wood. She serves us in a deeply caring, honest, and empathetic manner, while holding a deep grasp of the issues, balancing differing opinions, and honestly listening to input from her constituency.

I first met Terrie over two years ago. I expressed concern about several upcoming bills. They weren’t related to Terrie’s core agenda, but she went out of her way to understand the issues. While we didn’t always agree, she clearly cared for everyone in the state and crafted policy regardless of politics.

Since that time, I’ve attended many of Terrie’s meetups and run into her in town. Deep caring, proactivity, ability to listen, and policy understanding are hallmarks of her character. She truly wants to help residents without pushing her own agenda, while being grounded in fiscal responsibility, pro-growth policies, and broad inclusivity we desperately need.


Letter to the Editor:
By Alexander H. Davidson, Chair of the Darien RTC
Posted on www.DarienTimes.com, September 1, 2020

Maroney’s Board of Ed service is thoughtful, impassioned

As a parent of twin sons starting 9th grade in a new school, like many of your readers I am keenly and warily focused on school reopening.

I recently spoke with Dennis Maroney, one of our candidates for re-election to Board of Ed (along with Vice Chairman Duke Dineen), about the issues our schools face. So impressed with his thoughts about the return to school, particularly with regards to the emotional and mental health of our children, I asked him to summarize his thoughts on that subject so I could share it with your readers....

Please click here  to read the rest of the letter.



Opinion: Letter to Gov. Lamont
By Kim Huffard, Chair of  Darien's Police Commission
Darien, CT, www.DarienTimes.com, August 31, 2020

Darien Police Commission chairman sends open letter to Lamont on police bill

I am writing this letter in an effort to address several provisions contained in HB. #6004: An Act Concerning Police Accountability, passed on July 31, 2020. I hope the Connecticut General Assembly will revisit these provisions prior to their effective date.​...

Please click 
here  to read the rest of the letter.


Letters to the Editor:
Two Separate Letters written by Amy Wishenski and Rolf Obin of Darien
The Darien Times, August 31, 2020

Darien residents oppose Desegregate CT zoning bill and process

Please click here  to read both letters.


Letter to the Editor:
By Tom Lochtefeld, Darien, CT
​Posted on www.DarienTimes.com, August 25, 2020

Wood is a true public servant

​I’d like to respond to Kyle Wolfe’s editorial in The Darien Times and offer my support for State Rep. Terrie Wood.

Having seen Terrie in action for many years and knowing her to be a levelheaded and hardworking public servant, I was actually quite shocked to hear she was being “disqualified” by Wolfe — but isn’t that what’s happening here in 2020 when someone disagrees with another’s point of view? For instance, the CEO of Goya Foods expresses a favorable opinion of our Republican president and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez calls for a boycott of his company’s products in a nationally televised press conference. Let’s all step back and take a deep breath.....

Please click here to read the rest of the letter.


​Letter to the Editor:
By Liz Mao, Darien, CT
The Darien Times, August 17, 2020

Darien resident calls for civility as election season begins

As we enter what is going to be a stressful election season, I would like to call for civility and kindness towards those who are running for office or who already hold office....

Please click here to read the rest of the letter.


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

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?

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.


​​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.


Local Editorials & Letters to the Editor

Candidates for Darien's Board of Education

Duke Dineen

Dennis Maroney

Kim Huffard
​Chair, Darien's Police Commission

Dennis Maroney

Terrie Wood
​State Representative

Candidates for Darien's Board of Education

Duke Dineen