Elect Rudy's Team
Board of Selectmen
left to right: Barbara Manners, Rudy Marconi, and Sean Connelly.
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It Takes A Team -- Rudy's Team
Ridgefield is envied far and wide for its unmatched First Selectman Rudy Marconi. But even a single individual as tireless, dedicated, passionate, visionary, prudent, and eminently talented as Rudy requires a strong team to work with him. Thus, it is essential you elect "Rudy's Team" -- Barbara Manners and Sean Connelly -- to keep Ridgefield headed in the right direction. Because for Rudy, Barbara, Sean -- just like for you, your family and all your neighbors -- it's all For the Love of Ridgefield.
First Selectman Rudy Marconi
Rudy Marconi has been Ridgefield’s First Selectman since 1999. Under Rudy’s leadership, Ridgefield has been widely recognized as one of Connecticut’s best towns. It’s the safest in the state, with top schools, strong finances and an arts scene that is the envy of other communities.
Born and raised in Ridgefield, Rudy is a hometown success story. He is remembered as a star athlete at Ridgefield High, and he went on to earn a degree in business administration. In 1986, Rudy returned to the town that raised him. He joined the family business, gaining a unique perspective on town life.
Rudy’s passion for public service led him to two terms on the Planning and Zoning Commission, and then two as a Selectman. He narrowly lost his first bid for the top job in 1997 but was elected two years later by a then-historic 63% of the vote. He has since won re-election seven times—either unopposed or by wide margins.
During his first term, Rudy led passage of “the Bundle”—a landmark project that built a new middle school and renovated the others (creating the Recreation Center and Founders Hall as well). To achieve this, Rudy brought together town officials and citizens together—marking the beginning of his uniquely collaborative approach to town business.
Rudy has made economic development and conservation his twin priorities. He notably brokered a $382 million expansion of Boehringer-Ingelheim—a huge economic boost for Ridgefield. He put together Ridgefield’s first long-term financial forecast and has stuck to it—winning the town a AAA bond rating for 20 consecutive years.
On Rudy’s watch, Ridgefield has acquired and permanently preserved over 600 acres for open space, and taken steps to protect the town from wanton development.
Rudy’s leadership has built a new school and remodeled others. He fostered the creation of the Ridgefield Playhouse, the Recreation Center and Founders Hall—as well as the new ACT of Connecticut theater—earning the town plaudits for its arts, culture and recreational amenities.
Rudy has a daughter, three sons and seven grandchildren. And most Ridgefielders know Peggy Marconi, Rudy’s wife of 36 years, a respected Ridgefield businesswoman and volunteer.
“Connecticut Magazine told us we’re Connecticut’s #1 town,” says Rudy. “But those of us who love Ridgefield already knew that.” Learn more about Rudy.
Barbara Manners has served 22 years on Ridgefield’s Board of Selectmen. She has been a resident of Ridgefield since 1988 when she moved here from New York City to raise her son David Manners-Weber who is now 31 years old and an attorney living in Washington D.C. Barbara herself was a practicing attorney for 17 years prior to David’s birth, concentrating in corporate law and ultimately general counsel of a publicly-traded company. She had extensive experience managing in-house as well as outside counsel, negotiating contracts, dealing with state and federal agencies, administrative law, litigation etc.
Barbara and her husband Morgan Weber, also an attorney, now retired, first bought a house in Ridgefield in 1983 as a weekend hideaway from New York. But with the arrival of their son David, they decided to relocate permanently to Ridgefield.
Once David started kindergarten, Barbara became heavily involved in promoting the arts in Ridgefield and was instrumental in founding the Ridgefield Playhouse. She was its incorporator and first President of its Board of Directors. Subsequent to 9/11/2001 Barbara started CHIRP (now in its 18th season) with the goal of drawing the community closer together through the presentation of free music in the park.
Barbara is the recipient of several awards for her efforts in the arts and public service, including the 2010 Martin Luther King Community Service Award, 2013 Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut Heart of the Arts Award, and the 2014 Ridgefield Arts Council Nancy Comstock Andrews Award.
Barbara also served on the Board of Directors of the Women's Center of Greater Danbury for three years 1996-1999, Board of Directors of ABC from 1996-March 2001, and Board of Directors of the Ridgefield Symphony for seven years. She was a Member of the League of Women Voters and of American Association of University Women and recipient of their 1999 Connecticut State Award for Community Leadership.
Barbara continues to serve on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Center and also oversees fundraising for the Holiday Trust Fund, a community fund she established in 1999 to raise funds to support the Halloween Walk and downtown holiday lights.
Selectwoman Manners continues to live with her husband Morgan and their four dogs in the home they originally purchased in 1983. As a member of the Board of Selectmen her primary focus has been attempting to preserve Ridgefield’s “small town” feel. She believes it is critically important to maintain Ridgefield as a desirable community for persons of all ages.
Why I'm Running
There is a value to consistent leadership, and a comfort that comes with leadership that is compassionate, thoughtful and strong. I am proud to have worked with Rudy for the past 20 years to make Ridgefield a top town to live in.
Twenty years ago, we were mired in conflict over the much-needed expansion of our schools — there was no Scotts Ridge Middle School, no Tiger Hollow, no Ridgefield Playhouse, no accessible playgrounds, no CHIRP, no ACT, no Founder’s Hall and no state-of-the-art Parks & Recreation facility. There was nowhere to see a movie in Ridgefield and there was a much more limited selection of restaurants. Today, Ridgefield has The Prospector, a multi-screen movie house, and no lack of places to eat. Ridgefield also attracts people from across the region to dine, to shop and to attend a show at one of our several performance venues.
Many of these positive changes were the result of public/private partnerships and of citizen initiatives: Rotarians working with Parks & Recreation to build an accessible playground; parents coming together to help fund the Spray Bay; deeply committed citizens raising much of the funding to expand our library; and generous Ridgefield family foundations working with the town to create the loveliest senior center in Connecticut. All have made Ridgefield an even more desirable place to live. I have worked particularly hard on preserving our small-town sense of community and I am passionate about our future. When I announce each summer CHIRP performance and gaze across Ballard Park at the audience, I am filled with pride to work for a town filled with so many honest, hard-working, involved citizens who are good neighbors.
Yes, with changes come challenges. But our team wakes up every day with the resolve to face every single challenge. I will continue to work with Rudy, my colleagues in town government, and with all Ridgefielders to make Ridgefield even better. I ask for your support on November 5th.
Sean Connelly is a proud member of the Ridgefield community, where he has lived with his family for over 13 years, and where he has served on the Board of Finance since 2016. Sean has been involved in many community activities, including coaching over 25 soccer teams for Soccer Club of Ridgefield (SCOR), acting as that organization’s division director forming teams and coordinating other coaches, and serving as a Cub Scout den leader.
After volunteering at the first two TriRidgefield triathlons, Sean has competed in the event every year since 2009. He can be found riding with the Ridgefield Bicycle Sport Club on Thursday evenings in the summer, and running with the Ridgefield Running Company for Saturday shop runs as he trains for the RIdgefield Half Marathon.
Sean's wife Tao was the owner of a local shop on Main Street called Suburban Underground. They have two children in the Ridgefield public schools, a daughter at RHS high school and a son at SRMS. Sean is committed to supporting the outstanding Ridgefield Public School system.
Sean has worked for Willis Towers Watson, the leading Human Capital and Risk consulting firm, for 25 years, focusing on Talent and Employee Insights. He works with leaders of Fortune 500 organizations to improve their human capital strategies. Sean has graduate and undergraduate degrees in Applied Psychology from Boston University.
Election day is November 5th, 2019