Your Neighbors • Your Priorities
Inland Wetlands Board
left to right: Susan Baker, Tracey Miller, Kory Salomone, and David Tatge.
Please scroll down to read more about us.
- Preserve and maintain wetlands to minimize disturbance and pollution.
- Ensure transparency of IWB review and approval process.
- Manage natural water resources responsibly.
- Balance wetlands protection and thoughtful economic development.
- Protect aquifers to ensure long-term health and safety.
- Understand and apply latest science.
Susan Baker, a resident of Ridgefield since 1976, has been a student of the environment and energetic activist since her high school years. From 1999 to 2001, as a core member of the Ridgefield Open Space Association (ROSA), she worked with others on saving Bennett’s Pond from residential development and in the process learned about state and local land use and wetlands regulations as they relate to preserving open space.
Since 2002, Susan has been a member of the Conservation Commission, and has been active in many of the commission’s initiatives, most recently in the effort to separate the Inland Wetlands Board from Planning and Zoning. Because the commission members cover meetings of the IWB/PZC, she has years of experience reviewing applications and how wetlands regulations have been applied.
Professionally, Susan is Director of the editorial services division at Westchester Publishing Services. She heads a department of roughly 40 employees who manage production of books for major university presses, think tanks, and policy agencies and oversees their manuscripts to completion as final printer files.
Her husband, Tom Elliott, also an environmentalist and former core member of ROSA, is a teacher/musician. They spend their leisure time in the outdoors. Their camping, mountain climbing, and hiking have led them to three continents plus the Arctic.
Why I'm Running
I am running to be a member of the newly separated Inland Wetlands Board. My involvement in environmental issues in town has spanned 20 years, and I look forward to helping to keep Ridgefield a healthy and beautiful place to live.
I strongly believe that the new independent board will be better able to ensure that wetlands issues will receive the focused review necessary to protect our water quality in the years ahead.
I have been a Ridgefield resident since 1975, and involved in environmental concerns in town since 1999, when I became a core member of the Ridgefield Open Space Association (ROSA), in the three-year fight to save Bennett’s Pond. The job became a three-year immersion in environmental and zoning regulations, the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development, species of special concern, vernal pools, and the need to educate the public about the value of protecting open space in Ridgefield.
My devotion to protecting Ridgefield’s natural environment has continued ever since; for the last 17 years, I have been a member of the Conservation Commission. One of our key responsibilities is to act as advisory board to the Planning and Zoning/Inland Wetlands Board, which means that I have reviewed, discussed, and monitored dozens of development applications.
In both 2014 and 2018, I was involved in presentations before the Charter Revision Commission and the Board of Selectmen, advocating for the creation of the independent Inland Wetlands Board. I had observed over the years that the combined board had not been able to attract candidates with wetlands experience or to focus equally on the often conflicting issues of two boards.
My decades of experience “on the job” here in Ridgefield will make me an effective member of the Inland Wetlands Board for which I strongly advocated. I hope I will have your vote on November 5th.
Tracey Miller is a licensed landscape architect in New York and Connecticut and has been designing landscapes for over 20 years. She is dedicated to the philosophy that sustainable practices promote lasting land-stewardship and she has an avid interest in natural systems and plant communities. She has worked on several ecologically sensitive projects, including Salt Meadow Park in Connecticut and Weekapaug Inn in Rhode Island.
Tracey received a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Virginia. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut. She serves on the Residential Design Committee of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and she is a member of the Association of State Wetland Managers.
Tracey lives in Ridgefield with her partner and their dogs and enjoys time spent volunteering at ROAR.
Why I'm Running
Ridgefield is cherished for its New England charm and natural beauty. Our welcoming shops and theaters, beautiful library and museums, friendly people and ample open space are just a few of the features that have attracted so many of us to move here and call Ridgefield our home. With all that Ridgefield has to offer, our town has grown in recent years. As a result, it’s customary to see conflicting interests fuel intense debates at our Planning and Zoning meetings.
That’s why I was glad to see the town vote for the creation of a new Inland Wetlands Board. As a professional landscape architect, I’ve had the opportunity to work in several communities throughout New England as they grappled with growth and development. Over the years, I’ve noticed that the towns that have most effectively maintained their distinctive appeal are those that have proactively adopted meaningful strategies to protect natural resources.
Our new IWB, which will be comprised of experienced professionals, will act apart from P&Z and usher Ridgefield into a new era of checks and balances that protect our waterways for the future. I’m running for the Ridgefield IWB to apply my two decades of experience to ensure that our wetlands are managed responsibly while balancing the right of individual land owners to derive value from their property.
With more than fifteen years experience as a land use and zoning attorney in Westchester County, Mr. Salomone brings the unique perspective of someone who knows what it takes to process development applications in compliance with all applicable environmental regulations. His expertise will enable the Inland Wetlands Board to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of Ridgefield residents by protecting our wetlands and watercourses from unnecessary and undesirable changes associated with development in or around the Town’s wetlands.
Kory received a Bachelor of Science degree from Ithaca College in Cinema and Photography. After nearly a decade working in the film industry, Mr. Salomone entered law school, receiving his Juris Doctorate with an Environmental Certificate from Pace Law School in 2006. While at Pace, Kory was a member of the Environmental Law Review. After working at a boutique land use and zoning firm in Armonk, NY, for over ten years, Kory established his own firm in 2016.
Kory has lives in Ridgefield with his wife Megan, an educator, two daughters, and two dogs.
Why I'm Running
My family and I moved to Ridgefield to be a part of a thriving community with a beautiful downtown, vast amounts of open space, and tree lined residential neighborhoods. As part of this wonderful community, I feel a responsibility to help maintain Ridgefield’s character and protect its natural resources. The newly created Inland Wetlands Board provides me with an opportunity to do just that.
For more than decade I have worked as a land use and zoning attorney processing development applications that not only consider community character, but also comply with all applicable environmental regulations. I will utilize my years of in land use as an IWB member to ensure that Ridgefield’s wetlands are protected from unnecessary and undesirable changes associated with development.
As with any thriving community, Ridgefield is faced with the task of balancing development while protecting the existing community character and natural resources that make it a desirable place to live.
Over the past several years there has been considerable growth in Ridgefield, and with that growth, there may be unintended consequences, such as negative impacts to our wetlands, watercourses, and aquifers. As a member of the IWB, I will bring my unique perspective and professional experience to ensure that Ridgefield’s wetlands are protected from unnecessary and undesirable changes associated with development.
David Tatge moved to Ridgefield in 2006 with his wife Jennifer Mathy, a marketer and writer. Their son Jackson is a Freshman at Michigan State University studying computer science. Their son Mitchell is a sophomore at Ridgefield High School.
David recently joined Ridgefield’s own r4 Technologies, using artificial intelligence to help clients identify market opportunities and solve problems. Prior to r4, he spent more than 20 years in retail financial services with a focus on consumer behavior, analytics and technology. Fourteen of those years were with MasterCard, working with financial institutions around the world to grow their payments and retail banking businesses. As a member of the MasterCard Advisors leadership team, he built a multi-million dollar product development consultancy and ran the Advisors group in Asia.
He and his family lived in Singapore for 2 years as a result. “We experienced so much while we were there, and came home with a greater appreciation of the wider world -- and our place in it -- having seen both incredible natural beauty and areas of great poverty throughout Asia.”
David joined the Board of Woodcock Nature Center as its Treasurer in 2015, recognizing the importance of protected spaces as a foundation for environmental education, and based on the enriching experiences Woodcock provides kids through their annual summer camps and other programs.
David stated, “Living in a beautiful, bountiful place puts great obligations on those of us who have that good fortune. I am excited to be running for a position on the Inland Wetlands Board, to ensure that the citizens of Ridgefield benefit from thoughtful economic development, while protecting wetland and watercourses from unintended negative consequences. There was a quote in National Geographic magazine a number of years ago that has stuck with me, ‘All the water that will ever be is, right now.’ And we owe it to ourselves and our community to protect it.”
David grew up in Illinois and Arkansas. In high school, his favorite science teacher allowed him and his best friend to spend many afternoons at a local lake, exploring its tributaries, looking for interesting wildlife, and scouting locations for a student film, though no Oscar nominations ensued. He subsequently earned a BSBA in economics from the University of Arkansas, and later an MBA from Northwestern University.
Why I'm Running
Living in a beautiful, bountiful place like Ridgefield puts great obligations on those of us who have that good fortune. And I view the Inland Wetlands Board’s reason for being, and its obligation to the town, very simply – to protect what is irreplaceable.
I’m running for IWB because I want to apply my background in economics and a career in analytics and technology to the issues most important to Ridgefield.
As a Board, we have to understand and consider the latest science and data in our stewardship of inland wetlands and watercourses, and the risks to them, especially in a time when such things as water quality and extreme weather are having such an impact on our lives.
As a community, we need to pay close attention to hydrologic systems, and understand that their interconnectedness means that any action taken in one part leads to consequences in others.
As a member of the newly independent IWB, I will insure two key principles. First is that we make certain that all stakeholders have the opportunity to be heard regarding proposals for development, and make certain that the environmental, financial, and health impacts – such as safe drinking water – are fully addressed. Equally important is that the citizens of Ridgefield benefit from thoughtful economic development, while we protect nearby wetland areas from unintended negative consequences.
Election day is November 5th, 2019