Steve: Why I’m Running for BOS

My name is Steve Zemo and I am running for a seat on the Board of Selectmen.  I am one of 5 candidates running for 4 seats.  Each of us brings different life experiences, different opinions and different perspectives.

My perspective includes being the father of a 4th grade student in the Ridgefield Public Schools, so I appreciate the importance of maintaining an excellent school system both for our children’s benefit and for the halo effect our strong school system has on our community and home values.   I operate a local business, employing local people, so I know what it’s like to meet a Friday payroll for 6 families.  I’m in touch with local businesses and the pulse of the local economy.   I am a major Ridgefield taxpayer so I pay attention to our town budget (and I offer a hearty shout out to First Selectman Rudy Marconi and our Democratic majority Board of Finance for for maintaining our AAA bond rating).

I have a degree in Finance from Boston College and a Master’s degree in Community Economic Development.  When the economy tanked in 2009 and one tenant after another was closing, I was faced with a half empty shopping center.  I didn’t just put up a For Rent sign and wait for something to happen.  Instead, I took this lemon of a situation and created the now bustling Marketplace at Copps Hill Common.

I am an active proponent and recognized practioner of green, energy efficient building.  My firm received Energy Star status for a project in 2006 and LEED Platinum for my private residence in 2009.  I recently received the National Green Building Standard at the Gold level for my latest project.

As a long time community volunteer I am proud to have served as a founding member of the Ridgefield Playhouse, and thrilled that experience began a 20 year friendship with Barbara Manners.   I’ve also served on the Board of Directors of the Community Center and of the Chamber of Commerce.   I chaired the Ridgefield Middle School Site Selection Committee, which led to construction of Scotts Ridge Middle School.  I previously served on the Board of Selectmen, helping to set the course for Rudy’s outstanding tenure as First Selectman.

  • Many decisions facing the Board of Selectmen in the next 4 years are real estate in nature, including:implementing the voters input for the 30 acre Schlumberger site;
  • refurbishing the Philip Johnson building into the Sendak museum;
  • re-purposing the soon to be vacant Visiting Nurses Association (VNA) space to facilitate an expanded Playhouse;
  • ameliorating the limited parking situation in the village central business district; and
  • others too mumerous to list.

The Board of Selectmen needs a voice with a strong local business and real estate background, coupled with the insights and perspective of families with school age children. I bring both, plus a passion for preserving all that is great about our town and a desire to contribute to its continued progress and improvement. For all these reasons, I humbly request your vote when you cast your ballot this fall, and I look forward to joining Rudy Marconi and Barbara Manners in serving you for the next four years.