By Alex Harris
Ridgefield is a community of neighbors and neighborhoods. Pitching in for common cause and common good. Civic engagement, community involvement, and public spiritedness make our town envied far and wide. Good local government is a key ingredient of that acclaim, not coincidentally but integrally.
All the Democratic candidates for local election this fall are good neighbors who share in the full range of Ridgefielders’ experiences. They share all our lives, our concerns, and our priorities. As good and trusted neighbors, they don’t scapegoat, don’t mislead, and don’t advance agendas apart from the community’s interests. Crucially, they bring the experience, expertise, talents, and skills to best implement and advance Ridgefielders’ broadly shared priorities and to help guide the community to even stronger consensus in the future.
These shared attributes of the Democratic candidates are reflected in wide and varied ways. Each Democratic candidate team for each board reflects the full breadth of experience and outlooks of the wider community. When elected, they will ensure that each board benefits from varied and complementary strengths, expertise and insights.
For example, Democratic candidates for Police Commission share love of and dedication to Ridgefield’s health and safety, but bring highly diverse but harmonized and balanced experiences and skills to the effort:
- George Kain, Ph.D., currently Police Commission Chair, has served on the Commission for 20 years. George is a professor and Chairman of the Division of Justice and Law Administration at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, CT (25 years), and earned his Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York in 2006. He has been professionally involved in the law enforcement community, in various roles, since 1983.
- Nick Perna, Ph.D., currently serves on the Police Commission, is a nationally renowned economist, has taught at prestigious colleges and universities, including Williams College and Yale University, worked at the Federal Reserve and several private businesses, ran his own economics firm in Ridgefield, has gone on dozens of “ride-alongs” (including traffic stops, domestic violence calls, narcotics raids and more). Dr. Perna recently graduated from the Ridgefield Civilian Police Academy where he learned police procedures and techniques.
- Issy Caporale, brings direct experience in military law enforcement and the Ridgefield Police Department. During her 22-year Coast Guard career, Issy earned the Coast Guard Recruiting Service Ribbon, Coast Guard Medal, Coast Guard Commendation Medal, Coast Guard Presidential Unit Commendation, among others, attaining the high-enlisted rank of Chief Petty Officer. Issy then served 11 years as a Ridgefield Police Department dispatcher. Since retiring from the Department, Issy has served as a private security guard. Issy is also a Ridgefield High School sports legend and is deeply involved in youth sports officiating.
Three very different individuals with very different – but extremely complementary — life experiences, expertise, and qualifications, all dedicated to the same goals and priorities. Learn more about George, Nick, Issy, and all the other outstanding Democratic candidates for local office, at www.ridgefielddems.net.
Alex Harris is Chair of the Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee, which provides this column.