Letter: Writer rebuts assertions that first selectman candidate deserves credit for Darien High School lights
To the Editor:
I just read the letter to the editor regarding Rob Richards from Mike Klein and literally became ill. Along with many, many very supportive, generous Darien residents who fought to right a wrong, we have much to be proud of as volunteers. I have been personally involved with this process for many years — dating back to portable lights to provide a safer environment for our athletes and now on to permanent lights at Darien High School. Ten+ years of meetings with hundreds of neighbors, residents, officials and having to send out thousands of registered letters each year just for portables is what led up to victory on the lights movement.
Rob Richards, very candidly, did nothing.
At the very end, he inserted himself into the process, despite strong recommendations against it, and he hurt the process, not helped it. He had no constructive involvement what so ever and his input is now responsible for actually limiting usage on the field lighting adding no Saturday night games and football games starting at 6 p.m. and not 7 p.m. like all other Connecticut towns. The Darien Athletic Foundation (DAF) — through hundreds of very generous Darien families, businesses and organizations such as our “lead donor,” the Darien Foundation — privately raised over $9 million.
These funds were used to turf our fields, build seating on the oval, landscape, construct the new beautiful concession stands and most importantly the state of the art lights we will all celebrate on Friday night. To my knowledge Selectman Richards did not donate a single penny, but now wants to take credit for 10 years of work and the DAF following the rules and regulations in our town plan. This is a very sad and desperate act by a local politician trying to make a name for himself. Compromise was reached by the rules governed by our town plan and made possible by the DAF, school board and Planning & Zoning, along with generous unselfish committed donors.
Let’s celebrate our new community gathering place on Friday night, and nobody wants to hear your fairy tale claims of magically getting the deal approved. This reflects very poorly on your character and let credit be given to residents who earned it.
Let there be light!