Under Rudy Marconi’s remarkable tenure as First Selectman, Ridgefield has emerged 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.
RUDY IS RIDGEFIELD’S OWN
Rudy is a hometown success story. Born and raised here, he was a star athlete at Ridgefield High, and he went on to earn a degree in business administration. In 1986, Rudy returned to Ridgefield to join the family business. 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.
A COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC SERVICE
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 Rudy’s first term he 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.
CONSERVATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
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 over 600 acres for open space, including Bennett’s Pond and McKeon Farm, and taken steps to protect the town from wanton development. He led the fight to keep casinos out of Ridgefield’s corridor; worked tirelessly to keep Ridgefield out of the direct path of New York airports; and is Chairman of Connecticut Council of Small Towns, which gives a collective voice to municipalities at the state level.
In helping foster the creation of Ridgefield Playhouse, the ACT of Connecticut theater and the Prospector, Rudy has earned the town plaudits for its arts, culture and recreational amenities.
A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Through a plan for smart, managed growth, Rudy is working hard to keep Ridgefield the small, charming town we all love. When the 45-acre Schlumberger property in the heart of town became available, Rudy led the initiative to protect it from residential overdevelopment. Today it is home to a Broadway equity theater and to a design company that leased and renovated the site’s historic Philip Johnson building
Twenty years in as first selectmen, Rudy continues to search for—and find—new ways to control costs, promote economic growth and protect the town’s unique character. “Connecticut Magazine told us we’re Connecticut’s #1 town,” says Rudy. “But those of us who love Ridgefield already knew that.”