At Long Last, the Vote was Taken

It passed. The vote was close, 21-19-1, but the Demolition Delay ordinance passed at last night’s RTM meeting.

Going into the caucus last night, I still felt there wasn’t enough interest or passion for the ordinance despite Standing Committee votes showing it was close. As we discussed it, I still could sense it wasn’t going to happen. Still, as chairman of the Special Committee I needed to kick off the discussion during the main meeting.

We zipped through items 3-9 by virtue of they’re being on the consent calendar so it was merely 8:10 and the main event was upon us. I took the microphone and tried to sum up the last 14 months. The one thing I did differently was frame the conversation as asking the RTM to show leadership, by acting on behalf of the people who have made it clear they are unhappy with oversized homes and the changing character of the town. This was the one thing we could do and it could occur while the Planning & Zoning committee was also reviewing new regulations. Together, they might actually benefit the town.

The others, who came out for and against it, mostly echoed the comments they had made in the past. Ken Camarro, a realtor with a zeal for property owner’s rights, made his most impassioned plea against it although many of his claims were based on fear not on the facts. The usual supporters, FPLAN, were late to the party and didn’t get to speak.

The roll call vote was taken and Doug Jones, our Majority Leader, bet me a drink it would pass. And it did. Now, had all 50 of us been present, it might have gone differently, who knows? Still, it passed and our efforts for the last year were not in vain.

Now, was it the best Demo Delay ordinance in New England? No. Is it all it could have been for Fairfield? No. But, it gets us started and it certainly raised the level of debate over preservation in town which has to count for something.

The item was splashed across the top of page in today’s Connecticut Post which also caught me by surprise.

Now it’s back to the campaign trail so I can get re-elected for a second term.