To the Editor:

We are writing in support of Susan Marks for selectman.

We have known Susan for over 25 years. She has listened to our concerns and has always been thoughtful, fair and forward-looking in her approach to solutions for the town.

Susan’s leadership was instrumental when the town needed more space for our students. She rolled up her sleeves, worked side by side with many people in town and helped get the building projects approved.

As a selectman and in her numerous volunteer roles, Susan has worked tirelessly for the town of Darien.

Our families have benefited from the dedication and hard work of Susan Marks. We live in a wonderful town and our children received a first-class education that has afforded them great opportunities in their education and their careers.

Please join us and vote for Susan on Nov. 7!

Kathy Saulitis, MaryKay Cobb, Tricia Conley, Julie Hekker and Elizabeth Hobbs


To the Editor:

This is our annual reminder to contact your bowhunter to help cull the Darien deer herd. Bowhunting season for deer opened Sept. 15 and will continue until Jan. 31. This is the only time of the year where you can make a difference in the health of the environment and the health of your family.

When lacking natural predators, deer are left to twin each spring, exponentially increasing their numbers. Large numbers are a threat to you and your family two ways: deer/vehicle accidents and Lyme and other tick borne diseases. The environment suffers, too; as the understory of the forested areas is over-foraged — not to mention your garden! — small animals and birds lose their natural habitats. Connecticut has already lost significant song bird populations as a result.

The ideal statewide goal is to reduce numbers to around 10 deer per square mile at which point the tick population would collapse — they need a large mammal host — and over-foraging would ease.

Bowhunters harvest the deer for personal consumption or donate meat to local soup kitchens.

Please contact us for a copy of registered bowhunters or go to the clerk at the Darien Town Hall for a copy of the list. We are glad to assist you in these necessary safeguards any way we can.

Tom and Laurie McGrath


Editor’s note: The McGraths are members of the Fairfield County Deer Alliance.

To the Editor:

Politics are dividing the nation and we are all forgetting what a great country we live in.

This is true in Darien, too. We have a beautiful town with protected open spaces and wonderful beaches and schools.

Hartford sees Fairfield County as a piggy bank to support state employees with the most generous pensions and benefits in the nation and an unbalanced budget. Despite all of this, our town, under the leadership of Jayme Stevenson, Susan Marks and Kip Koons, continues to improve the quality of life for all. While the state continues to cut funding and services, Darien continues to thrive. We remain at the top of polls — schools, safety, development, aid for the aging, arts and culture, parks and open space.

Look around — don’t try to fix what ain’t broke! Vote for the “Best for Darien Team” to keep Darien the town we know and love.

Jennifer Hill


To the Editor:

I am writing to support the team of Jayme Stevenson, Susan Marks and Kip Koons for re-election.

Twenty-three years ago, I moved back to Darien with my husband so that our three daughters would benefit from the exceptional educational opportunities I experienced growing up here. Darien is a wonderful place to live, thanks to our excellent schools, caring and engaged residents, proximity to NYC while maintaining the benefits of a small town, and fiscally responsible town government.

Darien faces unprecedented challenges brought on by Democratic leadership in Hartford. We need experienced leadership who will work hard to maintain Darien’s unique character, excellent schools and long-term financial stability in the face of these challenges. The Stevenson-Koons-Marks team is that leadership. Please vote on Nov. 7.

Julie Kudenholdt


To the Editor:

We strongly support the “Best for Darien” team— Jayme Stevenson, Susan Marks, and Kip Koons — because of the strong, insightful leadership they have consistently provided to our town.

Given the critical issues facing towns throughout Connecticut and the state’s fiscal budgetary crisis, we need their expertise and vision more than ever. They have demonstrated a consistent, strategic approach to Darien’s governance, both short-term and long-term, without regard to party affiliation (other than fighting against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s painful Democratic budget proposals in Hartford). Each member of the team is visible, engaged and committed to doing what’s best for Darien’s residents.

We need their talents more than ever, regardless of what happens in Hartford. Stevenson, Koons and Marks are the best for Darien!

Jim and Belinda Metzger


To the Editor:

Saturday was a beautiful day for the 52nd annual Tokeneke Pumpkin Carnival, and our supportive Darien community once again helped make the day a tremendous success.

We are grateful to our event sponsors The Darien Sport Shop, Newman’s Own, Darien Rowayton Bank, Nola Physical Therapy & Performance (great obstacle course at the event!), Darien News, Speed Printing & Graphics, Inc., Dr. Osherow, Heights Pizza, Deane, Meatball & Co., Burgers, Shakes & Fries, The Studio, Kempo Academy, Stew Leonard’s, Upper Crust Bakery & Cafe and Melt Mobile for supporting the event with their contributions.

Special thanks to our food vendors who provided delicious choices to our attendees. Heights Pizza, Burgers Shakes & Fries, Meatball & Co. Upper Crust Bakery & Cafe, Melt Mobile and Newman’s Own were all fabulous!

Many thanks to the event committee chairs and the Tokeneke School parent, teacher and student volunteers. Extra special thanks go to the Darien Depot, St. Thomas Moore and Darien High School teenagers for their help volunteering during the event. These young men and women were a pleasure to work with.

Finally, we would like to thank our incredible administrators, Mary Michelson, principal, and Kathy Schultz, vice principal, for their support and energy in making this day such a huge success for our community and kids. A huge thank you to our custodians — Crow, Dominic, and Edwin — and our cafeteria manager, Rosie. This event could not happen without you.

Thank you to the entire community for an outstanding event. We look forward to continued carnival success in the coming years!

Carnival co-chairmen Katie Pettit,

Jodi Sorrells and Gina Gromelski


To the Editor:

I’d like to present a few key facts regarding a growing group of concerned taxpayers who are advocating for passive recreation at Ox Ridge Field, a 16.25-acre parcel recently acquired by the town pursuant to a right of refusal and purchase agreement with Ox Ridge Hunt Club.

First, the neighbors around and near the Ox Ridge Hunt Club were in full support of the town purchasing the property and spoke publicly about it.

Secondly, the property is not eligible for any development until the year 2042. Even if a developer had bought it, no development is permissible until then. Building homes on the property is not an option at this point.

Third, those who have advocated for “passive recreation” are not limited to only the neighbors. The growing number of taxpayers who are advocating and campaigning for passive recreation see this is an opportunity for Darien to have a Waveny-like open field space, not another athletic field campus. “Passive recreation” is feasible at that site, and the Master Plan presented by the Parks and Recreation Commission to the Board of Selectmen on Oct. 18 should include it.

Most importantly, the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development, which was adopted in 2016, identifies Ox Ridge Field as a “scenic view” and “managed space.” “The POCD recommends that Darien seek to preserve the ‘managed’ open spaces that exist in the community and seek to convert those to ‘dedicated’ open spaces if an opportunity arises.” Furthermore, 69 percent of those surveyed by the Parks and Recreation Commission in June 2017 said that open space was the top priority, and that athletic fields were not even in the top 10 things of being important.

Lastly, the purchase agreement between the town and the Ox Ridge Hunt Club makes reference to “passive recreation,” which speaks to the spirit and the intent of the use of that property.

I agree that the property now belongs to all residents of Darien, and all residents would be able to use the Ox Ridge field. I just hope that the town boards rely on the research and due diligence that they’ve already done and stick to their plan.

Jenny Schwartz


Editor’s note: Darien residents Leelee and Michael Klein, Julie Phillips, Suzanne Schutte, Judy and Bill Holding, Fares and Mirna Noujaim, and Hank and Lynne Wilson also signed on to this letter.