Martinsen defends Keeler house tear-down in Ridgefield

Full story: NewsTimes.com 20
For three years, Robert Martinsen said, he kept faith with the town over the future of the 300-year old Nehemiah Keeler House on Ridgebury Road. Read more
Mike O

AOL

#1 Aug 7, 2009
Marconi has pretty big stones to call Martinsen's act 'deplorable'. The power has gone to this guy's head!!

First of all, is that how he expects to preserve historic houses in the future???

It would have been 'deplorable' if Martinson purchased the house and knocked it down three years ago. Gary Singer was deplorable, as an agent of the town, by not acting.

Perhaps, it would have been 'deplorable' if Martinsen had knocked the house down after he pulled the demo permit a year ago. He didn't. He gave the town yet another opportunity, after waiting two years.

Does Marconi really want us to believe that three years wasn't long enough, but three years and ONE DAY would have made the difference???

I think the guy acted in good faith... and is owed an apology by Marconi for his arrogance,
Frank

Southbury, CT

#2 Aug 8, 2009
Marconi has been in office WAY TOO LONG and he seems to believe babbling to his mirror is communicating to the public. Using terms like "deplorable" to describe someone who had enough of his ducking and dodging on this issue is, well, "deplorable." Marconi's entire statement is simply a CYA for himself and the others who were involved in this stunt. Good for Martinsen!
think about it

Mahopac, NY

#3 Aug 8, 2009
the house should of been in the historic from day one before it was sold to martinsen, then this would of never happen, its still a shame this had happen, but see when stuip thinking.
skank-A

Burlington, VT

#4 Aug 8, 2009
Frank wrote:
Marconi has been in office WAY TOO LONG and he seems to believe babbling to his mirror is communicating to the public. Using terms like "deplorable" to describe someone who had enough of his ducking and dodging on this issue is, well, "deplorable." Marconi's entire statement is simply a CYA for himself and the others who were involved in this stunt. Good for Martinsen!
Marconi's focus is his compadres. A historic house is not important to him. Wasting taxpayer's money on trivia is.
Change

Brunswick, ME

#5 Aug 8, 2009
Let's do something about this. We need a change in town hall. In my view there have been far too many situations like this Keeler House. Decisions are made and when they go awry, someone is always ready with an "explanation", aka excuse.

Let's get new blood in town hall come the big next election.
OldSib

Brunswick, ME

#6 Aug 8, 2009
Mike O wrote:
Does Marconi really want us to believe that three years wasn't long enough, but three years and ONE DAY would have made the difference???
SO WELL SAID!!!!
If I had pulled a stunt like that in my job, I would have been fired.
Maybe that's what needs to happen here.
news

Danbury, CT

#7 Aug 8, 2009
The wheels of government turn exceedingly slow and often screech to a halt.
ridge06877

Brunswick, ME

#8 Aug 8, 2009
You know what scares me?
What if this do-nothing attitude has been happening in other ways? What if our leaders have been dropping the ball on other projects? For example, what if we could have received money from Hartford for projects, but simply failed to act?
* We already know the train money screw up. We received a grant for millions but did nothing with it so the Feds took it back. That happened just last year.
* We were supposed to receive payback from Hartford for the new school construction. 8 years went by and we did nothing to get it back. When we finally filled out the paperwork this past year, Hartford essentially laughed and offered us far less than what we were owed. After all, it had been 8 years!
* We were supposed to get money back for asbestos removal, but same story. The project was finished even before the school construction began but no one on the town side or schools side bothered to do anything about collecting what we were due. We still don't have it.
This is so wrong. Being a leader is not about going to cocktail parties. It is about rolling up your sleeves and getting work done. The residents are counting on follow through. But it doesn’t appear to be happening.
Nancy S

AOL

#9 Aug 8, 2009
Been thinking about this....

If the town did take the house, where were the going to put it? For what purpose? At what expense, both initial and on-going? Who approved all this? Rudy, I think you are talking out you a**.

How can all this be done in secret? The truth is, nothing was done... and that is why Martinsen gave up on you!

The house was owned for many years bythe Keeler family... and apparantly a Keeler family member works for the Town of Ridgefield. Did he ever approach the town to see if they were interested?

Or, were they trying to maximize what they could get for the property and knew the town couldn't pay what they could get on the open market?(btw, I don't blame theme... just seems that all the anger is pointed at the Martinsens and nothing at the Keeler's).

And what, exactly, is the town to do with all these houses that Rudy et al want to preserve? Are we going to stock-pile them on open space, or keep them bundled like they did with the Scott house for a few years?

My grandparents attended the Bailey Avenue school. I wish it still stood. You can only see pictures of it in books on old Ridgefield. However, the TOWN tore it down to make the parking lot on Bailey Avenue. They didn't move it. Bulldozed it. I bet the town has done that before.

For Rudy, who I have voted for in every election (I WON'T AGAIN, TRUST ME) to call these people 'deplorable' is disgusting.
LIKA

Brookfield, CT

#10 Aug 8, 2009
I hope the town of Ridgefield has learned its lesson and does not take so long to take action.
NM resident

Lebanon, CT

#11 Aug 8, 2009
Im thinking their first "clue" should have been the demolition permit he took out last october!!
Stephanie

AOL

#12 Aug 8, 2009
NM resident wrote:
Im thinking their first "clue" should have been the demolition permit he took out last october!!
Yeah, as if the first clue two years before in calling this guy Singer wasn't enough.

SOunds to me like Rudy is trying to cover his behind....
Termite

Bristol, CT

#13 Aug 9, 2009
They can't all be house museums... or we'd be drowning in them. These old houses were built to be lived in, and passed along in the family. They weren't supposed to be valued for 300 years. This was before the detrimental tax code which encourages all young men and women to "go forth and be fruitful" by taking on an enormous pile of debt. Today, houses are meant to be torn down and replaced like any outdated appliance. The Keeler house was really just a pile of nondescript lumber - nothing more and nothing less.
it aint right

New Haven, CT

#14 Aug 12, 2009
So:
They can't all be house museums... or we'd be drowning in them. These old houses were built to be lived in, and passed along in the family. They weren't supposed to be valued for 300 years. This was before the detrimental tax code which encourages all young men and women to "go forth and be fruitful" by taking on an enormous pile of debt. Today, houses are meant to be torn down and replaced like any outdated appliance. The Keeler house was really just a pile of nondescript lumber - nothing more and nothing less.

So let's bulldoze the Keeler Tavern, the Old North Church, Mnt Vernon, Montecello, The Lincoln House.
May as well pave over the Trade Center site and put up a shopping plaza. I mean by your defenitian it's just a piece of dirt. While your at it dig up Alington, lots of good land there going to waste..by your standards.
Observe

Brunswick, ME

#15 Aug 14, 2009
Observe how this worked. According to the article:

"Marconi said, he finally got everything lined up, including a $10,000 private donation that would have reimbursed Martinsen for the taxes."

Implying one of the holds ups was getting a donation to offset the taxes.

From a Ridgefield Press story this week on abating the taxes for the library-owned old playhouse:

"Tax Assessor Al Garzi said he could abate the library’s taxes...."

Why didn't the town simply abate the taxes on the Keeler House and avoid some of the three year delay?

I'm not at all surprised the homeowner got frustrated.
CommonSense

East Berlin, CT

#16 Aug 21, 2009
So I am a taxpayer in town and the reality is I don't want to see my money going to buy a house and save it, regardless of its historical value. If some organization wants to save the house they could have bought it. Is it really Marconi's job to buy houses for the town?

I can't figure this town out, does it want more or less government in every day life? I guess it is just a matter of convenience for some.
fair

Brunswick, ME

#17 Aug 30, 2009
CommonSense wrote:
So I am a taxpayer in town and the reality is I don't want to see my money going to buy a house and save it, regardless of its historical value. If some organization wants to save the house they could have bought it. Is it really Marconi's job to buy houses for the town?
I can't figure this town out, does it want more or less government in every day life? I guess it is just a matter of convenience for some.
Okay, fair enough. You do have a point. Maybe the town shouldn't worry about old historical houses because they are not a necessary part of everyday living for most residents.

But at the same time, we should also stop paying for the high school football team because it too is not a necessary part of everyday living for most residents.
CommonSense

Oakville, CT

#19 Aug 31, 2009
fair wrote:
<quoted text>
Okay, fair enough. You do have a point. Maybe the town shouldn't worry about old historical houses because they are not a necessary part of everyday living for most residents.
But at the same time, we should also stop paying for the high school football team because it too is not a necessary part of everyday living for most residents.
True,

Fair enough - but why stop with the football team, there are many things that aren't part of everyday living for most residents that we can get rid of. Lets eliminate everything but the base essentials.
johngault

Danbury, CT

#20 Aug 31, 2009
CommonSense wrote:
<quoted text>
True,
Fair enough - but why stop with the football team, there are many things that aren't part of everyday living for most residents that we can get rid of. Lets eliminate everything but the base essentials.
I'm good with that. Slash and burn. We (aka government) should provide:

* Safe roads.

* We should feed hungry people because we are not barbarians.

* We should provide reasonable health services. Note the word: REASONABLE. If a poor person accidentally breaks an arm, we should pay to have it fixed. But if a person eats like a pig for 20 years, weighs 300 pounds and never does exercise, why should we pay for his diabetes treatment or heart medicines? It's his body. If he wants to mistreat it, why should we pay?

* We should provide law enforcement and firemen.

* We should provide schools, but not as they currently stand. Let's admit it, schools are massive baby sitting factories. Parents use the concept of "school" to pawn off their child raising responsibilities. Why are we paying for someone else's babysitter?

What we shouldn't pay for is everything else:

* Recreations Centers, Golf Courses, swimming pools, miles and miles of unused "open space". We shouldn't pay for any of this. What a waste of money. The same 10 people use the $10 million Bennetts Farm trails. That's $1 million per person for these people to have a pleasant walk. Absurd!

* You want your kid to learn to ski, go for it. But why should it be allowed that a club is formed at the school and we get to buy everyone else's kids lift tickets? Ridiculous.

* You want you kid to be in marching band, you buy him a tuba. Why are we paying for it?

* If a dead tree in your yard is dangling over the power lines, you pay to cut it down. Not the rest of us. It's your dead tree. If you don't and you cause a local blackout, the rest of us should be allowed to sue you.

Our taxes should be one tenth of what they are. We have lost our way.
Glock

Stamford, CT

#21 Aug 31, 2009
johngault wrote:
<quoted text>

Our taxes should be one tenth of what they are. We have lost our way.
Amen to that!

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