Randall M. Keleher!
Regular readers of this column know that it exists primarily to tout the achievements of my little brother Gideon (Cleveland, Duble & Arnold, 869-0866) of whom I am proud. But, in mentioning Gideon’s latest coup of unloading $25,000,000 of Riverside waterfront, I neglected to mention Randy Keleher’s own success in that area earlier this fall, an $18,000,000 sale of 531 Indian Field Road in Mead Point. Randy’s a quiet sort of guy, so that was an achievement I only discovered by prowling through the latest quarterly sales book. Randy, as many of you know, ran Gordon’s Sports for years before joining Shore & Country and, while he can’t approach me in good looks or talent, he’s a terrific guy. Congratulations, friend.

Town Government
Congratulations are also due to Peter Tesi for winning the First Selectman’s contest in a landslide. I’ll confess that I voted for his challenger, Frank Farriker and split my vote by adding in Peter Crumbine so, if you look at the results, you’ll know my perspicacity in these things. Regardless, I think the town remains in good hands (though I’ll miss Jim Lash) and Mr. Farriker is still on the Planning and Zoning Committee from which, judging from a conversation with the man, we might expect some useful reform of the Floor Area Ratio rules: at the very least, Mr. Farriker is aware of the problems occasioned by the current set of rules.

Alphabetical Voting
A young (compared to me) Riverside resident, Randall Smith, squeaked by with just six votes to win a place on District Five’s RTM slate. I blame this close result on his last name – the RTM ballot is arranged in alphabetical order and a newcomer with a last name beginning after the nineteenth name is at a huge disadvantage because voters tend to just check off along the line until they reach the limit. And that’s a shame. It seems to me that the RTM is best served by a combination of old guard types (like Bobbi Hopkins, for instance), who know the town’s traditions and practices, and young parents with more current concerns. My last child graduated from the high school two years ago – I’m totally out of touch with that scene whereas parents like Mr. Smith know what’s going on with our schools. It’s true that William Buckley opined that he’d prefer to be governed by the first two hundred people in the Boston phone book than the Harvard faculty but surely we’d be better off with an RTM comprised of people of all letters of the alphabet, rather than a selection culled from the beginning of the alphabet.

Mortgage foreclosures

The main stream media and our government have a very short memory and have forgotten their campaign, waged over the past twenty years, to force banks to extend credit to poor folks who couldn’t afford conventional mortgages with a 20% down payment. Congress, under media pressure, banned “red lining”, which used to knock entire neighborhoods out of consideration for loans and, via regulation, pressed lenders to loosen their credit standards and let anyone who wanted to borrow money and buy a house. Well, by God, the banks did what they were asked and now we’re faced with a record wave of defaults. Why do you think the banks didn’t make these loans in the first place? Congress is now busy enacting new laws whereby taxpayers will make good on loans that should never have been made. But we’ve achieved fairness!

Local Waterfront
Ed Mortimer has listed Binney Lane for $17,000,000: I refuse to say that’s a crazy price. This year, every piece of waterfront has sold (including Layne Smalheiser’s, described in this column last week as unsold-went to contract a day later) and Ed’s listing has its own dock, a (small) beach and yardarm, as well as fantastic views of Long Island Sound and the Stamford light house. Coastal Area management regulations probably doom this house for replacement – add onto the kitchen, say, and you’re required to raise the entire house by a number of feet – but, with an acre of land in the R-12 zone, the mansion you’ve always wanted is waiting for you. A great spot of land on a quiet, private Old Greenwich street.

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