Westport Arts Center Eyes Jesup Green

You may have missed this, because the Westport News story came out during schools’ February vacation.

While you were off in Aspen or Anguilla, Paul Schott wrote that the Westport Arts Center wants to move from its 3,600-square-foot Riverside Avenue home, to a 10,000-square-foot building next to the Westport Library.

Where exactly?

To the only space available there: Jesup Green.

The gallery and classrooms would create “a cultural campus” downtown, on the river. The WAC has hired architect Henry Myerberg, who is also designed the library’s “transformation” renovation.

The arts center would like a 99-year lease of Jesup Green, Schott reported. The project would include “burrowing” Taylor parking lot into part of the green. That current riverside lot would be replaced with “greenery.”

The new WAC — which officials hope to begin constructing in 2015 — would cost between $5 million and $7 million. Three donors have already pledged several million dollars, Schott reported.

In the summer, the Westport Public Library lends croquet, bocce and badminton equipment, for use on adjacent Jesup Green.

In the summer, the Westport Public Library lends croquet, bocce and badminton equipment, for use on adjacent Jesup Green.

It’s an exciting concept — and it comes at a time when major redevelopment plans are afoot for the entire downtown area.

But a number of questions have been raised.

  • Aesthetically, how will the area change? Will a new “green” on the flat current parking lot look as nice as gently sloping Jesup Green — with mature trees — does now? What happens when a 10,000-square-foot building — and “burrowed” parking — gets added to the mix?
  • How about traffic flow? What happens to parking when the library and WAC have big events simultaneously?
  • Speaking of the library, where will its major fundraiser — the Summer Book Sale — go?
  • What other options has the WAC looked at? (I already know what certain commenters will say: “Winslow Park!”)

This is the 1st major change to Jesup Green in years — since the library moved next door, in fact. (And eliminated a road that sliced directly through the green — who remembers that?)

Once upon a time, Jesup Green was bordered by a Little League field — and the town dump. Controversial landfill — and construction of the library, Levitt Pavilion and Riverwalk — have enhanced that area immeasurably.

Will a new Westport Arts Center do the same?

Let the debate begin.

97 responses to “Westport Arts Center Eyes Jesup Green

  1. Dontbelievenutin

    Smells to me’ is this Gordon pushing this because his girlfriend is the Westport arts center????

  2. Westport should not be giving away land or property to the WAC. When the school population rose in the 90s and we needed to get the WAC out of the Greens Farms Elementary School, we had to pay them almost half a million to move.
    The WAC being in bed with the Town is no excuse to give away Jesup Green for at least 99 years.
    Also, why do we need a new downtown plan? We had one that included extensive citizen focus group inputs a few years ago. I guess that the previous plan did not include this special interest giveaway.

    • The previous downtown plan you respectfully refer to, recommended that an Arts Center of 10,000 sq ft. be placed at the top of Jesup Green…..

  3. Another Citizen

    I think they should stay where they are. Not bothering anybody. But if they must move they should pay market price rent to the town. They have already scammed us for plenty of money. Maybe they should pay taxes too! And how about a shorter lease, as we as a town have been known to be shortsighted on our own needs. They could also wait for us to close a school as the population #’s are going back down again!

  4. Why not move into space at the soon to be vacated Glendenning complex? I pity the poor democrat who has to follow Mr. Joseloff and run a campaign defending his pet projects. The bench looks weak, and their game plan is lousy with downtown over development.

    • Frank Boten

      Which is why Jim Marpe will win and turn this town around, finally! King Gordo is a complete embarrassment to Westport and he should be ashamed of the job he has done. Good riddance to him!

      As for WAC — they provide good programming and put on nice exhibits. They’re a positive influence on the community. They are also a not for profit; no reason for them to pay all those taxes. But I agree they should definitely pay the fair market value… No need to just give land away.

      I also wonder about parking. It’s bad enough. How will they compensate for the dozens and dozens of spots taken away by this?? Answers, please. Hopefully someone from WAC can come on here and clarify.

  5. Babette d'Yveine

    After the proposed Senior Housing complex is built, won’t there be enough land left over on the Baron’s South property for this project? I’d hate to lose Jesup Green. It’s the only open space left downtown. Just sayin’.

    • Marcy Puklin

      My thoughts EXACTLY – they can RENT land there and add to that beautiful complex!

  6. Jamie Walsh

    The loss of open space and the additional parking and traffic pressure on the library would be a horrible. While I understand that the WAC is an important fixture in this town, and that a close location to the library is complimentary, I think the Save The Chidren building would be an ideal location for it. Although it is over 50,000 square feet…the balance of the space could be used for restaurant, art galleries and even affordable housing for aging artists. The possibilities are endless if planned properly. Interior renovation costs are generally less expensive that new construction and it will serve to draw more traffic to the West Bank which is undergoing a transformation currently. Most importantly, it avoids controversial usage of open space, currently being hashed out over Baron’s South, and traffic pressures which are only going to increase further with the transformation of Bedford Square. WAC could lease out the balance of the space for complimentary usage and still have the option for expansion as needed.

    • Christine Kurpiel

      I like this idea of using the Save the Children building. It’s already built, on the river, with parking included. It seems to be plenty of space for the WAC’s needs with even more room to expand their art class offerings.

    • Great idea to use Save The Children building. Save our green spaces!

  7. Agree with Schmartsy and Another Citizen. TOW gave them a sweetheart deal on the old Greens Farm school and got held up when the property was needed . . . as a school. Once burned . . . .

    If the Arts Center wants to move, they should find a realtor and pay what it takes. No hand outs from TOW.

  8. Westport Wise Guy

    I wonder if WAC and its patrons have considered leasing space in the Bedford Square complex coming to downtown. Good visibility and foot traffic for both ventures. To maximize exhibition space, WAC could locate most of its offices and classrooms in the Gunn House to be moved across the street.

  9. The best idea is the SAVE THE CHILDREN building. Not sure WAC could afford it though, even with leasing out the unused space. That is quite an undertaking. Maybe a generous donor will partner with the WAC to purchase the building.

  10. To construct anything on Jessup Green is just wrong for so many reasons. I agree with everything Jamie Walsh has suggested (above).

  11. Gordon has wanted to develop Jesup Green for years. It’s on the record from a Long Range Planning RTM meeting, when he gave a whole presentation of his “vision” for downtown Westport, which included developing Baron’s South. At the time, Mr. Joseloff talked about “mom and pop” shops and ice creams parlors on Jesup Green. It all went over like a lead balloon with the RTM. I was present, BTW.

    In any case, I think it’s highly presumptuous for the WAC to think that they can just “call dibs” on a prime piece of Westport property. There are plenty of spaces they can lease all over town if they want to expand. The Save the Children building is a great idea. Isn’t there also available space in the Tauck buildings where Peter Coppola used to be?

    Is this idea also being cooked up by Gordon’s Downtown 2O2O Committee? They’ve reported that they’ve spoken with all the interested parties and stakeholders. Was WAC one of them? And now they want to hire a professional planner to implement all their ideas, without ever vetting them in a public hearing?

    I smell a small handful of people once again deciding what’s “best” for downtown Westport. Unelected people, at that.

  12. I think it is a stupid idea to put it on Jesup Green!

    They should put it on the plot of land the that the Town owns at the intersection of the Sherwood Island Connector and Greens Farms Road.

  13. Don’t we, the citizens of Westport, have a say in giving away town land or does Joseloff just do whatever he wants with valuable empty land? Stop the insanity of Barons South and Jesup Green.

  14. Just another special interest attempting to pillage the town’s assets.

  15. LLWestporter

    Please don’t sacrifice what little is left of Westport’ s green space! WAC should move into existing space. Westport is continually defiled by private or limited interest, the green is well used by the library without sacrificing more green for self aggrandizement. The library tents go up and come down,brick and mortar is forever. there are several wonderful suitable pre-existing
    options that don’ t encroach. True artists and their patrons should be sensitive to the preservation of of nature, especially in the case of this historically significant green. what will WAC create or exhibit that is more significant than that little miraculously preserved oasis which nature has created?

  16. Also a fan of keeping some green space green, but just wondering — does Jesup Green have any historic significance?

  17. Cliff Montagna

    I agree with others that the Save the Children building would be a better location for WAC. Jessup Green should remain open space in the downtown area that can be enjoyed by all. Just my opinion.

  18. Folks,
    Be sure to read the Westport News/Paul Schott article that Dan has referenced and underscored in the second paragraph above in his blog. This project is already moving forward with an architect and they hope to begin construction in 2O15! They also recently presented it to the RTM Long Range Planning Committee, which has asked to see drawings and specific plans. The Schott article is very illuminating and should be read by everyone who’s interested.

  19. Towns without green spaces are missing something significant. Haven’t lived there in many years, but have fond memories of post-Memorial Day parade speeches and ceremonies on that Green. (Weren’t they?) Best wishes Westport!

  20. Dan – the Little League field beyond Jessup Green was named “Rogers Field” and was used for majors/minors games back in the ‘60s.

    Perhaps one of your readers will remember the back story on Mr. Rogers – as, alas, my memories of that magical piece of turf are primarily of the “grounded into an inning-ending double play” variety.

    • Tom Allen '66

      Ed, I played on that field in 1959 and ’60. It was built over a former garbage dump and the smell, and dive-bombing seagulls, never left. Jack Rogers was one of the founders of the Westport LL in the late 1940s. His son, Bob, died a couple of years ago. Both men coached the early Bombers 1950s dynasty in the the National League majors. Jack’s grandson Bobby, who was my neighbor on Treadwell Avenue, starred for the Bombers and later at Central Catholic HS (class of ’65). Bobby is a tree surgeon in Westport and Norwalk.

  21. Why can’t my non-profit have Jesup Green for our new building? We save lives! What’s so special about WAC?

  22. The dumbest thing I’ve heard since the Y plowing over Mahackeno. Let’s hope there are still enough people in Westport who care enough to stop this insanity.

    • Apples and Oranges……..Joffo

      The Y owns the Mahackeno property and can do what they want with it (as long as they follow applicable laws and regulations).

      TThe WAC does NOT own Jesup Green and CAN’T do what they want with it.

  23. Jamie Walsh

    Architecturals are underway? Maybe conceptual drawings to show the public? Once again, “the cart is ahead of the horse”. A comprehensive plan for downtown has not been established and this thing seems to be moving forward with a huge push. Personally, I do not see this as a time sensitive issue. Maybe someone from WAC can chime in and provide some specifics, especially given rumors and heresay always cloud the facts.

  24. Not drinkin the TEA or smokin the HOPE

    Mr First Selectman
    You Brought the Gunn house to the Board of Finance
    You bring the WAC to the RTM
    You want to fund your independent 2020 group with 250 K
    Have you ever heard of the Planning and Zoning Comission ? I believe they are elected officials who were elected to oversee and approve these. Is there a problem in Westport understanding delegation of power ?

  25. centralize the police and fire into the post road location, a homeland security recommendation, and let the WAC take the police building, after paying for renovations. Surf’s up!

  26. Can you say...conflict of interest!

    The First Selectman is an honorary director of the WAC…conflict of interest maybe? Sounds like he should recuse himself from this issue.

    • John McCarthy

      Hmm, doesn’t he own a piece of property nearby? Could that be a conflict of interest?

      Sorry to say, he didn’t allow my post wishing WN a happy 10th anniversary “Happy 10th anniversary of censoring dissent!!”

      • Babette d'Yveine

        John — Do you have an AOL account? WestportNow doesn’t accept anything from AOL.

        • John McCarthy

          No, its not my email account. Gordon has banned me from posting, along with several other people. Seems he doesn’t like criticism or hearing any dissent. His blog, his rules. What a journalist. And what a great example of an open governing style.

      • Long time Westporter

        Only pro-Gordon comments are allowed on his WestportNow.

  27. Babette d'Yveine

    Maybe we could put it to a referendum. But someone has to start a petition.

  28. Seems crazy that this should just be a done deal because Helen and Gordon want it to happen- What is going on here?? This reeeeeks of push it through quietly while I’m in “Power” capital “B” capital “S” !!

  29. Westporters too

    Why does the multi- million dollar park get a pass in this land grab. Dogs don’t vote

  30. Westporters too

    I mean dog park

  31. Amazing that no comments have argued for the Arts Center moving to Jesup Green. I wonder why?

  32. Ron Burgundy

    this is NOT what Westport is or needs. The small town center feeling and appeal to a great park is being replaced by another pathetic art building? stay where you are. Treading upon Parks and Rec Maintenance work.

  33. Can you say...conflict of interest!

    Still waiting for someone associated with this proposal to chime in… The silence seems deafening.

  34. If the fingerprints of Downtown 2020 are on it, Gordon is pulling the strings.

  35. Not a single comment supporting this idea. ’nuff said. Stand up and make noise about this attempted insider dealing!

  36. Take a poll of Westport taxpayers first – 95% of us would vote to eliminate the WAC rather than Jessup Green.

  37. Frank Boten

    I admit my comment about “King Gordo” was a little feisty, but I think we’re starting to go a little off the ledge here. No need to bash WAC or suggest that it’s either Jessup Green OR the Center. They can both exist. But yes, they should exist separately.

    That said, I echo the recent swell of comments requesting someone come on here and defend the move. Where are the Board members, staff, benefactors, and advisors? Why are they silent? There is no way to even open up a dialogue unless they chime in.

    Come on, people…

  38. Ok folks so now what do we do? Preferable to stop this from going further.

  39. Westport, the town that puts the arts first before the kids.

  40. Jamie Walsh

    At some point…this will enivitably come in front of the public at some hearing…and given the overall tone of the comments…should make for one helluva public hearing.

    • Just like Barron’ South? When the P&Z gave up rewriting zoning laws to increase downtown density (where’s that gavel now Mr. Corwin?) – the next tactic was the hand-picked, unelected committee. Though Mr. Joseloff never ran a campaign on his desire to fundamentally alter downtown Westport’s character, that has pretty much been his focus since he was elected. Whenever this stuff is put in front of voters – it dies a necessary death – which is why savvy operators avoid that messy complication.

  41. Jamie Walsh

    Amazing that there is not one of 67 comments in support of the WAC relocating to Jessup Green… The problem seems that only a few seem to publicly support this and yet not one has responded… Radio Silence….never good…. Constructive dialogue ….good!

    • I respectfully disagree. Jesup is used for a book fair once in a while and is otherwise underutilized.
      If you were designing your ideal town, would you put 200 parking spaces by the river? The Arts center proposal envisions removing those spaces–adding BACK all that greenery along the river–and swappingit for a small buildng at the top of the hill that potentially includes underground parking, or adjacent parking. A location incidentally endorsed by independent consultants in the last Master Plan, after serious study..

  42. Babette d'Yveine

    At the risk of starting a flame war, I would like to put in a few good words for WAC. Westport should have an Arts Center — it’s been a traditional home of artists for many yars. Danbury has an Arts Center; Milford has one; Darien has one. I remember the “glory” days at the Greens Farms School so well — there were concerts, theatrical productions, art exhibitions and artists and sculptors working and taching classes. WAC did not get a “sweetheart deal” when they were forced to vacate the premises. They had put a lot of money into fixing up the building, which was not in good shape.

    HOWEVER– I do not think a 10,000 SF building belongs on Jesup Green. It is one of the last remaining pieces of open space downtown. WAC is a private entity and should not have the right to take public land away from our citizens. I agree with those who said that Save the Children would be a good venue for them. It’s obviously much too large for their needs, but perhaps WAC could buy a portion of the bulding. I believe it’s divided into two sections.

    • Babette d'Yveine

      Sorry — my “e” got stuck in a couple of places.

      • Your proposal to explore the Save the Children site is an excellent one. However, having visited the 58000 sq ft building, it is 6X!! the size needed by the Arts Center. It also just had extensive flooding throughout, which may recur. The ceilings are not high enough for a gallery. The operating costs would be several hundred thousand dollars a year.
        The traffic at the north junction of Riverside and Post Rd is already backed up frequently.
        It does not seem to be a viable option, either economically or functionally.

  43. Put new WAC building on empty lawn in front of town hall. It only seems to be used once a year.

  44. I think they don’t want to debate…which makes the whole thing very uncomfortable, actually kind of rude. Maybe they are watching all the comments and thinking up really great come backs for each point. Hard to say without a whisper. I saw that Hellen the visual director had said that she didn’t want to “be a mausoleum” in one of the articles reporting the RTM meeting, but that’s all I’ve heard, she wanted to be “a town jewel” . They must have expected some debate?

  45. Jamie Walsh

    Thank Realty for your response. Obviously flooding concerns and art do not mix. Sandy was hopefully, a hundred year event. Ceiling heights in that building can be altered to accommodate your concern. The current WAC locations heights are significantly less then what can be altered at The Save the Children. As for all the additional space…subleasing for complimentary usage would only enhance that side of the river. Yes, traffic at that intersection is an issue but so is the area around Jessup Green, library, and police station. The other concern seems to be that, at the time, any suggestion regarding the Y relocating to Winslow or Baron’s was immediately dismissed even though they are a not for profit. What gives now? I am curious as to why the Y’ possible relocation, in a ground lease senerio with the Town, at either a section of Winslow or Baron’s South, was not realistic and WAC’s relocation is OK? ( sorry for the run on sentence, but I was not an English major). I embrace long term ground leases with the town because it is a revenue generator, but the rules of engagement need to be consistent!

    • Bids so far for Save are in the $225 dollar plus level..I woud not bid that for a grade B- bldg with severe flooding threats. Also, the ceilings on floor 1 cannot be raised easily…maybe by removing the entire roof and rof structures you cld raise the second floor, but that would be a staggering expense, never to be recouped.
      As I said, the floor space is 6x what is needed. It is not the expertise of the Arts center to become a developer and landlord for complementary users.
      I liked the idea too at first, but after looking more closely it loses its lustre.

  46. I know Westporters have a bad rap as being willing to argue about anything and everything. However, this issue does have some gravity as it seems pretty clear that the special interests of one small (but powerful) group are bulldozing the will of the masses. Honestly, the Westport News article was written as though this was a done deal and everyone was full of happiness about it. There was nothing critical, nothing suggesting this could be anything but wonderful. Apparently, WAC does not speak for all of Westport.

    Save the Children’s building could be great location-wise, and would be like a form of homecoming given the buildings previous incarnation as the home of Famous Artists. But WAC could likely not afford to buy the building and then renovate sufficiently for their needs. Flood mitigation is an issue any future tenant would have to consider and would be costly – why do you think SC is thinking about leaving? Months later, their building is still in shambles and parking is a problem. Whoever buys the building will need some serious capital.

    Very surprised no one has mentioned the HUGE lot above the Westport Woman’s Club, home of the Yankee Doodle Fair and Farmers Market. There is already a bridge linking this space to the library and downtown and it is large enough to still accommodate town activities on the lower lot, while you could erect a building on the upper lot and still have parking. If it wasn’t big enough for the fair, they could stage it at the train station like the Italian Festival. If ever there were an underutilized town-owned plot, it would be the space by the Woman’s Club. There is practically a squatters camp of homeless folks below that bridge in the summer and frankly most people are not inclined to venture much over there due to the dark parking lot lying on the other side of the bridge. With the rebirth of the Levitt Pavilion, this would be a great location for WAC – still connected to town, the arts and the library, but not robbing anyone of green space and further snarling traffic.

    It is completely presumptuous of WAC to assume they can just hone in on the one remaining postage size stamp of green space in downtown Westport and make it their own. The green sees sufficient use aside from the book fair. Kids play, story time from the library is held out there, people eat their lunch, and First Night has a bonfire. It’s green space!! The parking, as noted by others, is already horrendous and would only get worse. Why are the interests of one group being put above that of the community under the guise of supporting the arts? Most towns are razing buildings to bring back some green space. There are plenty of other locations for WAC to occupy in town. And why should they not pay fair market value for a space? They took advantage of the town before with Greens Farms and then held the building hostage until the ransom was paid to put it back into town use as a school. Why are we even entertaining the idea of signing this deal with the devil we know??? 99 Years??? Just because you want something doesn’t mean you get it.

    Hope folks will turn out in droves to express these sentiments b/c I haven’t spoken to one person around town who supports this idea – even former members of the RTM are against it.

    • I think your observations about the save the children space are correct.

      The problem with the lot above the women’s club is that the low access road is subject to frequent flooding, and borings of the upper lot by the Y show it may be too unstable to be built upon.
      I disagree with your next para. If the Arts Center pulls up the existing parking despoiling the river side, and instead builds parking underneath a new building atop the jesup green, the amount of green opened up is substantial. And the grave error of putting parking alongside the river could be remedied. How else could you ever accomplish this improvement?

  47. John McCarthy

    Nice post here about the Minnybus and Jessup Green, good memories http://blog.ctnews.com/tracy/2013/03/05/forever-green/

  48. thanks for posting Todd Tracy’s story – this just pulled out some great dusty memories. Minus the shoplifting, this was my childhood in Westport as well. That minibus pass was freedom and kids got to live their lives outside the constant watchful gaze of helicopter parents.

  49. Let’s put the arts and open space in cage match and watch both lose. Heck of a job Westport!

  50. Jamie Walsh

    Great potential option Townie! No flooding but site layout would need to be established. This is the type of constructive dialogue that should happen….the voice of many! Not the voice of a few! Let’s engage in constructive conversation as opposed to shoving it down the public throat as a ” fait accompli “!

  51. I suggest everyone also read the Feb. 19th article on Westport Now about WAC moving. It, too, makes it sound like a done deal, Of course, the RTM LRP meeting about it took place when most of Westport was out of town during school vacation so no one knew about it. Just the way they like it. Ken Bernard for the Downtown 2020 Committee was one of the presenters, as well as the Director of the WAC. Mr. Bernard even argued that Westport doesn’t have a town green, so the committee is going to create one on the river… probably in Parker Harding Plaza. There are big changes coming to Westport, and the First Selectman – who, let’s face it, loves to play downtown developer – is absolutely pulling the strings. Plus he’s on the WAC Board of Directors… Let’s just call a spade a spade here, folks.

  52. Jamie Walsh

    Can someone show the public, without the cloak of secrecy, what WAC, the downtown 20/20 committee, and Long Range Planning (LRP) have in mind for downtown comprehensively. No master plan is in place…yet everyone is clamoring for a master plan..yet all these individual proposals are in a full blown development mode. What gives? It seems so illogical and mimics the Baron’s South push. As far as town greens…I am sure Mr. Bernard knows we have several. I am all for creating more open space so a green by the river would be excellent! Once again, slow this freight train down, and include the public in this discussion. Given the amount of money WAC plans to spend on this project…putting this to a public referendum and WAC picking up the cost for it…would be a fair and equitable outcome as to how town land is used for a not for profit. I know how I would vote. NO to Jessup Green!

  53. The fundamental problem, as I see it, is that the only elected body – i.e. the Planning & Zoning Commission – which has the authority to hire a town planner and oversee the “re-creation” of downtown Westport has had no part in this “process.” I’m told that a few P&Z Commissioners attended some of the Downtown 2O2O Committee meetings – which typically took place at 8:OO a.m. when few people could or would attend.

    So far, the Downtown 2O2O Committee has only produced an “interim” report, so we don’t know what they intend to recommend to a professional town planner. We don’t know what’s on their “to do list.” They want to spend taxpayers’ money on yet another town planner – but they don’t want to hold a public hearing to vet their ideas and findings from their interviews with all the town’s stakeholders. Exactly who are the stakeholders anyway? We don’t know.

    It’s time for the Downtown 2O2O Committee to go public – very public – with their vision and recommendations for downtown Westport. And then they need to take their findings to the P&Z where they belong, and where the public can have their say. Instead, they’ve been operating largely behind closed doors and reporting to the First Selectman, who appointed them. These committee members are not elected officials, so perhaps Gordon thinks they don’t need to answer to the public – but they indeed do if they want to spend the public’s money on a town planner and the expense of reinventing downtown. We need to know what they intend to put forth to a town planner. Is it the need for 5 story buildings? Three story parking garages? An educational and cultural “quad” on Jesup Green? We have no idea.

    I think it all sounds like a done deal because there’s very little time left in Gordon’s last term as First Selectman, and as Steve Daniels of the Baron’s South Committee was quoted in Westport Now, they need to really “put the pedal to the metal” now to get this sewn up. Holding public hearings is just going to slow down the rush to lock all of these changes – and contracts – in place.

    I agree with Jamie Walsh. It’s time to show the public. It’s past time.

    • John McCarthy

      Watch how Baron’s South has gone and you will see how Gordon wants Downtown 2020 to go. Very sad to see that Steve Daniels et al learned nothing from the 1st BS RFP debacle. Rushing things through while Gordon is still in office, they have now co-opted the Board of Finance, whose members are now only looking at the November election. And I have not heard back from the BOF on any of the ethics concerns I raised to the town auditor in writing. Just swept under the rug with a cursory glance. Avi, Helen, Brian??? So be it. I expected better.

    • Westport Democrats – the pro development, anti open space party. Sounds like a winning strategy. Please, please find a candidate who will publicly distance themselves from this train wreck of bad ideas. Otherwise, don’t waste our time, and congratulate and wish Mr. Marpe well.

      • How do you know that Jim Marpe isn’t just as pro-development as Gordon? What are his views on the matter? I don’t know the answer, but he could very well be Gordon redux when it comes to developing downtown Westport.

        • Until a democratic candidate goes on record against this stuff – when in doubt, vote the incumbent (party) out. It’s not complicated.

  54. Hey Jim, what are your views on this?

  55. HEADS UP! SAVE THE DATE! Last night the P&Z Commission discussed what’s been going on with the Downtown 2O2O Committee, the exclusion of P&Z in their activities and the RFP for a professional town planner to reinvent downtown Westport. The P&Z has tentatively scheduled April 4th for a PUBLIC MEETING with Downtown 2O2O to discuss their findings. Be on the lookout for the legal notice on this meeting and please plan to attend! This meeting should answer a lot of questions.

    Dan, P&Z is inviting the Downtown 2O2O Committee to meet with them on April 4th. Once this meeting is noticed and a certainty, I hope you’ll post it on your website. Thanks!!!