I’m Voting For …

… the candidates I think are most qualified for their positions, and for Westport.

You didn’t really think I was going to tip my hand, did you?

BUT — because there are so few ways for Westporters to make their voices heard these days — I’m opening up “06880” for readers to voice their opinions, now through Tuesday. You can talk about any candidate, for any office (selectmen, boards and commissions, RTM) — just click “Comments” below.

Please adhere to a few simple requests:

  • 250 words maximum — and only one posting for each candidate you’re endorsing.
  • Talk positively about your candidate — not negatively about an opponent.
  • No “position papers” from candidates themselves. Let your supporters speak for you.
  • And, of course, use your full, real name!

PS: Don’t forget to vote on Tuesday (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.). To find your polling place, click here.)

 

100 responses to “I’m Voting For …

  1. Hmmmmm; Odd, Dan, that you demure when it comes to giving your opinion and yet you wish other to put themselves out there….peculiar at best and chicken hearted at worst, me thinks.

    • Odd, Dan, that you pick on this. I don’t want this to be a debate about me and my preferences. I want this to be a forum for people to express their opinions. But if you want the first comment here to be so off-topic, so be it.

  2. Dan, I rise not to speak on behalf of my own campaign, but as a voter in other key elections: Board of Finance, Planning and Zoning and ZBA.

    1. Brian Stern, Lee Caney and our bipartisan Board of Finance are the real reason our town is in such great fiscal shape (not the current First Selectmam as he would have you believe). They both deserve to be re-elected.

    2. We desperately need a change in leadership at the dysfunctional and disrespectful Planning and Zoning Commission. If Danielle Dobin, Michael Cammeyer and Greg Rutstein are elected, P&Z will go from being an obstacle to a partner for both progress and preservation in our town.

    3. Victoria Gouletas and Bernard Deverin have been terrific colleagues of mine on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and they both deserve to be elected.

    • William Strittmatter

      Wow. Even though Dan asked folks to not go negative, in your first two points you just couldn’t help but slip in a couple of completely unnecessary negative partisan jabs?

    • Bart Shuldman

      Rob-thank you for showing all of Westport exactly the type of campaign you and your running mate have run. When Dan asked everyone to be positive, you chose to be negative and attack. Just could not help yourself. Shameful.

    • Robert, as a Board of Finance member, I appreciate your kind words. The decisions the BOF has made have indeed been focused on ensuring the long term fiscal strength of the Town. Sometimes, they are difficult, requiring short term change. Andrea Moore and Vik Muktavaram would both be great additions to the BOF. They understand this long term perspective and have extensive experience working with BOE related issues. I will point out that Second Selectwoman candidate Jen Tooker has been a leader on that board and will be greatly missed, regardless of this year’s election outcome.

      Having said all that, I do think your comment that the First Selectman has nothing to do with Westport’s recent fiscal performance reflects a lack of appreciation for the First of Selectman’s job and for the major fiscal initiatives which fall outside the BOF’s authority. For example, when reductions in budget requests were made last year, the BOF simply voted for them. Jim Marpe actually found a way to implement them without making severe cuts to services. The First Selectman doesn’t just wave a magic wand and command Town Hall to function efficiently. It takes good judgment, knowledge, experience, and a willingness to make sometimes unpleasant choices.

      Moreover, the BOF is by no means the sole mechanism through which the Town makes crucial financial decisions. For example, Jim Marpe has led the effort for reforming retiree agreements, which for years have been far more costly than virtually any others in the state (including in our peer group). This has been a bipartisan initiative, with Third Selectwoman Helen Garten making huge contributions. Legally (and strangely, given their economic importance), the BOF actually doesn’t even have a vote on labor agreements. Nonetheless, in bipartisan fashion, Jim has solicited and welcomed its advice. Jim would enthusiastically and rightfully acknowledge the significant contributions to retiree benefit reform of Brian Stern, my colleague on the BOF. Together, the Town has been successful in restructuring several components of our retiree benefit packages, including moving many current employees to Defined Contribution plans. Melissa Kane was one a small number of RTM candidates who actually voted against the restructured police agreement. I respect her right to do so but it is at odds with the idea that financial decisions are simply outsourced to a fiscally conservative BOF and that the relatively positive recent results of the Town naturally fall into place.

    • Rob, if the Selectmen and Selectwomen don’t play a role in why our town is in such great fiscal shape, why are you running?

  3. Methinks some will it hard to talk positively about the candidate of their choice versus negatively about their candidate’s opponent, but let’s hope for the best!

  4. Chip Stephens. Staples 73

    John Olefson for P and Z
    John’s first and most passionate issue is personal land rights. Protecting private property by limiting new regulation and working hard to maintain your investment by being smart about working with onerous state mandates and over development by avoiding spot zoning. My vote is Olefson to join Gratrix, Walsh and Me to keep Westport special.

    • Al Gratrix Jr

      As a member of the Stephens , Gratrix,Walsh team I will vote for Jon Olefson. I know he cares for the town of Westport and your personal property rights as much as we have for the last 6 years.

  5. I consider the candidacy of all based on the Rotary ideals of Service Above Self, Rotarian Code of Conduct and The Rotary Four-Way Test.

    Rotarian Code of Conduct
    1. Act with integrity and high ethical standards in personal and professional life.
    2. Deal fairly with others and treat them and their occupations with respect.
    3. Use professional skills to: mentor young people, help those with special needs, and improve people’s quality of life in one’s community and in the world.
    4. Avoid behavior that reflects adversely on Rotary and other Rotarians.

    The Rotary Four-Way Test
    Of the things we think, say or do
    1. Is it the TRUTH?
    2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
    3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
    4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

    I find these Rotary principles to be a relevant and useful criteria in considering candidate’s future actions if elected. There are a number candidates who are Rotarians.

    And I thank all candidates for public office for their willingness to serve in Westport, a civil and caring community.

    Dennis Wong
    Rotarian

  6. I will proudly vote for First Selectman Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker for their proven abilities to lead our town. I have served Westport for the past twelve years in public office, and therefore have a unique perspective on our town government and what leaders must do to succeed.

    There is no other person, running for office or not, that I would feel more comfortable leading Westport than Jim Marpe. I chose to run with Jim four years ago based on his commitment to the schools and on his executive level experience at Accenture. Now that four years has passed, I have seen Jim in action on a daily basis. I have seen firsthand how Jim leads, motivates, and gets things done. I have seen how Jim is non-partisan, compassionate, and puts the needs of our residents first. I have seen Jim be a leader every single day.

    The depth and breadth of Jim Marpe’s accomplishments on behalf of Westport is impressive. I cannot imagine many other towns in the United States that have had no property tax rate increase in the past four years, while simultaneously paying down debt and investing in infrastructure. I have actually encouraged Jim to run for Governor based on how I have seen him lead.

    Jen Tooker’s qualifications to lead our town at Jim’s side are proven and strong. Jen has been elected to both the Board of Education and the Board of Finance, and has served in leadership roles including chairing the Board of Finance. I cannot imagine a more capable, proven team to lead Westport.

  7. Valerie Seiling Jacobs, Co-Chair Save Westport Now

    Michael Cammeyer, Danielle Dobin, and Greg Rutstein for P&Z
    They will promote smart growth and make sensible decisions. They will respect the rights of developers, while honoring the wishes of the electorate by working to protect residential neighborhoods and preserve Westport’s small-town New England character. (That’s why they’ve been endorsed by Save Westport Now.) They take the time to understand the issues and potential consequences of planning decisions. Danielle and Michael have already voted to expand the Senior Center and for new regs that will finally bring senior housing to Westport. Danielle helped form a subcommittee to take a proactive approach 8-30g projects. They are respectful of residents and running on the nonpartisan Save Westport Line. Vote for all 3 on Line D.

  8. I’ll give this a go! I’m a registered Democrat. But, I’ve always voted for the best person/people for the job in the given situation- I don’t really care about the lables. This time around, I think the choice is 100% clear – this election is about finances and experience. Hartford is a DISASTER and we need people with the financial acumen and experience to manage the situation. It won’t matter how any bathrooms we have at Compo if we let Westport go the way of Hartford. We must elect the people who have by far the most experiece, and this time, that’s Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker, hands down. Great people, great experience – that’s what matters for me, and I believe, for Westport.

    • A Democrat as well and you have nailed it! ! The integrity Marpe and Tooker bring to the job makes this an easy choice

  9. To keep Westport continuing on its current successful path, I believe we must elect the most qualified, experienced candidates to lead Westport forward. I am voting to re-elect Jim Marpe and elect Jen Tooker to the Westport Board of Selectman because they have the proven skills and a plan to deal with the challenges we face.

    I have known both Jim and Jen for several years, and I am proud to support them for their record of accomplishments, their unwavering commitment to the schools and the community, their positive, non-partisan style of governing, but most of all, their honesty and integrity. Jim and Jen are two of the most principled, genuinely decent people I know. They are a great example of what elected officials should be, and we are truly fortunate to have them represent us in Westport.

  10. Amy Saperstein

    I am supporting Danielle Dobin, Greg Rutstein & Michael Cammeyer. They are parents of young children and will focus on preventing overdevelopment, protecting our schools from over crowding and preserving Westport’s character. They are smart, qualified and thoughtful. They treat everyone with civility and respect.

  11. Jo Ann Davidson

    Jennifer Johnson has the most experience in land use management of any candidate running for the P&Z. She knows her stuff and is not afraid to tell it.
    We need a P&Z that is respectful and open to the public. Jennifer Johnson is your ONE important vote for P&Z.

  12. Allan Siegert

    Westport deserves high energy, new leadership and that’s why I am endorsing Melissa and Rob. We need our local Democrats to vote Tuesday.

  13. CATHERINE WALSH

    Jon Olefson for P&Z

    I support only Jon Olefson to join the team of Chip Stephens (PH) and Al Gratrix and Cathy Walsh for P&Z. Jon is civil, thoughtful and brilliant. He has superb listening skills and knows how to use them before rendering an opinion. P&Z commissioners must remain open to all ideas presented and ask pertinent questions . P&Z commissioners must adhere to the law and also be students of history. Jon does not play divisive games against his colleagues for the sake of partisan politics. Our commission runs independently of all other boards and commissions and we are beholden to none. (including our parties) We fight for and make decisions for the entire population of Westport, It’s a tough job, and it’s been a brutal political season and Jon Olefson has the mettle to stand up to the hostility and do the job correctly. Jon is Senior VP and Counsel for a publicly traded firm and understands process, protocol,behavior, regulations and is committed to Westport. He is the only candidate running who has this incredible skill set and no conflict of interest. Please vote only for Jon Olefson on Nov. 7.

  14. Over the last year, set against the back drop of a nation plagued with grossly-empowered racism, misogyny, heartlessness and carelessness for fellow humans, I’ve worked tirelessly to find ways to teach my children what respectful, inspiring leaders should look like. Many around our charming, lovely town have been upset these last few months that this election cycle has become “partisan” and “divisive” in a way like never before in Westport. However, these are times like never before in our country and in our world. So now, more than ever, we need to more thoughtful and impassioned on a local level about what our political decisions and affiliations look like to our children and our town.

    Because of all of that…because of our national distress….because of our current president….because of the current deficit in values thrown at us every day from D.C., that I am voting straight across Row A this Tuesday.

    Let me be clear, however: I am voting the party line because of what I wish to teach my own children. But I will also be voting for the individuals because of what I hope for our town. I believe Melissa Kane and Rob Simmelkjaer are the leaders that will take real action to take Westport into it’s next chapter after what feels like a stalled few years. I believe Danielle Dobin, Michael Cammeyer, and Greg Rutstein are the passionate, community-driven leaders that P&Z needs to overcome its own status quo. I believe Victoria Gouletas and Bernard Deverin are well-respected, pragmatic voices that will serve our ZBA well. I believe Lee Caney and Brian Stern are strong, thoughtful choices to serve our BOF during these trying, difficult financial times across the state.

    Now, my choices and reasoning is not to say that the Republican ticket candidates here in Westport embrace the poor values of the national-level Republican representation. I believe they are each likely fine people who love and cherish our town as I do. However, in these atypical times, I struggle to understand those who wish to stand proudly as GOP and not totally denounce the broken value system of their national messaging.

    Perhaps that makes me partisan? Well, then I bear that title proudly in 2017. I will also proudly vote ROW A this Tuesday with my children watching by my side. I proudly support ROW A 2017 to remind my children what we, as a family, stand for this year.

    • Dan! My apologies I blew through the word count guidelines!! As an English teacher/professor, I’m often regretfully wordy (my husband and children can attest! ha!). Thank you for opening up your forum to all our impassioned voices. And if you wish to delete and have me repost with less words – I will understand! Thanks for all you do.

    • Chip Stephens. Staples 73

      That’s positive !!!
      Here’s to Wednesday when all this ends, along with all the signs on the roads and when non partisan friend ships return to our commissions boards and town in general. Namaste, peace and patience all

    • Lisa as Rob’s Treasurer, your and your team of candidates just cannot help your yourself. Just cannot follow what Dan asked which is a wonderful way to say some good and positive things about your candidate(s).

      I was not surprised thought given what we have experienced. Others should take note.

      • Bart, Facebook went and removed comments you made to me last week because they were a violation of their community standards. Facebook removes almost nothing…so let that sink in for a minute.

        You have chased me around online commenting to me in a disrespectful way every change you have gotten. Dan solicited people to share whom they were voting for and I did exactly that. He did not solicit people to come and debate or attempt to discredit other commentators as you are doing now. I am going to clearly ask you – as FB already did – to please leave me alone. I am not a candidate for local office (therefore a public figure) and I do not deserve your consistent harassment on behalf of the candidates you support. It’s not okay and it should stop.

        • Lisa-let’s just get the record straight and the truth out. You reached out to me, in a private Facebook message on August 21. You are not merely a private citizen but you have an official role in the election as the Treasurer for Rob. I am not going to respond to the lies in your post as Dan has asked for positive messages. If you read my post supporting Jim Na Jen, you will see I followed his direction.

          • Bart, if you want to deal with truth:
            – I reached out to you on 8/21 to let you know out of respect for Avi Kaner’s request that we all stop commenting on a thread that was to be deleted, I could not respond to you further.

            – Your post is 393 words. You did not follow Dan’s direction after calling out my word count. The difference between us as usual? I humbly recognized this and apologized to Dan.

            – I have asked you to stop coming after me online. I have blocked you on FB since you violated their standards of communication there. I can not block you on this blog, but if I could, I would. Please stop coming at me in this bully-like manner on behalf of the Marpe campaign you are supporting. It’s not helping them, and it looks badly for you. I have been told you are a good guy offline, so I don’t understand this behavior online.

            Please stop.

            • Bart Shuldman

              LISA-your text messages to me started in August and continued till the middle of October. We had some good discussions on the state’s budget issues.

              • Text messages?! I do not have your phone number. I hope to goodness you didn’t uncover mine. We have never exchanged text messages.

                If you scroll up and down these comments, I am one of the only people you focus on, despite others not sharing your opinion. I’d ask why that is, but I know the answer and so does anyone else reading this. This is harassment, plain and simple. And you’re doing it on behalf of Jim Marpe’s campaign. Which is even more offensive and which is one reason myself and others hope very much he is not re-elected.

    • Lisa Marie Alter

      Agree with Lisa Newman: also voting Row A – Democrats straight across.

      I will not give a single Republican one of my votes – for the reason she expressed, which I had posted on Westport Republicans Facebook page /Jon Olefson. My Comments there were deliberately SCRUBBED so I share them here (btw, I took screenshots).

      My reply was to a Comment made by Jeffrey Gross – which was also removed:

      “I have to agree with Jeff here – can’t understand who would call them self a Republican when one sees how they have failed our country under Trump. Suggest start a new party – that is, unless one still supports Trump 🙄 (I’m a Lifelong UnAffiliated Voter – I have voted Republican in the past. Don’t see myself doing it again – unless there is a drastic change!)”

      I also feel that Westport has stalled and stagnated: downtown and Post Road have vacancy signs, Compo Beach remains untended and derelict in areas, and frankly, I personally don’t respond to fearmongering from the loud and the few about the so-called “dangers of what’s happening in Hartford.”

      Endorsements of Melissa Kane by Senators Murphy and Blumenthal, Cong. Jim and Mary Himes, and CT Against Gun Violence carry enormous weight for me, as these are individuals and organizations whose views and values I embrace.

      I have NO DOUBT that MELISSA & ROB possess the intelligence, passion, commitment and caring to take Westport into the next decade under their energetic leadership and forward-thinking ideas.

      Lisa Marie Alter

  15. Michael Calise

    Hands Down! The entire Republican ticket is the way to go. Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker have the integrity and experience to keep Westport in safe harbor as proven by past results. Andrea Moore and Vik Muktavaram bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Board of Finance. Karen Klein and Jeannie Smith currently serving on the Board of Education are moving forces for our excellent school system. Jon Olefson a current and well proven alternate member deserves the only vote that should be cast for P & Z in order to insure a well balanced, fair and proactive Zoning Board. Tom Hood current Chairmen of the Flood and Erosion Control Board and ZBA candidate also deserves the only vote to cast. Look at Washington. Look at Hartford. We are a well run ship in a sea of turbulent waters this is not the time to change an experienced Captain and Crew!

  16. I am personally very impressed by the choices we have on the ballot on November 7th. We could not have a more qualified and respected group of candidates. Westport is lucky to have such strong, dedicated and knowledgeable people available to serve to make Westport the best it can be. For this reason, I endorse and will vote for:
    1) Cammeyer, Dobin and Rutstein for the P+Z.
    2) Lyn Hogan for District 3.
    3) Brian Stern and Lee Caney for Bd of Finance.
    4) And Melissa Kane and Rob Simmelkjaer for Selectmen.

  17. I am supporting CAMMEYER DOBIN AND RUTSTEIN and I implore you to vote for all three on November 7.

    I have known Danielle Dobin personally and am inspired by her commitment to making Westport an even more amazing town. Danielle was appointed commissioner for Planning and Zoning when a seat was vacated in early 2017. Danielle’s involvement on the commission has not just been procedural, it has been passionate. She has delved into every issue and mastered the complexities of P&Zs decisions. She is impressively knowledgeable as you would see in a single conversation with her (or watch her in the debates). As a lawyer with a commercial real estate background Danielle is eminently qualified.

    Danielle knows that in order to make a real difference, she doesn’t just need a seat, but the leadership at P&Z needs to change so she brought together an amazing team with Michael Cammeyer and Greg Rustein. The current Planning and Zoning leadership has not been proactive – rather has taken a do nothing attitude – which leaves Westport vulnerable. Cammeyer Dobin Rutstein want to change that! They are parents of school aged children who want to ensure Westport is developed in a thoughtful, proactive way to maintain Westport’s small town feel. Since joining the board, Danielle, Michael and Greg have served as tremendous advocates for residents. All three of them have to win in order to change the leadership at the P&Z. VOTE ALLTHREEFORP&Z!

  18. I encourage Westporters to vote for Vik Muktavaram and Andrea Lawrence for Board of Finance on November 7.

    Vik is an experienced financial professional, with deep knowledge of complex risk management, pension, employee benefit, and contractual issues. He has served on the Board of Education and has a mastery of the school budget that few elected officials can match. Vik is intelligent, pragmatic, and understands the need to deliver high quality services in an efficient and fiscally responsible manner. He has been extremely diligent in his work on the Board of Education, working creatively to identify and implement cost control opportunities that will not adversely affect our excellent school system.

    Andrea has been a financial executive, RTM member, and PTA leader. As a native of Westport, Andrea understands the needs and objectives of all members of the Westport community. As an RTM member, she has put her financial background to work, committing herself to mastering Westport’s budget and maintaining our excellent schools. Andrea has an unusual ability to work across party lines and across Westport’s different elective bodies. She would be a great addition to the Board of Finance.

  19. #pandorasbox

  20. I’m voting Melissa & Rob! It’s not just because they’re democrats and great people – though I think getting talented democrats elected at the local level is more important now than ever. It’s because their vision is just more exciting to me. I know the current administration has done a great job maintaining the tax rate and improving the golf course and other public spaces. They’ve responded to issues as they’ve come up but they lack vision. While the status quo is fine, I want to live in a town that fully supports expanding our arts programs, maintaining the quality of our schools, creating affordable housing and attracting diversity, standing up against the gun lobby with CT Against Gun Violence, helping seniors, and working with developers to continue trying to make our downtown more useful, vital and walkable. We need to expand commerce and attract more young families to protect our tax base from the state’s fiscal crisis. Melissa and Rob also want to create bike paths, cleaner beaches, step up environmental action and fix our traffic clogged, often unsafe roads, and lobby the state to repair train tracks and restore previous faster commute times. Melissa’s done her time and knows the ins and outs of our overly complicated planning and zoning process. So many good opportunities have been missed. It’s a small town but there’s a lot at stake for those of us who’ve chosen to go the extra distance to live here and I want to see their vision become reality.

  21. I’m voting for the candidates who have shown the strongest committment to education in Westport and the best understanding of the Board of Education budget:
    Jim Marpe – 8 years on the BOE;
    Jen Tooker – 2 years on the BOE;
    Vik Muktavaram – 2 years on the BOE;
    Andrea Moore – 2 years on RTM Education Committee;
    Jeannie Smith – 5 years on the BOE;
    Elaine Whitney – 8 years on the BOE;
    Candi Savin – 1 year on the BOE.

  22. Tina Piccolino

    I am voting for Lauren Soloff as my RTM Representative in District 9. Lauren is a personal friend who I have known for over 20 years. Her experience speaks for itself, but it does not do justice to the incredible passion, high standards, judgment and basic professional integrity that Lauren will bring to this role. Perhaps most importantly, she demonstrates the kind of personal leadership and influencing skills we so desperately need.

    Lauren Soloff has lived in Westport for 23 years with her husband, Wes Malowitz, and her three children who have all gone through the Westport Public Schools. She is the owner of Sonics & Materials, Inc., a manufacturing company located in Newtown CT, employing over 75 people. She has practiced labor and employment law in both the public and private sectors, and is presently the Vice Chair of Homes with Hope. Since moving to Westport, Lauren has been an active member of our community, serving on the boards of both Conservative Synagogue of Westport, and the Saugatuck Elementary School PTA.

    Given her extensive volunteer experience, along with her business and legal background, she will bring an informed and creative voice to the RTM. She is no stranger to making hard decisions with positive outcomes. She is a collaborative and respectful leader, and she will bring these qualities to the RTM.

    I strongly endorse Lauren Soloff for the RTM appointment for District 9.

  23. I thank all candidates for taking their personal time and wanting to get involved in helping Westport become a better and better town. For the endless commitment you are all making as you seek your office, and for your tireless work, I thank you.

    I write to state my support for Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker. Westport has been our home for over 2 decades and I have never seen such an experienced team of people running to be the Leaders for everyone in Westport the next 4 years. Both candidates are compassionate about Westport and they really care about our town. They have spent years on the different Boards in Westport, giving up their personal family time to dedicate themselves to make our community a better place.

    Jim Marpe is our current Westport First Selectman, elected in 2013 and the Former Vice Chair, Westport Board of Education.

    Jen Tooker is a Current Member of Westport Board of Finance and also a Former Member, Westport Board of Education and Conservation Commission

    I support Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker for not only their experience but also for the success Westport has experienced due to Jim’s leadership the last 4 years. These include:

    Protected Westport public school budget by managing Town finances responsibly in the face of state funding cuts

    Reduced the Town’s debt by 27%

    Held property tax rates flat despite facing cuts from state funding

    Strong leader and advocate which led to efforts to enhance the Center for Senior Activities

    Transformed Longshore Golf Course into one of the highest-rated municipal courses in Connecticut

    Initiated improvements to Compo Beach, including a new east beach walkway, resurfaced basketball courts, and parking lot rehabilitation

    Signed the Mayors Against Illegal Guns pledge

    Reaffirmed Westport’s commitment to Net-Zero by 2050 sustainability goals

    Established the Commission on People with Disabilities

    Increased the commercial and residential tax base by 12.4%

    Enhanced downtown Westport shopping area with new sidewalks, tree plantings, and streetscapes

    Fostered the redesign of the commuter parking lot at Saugatuck Railroad Station, that increased safety and accessibility while reducing the parking wait list

    Worked to preserve open space, initiated improvements to the Baron’s South property while promoting senior living on the property

    There are so many more. But these are just a few of the reasons I am voting for Jim and Jen.

    Your friend and neighbor

    Bart

  24. Gerald F. Romano, Jr.

    I support Jim Marpe Jen Tooker
    Best,
    Gerald F. Romano, Jr.

  25. Lauren Soloff has been our neighbor for almost twenty years. During those years, we have gotten to know and appreciate what a kind, caring, and community focused person she is. As the owner of a small business, she understands the fiscal complexities of balancing not only the needs of her business, but also the needs of her employees and her clients. As Vice-Chair of Homes With Hope, Lauren gives her time and energy to helping people who are struggling with the devastation of homelessness regain their independence and self-sufficiency. As a member of the RTM, she will use these skills to focus on smart spending for educational and community advancements. Please vote on Tuesday for Lauren Soloff for RTM district 9.

    Michael, Elena, Galen, and Julia Byrne

  26. As a lifelong registered Democrat, I truly understand the visceral impulse to send a message about our dissatisfaction with the 2016 election results and current political climate by voting Republicans out of office. However, doing so in this case would deprive our town of the leaders most experienced with the financial workings of our town and its school system, and most qualified to lead Westport through Connecticut’s economic downturn. Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker have my endorsement because, having worked with them over the eight years that I served on various Westport PTA executive boards as Treasurer and President, I am confident that they have the experience and judgment necessary to protect our town’s assets and services. Jim’s focus over the last four years on positioning Westport to weather Connecticut’s ongoing fiscal crisis by working to reduce the town’s liabilities may not make him the most exciting politician, but it makes him a smart leader. I also personally know Jim and Jen to be honest, hard working and compassionate people who have a demonstrated commitment to the issues that my party champions — education, diversity and respect, environmental protection, the arts, and caring for the less fortunate — making supporting their candidacy an easy choice for this Democrat.

  27. As former Operations Director for the Town of Westport for 2 ½ years, I can say unequivocally that Jim Marpe is the hardest working person in Town Hall

    Jim is the first one in the office in the morning and usually the one to turn out the lights, 12-16-hour days are the norm. When office hours end, Jim is just getting started on night meetings with Commissions, Boards and Committees. Jim shows up at meetings where the First Selectman hadn’t been seen in years.

    Jim’s day is non-stop meetings, phone calls and e-mails the latter which can reach the hundreds. His schedule ranges from meeting Federal/State officials, business leaders, Department heads, legal counsel and ordinary citizens, for whom he makes time. Some citizens are now upset if he hasn’t answered their e-mail within an hour!

    At night after the meetings are over, Jim spends long periods of time reading the volumes of reports, legislation, and requests that need his review, response or inquiry. On weekends Jim is constantly out supporting community groups and businesses. Jim could do a lot less, and few would notice, but our Town would imperceptibly begin to lose its luster.

    If you want to maintain the continuous improvement path our Town and Schools have been on you need to be voting for Jim Marpe for First Selectman. You owe it to yourself, your family and all that you have worked to build. Great Towns don’t happen by accident nor stay that way. VOTE JIM MARPE

  28. This is not a popularity contest. And, it’s not about party politics. At least, in my view, it shouldn’t be. Rather, it’s an audition for those best suited for the vitally important role of serving the citizens of Westport on the Planning & Zoning Commission. For this reason, I’m casting my votes on the Save Westport Now line for Michael Cammeyer, Danielle Dobin and Greg Rutstein.

    Mr. Cammeyer, Ms. Dobin and Mr. Rutstein are all highly credentialed business professionals with advanced degrees in business and law. Each has a strong resume boasting real world business experience dealing with highly sophisticated and complex matters. As well, as parents with young children in the public schools, homeowners, and people who also work in town, they could not be more deeply invested our community. Bottom-line: They have the RIGHT KIND of experience and know how to adapt planning principles to a small town, so that we can protect and preserve the charm and character of our town, while also embracing changes that fit with the fabric of our community.

    As they are all sitting commissioners on P&Z, Westport has gotten to take them for a “test drive”. And they’ve performed admirably, having demonstrated their capabilities, establishing a robust track-record of showing deep curiosity, attention to detail, and civility in their conduct with fellow commissioners and the public. I welcome their participation on the P&Z and appreciate their willingness to serve as volunteers for what is often a grueling and thankless task.

  29. Jessica Newshel

    Since moving to Westport in 2013, I’ve been a member of several downtown planning committees, where I have had the pleasure of meeting Melissa Kane and witnessing her vision for our town and commitment and energy to getting it done. I’m also the mother of young children, and in all of the public meetings I’ve attended, I have rarely seen a woman in my age group – few public meetings are deemed “babysitter worthy.” But we all have a stake in this election, and I chose to become involved to help increase voter turnout among young parents. And I’m asking all Westporters to join me in supporting Melissa Kane for First Selectman.

    I started working with Melissa when she became chair of the Downtown Steering Committee, and she made it her mission to ensure that the public outreach process of the Downtown Master Plan was as thorough and inclusive as possible. Melissa recognized that a successful plan needed to incorporate input from stakeholders and residents at every step. Later in the process, we spent countless hours with the consultant ensuring that the plan was dynamic and comprehensive, yet accessible for residents. And she ensured there was a website that allowed Westporters to easily navigate the plan and receive progress updates.

    Having seen Melissa work passionately and tirelessly on the Master Plan process, I’m confident that she will make a great first selectman who will listen to the needs and concerns of all Westporters and help make our wonderful town even better.

  30. Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker are the ONLY candidates with experience managing large organizations. Jim has head of Northern Europe for Accenture, one of the world’s largest consulting firms. Jen spent her career as an Executive at Gen Re, the world’s largest re-insurance corporation. Only Westport, under Marpe, never raised taxes, home assessments or mil rates. Who else can match this?

    • Lisa Marie Alter

      Marty: your last two statements are nonsense. Assessments have increased (just check out the values on http://gis.vgsi.com/westportct/ and depending on the Grand List, and the mill rate set by the BoF, affects taxes… which have gone up. #FakeNews
      See http://www.westportnow.com/index.php?/v3/comments/59045/

      Lisa Marie Alter

    • Cammeyer, Dobin, & Rutstein for P&Z
      Caney & Stern for BOF
      Gouletas & Deverin for ZBA
      Kleine and Smith for BOE
      First Selectman was tough. Jim is kind, and smart, and does a great job. I was torn at first. However, before any political jargon, Trump’s Washington came to Westport and our surrounding communities in the form of gun violence in Newtown and Fairfield, sexism at Staples, the racist removal of Black Lives Matter signs, and defacing our black residents’ homes in Westport. Melissa and Rob have the same combined qualifications as Marpe/Tooker, but M&R also have the necessary working relationships with our state and federal Reps to to address these social issues AND our typical and fiscal municipal issues. For these reasons, among others which are nonpartisan, I’ve chosen to support and vote for Melissa and Rob.

  31. Robert Harrington

    The westport Schools Budget Petition Campaign celebrates our schools. Make no mistake – all Westporters, all candidates are pro school. Earlier this year 2100+ signed a proactive & positive petition to restore our budget. Thank YOU!

    Our campaign is saying thank you to those candidates that went that extra mile. Our campaign is supporting Republicans, Democrats and Independents – not just ONE party. I personally am a Republican – but that has nothing to do with it.

    GOLDEN TICKET:
    6 most supportive of our campaign. All parties represented. Without these 6 our campaign would have failed:

    ANDREA MOORE for BoF
    MELISSA KANE for First SM
    JENNIFER JOHNSON for P&Z
    CANDI SAVIN for BOE
    ELAINE WHITNEY for BOE
    JIMMY IZZO for RTM

    From our vantage point attending meetings, driving a successful petition, interacting with the media, devising a strategy to ensure a clear restoration vote for our schools – we highlight some of the people we worked most closely with our campaign – behind the scenes – and at the podium.

    Andrea Moore – was in constant contact & made us worry about the vote to the very end. She drove us on. She gave us the good & bad feedback.

    Melissa Kane – met with us numerous times. Was very proactive. She was laser focussed on how to produce a successful budget vote. Her leadership shone through. I’m a Republican – but her passion & drive won me over. She was on our side throughout.

    Jennifer Johnson taught us & some students more about the boards & Cmte’s in town than anyone. She brought an RTM voice into both the BoF and BOE – when most people involved in the campaign in March didn’t even really know what the RTM was. She made town civics relevant to many passive / non engaged people.

    We celebrate and thank all 23 members of the RTM that are running in Tues election and voted clearly for restoration. I will list all these members in a separate post as they simply deserve it. Westport should be proud.

    Thank you !

  32. I’m voting for my wife, Nicole Klein, who is running for RTM in District 5. Given the importance of our school budget as part of RTM’s purview, I think having a GFS Mom on RTM is a wise choice for our town. Obviously, I’m biased about which GFS Mom, but I think those who know Nicole would enthusiastically support her for same.

  33. On a matter of principle, I’d want to know how any candidate for any office views Gun Control. Maybe not a relevant question.

    • you continue to amaze me – wth does that have to do with Westport or any elected position in Town?

    • Melissa and Rob were the first (and I think only) candidates to be endorsed by CT Against Gun Violence.

      • Like being pro freedom and peace? Just words with zero action, except for the action of sweeping it under the rug.

      • and that has WHAT to do with being an effective First Selectman for Westport? Nothing whatsoever – just as relevant as any other national political issue or political party. But nice effort plugging their names, even if for a nonsensical reason.

        • Jack, after what happened yesterday (and as someone who has roots in Newtown), I find it absolutely appalling that you would say anyone’s well-recognized work in gun control is irrelevant or a nonsensical thing to mention.

        • Please tell me what that has to do with the work of a First Selectman? I am confident you have nothing logically related to point to.

          Whether it’s a day after a massacre committed using a gun, or a week after a massacre that was committed using a rented truck, there are always terrible things happening in the US and the world at large, committed by heinous, and frequently insane, people. I am quite confident both of the 1st selectman candidates condemn every such act, if that’s important to hear.

        • Jack, I responded to someone’s question with accuracy, since I knew the answer. I suspect and presume Jim and Jen do not support gun violence either. Don’t make this into something it isn’t. That’s not how I roll. OK.

  34. Thank you, Dan for providing this forum. We are a fortunate lot here in Westport because we have so many skilled and educated people willing to donate their time for the benefit of our amazing town. They all deserve our thanks!!! Are some candidates more qualified than other is a matter of opinion? So, I pose this question to all who are debating their choice for Selectmen.
    When you hire people to do a job for you for anything from plumbing to financial planning, what do you look for?
    If your answer is, a well-trained experience team with a proven track record then the Marpe &Tooker team is the way to go.

  35. Robert Harrington

    The Westport Schools Budget Petition has a clear positive beyond our “Golden Ticket”.

    We are here to celebrate our great schools & keep them moving forward. There is much hard work ahead. Our message is our the person – not the party. We are supporting Republicans, Democrats and Independents – how many other groups are ?

    BOE: All members of the BOE are clearly supportive – of the full budget – but in addition to the two BOE candidates we highlighted in the Golden Ticket – we would also highlight both Karen Klein & Jeanne Smith who are also both running again. Outstanding contributions to our Schools.

    BOF: Although we have a preference for Andrea Moore and she is on our Golden Ticket – we also respect the compromise that both Lee Canney and Brian Stern were trying to drive. We wanted more $s for the schools – but they were trying to get a deal done (as was Jen Tooker to be completely fair).

    RTM: However it was the RTM where our support was the strongest. Both The RTM Education & Finance Cmte’s voted strongly for restoration. We cheer loudly the work and leadership from chairs – Velma Heller & Jeff Wieser. In total 22 RTM members supported restoration (and are running again for some position on Tues) and we celebrate them loudly:

    RTM Education Cmte:
    Velma Heller – Chair (D9)
    Lyn Hogan (D3)
    Lauren Karpf (D7)
    Jack Klinge (D7
    Ellen Lautenberg (D7)
    Louis Mall (D2)
    Andrea Moore – running BoF
    Neil Philips (D2)

    RTM Finance Cmte:
    Jeff Wieser – chair (D4)
    Lee Arthurs (D8)
    Tom Bloch (D5)
    Melissa Kane – running FSM
    Cathy Talmadge (D6)

    Broader RTM:
    Matthew Mandell (D1)
    Chris Tait (D1)
    Jimmy Izzo (D3)
    Lisa Parrelli Gray (D4)
    John Suggs – running FSM
    Brandi Briggs (D7)
    Jessica Bram (D6)
    Wendy Batteau (D8)
    Jennifer Johnson – running P&Z

    We celebrate them all.

  36. Consider Rotarians.
    Diane Cady
    Rick Jaffe
    Karen Kleine
    Matt Mandell
    Jim Marpe
    Vik Muktavaram
    Jen Tooker
    Jeff Weiser
    Thank You.

  37. I’m voting for:

    First and second SelectmanJim Marpe and Jen Tooker – proven, non-partisan leadership with great results; why change?

    Board of Finance: Andrea Lawerence Moore and Vik Muktavaram – talented team who really know what is important to Westporters

    P&Z – Jon Olefson (just voting for Jon) – great skill set, wonderful demeanor, and most important, Jon will protect Westport’s charm and character as we tackle new development.

    ZBA – Tom Hood – highly relevant experience, coupled with a passion for the ZBA’s remit. And a great guy!

  38. I am voting for Melissa and Rob because I want Westport to be a leader among Connecticut towns and an example for the nation on how we protect the environment, keep our community safe from gun violence and bigotry and welcome all who want to live here, including those who otherwise might not be able to afford to, like our seniors, teachers and police. It’s important to me that my representatives reflect my core values and the values I want to pass down to the next generation. I have gotten to know Melissa and Rob and have campaigned for them because I believe in their vision for Westport and their tremendous drive and energy. They listen, they care and they act. I truly believe that the future Westport will be even better than the one we know today with these two leading the charge.

  39. On Tuesday, November 7th, Westporters will have an opportunity to vote for Andrea Moore and Vik Muktavaram for the Board of Finance.
    Both Andrea and Vik are uniquely qualified to serve and deserve your consideration.
    Andrea has deep roots in our community and presently serves on Westport’s Representative Town Meeting.
    Her professional background is in investment banking and her passion is quality education.
    What a great addition Andrea will make to the BOF.
    Vik will bring a wealth of understanding and critical thinking to the Board of Finance.Currently a member of Westport’s Board of Education, Vik understands the fiscal realities and importance of maintaining and enhancing our educational system.
    Vik is a management consultant and Chief Risk Officer of an asset management company.
    As a current member of the BOF, I am in a position to see the kind of talent and commitment that is required in these challenging economic times.
    Vik and Andrea are solid choices.
    Won’t you join me in electing this Tuesday, Vik and Andrea to the Board of Finance.
    Thank you Mike Rea

  40. Vote Vik & Andrea. I put my full trust in them to spend on needs not wants in a time when the state of CT is on the brink of winning the prize for the worst fiscally run government in the nation.
    We are an island of excellence and it must stay that way or the trickle of people leaving will become a flood and our homes will simply become worth less.

  41. Kathryn Knapp

    As a lifelong resident of Westport (recently relocated to Weston) and a dear friend of Kristin Schneeman, I write in enthusiastic support of her candidacy for the RTM’s 9th district. Since moving to town seven years ago, Kristin has shown real passion in working to preserve the things that make Westport not only a special place to live but also a true community: its schools, its library, its arts and culture, and the Parks and Recreation facilities that draw us all together on a daily basis. But I’ve also been heartened by Kristin’s determination to ensure that vulnerable populations can continue to make Westport home, too: she was instrumental in planning and implementing the first “Gather Round the Table” fundraiser for Project Return, for instance, now going strong for six years. In fact, Kristin has years of experience working in public policy, so that she not only possesses the vision but also the know-how necessary for navigating the state budget challenges that lie ahead. All of which shows that Kristin is immensely qualified to serve on the RTM, but might not make perfectly clear what I also know to be true about Kristin: that she will work tirelessly for this town, all the while grounded by her deep commitment to fairness, compassion, and excellence. Please vote for Kristin. Westport needs her!

  42. Bobbi Ganin Essagof

    Jack – After what happened yesterday in Texas, I don’t know how anyone can say, “What does gun control have to do with Westport?” Really? It has everything to do with all of us everywhere and is a very important for me to know about my elected officials. Clearly prayer and deep sympathy are not working in saving our children from “lone wolf” and “deranged” individuals.
    I’m voting for Melissa and Rob and Row A!

    • Here, I will say it – a First Selectman’s position on gun control has ZERO relationship to being an effective First Selectman in Westport, and even if you do base your voting decision on such unrelated issues, you have NO idea where Jim Marpe even stands on the gun control topic (because it is so irrelevant) so your decision-making process, even if you choose to focus on such irrelevant issues, is flawed – the First Selectman candidates may share the same views on this and many other topics unrelated to being an effective First Selectman.

      • No, Jack – what we DO know is that it took Marpe an inexcusable amount of time (MONTHS) to sign the mayoral gun-control pledge and then he only did so on the eve of the announcement of Melissa’s candidacy. That is just offensive, in my opinion. So to me, that is where he stands on this topic.

        And to say that this topic is unrelated to the First Selectman position is an egregious and disrespectful comment. As someone with family roots in Newtown (and really just someone with a conscious and heart), this issue is important and vital to the values of any town. Many of us will be voting with this issue in mind, regardless of your total denigration of the issue’s importance.

        • So you seem to know about First Selectman Marpe’s position on this topic, being perfectly aligned with the other candidate’s position, and you still claim it is a reason to vote for one over the other? More evidence of your pure partisan voting, disguised as being based on some differentiating reason. And spare me the “you have no heart” for pointing out the obvious lack of logic in your point; you also have no idea where I stand on the issue you claim sets us apart.

          • Jack, if you scroll up, I made an entire case for being partisan. Gun control is simply one reason. You aren’t outting me as partisan; I wear the badge proudly.

        • Lisa. It bothers me that you bring in Newtown into an election as this is very close to me and my company. We lost the daughter of one of our managers. Words cannot explain what occurred.

          I know Jim MARPE. I know Jen Tooker. I know they stand against guns. Period. Your use of this horrible killing in this campaign just shows how divisive you want to be as the Treasurer for Rob.

          Jim is a wonderful man who cares deeply about gun control. Jen is a wonderful woman who cares deeply about gun control.

          All you are trying to do is to disparage two wonderful Westporters, who happpen to be running for office.

          Trying to take advantage of a heinous act in Texas is despicable.

          • Bart, GOOD GOD! What is wrong with you?! Really?! Facebook deleted your recent comments to me for violating their community standards of harassment, and I blocked you on there. Yesterday, I asked you – pleaded with you – to stop harassing me online. Based on Dan’s email to me, it was my understanding you were to stop commenting to me on here as well.

            I’m not going to play “Who was closer to the Newtown tragedy” with you because that is grotesque and a one-up contest NO ONE wants to win. My family is there. We lost people too. This is a contest with no winners.

            Now, I will ask you again and again: PLEASE STOP seeking me out online. Your razor-focus on me is concerning, and you harassing me on behalf of the Marpe campaign is disturbing. I do not know you. STOP.

            • Lisa — if you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen. Your self-serving “holier than thou” attitude is getting old. Perhaps you should stop commenting if you are afraid to hear from someone that disagrees with you. As an unaffiliated voter, I will be voting for candidates I feel are most qualified for the roles they seek. I find it quite narrow minded that you clearly announced you will be voting a party line instead of analyzing individual qualifications and which candidate’s platform best serves all Westporters for each contested office. Perhaps you should lose the sanctimonious attitude and read Jim Ezzes post somewhere in this thread.

            • Bart Shuldman

              Lisa-enough with your lies. I have tried not to respond to your allegations but now I must.

              You used personal messages in Facebook to have conversations with me about the items such as budget issues in CT. You contacted me. You even asked to join the Facebook page Fiscal ImpaCT to I have to bring light to CT taxpayers to the financial crisis in CT. I am sure you remember you inquired about your friend joining also. At no time were these messages anything but friendly. We can both decide to post them or give them to anyone who would determine your intent tegayding your messages to me.

              I tried to stay away from posting this but feel you are attacking my character, like you did against Jim and Jen. It might be difficult for your campaign to know that you were texting me, but you left me with no other recourse given your continued attack.

              Sorry Dan. I can only sit back for so long.

              • Bart, our respectful messages ceased the moment you became vicious and started following me around Facebook harassing me and calling me names. There is something not-okay with you and there are several people who have asked you to cease this unhinged behavior directed towards those of whom you have chosen to target.

                Susan Levy – this is not about disagreement and there is a history of harassment that you may not be privy too. For that, I can forgive your comment. But, to respond to your statement: I explained quite clearly in my post which you didn’t seem to read that I also am voting individuals. I made it clear as to why. You are free to go back and reread but something tells me we won’t see eye to eye. Which is totally fine with me. Harassment and name-calling, however, is not.

  43. Can’t wait until this election is over…..

  44. I was on the Board of Finance when Jim Marpe became First Selectman. The first budget he submitted was for fiscal year 2015, July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. Based on his careful budget, it appeared that we could actually reduce the mill rate. Some more experienced voices advised that he should advocate for a small mill rate increase any way because that would make it easier to spend money over the course of the year without having to risk a large mill rate increase for FY 2016. I knew that Jim was different when he said that it was taxpayers’ money not ours, and that we had no right to take it just to make our political lives easier. He also said that if we needed additional spending over the course of 2015, taxpayers would understand if that increased next years’ mill rate, and that if we couldn’t adequately explain why the additional spending was necessary, then we should not spend it. That was the beginning of our recent record of responsibly flat mill rates and the fiscal strength that has allowed us to meet the challenge of Hartford’s turmoil that threatens everything we value about our town.

    We are blessed in Westport to have many accomplished citizens who serve in town government, but make no mistake; Jim has been a major factor in our improved performance. We have come a long way from the recent past when we could not reliably count our employees and we thought that our OPEB liability was less than $40 million when it was actually closer to $120 million.

    I am voting for Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker, and I am tremendously appreciative for their service.

    Tom Lasersohn

  45. I am disturbed by the nastiness, egregious misinformation and political pandering that have been evident during this election. The municipal election tomorrow is not about gun control or a referendum on President Trump. I certainly have very strong feelings about both but these aren’t the issues I will consider when I cast my ballot. Gun control laws are not something that a mayor or first selectman can enact. Our representatives in Hartford and Washington address those. I will be going to the polls to vote for people I think will do the best job on boards and commissions and people we need as our selectmen to lead our town.

    I have always felt that voting is an important responsibility and a privilege. Voting for president, federal offices, governor and representatives in Hartford are important. But it is local elections where you actually see how your vote counts and how your tax dollars affect the education for our children, police and fire departments to ensure our safety and how roads, beaches and Longshore are maintained.

    When I cast my vote it will be for those people I think will do the best job for Westport. I make those choices after evaluating candidates based upon their experience and a proven record of leadership and results. I want people who will lead the town and plan for the future with realistic goals and not just camapign promises. We have certainly seen false promises from Washington. We shouldn’t accept that for Westport.
    Jim Ezzes

  46. Rick Rosencrans

    Fellow Westporters,
    I’ve lived in Westport for all of four years, having moved here in November 2013, just a few weeks after the election of Jim Marpe as 1st Selectman and Jen Tooker to the BOF. I moved here from a nearby town where the political discourse is getting way beyond respectful, many town employees are seemingly resentful of local residents, taxes keep rising, and many large capital projects run way over budget. All these tensions, in my former community, seem to be splitting the town apart in highly partisan directions.

    So I land in Westport as a reliable Democratic voter, and cannot, for the life of me, understand what more my Westport neighbors want out of their local government. Since moving to town I’ve had dealings with employees in the Building & Health departments, the Assessor’s office, Parks & Rec., Library, recycling facilities and library. Everyone of those experiences has been positive. My question for my new neighbors is, what exactly are you dissatisfied with?:
    – is it the flat property taxes over the past four years?
    – a stronger financial position for the town?
    – a responsive and seemingly energized group of town employees ?
    – a spectacular school system with dedicated teachers and talented, motivated and socially conscious students?
    – a town golf course that had reputedly become a burned out cow pasture prior to the summer of 2014 season, and is now a well conditioned (and getting better every year) town gem?

    Does the town have development and traffic challenges to deal with, of course. But based on my own experiences, I am voting for Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker because I can’t think of a reason not re-elect two talented and dedicated public officials.

  47. Can I please propose a “cease fire” through the end of the election, beginning now? While passions are running high on all sides, I think we can all agree that our respective opponents love Westport. At the end of the day we will all have to work together and we are neighbors.

  48. Edward Iannone

    Friends and Neighbors,

    You may be as appalled as I am about Trump’s antics, but that doesn’t relieve us of our obligation to vote as informed citizens in local elections.

    Westport is a very well run town. For the last four years, low taxes provided us with top ranked schools, well trained police and fire departments, and roads that get plowed on time. I’m supporting Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker because I don’t want to put all of that at risk.

    With Connecticut’s finances ranked 3rd worst in the country, this is no time to take a shot with an untested candidate to lead our town.

    Please consider more than just whether a candidate has an R or D after his or her name and risk ruining a good thing.

    Judge for yourself and please vote on Nov 7th.

    https://melissaforwestport.org/

    https://www.marpetooker.com/

    Regards,
    Ed Iannone

  49. I can’t understand why being ‘partisan’ is being construed as a bad thing. Isn’t this an election? If people feel passionately about their candidate or their cause, let them voice that. This IS the time and the place. If not now, when? We are in the midst of what feels like a hostile takeover of our federal government by a candidate who really isn’t part of either party, but who the GOP is using as their tool. If that filters down to local elections, and we are choosing between 2 very qualified candidates to run our town, and the values of one align more closely with the values that I want to see represented at all levels of government, and I love her energy, experience and skill, and she’s got great working relationships with politicians and community organizers at every level, then that’s who I’m voting for. I want to think of Westport as a safe haven for progressive, smart, liberal thinking. That’s part of why I moved my family here and didn’t consider other towns in CT. As solid of a man as Jim Marpe is, I really hope Melissa and Rob win tomorrow to help us think outside the box and push the town in a progressive forward-thinking direction.

  50. Dan,

    You asked people to comment and argue in a positive way with short comments about their preferred candidates. Part of this has turned into a nasty back-and-forth arguments between Lisa Newman and Bart Shuldman which has no place in this commentary. I ask them both to please refrain from any further comments or better yet delete their negative posts and block them from THIS discussion.

    • Erik, truly thank you. I reached out to Dan earlier and asked for some intervention as well. I’m with you and I agree. Unfortunately, commentators are unable to delete what has been posted, but I would also appreciate if Dan would delete the responses to my original post. Both Bart and I shared who we are voting for – I’d hope those can stay up. The responses under my post are unnecessary.

  51. I was out coaching a state soccer tournament match this afternoon (Staples 1, Stamford 0). I had asked several frequent commenters to please refrain from commenting anymore, as I knew I would be unable to monitor the thread. I have several hours of work after each soccer game. I cannot keep watching this thread any longer. Sadly, it is closed to comments. Please remember to vote tomorrow, for the candidates of your choice.