Jim Marpe: “I Proudly Represent All Westporters”

Earlier today, I posted an open letter to 1st Selectman Jim Marpe. Prill Boyle praised him for his civility, intelligence, caring, community building and fiscal prudence — then wondered why he did not speak up against “the values of today’s Republican party.”

He responds:

Thank you for giving me an opportunity to respond to today’s “Open Letter.”

As 1st selectman I proudly represent all Westporters regardless of their individual party affiliations, points of view on particular issues, or whether or not they shake my hand. As much as physically possible, I stand ready to meet with constituents or respond to their emails and phone calls in order to hear their ideas and address their concerns.

There are nearly 4,500 registered Republicans living in Westport. Shaming our neighbors because you presume they do not share all or some of the same political beliefs is wrong.

Westport prides itself on being tolerant and inclusive. We are (or should be) Republicans and Democrats based on a set of principles rather than loyalty or fealty to one individual, including President Trump. It has been my experience in the past 5 years as first selectman that our individual principles as a community have much more in common than they differ.

At last year’s “06880” party, incumbent 1st Selectman Jim Marpe posed with Democratic opponent Melissa Kane. He won the election; she is now 3rd selectwoman. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

As Westport’s 1st selectman and a former Board of Education member and vice chairman, I have chosen to “speak up” through actions that impact Westport and its neighbors. I have supported programs that impact arts and intellectual activities and that address the social services needs of our community as well as neighboring communities that may be less fortunate.

I have committed Westport to an environmentally sustainable future through our “Net Zero by 2050” initiatives. And I practice fiscal prudence on behalf of all Westporters.

Most importantly, my administration is committed to continue to make Westport an attractive and welcoming community in which to live, work and operate a business, regardless of the continuing challenges that the State of Connecticut faces.

In order to affect change, we must have open dialogue. Demonizing someone because of his or her party affiliation, or presumed political beliefs, is not only unfair, it is also self-defeating. In Westport we can and must continue our tradition of listening to and respecting each other – not just when we agree, but more importantly when we differ.

And I will continue to do my best to address Westport’s challenges by reflecting what I believe are the broadly held principles of local governance and process, and a community commitment to tolerance, inclusiveness and civility.

73 responses to “Jim Marpe: “I Proudly Represent All Westporters”

  1. Martha Eidman

    Thank you Jim Marpe. This is why I voted for you. I too believe that the country is built on a 2-party system that honors the beliefs of the other side. This “shaming” is the shameful voice of intolerance that can creep-in when least expected. I embrace leaders of either party who can encourage us to listen and find common ground.

  2. Wendy Stahl

    Thank you for the thoughtful remarks Jim. I agree that we are all better off if we do not label each other by political party, or any other arbitrary label such as race, country of origin, school attended etc. Are there any of us who agree 100% with everyone in our registered political party, our religious institution or our school? I hope we can all be more open minded and less combative.

  3. Bart Shuldman

    Jim-if we only had more people like you in office. Thank you.


  4. Mark Yurkiw

    Inclusiveness & tolerance moves us ALL forward. Compassion & gratitude makes us ALL human. I recently heard a quote from a Mexican American author; “There is no them, only us”. Thank you Mr. Marpe you have clarified everything we need to know about you & your office,

  5. Adam Vengrow

    Well said Jim, anybody in this town that wont shake your hand because of a party affiliation doesnt belong here. You dont care about party you care about all the people in this town. No divisions in Westport.

  6. John Brandt

    Jim, I couldn’t agree more. Civility is paramount, as is the need for dialogue, compromise and engagement with one another’s points of view. But staying silent in the face of on-going damage to the country’s DNA isn’t fully serving the community or your constituents. The Republican party needs voices like yours to speak up for our democracy. It may not be good politics, but it’s service to those of us who voted for and continue to vote for good government.

  7. Peter Flatow

    Jim, you know I endorse you and the principals you outline in your response. But in the current state of governance someone has to step up and yell, “the emperor has no clothes.” What is so distressing is not all of the competent Republicans working to do what is right for their communities in a bipartisan way (as you are) but the majority who are empowering such destructive behavior by a person who pledge to lead and take actions to benefit all the people.

  8. Claudia P Shaum

    Well said, Mr. Marpe. And thank you for all that you have done for Westport, and all that you continue to do for us, in spite of what’s going on in Hartford.. To me, refusing to shake a neighbor’s hand at a beach party is not principled, it’s just rude. I’m a registered Democrat and I certainly don’t agree with a lot of what’s going on in that party today, but I’m not going to let it turn me into someone who behaves badly towards neighbors. Let’s all keep talking, discussing and learning together for the good of Westport. We can lead by example, if we do that.

  9. Robert Harrington

    Jim this is an excellent reply.

    We don’t live in a one party town or state. The Oepn Letter questioning you – didn’t mention one issue directly related to Westport. That is what they are missing in their argument. You are all about Westport.

    As I responded to Prill Boyle’s Open Letrer earlier:

    I don’t always agree with Jim Marpe. I didn’t support him in the last election and instead endorsed his opponent. I was highly critical of him on several issues. I supported both Democrats and Republicans.

    However, with Jim Marpe I see someone who speaks up for Westport. Everyday.

    We may sometimes differ about how to solve a problem. However, I would never question this man’s values for one second. Period.

    Jim has argued passionately for Westport over the Aquarion Water tanks. He has our backs. He still does. He has shown great leadership among many others on this issue. He didn’t have to.

    He was one of very few elected represetatives who has spoken up and in favor of additional Special Resoource Officers in our schools which are currently being denied.

    He gave a loud voice on the issue of medical dispenceries in our town.

    There are always more opportunities to speak out and speak up for Westport.

    I hope he provides greater leadership on the issue of manning our fire engines in our great town.

    But my point with all this – is we may not agree with each other on every issue but Jim Marpe has your backs in this town whether you are a Republican or a Democrat. I have seen that up close and personal.

    He speaks up every day.

    To try and drag him into this Implicit Trump attack is a little unfair.

    Prill Boyle – have you spoken up about the near bankruptcy our Governor has brought to this state? Have you spoken up and distanced yourself from the failed policies of our governor that has directly impacted our school funding? If so – I missed that.

    • Robert Harrington – You are engaging in “Whataboutism” by bring the Governor into the discussion. Denounce Trump for being an admitted sexual predator and the frequent defense is “Yeah well, what about Bill Clinton?” Talk about being horrified by immigrant children in cages and you get “What about MS-13?” These are duck-and-cover maneuvers that are distractions and do nothing to advance the dialogue at hand. Which in my estimation have so far been thoughtful, gracious, respectful, and highly principled on both sides. If you want to initiate a discussion about the Governor and State budget, by all means do so. But not in this context or forum.

      • Robert Harrington

        I’m calling out hypocracy where I see it. Democrats can’t have it both ways. They can’t bring Trump into the discussion and stay silent on the governor. The governor has done more to damage this state than anyone else discussed in this thread.

        Whatever my views on Jim, The Governor etc I would shake hands with all of them.

  10. A. David Wunsch

    If I lived in Westport and met Mr. Marpe I would ask him if he voted for Donald Trump. And if he did I’d ask him why. Perhaps he can answer my question in this forum. He can also mention if he has any regrets.
    ADW Staples 1956

  11. Jack Backiel

    And I thought the Cribari Bridge posting generated a lot of comments, over a long period of time. This one will go on for months, so let me be the first to wish everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

  12. My perspective is unique since I served as Second Selectman under Jim Marpe. Everything our First Selectman writes above is from the heart. They are not just words – they are Jim’s principles that he lives by. He also speaks loudly and publicly when he disagrees with a national policy. Just a few that come to mind are Charlottesville, anti-hate, gun violence, and the Paris Clinate Accord, where he has made his voice heard loudy and clearly. I just wish we had more people like Jim Marpe in Washington, DC on both sides of the aisle – leaders who can unite our nation.

  13. JT Richardson

    Beautifully written and stared. Thank you Jim Marpe for all you do for our Community!! We are a standout Town in a Economically Declining State thanks to you and your Administration’s exceptional leadership. Your team positively affects our daily lives here in Westport by economizing our tax dollars while at the same time investing in our town assets. All this takes exceptional bipartisan leadership (!) Reaching across the aisle and working together to build and enhance our communities as a team despite our differences. Something the State and Tragically Washington is still unable to do!!
    Hear Hear Jim Marpe!!

  14. Joyce Barnhart

    Unfortunately President Trump is a terrible man doing a miserable job representing American values to the world. And the Republicans in Washington are doing little or nothing to let the nation and the world know that DT doesn’t speak for them. Because these high level, high profile Republicans are behaving despicably all Republicans are tarred with the same brush. Voters might tell Washington that by dumping Republicans in the upcoming elections. Republicans who do not agree with DT would be wise to let their constituents know.

  15. Leslie Orofino

    Dear Jim, I think you are a terrific selectman and really help Westport in many ways. I vote for people on Both sides and always have. I am a registered Democrat but that’s just because I want to vote in the primaries. I look at the shocking behavior in the White House on everything imaginable our environment, education, foreign policy & pal Putin, gun control, trade wars, women’s rights on and on and can not understand why good and decent people in the Senate and House do not stand up to this dangerous reality star who only thinks of himself. My father who was shot out of two tanks and a prisoner of war and a lifelong Republican would be horrified at the silence in Washington and around the country. We all need to hit the streets. Please speak up Jim and call out this emperor with no clothes and help us all . We need you .

  16. Daniel Katz

    All of the above comments are right on the mark…Marpe IS inclusive, concerned, thoughtful and generous with his time devoted to our town and
    the care he gives us all.
    Nonetheless, Mr. Boyle has a good point in wishing that, as an ENLIGHTENED Republican, Mr. Marpe would show up the chicken shit Republicans in Congress and speak out about the atrocity that is Donald Trump.

  17. Daniel Katz

    Sorry, Ms. Boyle, for giving you the wrong gender!

  18. Elina Lublinsky

    Thank you!

  19. David Floyd

    Bravo, Jim!

  20. Jim – you are a class act. You have served our community with an open door and open mind, always listening to all the people of our community.
    As a member of our RTM, I can saythat it has been a pleasure to work with you and your administration, as well as the other town bodies which consists of good people and residents, not Political Parties.
    Thank you for doing a difficult job with class.

    • Jamie Walsh

      Perfect response Jim. Local politics should not be lumped into nationalized politics and one should never “assume” what someones complete political view points are by “judging a book by its cover.” Mr. Marpe has done an admirable job that often appears, on the surface, to be thankless. I’ll shake your hand any day Mr. Marpe…and I would shake Ms. Gates hand as well… Certainly…would be interested in Ms. Gates opinion given this thread springs off her not wanting to shake, civilly, Mr. Marpes hand.

  21. Joseph Robert Signorile

    Great comments….thank you from one of the the 4k Westport Residents…

  22. Michael Calise

    Great response. Truly unfortunate that while all respondents acknowledge your brilliance some still continue to espouse their brand of intolerance.

  23. Elaine Marino

    We are so fortunate to have Jim Marpe as our first selectman. I am saddened to know that a town resident used Dan’s annual party to make a political statement. Mr. Marpe took the high road, and I applaud him for that.

  24. Winfield Street Italian Deli

    Very well said.

    Breno Donatti Winfield St Coffee 203-866-4348 http://www.winfieldcoffee.com


  25. Barbara Sherburne '67

    Thank you, Mr. Marpe, for such a well-written response to the “Open Letter.” I learned a new word today, fealty. I am a proofreader and look up probably 100 words a day. I never ran across fealty before. Of course I had to look it up to find out what it meant. 🙂

    • Jack Backiel

      Barbara, You’re mistaken about not recognizing the word “fealty!” In some parts of the country, a sentence like, “I don’t fealty too good today” is perfectly acceptable!

  26. Eileen Gress

    Thank you for your thoughtful response, Jim Marge. I am a proud Democrat who found both the refusal to shake your hand as well as the Open Letter very offensive. I deplore the character of our president but not every Republican is painted with the same brush.

  27. Jim—

    I hoped my letter would start a conversation, and it seems to have done that, which I believe is all to the good.

    Let me say right off that I admire you and voted for you. You’re a true public servant, and indeed “represent all Westporters.” My descriptions of how I perceive you were sincere. You deserve all these accolades.

    Up until this last Presidential election, I believed national politics and local politics were two separate things. I also believed–and still believe–that a democracy requires a robust two (or more) party system. Finally, I believe we, the American people, need to listen to each other’s concerns to come up with workable solutions to our town’s, our state’s and our country’s problems.

    I think you will agree, however, that today’s Republican party isn’t the Republican party of years past. (Am I assuming too much to think you will agree with this statement?) And like it or not, to call oneself a Republican today is to tacitly align oneself with the values of the national party. So my underlying questions remain:

    Why are you a Republican when your values don’t seem consonant with the party’s values? What does it mean to be a Republican in the age of Trump? What are the ramifications? Where does one draw the line between the national party and the local party?

    These are not just a question for you, of course, but for every Republican in this country. And, yes, we Democrats should be asking ourselves the same questions. We are having our own identity crisis and are far from blameless when it comes to polarization.

    These are, admittedly, not easy questions to answer. As I said at the outset, they’re meant to provoke thought—and conversation. In any case, thank you for all you do for this town and for being a good sport!

    • Kevin O'Brien, CWO USN (Ret)

      All I will say, and I say it as a life-long Democrat, is that the Democratic Party today is nothing like it used to be either. Far, far from it. JFK, who loved America, would not be tolerated today. And those of other parties could just as easily be as dismissive of us as a whole because of it, and many are. There’s the rub! For God’s sake people are being shot because of the senseless vitriol! We should remove the log from our eyes so we can see clearly enough to HELP remove it or demand its removal from others. Civility and tolerance espoused but not practiced is bigotry and hypocrisy of the highest magnitude. As Don O’Day said, “we are better than that”.

    • Bart Shuldman

      Why do you find the need to ask your questions publicly? Why do you not have the respect for our First Selectman and call him or meet him and address whatever questions you have. Why the need to do this all publicly?

      It clearly raises questions as to your motivation.

  28. Jim Marpe is a great First Selectman and a fine man. Our town is better because of him and his tireless service for EVERYONE in Westport.

    Seems to me that people should try to unite and let the process work rather than draw lines that can’t be crossed. Isn’t the “my way or the highway” approach a basic tenant of Trump’s governing practice that should be rejected?

    Why would we engage in something similar by taking the position that if you don’t regularly condemn Trump then I won’t even shake your hand?

    We are better than that.

    • Kevin O'Brien, CWO USN (Ret)

      Don, isn’t an opinion saying Trump’s way is “my way or the highway” while advocating tolerance actually drawing that ‘line that can’t be crossed’ that you mentioned, and actually commits to the divide rather than unite? It assumes everyone believes that, and everyone doesn’t. I think you unintentionally DID “engage in something similar” with that small part of your comment. I completely agree with the rest that we should work together, but dismissing anyone out of hand is intolerance, and concentrating on person or personality rather than policy that in differing opinion could be better is ineffective and small. There are many good things happening for the country right now, and other things that need more work or a different approach. Alienating and dismissing those in position to affect policy because of personal feelings rather than professional attitude is selfish to the community’s best interests, self defeating and, frankly, dumb. Let’s all work together at one table and not just shout at each other from different, segregated tables. I agree completely that, as you stated, we ARE better than that.

      • Good point, Kevin. Perhaps the “my way or the highway” mentality that I attributed to Donald Trump was overly broad and unfair. I based my comment on his statement at the GOP convention when he was nominated. I recall he said that “I alone can fix this”. Sounds like a lonely highway unless he is willing to accept other ideas.

  29. Kevin O'Brien, CWO USN (Ret)

    Hear hear! If civility is to be lauded then civility should be practiced. As a life-long Democrat in the JFK (and Joe Lieberman?) mold I applaud any person for affecting policies or positions that benefit the community whether he or she is a Democrat, Republican or Independent. There are some very good things happening for our country right now and we should be good and tolerant enough to say so where warranted. Used to be we were a little more tolerant and willing to work TOGETHER as Americans first than we tend to be and do today. We need to get back to that. Many seem to think that the word “bigot” refers to race. It doesn’t. It refers to intolerance of someone else’s opinions. There are those in most all of the political groups whose ideas I agree AND disagree with but few I wouldn’t tolerate as people. Values are for the most part the same, just different ideas on how to implement policy to best benefit the citizens of the community. If time at cocktail parties and social gatherings is spent in cliques of politics then what wasted and awful time it is. If that’s all there is to talk about then we’re all in big trouble. Such discussion should be banned except at the appropriate time and venue or we WILL cause division. I guarantee you we don’t all think alike. Thank God!

  30. Thanks Jim for your service to our community and your thoughtful, classy as always response. A shame really that such a response was felt warranted. So sad when folks espousing inclusion choose to withhold a civil handshake because one has been labeled. Whether a Dem or Rep, or an Indy such as myself, these labels don’t automatically project a set of beliefs and behaviors on everyone. There are plenty of good, principled people in both parties and its only when, like Jim Marie, that the individual is understood and respected will a more civil discourse return to politics.
    In the meantime, let’s all shake hands, say hi, and be pleasant toward one another
    Thanks again Jim

  31. Seth Goltzer

    What a dis ingenuous question to start off with. What’s wrong with traditional American values of equality, prosperity, equal opportunity…etc. why not ask about Democratic Party values of unbridaled Socialism, identity politics, intolerance of any other views…we’ve seen this all acted out recently with no opposition from the so called Left.

  32. Rachel Halperin-Zibelman

    Thank you, Jim! You’re a class act. So beautifully said and I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments! Proud to be a Westporter and proud to have voted for you. I have political views on both sides of the spectrum. It’s very disappointing when others make assumptions about your political views without asking key questions first. And then please feel free to respectfully disagree.

  33. Jack Backiel

    Dan, We have a record for the most responses, to a posting, before 12:30 pm! This day will live forever, in the annals of Westport’s history!!

  34. Roberta Tager

    Bravo, Jim Marpe‼️

  35. When Jim Marpe was canvassing my neighborhood on foot during the last campaign, I shut down the lawn mower and greeted him at the curb like the old friend he is. I affirmed my personal respect for him and the fact that I voted for him in his first election. I then said I was having a hard time supporting him anew, given that Trump and all he stood for was at the top of the Republican national ticket. The fact that Jim is such a fine man, citizen and elected local leader is the very reason I believe he should separate himself from Trump and so many of the Republican officials who lend him active and tacit support.

    For those who say, ‘how dare you’ to Ms. Boyle or give us the whataboutism re Governor Malloy, I say now is not the time to hide in the Westport bubble and ignore what Trump and his lackeys are doing to the U.S. economy, political realm and culture. A trillion dollar deficit, attacks on healthcare, draconian immigration policies, injurious trade policies, electoral shenanigans, racial and religious fearmongering, and truly baffling dealings with our allies and adversaries are just a few of the concerns I have about the direction Trump is taking our country. Jim’s standing in our community is exactly why I wish that he and other sensible elected Republican officials around the country would take a principled stand against Trump. Then he would represent me and, I would like to believe, the majority of Westporters. All politics is truly local.

  36. Matt Dembski

    Thanks for all you do Jim. As a registered Democrat I have and will continue to gladly shake your hand. In my opinion you deserve a hug after being treated so poorly by fellow Wesporters that you have served so capably. Behavior such as Rozanne’s and Prill’s is what turns a moderate such as myself away from my own party and could potentially get President Trump elected again in 2020. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rozanne and Prill have “Hate has no home here” signs in their front yards without seeing any irony.

  37. Pete Wolgast

    Jim Marpe is all about Westport. He has devoted himself in a superb manner 24/7 to our town since becoming first selectman in November 2013. We have not had a more capable person in this office in the last fifty years. He has striven to serve all of the citizens of our town regardless of party affiliation. All of the positive comments that Ms. Boyle makes about Jim are absolutely true. Mr. Harrington’s comments concerning Jim’s devotion to our town are right on the mark.

    To the benefit of Westport, Jim Marpe has largely ignored what is going on in Washington and Hartford. It is not in Westport’s interests to have Jim commenting on the capability of leaders in Washington. It would be a distraction and only cause more controversy in Westport. In addition, nearly every day we have a member of the Connecticut delegation to the U. S. Congress criticizing the Trump administration. These actions may be good politics in Connecticut but they undoubtedly result in decisions in Washington by those in power that are detrimental to our state.

    I have known and supported Jim Marpe for nearly 15 years largely due his high level of integrity, ability to listen, work amicably with nearly everyone and his outstanding executive management capability. Westport is extremely blessed to have someone of Jim’s stature as first selectman. We should all be supporting him in his most demanding position.

    Pete Wolgast 20 Sturges Commons Westport 203-259-4215 akwpete@aol.com

  38. Darcy Sledge

    Jim Marpe is not a one-size-fits-all Republican. He chooses his battles and looks out for the best interest of all Westport citizens. The outpouring of support on this blog is testament. But here is the rub: From what I gather, this was a local event , more importantly a social event. Am I mistaken? Not a political event. He is our first selectman – to refuse to shake his hand at a social event is just disrespectful. Let’s not make this town any more divisive . I’m glad you took the high road , Jim . We need to find a way to be civil to everyone, discuss our differences and work on ways to find common ground. That is how things will improve .

  39. I couldn’t care less if Jim Marpe was a Republican, Democrat or Martian. All I know is we ought to thank our lucky stars that we have a very sensible person running our finances and just as important a very moral upstanding citizen. We in Westport cannot control what all the buffoons in Washington and Hartford do so shame on those people in Westport who are trying to bifurcate our unified town for their greater agenda and media presence. Who someone voted for is really none of anyone’s business – if it were we would all vote in public and not behind curtains.

    Thanks for you diligence and taking good care of Westport Mr Marpe.

    • Mr Hub, I am impressed that your parents named you after the largest transmission node and pricing point for natural gas in the United States. Kind of cool.

  40. Truth and character matter. Jim is a man of character and speaks the truth.

  41. Don L. Bergmann

    When Jim Marpe ran for a second term I wrote Jim and suggested that he speak out as to those aspects of then President Trump that troubled him. Jim chose not to then and continues in that approach. I do not know if that matters to voters. My guess is that expressing concerns with President Trump would probably generate a net increase in voter support in Westport, though the Republican party leadership at the national level might be troubled. Town government is different from State and Federal government. Indeed, my mantra for my many years in Westport is that the issues in Town are neither Republican nor Democratic. However, in the case of President Trump, I think it is desirable if all of us express our support or opposition to some or many aspects of the Trump presidency. We should do that as private citizens and probably as public servants.
    Don Bergmann

    • A. David Wunsch

      I agree with Don. This morning I suggested that Jim M tell Westport’s voters whom he voted for in the presidential election. He seems not to have taken my advice . If he confessed to having voted for Trump and now has misgivings it could only increase his standing in the town.
      ADW Staples ’56

  42. I replied with this to the previous post, but it probably makes more sense here:

    Hey — I don’t see what this fuss is all about.

    I am a Republican voter. I object strongly to President Trump’s policies and attitudes — particularly his demonization of immigrants, his close ties with criminal elements in the Former Soviet Union, and his continuing stream of vulgar, mean-spirited, and un-Presidential outbursts.

    It doesn’t take a whole lot of courage to say this in a liberal community like ours. And I do think it’s the obligation of all non-Trump supporting Republicans to speak out.

    Why is Jim Marpe unable to say this?

  43. I applaud Ms. Brill for succinctly expressing what so many of us in Westport have been asking. And I applaud Mr. Marpe for his public and thoughtful response. But Mr. Marpe is confusing me: this is not about Republicans or Democrats. This is about RIGHT and WRONG. The things he listed as holding dear are the very things Trump threatens to dissolve. Convictions are convictions! We either uphold them or we don’t. Focusing on who is demonizing whom (and Marpe’s inner circle is guilty of that as well) is avoiding the original question. We are obviously not all one party in Westport, we know that. But as a town, don’t we all want to uphold family values, kindness, civil treatment and acceptance of others, regardless of their skin color or religion or sex or sexual preference? Shouldn’t our First Selectman represent our town by standing up for democracy (with a small d)? Today, that means standing up against the man who condones White Nationalists, verbally encourages violence, objectifies women, slanders journalism, embraces dictators and has committed treason, shaming everything we stand for.

    • Lisa Marie Alter

      Thank you Darcy Hicks – I am in complete agreement. Also, agree with Don Bergman, Peter Blau and A. David Wunsch.

      At this point, one must assume about Mr. Marpe:
      “He who is silent is taken to agree.”

      Lisa Marie Alter

      • Jim has NEVER been silent about his perspectives on national issues. He has always been the first to stand up for tolerance, inclusion, anti-gun violence, and the environment. Your statements are just plain false and clearly politically motivated to embarrass someone who gives his heart and soul to ALL members of our community.

        • Scott Smith

          With all due respect, Avi, I don’t see what statements are false in Ms. Hicks’ comment. I think what she and others are asking for is a clear statement from Jim regarding whether he supports Donald Trump. “Today, that means standing up against the man who condones White Nationalists, verbally encourages violence, objectifies women, slanders journalism, embraces dictators and has committed treason, shaming everything we stand for.” For that matter, what is your personal response regarding the leader of your party?

          • Scott – completely disagreee. The statements above are false. Jim has consistently been vocal about national policies, and represents the sentiments of most Westporters. Jim is a unifier, instead of a divider. The above attacks are meant to divide our wonderful community. I will not respond to any more comments about this as others will insist on the final word anyway.

            Regarding my personal feelings, I’ll just share a few thoughts. My office in Town Hall had pictures of both Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy. My wife and I donate on an national level to both Republican and Democratic Congressinal candidates. We are strong supporters of stem cell research, health care for all, anti gun violence legislation, and more. I have publicly condemned actions President Trump has taken including separating children from their parents and gun control. I also support some actions he has taken including moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and his tough stance on unfair trade practices against the US (although the style and way of getting there is awful). I officially endorsed John Kasich during the election.

            • Lisa Marie Alter


              1. In fact, I forgot to state earlier that also I support Prill Boyle AND Roxanne Gates, for their courageous search for a truthful response from an elected official who claims to “represent all.”

              2. If you READ Darcy’s Comment, you would that see it is a QUESTION, NOT A STATEMENT – addressed to Jim Marpe AND

              3. It would be immediately apparent that there is no “intent to embarrass.”

              4. She/ALL OF US are asking Mr. Marpe to ANSWER A VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION – A VERY FAIR AND HONEST question: is he willing to take a stand against Donald trump and everything he stands for (on points which she enumerated).

              5. It is obvious that Mr. Marpe is unwilling to do so – as in doing so, he would alienate many of the people here (albeit a minority in Westport) who still support trump, despite the obvious reasons one should be opposing the fascist trump regime.

              6. This has nothing to do with “politics” – I could not give a rat’s ass if our Selectman, Governor, or even President had a D or an R next to their names… EXCEPT THAT:

              We the People currently engaged in a veritable battle to preserve the fragile and besieged tenets of our Constitution, and those of our democratic Republic.

              We have a “president,” of extremely questionable legitimacy, saluting a Russian autocrat, and disparaging his own law enforcement and IC on the world stage just last week in Helsinki.

              He attacks our principles of free speech and the Fourth Estate; he seeks to silence and advocates jailing his political opponents; he lies at a rate that most of the media can barely keep track of; he violates the Emoluments clause daily, and attempts to behave like a self-appointed emperor, eschewing the recommendations of any and all advisors, and alienates our trusted allies of decades with insults and ad hominem attacks.

              IF the GOP were doing their job and serving as a form of “checks and balances” the way our Founding Fathers intended, America would not be in the crisis state that we are. Sadly, it appears the GOP, who I believe attained the majority through questionable practices, are either compromised and/or bought with illegitimate NRA/Russian money.

              In the meantime – Westporters, CT State Residents, American citizens – have EVERY right to know where our elected officials – and our CANDIDATES FOR OFFICE these midterms – stand, regarding their support of this un-American, un-patriotic, and un-Constitutional Administration.

              Thus far, the 5 GOP Gubernatorial candidates have all saluted trump, giving him an “A” rating (which is a non-starter for me).

              Avi, frankly, your spurious outrage about “asking the question” of our First Selectman is most unbecoming and inappropriate.

              Furthermore, in light of all the lip service about “local politics not being partisan” – how DARE you post a congratulatory statement about trump’s supposed “victory” on the Westport government website, as was disclosed earlier on this thread (or the earlier seminal one) ?

              I did not see it – or I would have petitioned for your immediate removal from office.

              Lisa Marie Alter

              • Bart Shuldman

                Lisa-may we all hope that a republican wins the Governorship in CT. The Democratic Party in Ct is controlled by the state workers and their leaders. CT is in a financial death spiral with pensions and medical benefits costs skyrocketing. Many state workers pay nothing for their medical care. Many get medical benefits for their spouse and children for life and pay almost nothing. It is bankrupting Cat.

                Look around Westport and see many 4 Sale signs. People want out of CT. People want out because of the horrible decisions made by the state workers party (democrats). Education cost sharing paid by the state has been cut to towns and cities in Ct. Democrats cutting education funding!!!! Democrats cutting food programs for seniors!! Why? Because the benefits paid to state workers are crowding out all other spending.

                Steinberg has voted to raise taxes. Steinberg has voted to extend the State Worker Benefits 10 more years. He supports thebstatenworker over the education of our children. He supports the state workers over children in CT.

                If you want to make this political-let’s go. Let’s get into the details of a once wealthy state that is collapsing. Let’s get into the details of the upcoming $4.4 BILLION DEFICIT. Let’s get into the details of where will the money come from the pay for this deficit.

                Lisa-if you and Darcy really want to make this political-let’s go and get into the details

                And while you are at it, let’s all thank Jim Marpe for managing Westport and improving the financial structure of the town. As the democrats in CT cut Westport’s education funds to our wonderful town, Jim has found ways to cut spending to avoid massive increases in our propery taxes.

        • Bart Shuldman

          Avi it is not surprising to see Darcy begin her attacks. She has done that so many times to so many people. .Too bad she cannot embrace Jim Marpe who has done so much for Westport.

    • Bart Shuldman

      Darcy. Too bad you cannot stop your very partisan politics. Many in Westport have written their response and support of Jim Marpe. Accept the fact he is appreciated by many.

  44. Stacy Prince

    This article seemed appropriate today: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/24/magazine/can-your-ally-want-things-you-dont.html

    “[T]hat is precisely where the value of an alliance lies: It forces you to state your interests explicitly and locate the places where they overlap with those of people you may not otherwise care for.”

  45. Carolanne Curry

    Excellent statement from the First Selectman.

  46. Rosemary Bentley Milligan

    Treason?? you need some history lessons.

  47. Rosemary Bentley Milligan

    Treason?? you need some history lessons.

  48. This thread is now closed to previous commenters. Please comment ONLY if you have not posted on this particular thread before. Thank you.

  49. Jack Backiel

    Bart, My heritage is Polish and Russian, however, I’m also part Mongolian, which is probably why I “yak” too much and get blocked.