Jim Marpe: Gordon Joseloff “Exemplified Public Service”

Westport 1st Selectman Jim Marpe says:

It is with great sadness that I learned this morning of the death of Gordon Joseloff, former Westport 1st Selectman and my immediate predecessor.

Gordon’s commitment and dedication to Westport, his hometown, was exemplified in so many ways. His first job as a teenage reporter was for the Westport Town Crier, and he founded WWPT, the Staples High School radio station.

Later he served as an RTM member and its moderator for 10 years.

From 2005 to 2013 he served as 1st Selectman, where he exemplified qualities of leadership, transparency, non-partisanship and accountability within his public service.

Gordon Joseloff (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

During his tenure as 1st Selectman he faced a variety of crises that included the Great Recession of 2008-09, and a series of major disruptive storms including Hurricane Irene and Super Storm Sandy, where he led the community’s efforts to recover and to emerge even stronger.

His creation of WestportNow established the national standard for transparent, internet-based community journalism nearly 20 years ago, and it remains a “go to” source of fact-based information in Westport.

Under Gordon’s leadership as 1st Selectman, the construction of the new Levitt Pavilion was begun. He oversaw the initial reforms of the town’s pension plans which have helped to assure Westport’s long-term financial stability. And throughout his public service career, he exemplified a non-partisan approach to governing our community.

On a personal note, he worked directly with me to assure a smooth transition of responsibility when I was elected to the office of 1st Selectman following his announced retirement. Throughout my term in office, I regularly sought his perspective and advice on a number of key issues. I always found his perspective invaluable.

At my request, Governor Ned Lamont has given his permission for Westport to lower its flags to half-staff for the remainder of the week in honor of Gordon Joseloff.

On behalf of all Westporters, I want to express the town’s sincere condolences to his daughter, Anna-Liisa, and his son, Ben, and to his grandchildren who I know he adored.

We will all miss Gordon, and we thank him for his friendship and his service to Westport.

4 responses to “Jim Marpe: Gordon Joseloff “Exemplified Public Service”

  1. is there a family address where we can sympathy notes?

  2. Couldn’t say it better than Jim. Gordon was a spirit to Westport for many years. Even in his “retirement” he never retired but continued to focus on Westport daily news. For those that had interaction with him, they realized that his major focus was to continue his news focus especially to Westport although he had focused on World wide news in his past career.

    He was a Westporter for many many years and we all will be missing him.

  3. Kathie Bennewitz

    Beautifully said and what a deserving honor to honor him in this way.

  4. I knew him as a neighbor and as the First Selectman who believed that it was possible to make the downtown look better and improved. He permitted me to form a Downtown 2020 Citizen’s Committee. We did lots to help define how to improve streetscapes, parking, access, pop up dinning, embrace the river, work with the downtown merchants. Whether all of this had an impact one could argue, however, no one could argue with Gordon’s service to Westport! It is somewhat tragic that he dies in 2020 the date we choose for the name of our group. Lou Gagliano

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