Sara Harris Resigns As Town Operations Director

First Selectman Jim Marpe’s 2nd term ends in November. Three months earlier, he’s losing a key aide.

Town operations director Sara Harris has accepted a consulting opportunity in the private sector. Her resignation is effective August 27.

Harris joined Town Hall in July 2017. She coordinated projects and issues involving interdepartmental coordination, like digitization of the land use permitting process to Accela software.

She established and created annual management reports for the town’s budget book, and oversaw performance metrics for all town departments.

Sara Harris

During COVID, Harris served as public information officer, and was a liaison with utilities, the state, town staff and others. She also acted as Westport’s economic development director, implementing the town’s rebranding and website launch in 2018, and the new public/private partnership.

Harris also helped the town receive $2.8 million in federal funds to dredge the Saugatuck River.

Marpe says, “We will miss Sara’s dedication, work ethic and demeanor. I am pleased that she worked to implement the projects and tasks we asked her to complete. Sara did this without partisanship and remained grounded in her professional values for efficient and transparent operations in government.

“I am confident that the improvements we put in place will benefit the town and Town Hall operations for years to come. Her role in helping me effectively communicate with our residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and Storm Isaias cannot be overstated. I am grateful that Westport benefitted from her dedication, analytical skills, and work ethic.  I wish her much success in her new opportunity.”

Harris adds, “It is with very mixed emotions that I announce my resignation.  First Selectman Marpe and his administration have been an inspiration to me, and I will carry that guidance throughout my career. I will also miss the staff and friendships that have developed over the last 4 1/2 years, including some of the kindest, intelligent, and generous residents and volunteers I have ever met.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve the town of Westport.”

Lynn Scully, Westport’s audit manager/senior accountant, will serve as interim operations director. Harris will transition some of her tasks to Scully and other staff members, though some projects will remain on hold until a replacement can be found. Westport’s next first selectman will choose the next operations director.

5 responses to “Sara Harris Resigns As Town Operations Director

  1. Christine Meiers Schatz

    Sara you will be missed! Congratulations on your new job.

  2. Would love to hear more about the dredging

    Congratulations to Sara

  3. Thank you Sara. Best wishes in your new position.

  4. Westport will miss you, Sara. You have provided yet another calm, steady, intelligent presence in an administration known for all of the above!. Thanks for giving Westport four years of your life (time flies…) and good luck in the next chapter!

  5. Donald Bergmann

    As probably with all who have known and worked with Sara, I wish her well. My guess is that she will be paid more in her new position. My expectation is that her new employer will benefit greatly by her skills and work ethic. Sara is involved in many important projects, e.g. the Saugatuck River Dredging and the effort to prevent a very tall and ugly new cell tower at the corner of Greens Farms Rd. and Hillspoint Ave. Sara also was actively engaged in efforts to make Westport better in the digital world of technology. Those projects and more will require personnel. If that person becomes Lynn Scully, here again we will have an excellent, dedicated and hard working individual. Presumably, our next and new First Selectperson will select the new Operations Director. That becomes another element in the voting decision for First Selectperson next November. One issue I hope is not revived is whether or not our First Selectperson should have an Operations Director. To date we have had two, first Dewey Loselle and then the far longer term of Sara Harris. Westport benefits by having an Operations Director.

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