At this morning’s TEAM Westport meeting, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker addressed the recent rise in tensions over town affairs. She said:
When this community elected me as your first selectwoman, I made a promise to all of you that I would take action on a number of priorities.
I pride myself in being a leader that gets things done. Many of these decisions will affect the future of Westport. We are fortunate to have such an engaged community, and when this many people share their different opinions, emotions can run high.
I also pride myself on being a leader that listens to everyone. I feel strongly that people need — and deserve — to be heard.
Please know that I read each and every correspondence that is received. We won’t always agree, but we should all have the best interest of our town at heart. It’s critical that our decision-making process remains transparent and, importantly, civil.
A recent report indicates civil discourse is in jeopardy even at a local level. It is entitled “Threats and Harassment: The Cost of Local Government Leadership.” It is a sobering article featuring data about communities just like ours. Westport is not exempt, and must do better.
I will continue to lead by listening to all viewpoints. I will not be afraid to take action that I believe is in the best interest of Westport – that is what this community elected me to do.
I am committed to ensuring everyone feels like they belong here, not only our residents and business owners, but our elected and appointed officials as well.
This has been a core tenet of my administration from the beginning – and it remains a top priority.
I’m asking each of you to join me in keeping our discourse civil and productive. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same. It’s incumbent on all of us to take an active role in this. That is the only way we will be able to collectively make good decisions on behalf of Westport.