Tag Archives: Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein

Tooker, Goldstein Assess The Town

The state of the town is “fabulous.”

Our schools are in very good shape too.

Those assessments, from 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein, were delivered to several dozen residents this afternoon, at the annual “State of the Town” meeting at the Westport Library.

The Sunrise Rotary and Westport Rotary Clubs co-sponsored the event.

Part of the Trefz Forum audience at today’s State of the Town event.

Tooker repeated a familiar theme: Westport is “the best place to live, work and play in the region.” Goldstein added “and learn,” an idea the 1st selectwoman quickly adopted.

Tooker said that that her administration’s “north star” is that this is a town where everyone feels welcome. She cited the “collaboration, dedication and energy” of town employees, board members, business owners, non-profit leaders and residents as essential to that feeling.

She cited her top 5 priorities:

  • Traffic and pedestrian safety
  • The Longshore Capital Improvement Plan
  • Revitalizing downtown
  • Flood and stream mitigation
  • Support of the entire community’s emotional health and well-being.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker illustrated her remarks on traffic with a familiar photo: the North Avenue back-up by Bedford Middle School.

Tooker noted the importance of “diverse and affordable housing.” She also announced an upcoming initiative to help grow “the local ecosystem of entrepreneurs in technology and related fields.”

In her opening remarks, Goldstein described the “explosive” elementary school population growth since 2019: 262 students. That 12% increase is not mirrored in any neighboring district.

She emphasized the Westport Public Schools’ focus on school culture, well-being and mental health, and a push to give more voice to students. The goal is to “affirm and value all students, so they feel they belong to their school, and their school belongs to them.”

Of course, Goldstein said, the Board of Ed pays great attention to academic achievement, and to upcoming facility needs at Long Lots and Coleytown Elementary Schools.

Meanwhile, unequal spikes in enrollment mean the Board is looking at rebalancing the schools. They’re taking “a measured, careful approach, while recognizing its urgency.”

This slide from Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein showed recent budget efficiencies.

Attendees asked Tooker about a variety of subjects. They included:

  • Connecticut’s “looming trash crisis.” (Department heads are collaborating; Sustainable Westport plays an important role; everyone should consider composting.)
  • The Hamlet at Saugatuck development. (As First Selectwoman, she sits on the Traffic and Sewer Authority, so she cannot speak about it before the issue comes before those bodies.)
  • Saugatuck River dredging. (The Army Corps of Engineers is deciding where to dispose of the silt.)
  • Leadership. (“Every decision I make, makes someone unhappy. My job is to listen to and respect everyone, then make the best choice for as many people as I can, look them in the eye and tell them why I made it with grace. Those who scream the loudest should not win the day.”
  • The logpile at the Post Road/Roseville Road corner. (It’s in litigation.)

Questions for Goldstein included:

  • School start and end times. (The Board of Education recognizes the issue; it will be part of the new transportation contract.)
  • The budget. (“We try to keep any cuts out of the classroom.”)
  • Diversity, equity and inclusion. (“The work we do is in everyone’s best interest. The majority of the Board supports this work.”)

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From right: 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein, State of the Town moderator Tony McDowell. (All photos/Dan Woog)

Roundup: State Of The Town, Summit Saugatuck …

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What’s the state of the town?

Westport First Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein offer their thoughts next Sunday (February 5, 2 p.m., Westport Library).

The “State of the Town” event is free. It will also be live-streamed here.

After a review of town and school accomplishments, and a preview of what’s ahead, the officials will answer questions. Westport Rotary Club past president Tony McDowell will moderate.

The event is a joint initiative of the Westport Sunrise Rotary and Westport Rotary Club.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein, at last winter’s “State of the Town” event.


Summit Saugatuck — the 187-unit development on Hiawatha Lane Extension, near I-95 Exit 17 — has plowed ahead.

Last summer, what seemed to be the final steps for construction occurred. The last tenants left their homes, and heavy equipment moved in.

For 2 decades, neighbors have fought the proposal. Yesterday, after countless setbacks, Carolanne Curry — one of the most dogged opponents — sent this message:

“For 20 years we’ve been living with the bad news — the disrupting presence of developer Felix Charney wrecking havoc and and uncertainty in our lives. But today there is good news for all of us who want to Save Old Saugatuck.

“For many months our attorney, Joel Green, has been preparing significant legal steps to appeal the recent court ruling. He has prevailed in submitting a formal filing with a 170-page plaintiff’s brief, taking our case from the CT State Superior Court to the CT State Appellate Court. This was no easy task as Charney’s attorney, Tim Hollister, created many delays and presented misinformation and intimidations.

“Once an appeal has been filed, no property development should progress until the appeal has been settled. Over the next several months Attorney Green will have the opportunity to present the compelling reasons that legally support retaining a single family neighborhood on Hiawatha Lane Extension, and simultaneously would protect every other home in our community of Old Saugatuck. (To read online or download a PDF file of the entire brief, click here.)

“This initial appeal is just the first step in the appeal process… and we will continue to take this as far as possible.”

Artist’s rendering of the proposed 187-unit apartment complex on Hiawatha Lane.


Rain gear has been added to the list of material being collected for Ukraine, at the next 2 Westport Farmers’ Markets (February 2 and 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Lane).

Also needed: gently used winter coats, mittens, hats and gloves. Cash contributions to help with shipping costs are welcome too.

Questions? Want to help? Email Mark Yurkiw: mark.think3d@gmail.com.

Mark Yurkiw is helping collect supplies for his native Ukraine.


Longtime Westporter Martin Rosenfeld died Monday at his home in Rockville, Maryland. He was 95 years old.

Living here from 1998 until 2021, he and Martha, his wife of 66 years, were active members of the community.

Together, they donated over 16,000 volunteer hours, during nearly 20 years of service at Norwalk Hospital. Countless area residents remember Martin from his help with patients, visitors and staff in the ambulatory surgical waiting room.

Longtime members of a synagogue in New Rochelle, when they retired they looked for a community where they could continue to be active. At The Conservative Synagogue of Westport they found a young community with many children, which they immersed themselves in.

They assisted in the office, shined the silver on the Torah scrolls, and provided Passover Seders for people without local families. Martin played a key role as a tutor in the synagogue’s B’Nai Mitzvah program.

At the age of 70, Martin learned to read Torah for the first time. Until the pandemic diverted synagogue services to Zoom, he was still going strong — in fact, he was the synagogue’s most prolific reader.

Martin and Martha Rosenfeld

He and his Martha were avid attendees at adult education programs, inspiring all. In 2018, the couple were honored by the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County.

Born in the Bronx, Martin was a graduate of DeWitt Clinton High School and New York University. A veteran of World War II, he then attended Yale University where he became fluent in Japanese.

In addition to his wife Martha (Elowsky), Martin is survived by his daughter Elizabeth, son and daughter-in-law Reuben and Ora, and 3 grandsons.

His funeral and burial services were held Tuesday in Elmont, Long Island. Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn and Cantor Luis Cattan officiated.

(Hat tip: Howard Matson)


Longtime Westporter Joseph Crosby, Jr. died this week, after a brief illness. He was 82.

Raised outside Philadelphia, Joe entered the Navy as an officer after graduating from LaSalle in 1962. While stationed in Puerto Rico he met his wife of 55 years, Carmen I. Crosby (Brau).

They settled in Westport in 1969 and raised their family there, the greatest joy of his life.

Joe was a pilot with American Airlines, retiring as captain in 2000. His favorite trips were those that brought him home each night. His children called him “the only pilot who doesn’t enjoy traveling.”

Joe also loved sailboats, and purchased his first in 1976. Over the years the boats got bigger, and the family summer cruises longer. They traveled to Block Island, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.

At home, Joe spent mornings discussing the New York Times, afternoons watching the birds, squirrels, chipmunks and ducks that graced their yard, and evenings in the living room with cocktails and snacks.

His favorite activities were watching sunsets on the boat, and spending time with his grandchildren.

Joe is survived by his wife Carmen; daughter Tracy Crosby (Peter Vath); son Joe (Tricia Mulligan), and grandchildren Caleb and Leah Vath, and Samantha and Ryan Crosby.

His family expresses appreciation to all the healthcare professionals at Bridgeport Hospital, especially the Progressive Care Unit, Vitas, and the 7th floor team.

The family will receive visitors on February 4 (11 a.m., followed by a service at noon) at Harding Funeral Home.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Bridgeport Rescue Mission in Joe’s name.

Joseph Crosby, Jr.


It’s been nearly 2 weeks since we ran a “Westport … Naturally” photo of the black buzzards buzzing around the dumpster behind Gaetano’s and Shanghai Gourmet.

They’re still there, enjoying Italian and Chinese food to go.

(Photo/Jack Krayson)


And finally … mark your calendars for February 5: Westport’s “State of the Town” event at the Library (story above). See you there!

 (If there’s something going in my — okay, our — little town, “06880” covers it. Please keep here, to help us continue our work. Thank you!)