Tag Archives: Westport 1st selectman

Melissa Kane Enters 1st Selectman Race

Jim Marpe has an opponent.

This afternoon, Melissa Kane announced her candidacy for 1st selectman of Westport. The Democratic activist opposes the Republican incumbent.

Kane currently serves as chair of the Westport Democratic Committee, and is a member of the non-partisan RTM from District 3. She is also co-chair of the Downtown Implementation Committee (appointed by Marpe).

Previously, as chair of the Downtown Steering Committee, she helped create a new Downtown Master Plan.

Melissa Kane

Kane recently received the Democratic Women of Westport’s first scholarship to the Yale Campaign School for Women.

She has been a Westport Library trustee, a board member of the Green Village Initiative and A Child’s Place, and active with Earthplace, the Westport Arts Center and PTA.

After moving to Westport in 2003, Kane launched and ran a floral design company, MKK Designs. She began her career as a columnist for Hearst New Media’s online publications, before becoming a publicist in the recording industry.

A graduate of Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in international relations, she is married to Jonathan Kane.  Their children are George (18) and Lily (14).

In her announcement, Kane said:

First, I’ve loved Westport since I was a little girl. I spent my summers at Beach School and fishing in the currents off the bridges at the Mill Pond. Today, I love this town for all that it offers, and for its extraordinarily active community involvement.

Westport’s inclusive values, the importance of community, the integrity and beauty of our open spaces and beaches, and the quality of our schools, led my husband and me to choose to raise our family here.

Second, I have a vision for our infrastructure, public safety and economic sustainability that is critical to our future. We can do much more to protect the fiscal strength of our schools and to enhance our home values, to attract future generations, and support local businesses. As your first selectman, I will have a clearly articulated economic development plan. Times require more than just hoping to come in on budget each year without clear priorities.

At the women’s march on Washington the day after President Trump’s inauguration, Senator Richard Blumenthal posed with Connecticut protesters. Among the crowd was one of the state organizers, Melissa Kane.

Third, every Westporter deserves to have a leader who is willing to stand up for our most important priorities and values.

If you are concerned about maintaining excellence in our schools, know that I will advocate forcefully and effectively to make sure our schools are fully funded.

If you are a senior or have aging parents, know that I will work proactively with our P&Z officials and developers to make sure seniors have access to affordable, centrally located housing, or that they have the tax relief and support they need to be able to age in place.

If you are a commuter, know that I will work to make sure our traffic issues are finally addressed. I will improve mobility throughout town by working more collaboratively with DOT and the Citizens Transportation Commission on innovative solutions, and I will commit to investing in multi modal public transportation options as alternate ways to get around town.

If you are concerned about public safety, know that I will work with our local, state and national officials on responsible gun protection measures, and I will always stand up to hate in any form.

In this election we have an exciting opportunity to move Westport forward and to ensure that our town’s leaders represent the values we believe in.


Hail To The Victors!

Hearty, and heartfelt, congratulations to Westport’s new 1st selectman, Jim Marpe.

He and his running mate, Avi Kaner, are true Westporters. In everything they’ve done — politically, as well as through their many volunteer activities — they’ve put the best interests of this town first.

They’ve built up enormous reservoirs of good will and respect, among a broad swath of voters. The results prove that. This is a Democratic town — in terms of registration numbers — but their win shows that many voters crossed party lines because they liked what they’ve seen, and heard, from these 2 Republicans.

The new selectmen won by about 10 percentage points. They took all 9 districts — though, according to unofficial returns, they won District 9 by just 1 vote.

Westport's new 1st and 2nd selectmen: Jim Marpe (left) and Avi Kaner.

Westport’s new 1st and 2nd selectmen: Jim Marpe (left) and Avi Kaner.

Jim and Avi will work tirelessly for this town. They will do it by working with Democrats, with Save Westport Now members, with independents, and with anyone else who is willing to work with them.

Westport is not Washington, DC. The RTM, Board of Education, Board of Finance, and all our other town bodies are not the US Congress. The selectmen are not the White House and West Wing.

That’s the beauty of local government.

Let’s all congratulate the winners. Let’s thank Helen Garten and Melissa Kane for stepping up for the Democrats, and running a very strong race.

Now let’s all get to work — led by our new selectmen — to make this the best Westport it can be.