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Tuesday, December 12 News

Letters to the Editor: Rob stood out on ZBA, A family endorsement for Marpe...

To the Editor:

I am pleased that Rob Simmelkjaer has elected to run for higher office in our town. As a long serving member on the Zoning Board of Appeals I welcomed Rob to our board two years ago. On the ZBA Rob has consistently made educated, thoughtful and fair decisions.

Rob has had a distinguished career at NBC Sports Ventures and he will bring that expertise to any elected position that he holds. As a friend, I wish him well this Fall.

Jim Ezzes

Westport

Editor’s note: Ezzes is currently the chairman of Westport’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

To the Editor:

Our family would like to endorse Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker for First and Second Selectman of Westport. Jim and Jen have the experience, and also the heart, to lead Westport and make it an even better place.

I met Jim two years ago under somewhat difficult circumstances. We experienced an accidental fire at our home in Westport. Although this was a minor incident, Jim was one of the first responders on the scene at about 9pm. He stayed with us for about an hour, and ensured that we had everything we needed. Jim provided a steady hand and calming influence. We certainly appreciated his concern.

I met Jen at the waste transfer stations (aka “the dump’) a few years ago. At the time, Jen was running for Board of Education. Jen has three kids in Westport public schools, and has been a strong advocate for the schools for years.

As a family with two kids in public school, we are concerned that the budget crisis in Hartford will impact our schools, as well as the broader community. I believe it is of paramount importance that our property tax mill rate stays flat. In the budget deliberations in the Spring of 2017, Jim presented a very responsible town budget, which allowed ample funding for Westport schools. Jen provided pragmatic and realistic guidance as a member of the Board of Finance. Jim and Jen have consistently demonstrated the experience and leadership we need in Westport.

We urge Westporters to consider giving their support to Jim and Jen on November 7.

Karl & Stephanie Mergenthaler

Westport

To the Editor:

We would like to voice our unqualified support for Andrea Moore and encourage our fellow Westporters to elect her to the Westport Board of Finance.

We have known her for 10 years and have come to respect her as a leader who is focused on consensus-driven results. She has dedicated countless hours as president, treasurer, chair, member, and coach of a wide variety of worthy, Westport organizations.

She has the character and intelligence to help Westport address the challenges it faces.

September and Bryon Stevens

Westport

To the Editor:

Some of my Westport friends are saying that since the town is in such good shape it is a fine time to bring in someone who may have a “vision” for Selectman. I would hope this group considers that the high level of services, continued high quality of education and maintenance of fiscal responsibility all combined with NO INCREASE in town taxes over these last four years is not by accident. Vison with substenance is what we need.

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The experienced hands of Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker are exactly what’s required now. People are just awakening to the disaster befalling the state coming from Hartford. Today, we need the highest level of experience possible.

We need Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker.

Neil Wessan

Westport

To the Editor:

I am closely following the local election for Westport First and Second Selectmen. Every vote will matter and I will vote for the most qualified and strongest candidates running, Melissa Kane and Rob Simmelkjaer.

Why? Melissa Kane knows Westport and has effectively represented my family and me in District #3 on the RTM. She is a proven leader who is fiscally conservative and has voted to keep taxes flat. I closely monitored the efforts last spring to restore funding to the Board of Education budget and, unlike Jim Marpe who remained silent, Melissa spoke up and pushed to restore funding. Melissa has a deep understanding and command of the major issues and opportunities facing Westport. She also has the leadership and organizational skills to make a difference where Jim Marpe has not.

I am not happy with the political discourse and lack of productive debate and real solutions on the state and national stage today. I worked in DC when the parties debated hard and yet found ways to collaborate. I also know that the state’s fiscal issues are the result of poor decisions by leaders of both parties. Too many politicians punt the hard work and tough decisions. Melissa Kane and Rob Simmelkjaer will not. We deserve better than maintaining the status quo in Westport.

The voter participation in the election last November was extraordinary and over 85%. I took my school-age children to the polls to vote with me. The election this Nov. 7 matters just as much. I will take them again. I will teach them and show them that a democracy only thrives when citizens exercise their right to vote. Melissa and Rob, and many of our local elected officials, put Westport’s future and our values first. By voting on November 7th, We can too.

Melissa Kane and Rob Simmelkjaer have earned my vote. We are lucky to have such strong candidates!

Joan Gillman

Westport

To the Editor:

Since moving to Westport in 2013, I’ve been a member of several downtown planning committees, where I have had the pleasure of meeting Melissa Kane and witnessing her vision for our town and commitment and energy to getting it done. I’m also the mother of young children, and in all of the public meetings I’ve attended, I have rarely seen a woman in my age group - few public meetings are deemed “babysitter worthy.” But we all have a stake in this election, and I chose to become involved to help increase voter turnout among young parents. And I’m asking all Westporters to join me in supporting Melissa Kane for First Selectman.

I started working with Melissa when she became chair of the Downtown Steering Committee, and she made it her mission to ensure that the public outreach process of the Downtown Master Plan was as thorough and inclusive as possible. Melissa recognized that a successful plan needed to incorporate input from stakeholders and residents at every step. Later in the process, we spent countless hours with the consultant ensuring that the plan was dynamic and comprehensive, yet accessible for residents. And she ensured there was a website that allowed Westporters to easily navigate the plan and receive progress updates.

Having seen Melissa work passionately and tirelessly on the Master Plan process, I’m confident that she will make a great first selectman who will listen to the needs and concerns of all Westporters and help make our wonderful town even better.

Jessica Newshel

Westport

To the Editor:

We all need to send a message this election. We need to tell the party of Trump that we will not put up with policies that hurt Americans and America. We can start with a Democratic vote in Westport this Fall. Please vote for Melissa Kane and the rest of the Democratic ticket on November 7.

Ed Cowden

Westport

To the Editor:

Honest. Hard-working. Smart. Experienced. Focused. Committed. Interested. Fiscally conservative. Socially moderate. Knowledgeable. Energetic. Friendly. Funny. Environmentally conscious.

These are the character traits that come to mind when describing my friend, Melissa Kane. She is perfect for the job as First Selectwoman.

There is no doubt my mind that she will keep this town financially secure, support a superior school system, inspire and facilitate creative downtown development, preserve the beauty of our gemstones - Longshore and Compo, encourage a thriving arts community, push for small business development, make Westport more attractive to employers, support projects that lead to a fundamental change in how we protect our environment for ourselves and our children, and maintain and improve our infrastructure.

The world needs more women in positions of management but not just anyone will do. Melissa Kane has a clear vision for Westport’s future. She is a great choice to run this town for many many years. I know she has what it takes.

Lous Weinberg

Westport

To the Editor:

I have known Melissa Kane for over 12 years. Melissa fiercely loves Westport and, in the time I have known her, she has always committed herself to helping to make Westport a town we all want to live in. Whether in her role heading up the Downtown Steering Committee, her role as Co-Chair of the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee, or her multiple terms as a member of the RTM, Melissa has continually worked to make Westport the best it can be.

While Melissa is the Democratic candidate for First Selectwoman, she also happens to be an independent thinker. She isn’t bound by party rhetoric. Melissa asks relevant questions, listens to other opinions and ultimately votes with her brain, conscious, and heart. It has been brought up (in a negative way) that Melissa voted to oppose the police labor agreement…I don’t see this is a negative. I see her dissension as a statement of support for our amazing police department.

The RTM is a non partisan body, brought together to represent the interests of all town constituents. Dissension - in a respectful way - is never a negative and should not be used against Melissa as a political tool to try to muddy the waters. I fully support Melissa Kane and believe that she will make an excellent First Selectwoman for the town of Westport!

Seth Braunstein

Westport

Editor’s note: The letter writer is a RTM representative from District 5.

To the Editor:

We are writing to express our enthusiastic support for Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker. Over the past four years, Jim and his team have worked hard to strike the right balance between investing in our town’s future while keeping our town affordable. Investments in downtown, Compo Beach, the railroad station and our schools have kept Westport among the most desired communities in Connecticut. Our school system is ranked #1 in the state and our high school is in the top 5.

Equally important, recent agreements with our town employees will save the taxpayers millions of dollars over the coming years, while still providing benefits above what the private sector offers. Our debt has been reduced by 27 percent over the past few years and we now have a firm handle on the retirements benefits owed to our current and future retirees.

With the State of Connecticut in a fiscal mess, it is nice to know that we have a steady hand at the helm to guide our town. Westport is indeed a bright spot as the state continues to experience chronic deficits that require significant tax increases, while our leadership in Westport has been proactively managing our financial obligations. It’s clear that the state intends to push more costs down to the local communities with towns like Westport taking a disproportionate hit. I’m glad that we have Jim and Jen to guide our town through these difficult times.

John and Gail Coykendall

Westport

To the Editor:

A few days ago, the Westport Republican Town Committee sent out an email entitled “Why Should Upper East Side Donors Influence Westport’s Election?”

This missive is the type of baseless attack most Westporters are not interested in. Does their email mean that Marpe and Tooker will be returning the donations they’ve received from Georgia, Tennessee, New Mexico, Maine and elsewhere?

Our candidates have been focused on the issues and their vision for the town of Westport. Unfortunately, the Marpe-Tooker campaign has chosen to draw the focus away from relevant issues by using partisan scare tactics. Let’s keep the focus on the real issues and solutions, and keep the fake news out of Westport.

Ellen Lautenberg

Westport

Editor’s note: The letter writer is the chair of the Westport Democratic Town Committee Chair.

To the Editor:

The very things that attracted me to Westport over forty years ago... great schools, Compo Beach, Longshore, recreational outlets, outstanding town services... are alive and well thanks to good stewardship.

Current First Selectman, Jim Marpe, has fully supported improvements and enhancements to these and other amenities, like our Senior Center, the Arts and the Library, that enhance the quality of life of Westport residents while at the same time keeping an eye on expenditures.

I know from experience that balancing the needs and wants of a Community that help to make it an attractive place in which to live and keeping taxes from growing is no easy job, but Mr. Marpe has mastered how to do it. His success deserves another four years at the helm of Town Government.

Please vote on Nov. 7. There is no substitute for experience.

Jo Fuchs-Luscombe

Westport

To the Editor:

It has been my pleasure to know and work closely with both Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker for many years. They are by far the most qualified candidates for Westport’s Board of Selectmen in the upcoming election on November 7.

I served with Jim Marpe for several years on the Boards of the Westport/Weston Family YMCA. I chaired the Board of Directors while Jim chaired the Board of Trustees, and Jim’s leadership and thoughtful decision-making were instrumental in the development and construction of the present YMCA building which brings so much benefit to our community.

During the last 18 months I have had the opportunity to work closely with Jim on the Town’s Energy Performance Contract, a project which will save taxpayers a net present value of nearly $6 million over the next 15 years by reducing the Town’s use of electricity and natural gas. These savings are possible because Jim Marpe was an early advocate of this project and a skillful and supportive leader in moving it forward.

I have worked with Jen Tooker on the Board of Trustees of the Westport Weston Family YMCA Foundation and had the chance to collaborate with her in her role as a Director of the Adam J. Lewis Preschool in Bridgeport. Jen’s business acumen and dedication to youth and to education are manifest in all she does.

Both Jim and Jen bring a wealth of experience in management and finance from their private sector careers in consulting and financial services. And both bring deep experience in the government of our Town from their public sector careers serving our community, where both have served on the Board of Education, Jen has served on the Board of Finance, including a stint as Chairman, and Jim has served as First Selectman for the past four years.

No candidate understands the challenges Westport faces as well as Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker. No candidate has the breadth and depth of experience in Town government that they do. No candidate has the background in management and finance that they offer. Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker are the best choice to lead Westport for the next four years.

Iain H. Bruce

Westport

To the Editor:

As an observer of our local government, I am disturbed by the recent turn of events regarding the election for First Selectman. In the past the majority of Westporters, when it came to choosing local leaders, usually weighed experience, qualifications and performance when deciding who should manage our Town. Westporter’s were known as notorious “ticket splitters.” When they recognized a good leader for any office they stuck with him or her regardless of Party affiliation and it has served us well.

Unfortunately, this sensible approach seems to have fallen by the wayside. Some people’s angst with the Presidential election has morphed into a “knee jerk” reaction to vote against any Republican, regardless of performance and regardless of how it might affect our efficient Town management or us individually as homeowners and taxpayers.

A recent letter in last week’s Westport News put it quite blatantly: “The Republican Party was primarily responsible for electing Donald Trump... The only solution for us — Democrats and Unaffiliated voters — is to elect qualified Democrats to every board, commission and legislature in every hamlet, town, county, state and federal office”

To me this type of thinking is an anathema to what good local government should be about. Jim Marpe has a sterling record on all the important items: keeping taxes flat for four years, reducing debt by 25 percent, supporting our excellent school system by reducing the town budget by $1,000,000 so those funds could go towards the school budget, restructuring poorly designed pension plans, improving senior citizen tax abatements, enhancing the senior center and making many Town infrastructure improvements.

Jim Marpe has done a fabulous job on our behalf. He has been an extraordinary manager, tireless worker and a compassionate leader. We would be foolish to not re-elect him because of what we may not like in the President. One has nothing to do with the other.

Jerry Doyle

Westport

To the Editor:

I moved to Westport from New York City 23-years ago. In that time period I have witnessed change in our town, some for good and some for bad. As a member of this community I have voted in each and every election for local, state and federal candidates. I value the importance of the freedoms we have to choose our representatives.

However, the proliferation of political signage around town has become a blight on our community. It is absolutely unnecessary for a candidate to place 4 signs in one place, Let alone at every intersection in town. Candidates should be limited to the number of signs they can use. If they want to get in front of their constituents the should hold events, go to the train station, the transfer station, super markets, etc.

Keep Westport clear of the political clutter.

André Mirkine

Westport

To the Editor:

The RTM is notable for its diversity of viewpoints and backgrounds, making it truly a “representative” town meeting. Adding Sal Liccione to the RTM will broaden that representation.

What will Sal bring to the party? Well, whenever you go Downtown, you’re almost certain to run into Sal. He knows everyone and visits virtually every establishment, which is why many call him the Mayor of Downtown. If you want to know what’s going on — he’s the “go to.” His passion for Downtown and Westport are unequaled.

Sal is also a consistent advocate for our emergency services personnel and a strong voice for what I call “Westport Values.” You’ll never have to guess where Sal stands on an issue.

Please consider voting for Sal Liccione in District 9 on Nov. 7.

Jonathan Steinberg

Westport

Editor’s note: Jonathan Steinberg is a state representative representing Westport.

To the Editor:

A vote for Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker is a vote for continuing the outstanding leadership and experience that has brought significant improvement in the quality of life in Westport over the last four years. Both have the highest level of integrity. As First Selectman Jim Marpe has made Westport a rare success story during the state’s budget crisis. Jen has provided a vital role in controlling expenses as a member of the Board of Finance where she was chairman a portion of the time. I urge Westporters to vote for Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker on Nov. 7.

Pete Wolgast

Westport

To the Editor:

As former Operations Director for the Town of Westport for two and a half years, I can say unequivocally that Jim Marpe is the hardest working person in Town Hall and in my estimation the hardest working First Selectman ever. His level of commitment and caring for this Town is truly remarkable.

Jim is the first one in the office in the morning and usually the one to turn out the lights at night, 12-16-hour days are the norm. When the office hours end, Jim is just getting started on night meetings with Commissions, Boards and Committees. Jim shows up at sub-committee meetings where the First Selectman hadn’t been seen in years. Now it is almost an expected norm that he will be there.

Jim’s day is a non-stop blur of meetings, phone calls and e-mails the latter which can reach the hundreds. His daily schedule ranges from meeting Federal/State officials, business leaders, Department heads, legal counsel and ordinary citizens for whom he always makes time. Due to the speed of today’s communications and Jim’s responsiveness, some citizens are now upset if he hasn’t personally answered their e-mail within an hour!

At night after the meetings are over, Jim spends long periods of time reading the volumes of reports, studies, legislation, requests that need his review and then responding with his own inquiries. I know, I have gotten many Jim e-mails marked 4 am! Even weekends are not a respite as Jim is constantly out supporting community groups and businesses, trying to make our Town better.

Jim could do a lot less and few would really notice, but our Town would imperceptibly begin to lose its luster, rather than constantly progressing, improving and staying the most desirable Town in Fairfield County.

If you want to maintain the continuous improvement path our Town and Schools have been on you are going to want to be voting for Jim Marpe for First Selectman. You owe it to yourself, your family and all that you have worked so hard to build. Great Towns don’t happen by accident. VOTE MARPE

Dewey Loselle

Westport

To the Editor:

I am writing to endorse Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker for Board of Selectmen in the November election.

With Jim Marpe at the helm, Westport has been immune from Hartford’s mess. The Town has been able to absorb the steady cuts in to Education Cost Sharing over the years to the point we receive hardly any funding from the State.

I have known Jen for a number of years. First as a WSA soccer coach, she was the model of poise and calm on the sidelines managing a group of 1st graders. Then I have known Jen as a member of the Sunrise Rotary, giving her time and energy volunteering in the community. And over the past couple of years, as a member of the Board of Education, I have often seen Jen in action on the Board of Finance. In her role on the BoF, she is not afraid to ask the tough and probing questions but at the end of the day she is a solid supporter of Westport Schools.

In these challenging times in the state of Connecticut, it is important to have Town officials that are knowledgeable about our schools and school funding, in order to ensure the quality of our world class schools. We are lucky to have Jim and Jen, who have both served on the Board of Education with distinction, running for the Office of the Selectmen.

Vik Muktavaram

Westport

To the Editor:

I would like to voice my unequivocal support for the candidacy of Andrea Moore and Vik Muktavaram for Westport’s Board of Finance. Andrea and Vik are uniquely qualified because of their backgrounds as well as their passion for education and the town of Westport. Given the state of Connecticut, we need strong leadership as well as greater collaboration between Board of Finance (BoF) and Board of Education (BoE) in order to protect and support Westport schools.

Toni Boucher

Wilton

Editor’s note: Toni Boucher is a state senator represneting Westport in Hartford.

To the Editor:

Melissa Kane is a natural community leader, a tireless advocate for our students and seniors, a policy wonk, and a friend. In two weeks, Westporters will have the chance to improve our town and elect Kane as our next First Selectman. Let’s not let this opportunity slip away.

Kane would not only bring an expertise to the office but also a sense of urgency to the issues facing our community. She’ll repair Compo Beach and invest in the transportation infrastructure necessary to fix downtown traffic jams.

More fundamentally, this election marks our first opportunity since Donald Trump’s election to reject the Republican Party’s hateful worldview and instead embrace a more respectful approach to politics. I’m a graduate of the Westport Public Schools, where an anti-bullying curriculum teaches mutual respect and enlightened discourse. Yet, Republican elected officials exhibit precisely opposite values.

Through her daily life and her policies, Melissa stands for equality, inclusivity and respect. This places her in sharp contrast to the Republican Party, which relies on fear-mongering and exclusivity to mobilize voters. While Trump may not work out of Westport’s Town Hall, electing Melissa Kane sends a strong message that this President’s agenda will not be tolerated in our town.

In two weeks, let’s elect Democrats to every level of government. Let’s push back against the Republican Party’s hateful political rhetoric. Let’s teach our students that respect and compassion are not only required in the school cafeteria but also in the elected offices to which they may aspire. Let’s elect Melissa Kane to lead Westport toward a more prosperous and inclusive future.

Will Haskell

Westport

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my support for Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker for the Board of Selectmen. Unlike the clear inexperience of their opponents, Jim and Jen have an established record of accomplishments through their work for the people of Westport that spans several years. Both have served on numerous town committees and boards, including the Board of Education and Board of Finance. Both had successful business careers gaining the experience that is needed to run Westport.

Jim and Jen will continue the work done over the last 4 years by responsibly managing Westport’s finances in order to maintain our current fiscal health and strength. As Hartford is looking to undermine us, only a skilled, experience team can keep Westport strong. Jim and Jen will continue to support funding for our schools, our seniors and our quality of life. It should not matter that Jim and Jen are on the Republican ticket.

Westport republicans are not all Washington republicans and Jim Marpe is NOT Donald Trump. This is not the time to be partisan. It is the time to elect the people who have the experience and proven success to keep Westport strong regardless of what happens in Hartford.

Sue Calger

Westport

To the Editor:

Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker are dedicated public servants who care deeply for Westport and have demonstrated their commitment to the community and their ability to get things done. As a team, they provide not only extensive experience in town government, but also an impressive set of executive skills developed over the course of many years in business leadership roles.

In addition to Jim’s service as First Selectman and Jen’s on the Board of Finance, the Marpe/Tooker team has more than a decade of experience serving on the Westport Board of Education. Both Jim and Jen have shown that they understand the importance of protecting the quality of Westport’s schools while managing the town’s finances responsibly and maintaining the services and amenities that make Westport unique.

Jim has taken a pro-active approach to dealing with the uncertainties created by the state’s budget issues by continually anticipating and preparing for their potential effects on Westport. His executive skills are in high evidence here, and I am always impressed by his willingness and ability to listen to different points of view, to build consensus, and to translate collaborative work into decisive action. Jim Marpe is an effective leader, because his respect for others has earned their trust and respect for him.

Jen Tooker shares these qualities, and I believe that together she and Jim will continue to foster a climate of diplomacy, inclusiveness, and cooperation. For Jim and Jen, leading Westport’s town government is not a matter of politics, but of public service to the town they both love. They have clearly demonstrated that they have what it takes to keep Westport the strong, vibrant, and welcoming community it is today. It’s my very great pleasure to endorse them.

State Rep. Gail Lavielle

Wilton

Editor’s note” Gail Lavielle is a state representative representing Westport, Norwalk and Wilton in Hartford.

To the Editor:

I have known both Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker for over 10 years and have worked closely with Jim on Parks and Rec matters as the current Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Commission since his election as First Selectman. Anyone who knows Jim will recognize these qualities.

• Jim is an extremely hard worker and dedicated to his job as First Selectman working more than 16 hours a day at it.

• Jim is extremely fair and non-partisan — he genuinely works on behalf of all Westport.

• Jim is a fiscal conservative who believes strongly about the virtue of strong and effective education for our young people. He proved this on the Board of Ed and as First Selectman. He has kept the tax rate low compared to other Fairfield County towns similar to Westport.

• Jim strongly supports Westport Parks and Recreation in Westport. This has been proven time and time again. For the budget year 2017-18 he increased the budget for the Parks and Rec Department by 8 percent while cutting the overall budget.

I have served the town in the RTM (two years), Board of Finance (seven years), Board of Selectman (three years) and Parks and Recreation Commission Chair (four years) and believe that Jim and Jen are the right choice for Westporters. In this time of budget uncertainty in Hartford, we need Jim and Jen’s steady hand in Westport. Join me in voting for Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker on Nov. 7.

Charlie Haberstroh

Westport

To the Editor:

Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker as Selectman candidates bring an unrivaled wealth of experience and accomplishments with regard to our school system that no one else can duplicate. Jim and Jen have both been Board of Education members for a number of years and Jim served as Chairman.

They both understand the fiscal as well as the educational aspects of running a school system. They both have put in countless hours on the administrative and pedagogical tasks of assuring our school system stays top notch. Jim Marpe often said that there was a constant need for our school system to resist moving from “Great to just Good”.

Jim as First Selectman has opened up an unparalleled level of cooperation with the Board of Education and the new Superintendent in finding ways to work together on cost sharing projects that benefit all. Jim with his experience has worked to break down barriers and silos. The Town and BOE have cooperated on a number of technology, photocopying and telephonic cost sharing projects. The BOE and the Town are working together on a that will save $14 million dollars in energy savings.

Most importantly, Jim anticipated the reduction of our State educational funding and worked to minimize negative impacts to our school system. Jim is working hard to lobby against making Towns take over 1/3 of the State’s traditional share of the cost of Teacher’s pensions. Finally, in an unparalleled magnanimous gesture, Jim found $1 million in savings in the Town’s budget and transferred it to the BOE to cover any shortfalls from State actions.

Others can “talk” about supporting our School system, but Jim and Jen have proved it through their actions. It’s no wonder that this week ex Staples Principal John Dodig and numerous ex-PTA presidents came out in favor or Jim and Jen. If you really care about maintaining a world class school system you should be voting for Jim and Jen who are already doing it.

Robert C. Bass

Westport

To the Editor:

I encourage Westporters to vote for Vik Muktavaram for Board of Finance on November 7. Vik is an experienced financial professional, with deep knowledge of complex risk management, pension, employee benefit, and contractual issues. He has served on the Board of Education and has a mastery of the school budget that few elected officials can match. Vik is intelligent, pragmatic, and understands the need to deliver high quality services in an efficient and fiscally responsible manner. He has been extremely diligent in his work on the Board of Education, working creatively to identify and implement cost control opportunities that will not adversely affect our excellent school system.

Jim Westphal

Westport

To the Editor:

We encourage District 2 voters to support Christine Meiers Schatz, candidate for the RTM. She has a strong financial background that will serve Westport well in these financially challenging times for Connecticut towns and cities.

Though her four children are still in pre-school and early grades, Christine volunteers her water polo skills to coach student athletes at Staples High School. She also continues to advocate for later school start times to enhance learning success for our middle school and high school students.

Christine, a clear thinker, financially knowledgeable and dedicated to our Westport community, will serve the town well on the RTM. We heartily endorse her candidacy.

Carl and Joanne Leaman

Westport

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