Tuesday, May 06, 2014
By James Lomuscio
Despite a couple of bumps, Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight unanimously approved First Selectman’s Jim Marpe’s $76,595,682 municipal budget for 2014-25 as recommended by the Board of Finance. The budget represents a .63 percent increase over the current fiscal year.
One of the bumps came from former RTM member Richard Lowenstein, speaking as a member of the public. He challenged Marpe’s request in the town budget for $90,000 to hire an operations director to assist the first selectman in reducing costs and increasing revenues.
Lowenstein said the Town Charter allowed for an operations manager or administrative assistant to aid the first selectman, not an operations director. RTM members did not quibble, as some had expected prior to the meeting.
The other bump was unexpected. RTM member Lou Mall requested that the Historic District Commission’s (HDC) $67,667 budget be cut by $38,000. Mall’s motion, which was seconded and which Mall later withdrew, stemmed from his frustration with the HDC in removing a blighted home in the district Mall represents.
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