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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Marpe Reflects on Six Months at the Helm

By James Lomuscio

With this week marking six months since Jim Marpe took the helm as Westport’s first selectman, the town’s chief elected officer reflected on his accomplishments to date, future challenges and the distinct differences between running municipal government versus his time as vice chairman and acting chairman of the Board of Education.

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First Selectman Jim Marpe’s first six months have been filled with many appearances at events, such as starting the Westport Electric Car Club’s rally earlier this month. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

“It’s been both exciting and challenging, and it really is a 24/7 job,” said Marpe, a retired management consultant for Accentrure. “I certainly feel the responsibility of being on the job all the time, not in Town Hall, but reachable, listening to concerns of our citizens and our emergency activities.

“The other important, significant difference is that I now have 20 people reporting to me directly, and I’m responsible for giving them direction, whereas on the Board of Education we did that as a group,” he added. “These responsibilities rest solely on my shoulders, not necessarily a shared responsibility.”

Marpe, a Republican, is quick to point out, however, that Second Selectman Avi Kaner and Selectwoman Helen Garten, a Democrat, “have been both willing and prepared” to take on a number of significant responsibilities.”

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