Sunday, December 08, 2013
Westporters Host Four U.S. Senators
Westporters Ann Sheffer (l) and Bill Scheffler (r ) tonight hosted a fundraiser at their home for Democrats Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire (in red), and Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal sponsored the gathering to recognize their positive votes on gun legislation, and support their reelection campaigns. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Friday, December 06, 2013
ZBA Re-Elects Leadership
The Westport Zoning Board of Appeals has unanimously re-elected Democrat Jim Ezzes as its chair and re-elected Republican Elizabeth Wong (r) as vice-chair. Ezzes, a general contractor and former theatrical venture capitalist and entertainment executive, was elected to the board in 1995 and has served as chair since 1997. Wong, a member of the board for 16 years and vice chair for 14 years, holds a master’s degree in urban planning from Columbia University and manages the medical practice for her husband James Wong. Democrat Sheri Gordon (l) was elected secretary. Republican William Harris, a six-year member, and newly elected member Democrat Bernard Deverin round out the five-person board. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Bridgeport Mayor Lauded at Westport Fundraiser
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch (l) was honored at a fundraiser in Westport tonight. Former Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff (c) toasted Finch, giving him the “benefit” of his advice after his eight years in office. He said Westporters have been strong supporters of Bridgeport over the years and that the economic success of the state’s largest city was vital to the region. The party was hosted by Dan Levinson (r) at his Compo Beach area home. Finch recently announced his intention to run for a third term in 2015. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Monique Bosch for WestportNow.com
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Marpe: Zappi Withdraws from Operations Post
UPDATE After a barrage of criticism, Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe announced today that Bob Zappi, his former campaign manager and former Republican Town Committee (RTC) chair, has “withdrawn his name” as operations manager and transition official in the First Selectman’s Office.
Bob Zappi: “felt he could not make the contribution he wanted.” Contributed photo
“Unfortunately, the appointment was viewed as partisan in nature, which was never the intention,” Marpe said in a statement issued by his office. Later, Zappi issued his own statement (text below), saying, “The outcry from the Democrats was predictable and expected. After all, it has been 20 years since a Republican was elected First Selectman. “
Marpe’s statement went on: “Given this perception, Bob felt that he could not make the contribution he wanted to both Westport and my administration. Therefore, he has chosen to withdraw. This action is a testament to Bob’s character and devotion to the Town of Westport.”
Marpe announced Zappi’s appointment last week as part of the reorganization of the First Selectman’s office following his assuming office on Nov. 18. (See WestportNow Nov. 22, 2013) He said Zappi would receive a $125,000 annual salary, which he said was “commensurate” with similar positions in other towns.
Friday, November 22, 2013
Former Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff (l) and his successor, Jim Marpe, were among guests at tonight’s opening reception for the Westport Arts Center’s “Chuck Close: About Face” exhibit. It runs until Jan. 12. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Zappi Named Town Operations Manager
By James Lomuscio
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe has named longtime Westporter Bob Zappi—a business marketing executive and former head of the Republican Town Committee (RTC)— operations manager for the Selectman’s Office.
Bob Zappi: former GOP head gets town post. Contributed photo
In the new post, Zappi, who was Marpe’s campaign manager, will be the full-time, self-described “go-to person” acting on behalf of the administration, working with department heads and on myriad projects.
“He will be acting on my behalf, doing additional analyses, helping department heads look at their processes, making them more efficient and effective, making sure we are in the right collaborative environment,” Marpe said today.
According to Marpe, the position, which he said has a $125,000 a year salary, is authorized in the Town Charter, and previous administrations had similar posts. Marpe’s salary is $101,475.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Board of Selectmen: Under New Mangement
Westport’s Board of Selectmen held its first meeting today with new members Republican First Selectman Jim Marpe and Selectman Avi Kaner and Democrat Selectwoman Helen Garten. Under the town charter, the winning team in the election is joined by the losing first selectman candidate. Marpe promised more frequent meetings—Kaner said that could include weekends—and said the board would welcome real-time input from citizens using social media, email, and texts. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Malloy Rebukes White House Over Obamacare
By Mark Pazniokaswww.ctmirror.org
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today delivered a calculated rebuke to the White House for the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, an issue threatening to dog Malloy and other Democrats facing re-election in 2014.
Malloy, who was a campaign surrogate for President Obama during the 2012 campaign, stepped away from the president and aligned himself with consumers frustrated by the implementation of the health care law.
“I understand this frustration,” Malloy said. “I’m frustrated. I think the federal government has messed up big time. This couldn’t have been a worse rollout, except in the states that embraced what we’re trying to do. In Connecticut, we’re signing up people left and right.”
Malloy spoke at midday, hours before his insurance commissioner, Thomas B. Leonardi, was to meet at the White House on behalf of insurance regulators. Last week, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, state Senate Minority Leader John P. McKinney of Fairfield, made Obamacare a gubernatorial issue by challenging Malloy to call a special legislative session to deal with the issue of policy cancellations.
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013
First Day Leaves Marpe Feeling ‘Energized’
By James Lomuscio
Jim Marpe, Westport’s new first selectman, walked into Town Hall today at 8 a.m., and after 9 p.m., he was still in the office.
Then First Selectman-Elect Jim Marpe visits Conservation Department staff at Westport Town Hall on Nov. 6 following his election victory the day before. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
“I’m not quite out of here yet,” said Marpe, the first Republican to hold the top spot in 16 years. “There’s a lot of catching up, a lot to read and a lot of people to talk to.”
Asked if he felt tired after a 13-hour day following his inauguration Monday night with running mate Avi Kaner, second selectman, and Selectwoman Helen Garten, a Democrat, Marpe responded to the contrary..
“I feel energized,” he said. “I had a great day.”
Monday, November 18, 2013
Marpe, Kaner Sworn In to Top Posts
By James Lomuscio
Vowing to be “citizen centric ...to listen, to learn and then to lead,” Republican Jim Marpe took the helm tonight as Westport’s first selectman, sworn in by state Sen. John McKinney in standing room only, oath-of-office ceremonies at Town Hall.
First Selectman Jim Marpe addresses tonight’s inaugural ceremony as state Sen. John McKinney (l) and outgoing First Selectman Gordon Joseloff (r) listen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Emceed by outgoing First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, a Democrat who did not seek a third term, Inauguration 2013 also saw the swearing in of Marpe’s running mate Avi Kaner as second selectman by state Sen.Toni Boucher.
Also sworn in by Town Clerk Patricia Strauss were Democrat Helen Garten, who lost to Marpe, as selectwoman, Republican Lisa K. Wexler as Judge of Probate for Westport and Weston and 50 other members of town boards and commissions, including the Representative Town Meeting (RTM).
With American Flag bunting on the window sills, balloons, a Westport Police and Fire Honor Guard, Boy and Girl Scout Troops reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance” and the Staples High School Orphenians singing the “National Anthem,” the event sparkled of small town Americana at its most celebratory, the passing of a baton from Joseloff to Marpe seamless in its commitment to remaining nonpartisan.
Marpe Sworn in as First Selectman
Jim Marpe was sworn in tonight as Westport’s first selectman in a ceremony at Westport Town Hall. State Sen. John McKinney did the honors as Marpe’s wife Mary Ellen and daughter Samantha looked on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Douglas Healey for WestportNow.com
First Selectman Jim Marpe (r) and running mate Selectman Avi Kaner are all smiles tonight following their swearing in for four-year terms at a Town Hall ceremony. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
‘Goodnight and Goodbye’
Outgoing Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said he was honored to be asked to emcee tonight’s Town Hall inaugural ceremony by incoming First Selectman Jim Marpe. He thanked the town’s citizens for allowing him to lead for eight years, serve as moderator of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) for 10 years, and for four years earlier service as an RTM member. “That’s 22 years of service to the town,” he said, ending his remarks with “goodnight and goodbye.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Newly sworn in Selectman Avi Kaner poses with wife Liz and sons Jack and Jonathan at Westport Town Hall tonight. Kaner served on the Board of Finance for eight years before his election as selectman, the last two as chairman. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
Changing of the Guard at Town Hall
Scenes from tonight’s Westport Town Hall inaugural ceremony. Dave Matlow, Helen Klisser During, Larry Untermeyer, and Douglas Healey for WestportNow.com