Wednesday, February 25, 2015
By James Lomuscio
The Westport Board of Finance Tuesday night reviewed the job performance of Dewey Loselle in the newly created position of town operations director as part of its 2015-16 budget review. Not all members were pleased.
Michael Rea gave Loselle a B-plus for the work he has done since assuming the $90,000-a-year position created last year at the request of First Selectman Jim Marpe.
“I’m surprised how effective Dewey has been,” said Rea. “He’s like Kilroy. He’s there. I see him all over.”
Finance board member Janis Collins was not that generous, saying, “Sorry, I don’t give you a B-plus,” citing things she thought would be accomplished when the new job was approved last year.
“It’s a lot of money,” she said before the finance board moved on to the next topic.
Total compensation for the position with 40 percent benefits is $126,000 annually.
Rea and Collins made their comments after Marpe presented the Board of Finance with a long list of projects Loselle has worked on, giving the board an update on his activities as it mulls Marpe’s 2015-16 municipal budget.
Loselle served on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) for eight years before losing his re-election bid in November 2013. A top aide in Marpe’s 2013 election campaign, he was named to his new post in June 2014.
Marpe said Loselle had assisted him in “planning, coordination and administration of all municipal operations, either directly responsible or involved” in an immediate savings of more than $387,000.
Among Loselle’s goals for 2015-16, Marpe said, were seeking out and completing grant funding, particularly for the Downtown Master Plan implementation; continue leading the Energy Savings Performance Contracting Initiative for the next two years; working with land use and building oversights departments; and exploring savings with the town assuming ownership of Eversourse street lighting as recently allowed under state law.
Rea, for one, lauded the work Loselle has done, freeing up Marpe for other administrative duties in a role he described as “an overwhelming, time consuming job..”
“There was never a question in my mind that having the position would be helpful,” Rea said.
Collins took the opportunity to fire back with criticism, reading a list of unaccomplished goals that included: work on town leases; whether the Police Department should be running railroad parking; and examining where the Fire Department’s out stations should be located.
Marpe countered that such tasks were examples of what he saw the position addressing, but they were not set in stone nor were they Loselle’s only responsibilities, as new demands arose that the new position had to address.
According to Marpe, the operations director’s role is one that is fluid, not static.
“The nature of government is that situations arise that need to be addressed to assure that immediate problems are addressed because unpredictable situations arise,” Marpe said today.
Posted 02/25/15 at 11:59 AM Permalink
CommentsYou must have a Facebook account and be logged to this account (login/logout button above) to post comments. Comments are subject to our Comment Policy.
Sad to see Janice Collins so critical. This is a new role in Westport and Dewey is working hard for all of us. He has proven to be a real help to Jim and the results are noticeable.
We all, including commenters, are entitled to our own opinions.
I for one do not buy, Janice Collins comments about Mr. Loselle’s job performance. I have been involved with Dewey on a Town project and he was very helpful. His tenacity dealing with the Town’s bureaucracy enabled the project to get off the ground and completed.
The first Selectman needs a person like Dewey to lighten his load of operational issues so he can concentrate on more strategic issues facing the Town.
i want to thank Dewey for his hard work and dedication to our great Town—I think all you need to do is look around Westport today and see the results of our new Administration—thank you for working so hard for the citizens and taxpayers—rob adler
Dewey, you are a tremendous asset to the Marpe administration and our community, thank you for your efforts over the past year. I give you an A+