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Monday, August 28, 2017

Government Efficiency Tops Millennial Elgin’s First Selectman Candidacy

By James Lomuscio

Timothy J. Elgin, 28, and a 2008 Staples High School graduate, doesn’t think that the office of first selectman for the Town of Westport is beyond his grasp.

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TJ Elgin: “Learning the gruesome details of local politics.” Contributed photo

“Well, there are a lot of millennials who really have a lot of faith in me in this town,” says Elgin, known as TJ to his friends.

Elgin, who never held a student government office while st Staples, filed as an unaffiliated candidate with the State Election Enforcement Commission (SECC) early this month after getting about 150 signatures of the 78 required.

“My toughest competitor will probably be Marpe,” Elgin said about Republican incumbent First Selectman Jim Marpe. “But, I respect all the other candidates. That’s just how the chess board is set.”

The other candidates are Democrat Melissa Kane, a member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) and RTMer John Suggs, who is running as an independent.

Elgin is a self-described entrepreneur who in January opened a Westport-based health and wellness business called Something Wolfy Super Hero Training Academy, which also has an office in Bridgeport.

He said his interest in the town’s top office piqued after he decided to sit in various town board, commission and committee meetings.

“I’ve lived in the town for most of my life,” Elgin said, “and I’m very interested in having a very strong leadership infrastructure.”

“But on just about every committee that exists, a lot of self-interest is part of it, which has no place in politics,” he added. “I’ve been learning the gruesome details of local politics.”

Elgin did not give example of what he termed self-interest, but stressed that he wanted the town’s boards, commissions and committees to work more efficiently.

“I want to have more of a structure for accomplishing tasks in a timely manner,” Elgin said. “The biggest complaint I hear is that things don’t get done in a time frame people would like.”

Elgin, who said he studied a wide range of subjects at Norwalk Community College, Housatonic Community College and the University Bridgeport but has no degree yet, has two other hot-button issues fueling his candidacy: the historic William F. Cribari Bridge in Saugatuck and the town’s water supply, of which townspeople are unwittingly being wasteful, he said.

Elgin said Marpe should have accepted not rejected $42 million in Connecticut Department of Transportation (CDOT) money. He said the town should have taken the money, repaired the bridge and made it a priority to keep it free from eighteen-wheeler trucks.

“I really don’t think the town is buckled up enough to handle it,” he said about the town’s financial health in the wake of the state’s fiscal crisis.

Just like they did when Suggs announced his candidacy as an independent, Marpe and Kane welcomed another candidate for the town’s top post.

“I think it is great when residents get involved with town government or any volunteer activity,” said Marpe. “I met TJ at a number of town meetings, and I admire his interest for wanting to get involved to make a difference.

“I look forward to hearing his ideas that will come from his perspective on Westport,” he added.

Kane agreed, saying that democracy works best “when you have quality conversations with a lot of different ideas.”

“I think when you have youth involved in the conversation, it’s a very good idea,” Kane said.

Suggs was equally warm toward Elgin.

“I welcome him to the campaign, and I believe that this can only strengthen public debate and the process with more people weighing in and suggesting their proposals,” said Suggs.

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Posted 08/28/17 at 08:20 PM  Permalink



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