Tuesday, August 29, 2017
With resignations and party appointments, Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z), one of the town’s most influential bodies, has seemed like musical chairs over the past year.
Now that reshuffling appears to have extended into the candidate pool with the Democratic Town Committee (DTC) regrouping to choose a different candidate to be on the ballot in November.
The DTC’s first pick Jill Saluck, selected in July to fill the vacancy when four-year commission member Alan Hodge decided not to seek re-election, withdrew for personal reasons.
So the DTC chose Greg Rutstein, 37, a town resident for four years and an attorney who works as special counsel for Bridgewater Associates, the Westport-based international hedge fund.
Rutstein will be on the Democratic P&Z ticket with Danielle Dobin and Michael Cammeyer, both P&Z members who were party appointments following resignations.
Rutstein says his and the other candidates’ aim is to have a 4 to 3 majority on the Republican-controlled P&Z.
Republican John Olefson, 42, a P&Z alternate, is the Republican Town Committee’s (RTC) only candidate running for the commission.
He is an attorney who currently serves as senior vice president and general counsel for Cotiviti, a publicly traded healthcare analytics company in Wilton.
Rutstein admits he has no background in Westport planning and zoning matters, and that there will be time he will have as recuse himself, as Bridgewater has been a P&Z applicant in the past.
“The Planning and Zoning Commission is an area where he felt he could contribute even though he doesn’t have a planning and zoning background,” said Ellen Lautenberg, DTC chairwoman, adding that he brings an interesting perspective living and working in town.
– James Lomuscio
Posted 08/29/17 at 02:44 PM Permalink