Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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Democratic Winners


Members of the winning Democratic team pose for a group photo tonight at their headquarters. They are (l. to r.): Steve Ezzes, Kevin Connolly, Diane Farrell, Jim Ezzes, Ellie Lowenstein, Mark Mathias, and Mary Parmelee.  Farrell was not up for re-election this year as First Selectwoman. Contributed photo

Lowenstein Outruns Republican Opponents for Planning and Zoning

Lowenstein Outruns Republican Opponents for Planning and Zoning
Democrat Eleanor Lowenstein easily won re-election tonight to the Planning and Zoning Commission. The panels chair, she collected 3966 votes, 609 coming from her Save Westport Now line on the ballot.

With four seats up for grabs and the Democrats already in control of the seven-member board which has staggered four-year terms, the other candidates were all Republicans.

According to unofficial returns, they came in this way: Helen Martin Block with 3338 votes; James Cochrane with 3177; David Press with 3139, and Sean Timmins with 3016. All but Timmins were elected.

Democrats Triumph on Finance and Education Boards

Democrats Triumph on Finance and Education Boards
Westport Democrats went through some anxious moments tonight but retained control of the towns Board of Finance and Board of Education.

Unofficial results showed these Board of Finance winners (four seats available): Steve Ezzes, the Democratic chair, retaining his seat with 3595 votes, followed closely behind by Republican Charles Haberstroh, a member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), making his first town-wide bid for office, with 3523 votes.

They were followed by incumbent Democrat Kevin Connolly with 3489 votes and Republican incumbent Gavin Anderson with 3348.

Trailing the pack were Republican Thomas Bloch with 2945 votes and Republican Ralph Hymans, a member of the RTM making his second try for the finance board, with 2714 votes.

The winners on the Board of Education (three seats available) included: Democrat incumbent Mary Parmelee with 3553 votes; Republican Lewis Brey with 3007 votes, and Democrat Mark Mathias with 2930. Brey and Mathias are new to the board.

They were followed by Republican newcomer Edward Bowers with 2378, petitioning candidate Steve Rubin with 1765, petitioning candidate Robert Andrew with 1463, and petitioning candidate Robert Chasin with 398.

Rubin, who raised the most money from individual contributions for his education race, ran simultaneously as an incumbent RTM member in District 7. Unofficial returns showed him losing his seat there, coming in fifth in a five-person race with four seats available.

Power Problems Partially Black Out Saugatuck Polling Place

Power Problems Partially Black Out Saugatuck Polling Place
A late afternoon power problem partially blacked out the Saugatuck Elementary School polling place today and the surrounding area for more than an hour.


Checking in of voters and voting continued uninterrupted during today’s partial blackout at Saugatuck School. WestportNow.com photo

The outage at the school, one of five used as polling places in today’s election, did not stop the election process.
Voting continued uninterrupted as power from emergency generators and flashlights supplemented the low lighting in the gynmnasium polling area.
Registrar of Voters Judy Raines was at the school supervising the installation of emergency lights and distributing flashlights along with the Westport Fire Department’s Asst. Chief Chris Ackley and Fire Marshall Fred Baker.
“I might have to put some additional flashlights in our budget,” she said.
The power went out in the area at about 4:30 pm. and was fully restored by 5:45 p.m.
There had been an earlier transformer problem near an office building on Riverside Avenue. That apparently caused a series of momentary power loses at the Saugatuck polling place during the afternoon before the extended blackout.

Election Day Vignette: When the Lights Went Out

Election Day Vignette: When the Lights Went Out
Ann Sheffer, who is running for re-election as a Representative Town Meeting (RTM) member from District 1, was at the Saugatuck Elementary School polling place today helping her father, Ralph, get to the polls.
He had just pulled the red lever, closed the curtain, and moved one lever for the RTM (I’ll let you guess for whom) when the lights went out at about 2:30 p.m.,Ԕ she said.


Flashback: Ann Sheffer celebrates her fathers 90th birthday with him. WestportNow.com photo

ғOur first thought was that his vote had triggered the blackout, but the lights soon came back on, he finished voting, and the poll watcher confirmed that it had registered. 
All I could think about was what would have happened if we had gone to computers instead of the old stand-by machines—would they recover as quickly?Ӕ
Sheffer said she is very proud that her father can vote for her because she was never able to vote for him while he served on the RTM.
I turned 21 (the voting age then) in 1969, the first year that he did not stand for re-election since he first ran for the RTM in 1953,Ӕ she said.
Ralph Sheffer served as moderator of the RTM for a record 10 years from 1959 to 1969. He marked his 90th birthday Sept. 13 with a special celebration at the Westport Historical Society.
Editors Note: The editor of WestportNow.com currently serves on the RTM and has been its moderator since 1995.

Westport Election Day Scenes: Ballots and Bagels, Candidates and Cookies

Westport Election Day Scenes: Ballots and Bagels, Candidates and Cookies
The fresh baked goods seemed to outnumber the voters at several Westport polling places today.


Long Lots bake sale Moms Elaine Whitney and Pat Bonenfant were out early. WestportNow.com photo


The bake sale outside Coleytown Middle School today was overshadowed by the throng of candidates. WestportNow.com photo

At Coleytown Middle School, a school fundraiser bake sale got off to a not-so-sweet start when sellers found that their picked out spot for their tables was bypassed only by voters entering the polling place and not exiting it.
So they moved their operation from the front lobby to the sidewalk outside, braving the elements as a light drizzle fell during the day. But the hot coffee and bagels, donuts and cookies seemed to sell well even though the crowds were sparse.
There was also a bake sale at Long Lots Elementary School where, again, it seemed there were more muffins, breads and cookies than voters.
One woman paused over a small banana bread, and said, “Ten dollars for a banana bread? Isn’t that kind of expensive?” The cash collector behind the table did not blink. She said, “Are you pressuring me?”
The woman said, “I wouldn’t pay that at a bakery.” However, after these few words of protest, she paid her $10 and left.
Another PTA representative taking cash said, “I don’t think $10 for banana bread is that high. $15 for a coffee ring—now that seems high to me.”
As she said it, a gray-haired gentleman placed the coffee ring in a plastic bag, and handed over his $15.

WestportNow a Hit with Google

WestportNow a Hit with Google
WestportNow is a hit with Google, the Internet search engine, outranking all other Westport publications on line in its unique system of ranking Web sites.

In a directory of Westport news and information sites, Goggle ranks WestportNow ahead of the Westport News, Westport Online, and the Westport Minuteman in its “PageRank” category.

Google explains the category this way: “Unlike other directories that can only list Web pages alphabetically regardless of how good they are, the Web pages in the Google directory are ordered according to Google’s patented PageRank technology.

“This means that the most relevant and highly-regarded sites on any topic are listed first … not buried deep within a list of other pages.”

“Important, high-quality sites receive a higher PageRank, which Google remembers each time it conducts a search,” according to the Internet company.