Friday, April 12, 2024

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Former White House Press Secretary Addresses Westport Audience

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Republican Rep. Christopher Shays (r) greets former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer at the Westport Public Library tonight. Fleischer addressed the event organized in support of the Bush-Cheney ticket. He said he has fond memories of Westport, sometimes sneaking off to Sherwood Island State Park while a high school student in nearby Pound Ridge, N.Y. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Farrell Gets Campaign Help from California Congresswoman

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Democratic California Rep. Zoe Lofgren speaks at a Bridgeport news conference today in support of Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell. Lofgren, who represents the San Jose area, brought with her word of an endorsement of Farrell by Ret. Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy, the first and only woman to ever receive this flag rank in the United States Army. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Town Reduces Taxes on Backlogged Permit Bills by $300,000

Westport has written off about $300,000 of the $2.6 million it had hoped to collect as a result of processing of backlogged building permits dating from 1998, town officials said today.

Tax Collector George Underhill said of about 1,000 bills mailed out last month, 152 had adjustments made that resulted in reduced revenue of about $300,000.

Assessor William Gaffney said in a few cases there were errors on the bill regarding the way it was computed, but he said most of the adjustments had to do with taxpayers challenging the date of completion of their building projects.

“If they tell me they did not finish a project until a certain date, I just have take their word for it,” Gaffney said. “There’s no way of verifying it.”

Last-Minute Surge in Voter Registration in Westport

Westport voter registrations jumped almost 10 percent in the last four months with more than half the new registrants declining to affiliate with any political party, voter registrars said today.

Of the 1,492 new voters added to the rolls since the June primary, 838 (56.2 percent) registered as unaffiliated, 461 (30.8 percent) registered as Democrats, and 193 (12.9 percent), registered as Republicans. There was no change in the number on minor party affiliations 19.

The town registration list of 17,288 voters as of today breaks down this way: unaffiliated 6,377 (36.9 percent); Republicans 5,483 (31.7 percent), Democrats 5,409 (31.3 percent),and minor parties 19.

Republican Registrar Judith Raines and Democratic Registrar Nita Cohen said registrations have gone smoothly despite the large numbers, but Cohen added, “This is not a normal election.”

New UConn Poll Shows Shays Lead Over Farrell Cut to 5 Percent

A new Unversity of Connecticut poll out today shows incumbent Republican Rep. Christopher Shays has a narrow 5 percent lead over Democratic challenger Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell.

With only four days to go until the election,  Shays leads 47 percent to 42 percent among likely voters in Connecticut’s 4th Congressional District race, the poll found. However, 10 percent of likely voters are still undecided.

A UConn Poll conducted two weeks ago found that Shays held a 44 percent to 37 percent lead over Farrell among likely voters.

When “leaners”— undecided voters who say they “lean” more toward Shays or more toward Farrell—are added in to the mix, 49 percent of likely voters say they will support Shays and 43 percent pick Farrell, with 7 percent saying they don’t lean in one direction or another, the poll found.

Karen Scott Named Partner in Westport Real Estate Group

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Karen Scott: new partner at KMS. Contributed photo
A Westport real estate partnership is getting a new partner.

KMS Partners, LLC, Wade Shavell of Westport, Sheila Keenan of Westport, Laurie Morris of Weston, and Dorita Barrett of Westport today announced that Karen Scott will become a partner in the group effective in January.

A full-time agent in residential real estate, Scott has been affiliated with KMS Partners—of Coldwell Banker Riverside Shavell—since June 2003. 

“During that time, she has demonstrated the highest professional standards and a dedication to satisfying the needs of clients by providing them with the utmost level of support available,” an announcement said.

Westport News Endorses Farrell

The Westport News, one of two non-daily newspapers in Westport, today endorsed Democratic Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell over Republican incumbent Rep. Christopher Shays for Congress.

The newspaper also endorsed Republican incumbents state Sen.Judith Freedman in the 26th District, G. Kenneth Bernhard in the 136th House District, and Cathy Tymniak in the 133rd House District.

The text of the editorial on the Shays-Farrell race:

Democrat Diane Farrell will bring fresh eyes to old problems in the 4th Congressional District. She is poised to renew the focus on the district’s day-to-day issues and problems and to listen to the concerns of her constituents. Those are the reasons why we endorse her.

Fairfield County Weekly Endorses Farrell

The Fairlfield County Weekly Thursday endorsed Democratic Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell for Congress over incumbent Republican Rep. Christopher Shays.

The text of the editorial:

Christopher Shays can’t be used to this. According to a University of Connecticut poll, he leads his opponent, Diane Farrell, by about 7 percent. Some candidates would give a kidney for that kind of margin. Not Shays.

Since he joined the U.S. House of Representatives 17 years ago, he’s more used to giving his challenger a 20-point behind-the-woodshed whipping. People like him. He’s considered honest, independent, thoughtful.

Diane Farrell, Westport’s first selectwoman, has taken on the Fourth District fixture that is Shays. In her tenure there, she’s become deeply involved with regional issues. She’s helped build a fancy senior center. She’s spearheaded a rebuilding of Westport’s schools. She’s also, thanks to that project and revaluation, raised taxes considerably.