Melissa Kane, a former Representative Town Meeting member who ran unsuccessfully last fall as the selectman candidate against the winning Republican ticket led by Jim Marpe, has been named by Marpe to be chairwoman of the Downtown Steering Committee.
Marpe tapped Kane, now a member of the committee overseeing preparation of a downtown master plan, to take over the chairman's post from Dewey Loselle, who recently was selected by Marpe to fill the new job of town operations director. Kane had been serving as chairwoman of the panel's Outreach and Communications Subcommittee.
Loselle, now a full-time town employee, will be the first selectman's representative to the downtown panel as an ex-officio member.
In announcing Kane's appointment, Marpe said in a statement Friday that she "has worked closely with Dewey over these last several months and is well versed in the details of the planning effort. She has demonstrated her skills and project management capabilities. In particular, she has also shown she is a good listener and has the ability to work well with people and with a diverse board."
Kane, in addition to serving a term on the RTM, was previously a member of the Westport Library's Board of Directors.
Marpe also announced that he has appointed Jessica Newshel as a new member of the Downtown Steering Committee to fill the vacancy created by Loselle's departure. She was a member of the predecessor Downtown 2020 Committee, which was established by Marpe's predecessor as first selectman, Gordon Joseloff.
Newshel is "a certified planner who brings a wealth of public and private sector planning experience to the team. She will be a great asset and contributor," Marpe said.
The Downtown Steering Committee will host another "Visioning Workshop" from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Westport Library to gather comments on the planning process. The forum is open to the public.
The public is also encouraged to complete the "Downtown Citizen Survey," which is posted on the committee's website, www.downtownwestportct.com