We're excited about leading Westport for another four years. Yes, the past year has been full of challenges, but we're not daunted. Rather, we're focused on our vision for what Westport can be, and we're dedicated to seeing it happen.

What do we want for Westport?

"� A great place to live: a special community where you can enjoy Longshore, Compo Beach, and many other amenities -- or just relax with family and friends at home -- with reasonable taxes and minimally intrusive government.

"� A great place to grow up: an educational system that's the envy of many other communities; where every child is prepared to prosper in an increasingly challenging and complex world, and his or her talents are given full opportunity to blossom.

"� A great place to retire: where those who have given much to Westport -- and offer the rest of us a perspective and appreciation of what we have today -- can enjoy their latter years even with limited means and evolved needs.

"� A great place to work and do business: Westport as the place to be a school teacher, a police officer, a firefighter, a town employee, or an employee in a Westport-based business, and where new and established businesses have ample opportunity to grow.

"� A safe and stable place: where our citizens and homes are secure, and our government provides the services we depend on while remaining rock-solid fiscally and constantly seeking more efficient operations.

Some say that it's easy to have a vision, to offer a plan, but much harder to make it a reality. Frankly, we're not interested in wasting time and energy lamenting what hasn't happened yet or what might have been done better with perfect hindsight. Naysayers add little to the public dialogue other than divisiveness.

We're confident that we can realize this vision for Westporters, because:

"� Westport is on the right track: we've steered Westport through its most difficult period in decades, working with all parties to keep us financially strong and technologically current -- and without compromising the town's character, which was what brought many of us here in the first place.

"� We have great employees: whether it's the police, fire, school or town departments, we succeed as a community because of their expertise, dedication and willingness to innovate.

"� We have great volunteers: Westport boasts a plethora of citizens with talent, creativity and civic-mindedness that they're willing to apply selflessly in the cause of making Westport even better.

So, we have a vision, we have a track record, and we still have the enthusiasm to guide Westport through our current difficulties. We look forward to a new era that we expect will be notable for its renewed sense of shared community and optimism about the future. Please honor us with your support for this vision by voting to support us on Nov. 3.