'Cannot use WWE': After adding Easton, Westport-Weston Health District mulls name change

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This sign might change in the near future, as the Westport-Weston Health District considers a name change to reflect the fact that it now includes Easton.

This sign might change in the near future, as the Westport-Weston Health District considers a name change to reflect the fact that it now includes Easton.

Chris Marquette / Hearst Connecticut Media

Ever since the town of Easton officially joined the Westport-Weston Health District earlier this year, officials have been mulling a name change to the organization. But one potential moniker was quickly dismissed.

“Clearly we can not use the initials WWE,” quipped Mark Cooper, director of health for the district, pointing out that that name is already used by Stamford-based World Wrestling Entertainment. “I don’t want to get in a fight with them. They’re bigger than us.”

Jokes aside, Cooper, and others — including Easton First Selectman David Bindelglass — agreed that a new name was essential. “It didn’t really make sense for it to be the Westport-Weston Health District any more,” Bindelglass said.

Cooper echoed that statement. “We want to be inclusive in our name,” he said. “We certainly don’t want Easton to feel excluded.”

Easton officially became part of the Westport-Weston Health District after a townwide vote in April, though the district has been managing the town’s health services since September.

Bindelglass said there was some pushback by residents who worried about ceding control of the health district. “We’re a fiercely independent town and have been for many years,” he said. “Anything that gives away even a little bit of that autonomy gives people angst.”

Though he was sympathetic, Bindelglass said Easton only had a part-time health department, which wasn’t always able to provide the health services the town needed. “This was in the best interest of the town,” he said of joining the larger district.

A new name hasn’t been officially selected yet, but Cooper said one front runner is the Aspetuck Health District, which was actually the district’s original name when it was first created in the 1960s. He said the name was eventually changed to reflect that there were only two towns in the district, but the addition of Easton has put Aspetuck back on the table.

The new name was discussed at Monday’s meeting of the health district’s Board of Directors, but Cooper said no decision was made. Once a name is officially selected, he said, it could still be months before a new handle is in place.

“It’s not going to change overnight,” he said.