Westport Board of Finance member Charles Haberstroh was appointed Wednesday to fill the vacant seat on the Board of Selectmen, an opening left last month when Gavin Anderson resigned because of health issues.

In a special meeting held to consider the appointment of Haberstroh -- a Republican, as was Anderson -- First Selectman Gordon Joseloff and Selectwoman Shelly Kassen, both Democrats, voted to endorse him to succeed Anderson.

"Charlie has some big shoes to fill, but he's perfectly able and capable of doing so," Joseloff said of the new selectman.

After being sworn in, Haberstroh pledged to collaborate with Joseloff and Kassen, despite their different political affiliations. Haberstroh, who resigned as a member of the finance board, immediately begins service as a selectman. He will serve out the rest of Anderson's term, which runs until November 2013.

"I wanted to try help out in a slightly different way for the town," he said. "We still have some difficult times ahead of us. I put myself at the first selectman's disposal to help out wherever I can."

After gaining the backing last week of a Republican Town Committee nominating committee, Haberstroh received formal endorsement as the GOP's favored appointee to the selectman seat from the full RTC Tuesday night.

Haberstroh, 60, is a seven-year member of the Board of Finance, and a former member of the Representative Town Meeting. He is also the founder and president of the Westport-based asset management company, CastleKeep Investment Advisors.

The town charter mandated that Joseloff and Kassen choose a Republican to succeed Anderson, although they were not required to appoint the candidate recommended by the RTC.