Lauren Karpf is the newest member of the Representative Town Meeting. She will represent the legislative body's District 7, filling the remainder of the term of Steve Rubin, who resigned in September.

"I believe I will bring a unique perspective to the RTM as a registered Independent, which will allow me to approach each and every matter in a neutral and pragmatic manner," Karpf, 39, said. "I will also bring the perspective of a relatively new family in Westport, a mother of young children and an attorney with legal experience in education, government and employment law."

"This is a very exciting time" in the town, she added. "Certain issues are extremely important to residents, including, but certainly not limited to, the proposed revitalization of downtown, the proposed changes to Compo Beach, potential developments that exceed town zoning laws through the use of Connecticut state statute 8-30g, the education budget and transportation issues," she said.

"Many of the current issues in town pertain to the interpretation of and proposed amendments to ordinances and regulations," Karpf noted. "By virtue of its function as a non-partisan legislative body, the RTM can work diligently to assess all proposals and budgetary concerns and requests based on the facts at hand."

She said that professionally, she has worked on matters "pertaining to operations of schools, union contracts, employment law, and drafting and interpretation of various regulations."

RTM Moderator Eileen Lavigne Flug, District 9, said Karpf was chosen from nine candidates who interviewed for the open seat.

"We are fortunate to have her as our newest member," she added.

The term that Karpf is serving on the non-partisan RTM runs through the next municipal election, which will take place in November 2015.

Karpf is married and the mother of two children -- a son who will be 4 in January and a 10-month-old daughter.

She is a lawyer, currently serving as a volunteer mediator with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. Karpf previously served as a lawyer with the New York City Department of Education and as a legal intern in the Office of the Mayor of New York City, as well as being an associate at a New York City law firm.

Karpf earned her law degree from Fordham University of Law in New York City in December 2004. She also graduated from Washington University/John M. Olin School of Business in St. Louis, Mo., in May 1997 with a BS/BA. She majored in marketing with a minor in psychology.

At the time Rubin announced his resignation from the RTM -- he served on the body since 1993, its longest-serving member at the time -- he said he and his wife planned to move out of state.