I realized during my sailing days that it didn't take much skill or experience to sail on a beautiful day in light winds, but when storms popped up, and they often did, I was always delighted to have a friend with me who was an experienced sailor.

I felt the same way about my colleague on the Board of Finance, Brian Stern, who is seeking re-election. Brian came to the board after a storied career at Xerox Corp., where he guided several divisions back to financial health. On the BOF, Brian proved his mettle in leading efforts to restrain the growth of the town budget and in demanding accountability from town agencies.

Brian is joined on the Democratic ticket this year by two well qualified candidates. Blake Benke is an exceptional individual with whom I've shared several serious conversations. Now pursuing a successful career in finance, his commitment to public service is best exemplified by his service as a Marine Corps officer in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Blake brings a fierce discipline and work ethic to any task.

Lee Caney is a partner in a global law firm with a practice in all aspects of tax planning. I've heard Lee speak passionately about his commitment to assuring the vitality of our school system. I have no doubt that he'll be a solid addition to the board.

All three will invest in Westport's future while protecting our community's financial well-being. Please join me in supporting them for Board of Finance.

Kenneth I. Wirfel