I attended the inaugural meeting of the Downtown Steering Committee last week and was very encouraged. The committee is large, and the positions and opinions of members are anticipated to be diverse. Nevertheless, if flexibility and open-mindedness prevail, great things can happen for Westport.

Under the capable leadership of Dewey Loselle, the committee will aim for a balance of perspectives that will shape a master plan for downtown. One of the overriding goals of the Coalition for Westport is to recapture the vitality and dynamic quality of the downtown. Insistence on single-minded goals such as physical development or preservation will only serve to undermine the committee and the chances for its success. We need some of both. We must recognize that a vital and pleasant downtown that attracts and keeps businesses and institutions, serves and benefits our economy, our residents and our town government.

The committee may very well be the last best hope Westport has for creating a downtown master plan. The coalition wishes the committee great success and looks forward to monitoring its progress and contributing positively to its efforts.

Michael Nayor, chairman

Coalition for Westport