I first met Helen Garten when I was on a lonely crusade to clean up the boardwalk at Compo Beach. I invited everyone on the RTM to contact me if they wanted a tour of the problems that needed fixing. Helen Garten was one of only two RTMs who responded.

I found Helen to be remarkably refreshing, highly intelligent and down to earth. We spent an hour walking the grounds, peering into garbage cans infested with bees, inspecting the rest rooms and the boardwalk. She took her inspection seriously and was quite thorough. I was very impressed.

Since then, I've gotten to know Helen well and she is first class. She's thoughtful, concerned, sincere, and has the strength and backbone to make correct decisions, despite political pressure to do otherwise.

As chair of the Board of Finance, Helen excelled at keeping everyone on-task and on-time. She is brief, to the point, and knows her Robert's Rules of Order. Helen can not only quote dollar figures with uncanny accuracy, but also refer to the page and line item number without even looking. She kept the members and presenters on-task and limited all the self-serving chatter.

Helen is a creative and realistic problem-solver, who prioritizes with ease, and is a pleasure to deal with. Westport's best interests are always foremost in her decision making.

Westport would be proud to have Helen Garten as its First Selectman.

Tom Feeley