Fellow Independents:

As a 20-plus-year Westporter who has known Avi Kaner most all those years and Jim Marpe about half, I recommend their team.

Avi and I each have three similar-aged children that we've guided through Westport's public schools. We've shared christenings and bar mitzvahs. We've coached their teams. All the while Avi, as a minority and majority member of the Board of Finance, has consistently demonstrated a thoughtful business-like approach to Westport issues. He doesn't look through a Democrat's or Republican's lens. He uses his business leadership experience, his intimate town knowledge, and his many public-forum hours to evaluate, decide, and then drive home the issues and initiatives that have made Westport a wonderful town. Given high and low economic times, tapering of the school district's student population, under-funded pension liabilities, and the divergent interests of Westport's different age and income groups, Avi has consistently been a successful Westport navigator.

Jim Marpe has the same competent intelligent approach. We've debated issues, not always agreeing, at the many charitable events we see he and Mary Ellen. As a true independent thinker, Jim does not pre-decide on an issue and has a keen listening talent for unearthing new points to consider. However, like Avi, when Jim has decided something is right for this town, he will respectfully but diligently crash through barriers to make it happen.

Our town would be lucky to have these two intelligent effective leaders at its helm!

Matthew Burris