Jim Marpe and Avi Kaner possess a complementary blend of business and public leadership experience, including being chairmen of two major boards in town: the Board of Education and Board of Finance. At this time, when informed fiscal management is imperative, we are fortunate to have as first and second selectman candidates two individuals who together have had fiscal management responsibility for 100 percent of the town's budgets. They both excelled as chairmen and have or will leave those boards in better condition than when they started.

Westport faces challenges ahead in terms of our finances and in maintaining our schools and town facilities at the high service levels that Westporters rightfully expect. Jim and Avi know that how we as a town plan, budget and spend our resources will shape Westport's future. Jim and Avi have the necessary vision and leadership skills to both maintain and improve our town's schools, beaches, downtown, parks and other public venues - and to do so in a fiscally responsible manner.

I have seen many first and second selectmen over my more than 50 years in Westport; including my eight years elected to the Board of Education. Never have I seen a team of candidates for those positions that I think is stronger than the team of Marpe & Kaner. I hope you will all take the time to meet them and decide for yourselves that they are an exciting reason to go to the polls on Nov. 5.

Caren Calish Gagliano