To the Editor:

I’m so proud to support Lauren Soloff, who in addition to being an awesome friend, an incredible mom, an astute businesswoman and a committed volunteer, has now increased her dedication to our community with her bid for RTM District 9. In over 15 years of friendship, I’ve always admired Lauren’s ability to deftly and calmly tackle issues that are important to her. She’s a woman who sees things clearly and does not lose her focus when addressing challenges. I’m certain that Lauren’s strength of character, warm demeanor and impressive grasp of local issues will benefit district 9 and have a positive impact on the entire Westport community!

Wendy Epstein


To the Editor:

We are writing to express our support for Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker in the upcoming town election for selectmen. We have never written a letter endorsing a political candidate but are compelled to write now because of the poor financial condition of our state and the impact it is having on Westport. Jim and Jen have the talent and experience to help Westport navigate these challenges.

We have known Jim for roughly 20 years and worked with him on non-profit committees witnessing firsthand his thoughtful approach. When others would have embraced retirement Jim redirected his talents toward serving our town.

As first selectman, he has worked with the Board of Finance to hold property taxes flat while also improving town resources at Longshore, Compo Beach, and the Levitt Pavilion. Jim’s past experience as vice Chair of the Board of Education provides a deep level of understanding of our school system, something that is even more important as state support for Westport schools is withdrawn.

We have known Jen for many years and are impressed with her commitment to Westport. We’ve had many conversations about the challenges facing Westport and Jen understands how to navigate the town committees and also that there are no simple solutions. Her background serving on the Board of Education and the Board of Finance are irreplaceable assets as the town works to enhance the school system while also managing town finances responsibly.

Please join us on Nov. 7 supporting the experienced, accomplished team of Marpe & Tooker.

Joan & John Nevin


To the Editor:

I am writing to express my fervent and enthusiastic support for my lifelong friend, Rob Simmelkjaer, candidate for second selectman of Westport.

Rob and I have been friends for 30 years, since our high school days in New York. Today, in our present-day lives in Westport, we remain close. During our long tenured friendship, I have seen him successfully navigate through America’s top universities, Dartmouth College, where he received his bachelor’s degree in government and philosophy and Harvard Law School, where he received his law degree.

For as long as I have known Rob, he has been passionate about many things, but three jump out at me: government, sports and social justice. After Harvard Law, Rob moved to Manhattan to begin his law career at Cravath, Swaine and Moore. This was followed by a career move to focus on his passion, sports. At ESPN, he held several senior business positions. Given his charismatic personality, it was of no surprise that Rob went on to become an on-air anchor and correspondent for ABC News and NBC Sports. Today, he is Senior Vice President at NBC Sports Ventures and Comcast Ventures.

In addition to Rob’s extremely impressive business career, Rob makes the time for his Westport community that he holds so dear to him. He has been a volunteer coach for his daughter’s soccer and softball teams, an active volunteer at Kings Highway School and Landmark Preschool, and a member of Westport’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

30 years ago, it was Rob’s character, kindness, sense of humor and compassion that made us friends. Today it is for all those attributes, along with his seasoned leadership, business acumen, love of family and love of our shared town, Westport, that I cannot think of a better person for Second Selectman.

Nicole Klein


To the Editor:

We in Westport are so blessed to have Jim and Jen standing to serve our beloved Town. Jim and Jen share all the important values that Westport stands for and promotes. They have stood tirelessly for these values.

At the same time, they have the knowledge experience and skills to manage the town’s finances responsively for current and future generations. The track record of cutting long-term debt by 27 percent and keeping taxes flat is a remarkable achievement while at the same time supporting our seniors, maintaining excellence in our school system, enhancing recreational opportunities and keeping our town safe.

I look forward to voting for them and hope anyone who reads this letter reflects on their effective service to our town.

Rob Adler


To the Editor:

I urge all Westport voters who care about maintaining and improving the quality of our world-class schools to support the re-election of Jim Marpe and the election of Jen Tooker to the Westport Board of Selectmen.

I have witnessed up close, as both a parent of three daughters in the Westport Public Schools, and as a former PTA President, the unwavering commitment of Jim and Jen to the schools and to education.

Both have served on the Westport Board of Education and have volunteered countless hours serving and improving our schools. As First Selectman, Jim has worked closely with Jen Tooker on the Board of Finance to protect Westport’s school budget from the impact of state education funding cuts. Their effective leadership on behalf of the schools is critical at a time when our state faces an ongoing budget crisis.

Their deep knowledge of our schools and education funding is necessary at a time like this in Westport.

Andrea Moore

To the Editor:

Westport has been blessed to have Jim Marpe as our first selectman the last four years.

Under his leadership our town has flourished, all the while weathering our state’s fiscal storm/crisis making Westport the envy of many towns. Under Jim we have seen an ever-growing Grand List, improved commercial real estate base, minimal growth budgets and near-zero tax increases over four years, while providing high quality services. All this did not happen by accident, but rather through Jim’s strong leadership, management skills and dedication to the job.

While Jim is making tough management decisions, he also cares greatly about the citizens of Westport. This is what truly keeps him going and willing to “re-up” for another term when he could easily just enjoy his time playing golf, travelling and spending time with his family. Instead, Jim is on the job seven days a week and into late evening meetings regularly. In every Town meeting and community group gathering I have attended, Jim is always there lending his support, listening and answering questions. The depth of his dedication to the job and the Town is astounding. He has done this non-stop for the last four years and has set a high bar for commitment to the Town and helping citizens. This is not a quality easily replaced. His experience will only add up to more great things.

Jim Marpe along with Jen Tooker will continue to protect our world class schools, be fiscally responsible and enhance the quality of life for all.

Alan Phillips

To the Editor:

We would like to voice our overwhelming support for the candidacy of Andrea Moore for Westport’s Board of Finance.

Andrea is uniquely qualified to assume this important job. She was raised in Westport and is now raising her three daughters here. She has a clear understanding of and commitment to supporting the needs of our town in a compromising state budget. She also had a very successful career in finance on Wall Street. Her analytical experience will allow her to find solutions to complex problems. She has dedicated herself to community service in Westport as a tireless volunteer, and assumed several leadership positions, most recently representing the 9th District as RTM.

She is effective. She is hard working. She is smart. She brings people together and builds consensus. She gets things done.

Nicole and Dan Dodge

To the Editor:

Having known Jim Marpe for over 20 years, we are now even more pleased to ask others to help him build on his established successes as first selectman. His record has been impeccable: an in-control manager keeping town services excellent and holding taxes at near zero growth over four years, and an impartial leader able to favorably address the many challenges facing Westport. And now, given the financial problems descending on us from our dysfunctional State government, continuity of Jim’s leadership is needed more than ever.

We have also known Jen Tooker for a number of years, and believe she will be a marvelous partner to team with Jim. Her leadership experience on the Board of Education and as chairman of the Board of Finance, and her judgment, composure and personal communication skills are wonderful assets for Westport.

Rick and Mary Towers

To the Editor:

Help Marpe/Tooker build on success. Jim Marpe and Jen Tooker for first and second selectman.

Trust + Credibility = Experience + Results: What qualities do we most admire in our leaders?

Trust and Credibility

Trust — Have our leaders done what they said they would do?

Credibility — In addition to earning trust, have our leaders delivered tangible, measurable results demonstrating their knowledge and ability to execute.

Jim and Jen have served Westport and it’s two most important boards; The Board of Education and the Board of Finance in addition to Jim’s service as the first selectman and Jen’s service on many town committees and with various charitable organizations. Despite significant fiscal and legislative challenges, Westport has not just survived, it has thrived under their leadership.

The top school system in the state of CT, flat taxes, enhanced services for our seniors, downtown redevelopment and the transformation of the Longshore Golf Course to name a few.

Jim and Jen are the only candidates that can truly demonstrate trustworthiness and credibility earned from their experience serving Westport and the results that they have delivered to all Westport residents.

Trust + Credibility = Experience + Results.

Mike Kirby