Supporting Joe Strickland

To the editor:

As a long-time resident of Westport and founding member of The Coalition for Westport, I am writing to urge all Westporters to vote for Joe Strickland Jr. for the P&Z.

As the Coalition candidate, Joe shares its commitment to carefully guided planning and development. His career as an architect and experience in the real estate industries makes him particularly suited to the needs of the P&Z.

A resident of Westport for 35 years, he has actively served the community. Joe has served on a number of local boards, including chairman of Westport’s Site and Building Commission and the Blight Board. He has served on the board of the Westport Library and was a member of the Building Committee for its recent renovation.

Joe and his wife Lauren’s four daughters all attended and graduated from Westport Public Schools. And, as part of his commitment to Westport, he officiates as youth and high school games as a certified referee.

Most importantly, Joe Strickland is fair-minded and steady as he listens to property owners politely and with respect. He will bring these needed qualities, along with his broad experience, to the P&Z. Vote for Joe Strickland on Nov. 5.

Melissa Diamond


Strongly support Goldstein, Chao

To the editor:

We write today in support of Lee Goldstein and Youn Su Chao, candidates for the Westport Board of Education.

We have watched both Lee and Youn Su in action and have been very impressed with their leadership, how they dig into the critical issues before the BOE and their dedication to educational excellence.

They understand governance and the critical role of the BOE to select and provide oversight and accountability for a school superintendent. They are always prepared and have what it takes to bring rigorous analysis to policy setting and budgets, and to be accessible and accountable, and to listen and communicate with the community.

Lee and Youn Su have the credentials and have proven their dedication to all Westport students, educators and families by stepping up to attend years of BOE meetings, take the initiative to become well-informed and both serving as PTA presidents.

As homeowners in Westport since 1994 and parents of a sixth- and ninth-grader, we strongly support Lee Goldstein and Youn Su Chao for the Westport Board of Education.

Joan and Ted Gillman


Marijuana ban is premature

To the editor:

I am writing in support of the 14 RTM members who voted against the ordinance that sought to ban the sale of recreational marijuana in Westport.

Personally, I am undecided on legalizing marijuana, but that’s the point. The Connecticut legislature has not yet made up its mind either and there is no reason for our town’s RTM to waste its time debating an ordinance against something that is currently illegal in Westport and the rest of Connecticut. It does nothing for our town other than distract from more important issues where the RTM can make a difference.

There will be plenty of time to debate this issue if and when state legislators vote to legalize recreational marijuana. The state statute, if it becomes law (which is a big if) is likely to permit towns like Westport to opt out of allowing retail stores for sale of the product. There is no need to create a false sense of panic among residence who oppose legalization.

Thank you Dan Woog for publishing the explanation by these RTM members for their vote against the ordinance. I would encourage readers of the Westport News to read it:

Gail Berritt


Regarding P&Z candidate, Joe Strickland

To the editor:

My name is Ellie Lowenstein. I was elected to the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission four times and served as its chair or co-chair for 15 of those 16 years.

Joe Strickland is the kind of person I would have been delighted to work with during those years. He is a 34-year resident of Westport and a licensed architect. He currently serves the Westport community by volunteering as a chair of both our Public Site and Building Commission and the Blight Board.

In his architectural career, Joe specializes in municipal projects and historic preservation. As a Planning and Zoning candidate with that much technical knowledge and planning experience, he will be able to quickly grasp both the planning and the application sides of the Planning and Zoning Commission’s job.

As Westport’s population changes, so do its needs. Joe is ready to make planning a priority rather than tackling these changes piecemeal. That is why I am enthusiastically supporting Joe Strickland for the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Ellie Lowenstein


A vote for Westport’s future

To the editor:

Joe Strickland may well be the best qualified candidate ever to run for a seat on the Planning & Zoning Commission.

A Westport resident for 34 years, Joe is an architect with experience as a building contract manager and, what is more, he is a dedicated public servant, having served as Chairman of the Public Site & Building Commission and the Blight Board and as facilities manager for the Westport schools.

But training and experience aside, Joe knows how to behave in a public setting. At the same time as he is unfailingly polite and respectful of the time of applicants (a refreshing change from the behavior of some who seek to be re-elected), he is direct in voicing his opinions and wastes no time getting to the point.

Unlike those who refuse to acknowledge the inevitability of change and are instead dedicated to preserving the status quo, Joe believes that a town without a plan is a town without a future. A vote for Joe is a vote for Westport’s future.

Lawrence Weisman