Republican, two democrats win spots on finance board

WESTPORT — Democrats sustained have their majority on the Board of Finance.

Democrats Brian Stern and Lee Caney were both re-elected and Republican Andrea Moore also won in her first run for a spot on the board. The fourth candidate, Republican Vik Muktavaram, didn’t receive enough votes to claim one of the three open spots.

Stern received the most votes with 4,552, followed by Moore with 4,4402 votes and Caney closely behind with 4,368 votes, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of the State’s Office. Muktavaram received 4,128 votes.

“It’s really gratifying to see the folks in Westport appreciate what we do,” said Stern, the current board chairman “As for Lee and myself, we’re looking forward to doing what we were doing for the last four years again. I think we made great progress in the last four years and want to continue doing it.”

A 40-year resident of Westport, Stern worked for 36 years at Xerox Corporation, first as finance director and later president of four divisions within the company.

Although Connecticut does now have a budget, Stern said he is still concerned with the the impact the state is having on Westport.

“The state is giving us so much uncertainty that we really don’t know what we have to do yet,” said Stern.

Joining Stern in dealing with the town’s finances is newcomer Moore, whom he welcomed to the board.

“We still don’t have enough women,” he added. “We only have two on the board.”

The seven-member board sustained its previous make-up of four Democrats and three Republicans.

Democrats Sheri Gordon and John Hartwell and Republicans Michael Rea and Jim Westphal are not up for re-election until 2019. Jen Tooker did not seek to retain her position on the board, instead running for second selectman with incumbent First Selectman Jim Marpe. The Republican Marpe-Tooker ticket beat Democratic candidates Melissa Kane and Rob Simmelkjaer.

Moore, a fellow Republican, took the seat previously held by Tooker.

“I am thrilled to have won a seat on the BOF. I am so fortunate to have so many friends and supporters in Westport and I am looking forward to serving them on the Board of Finance,” said Moore, a Westport native who worked in the financial industry and previously served as a Representative Town Meeting member.

Muktavaram, who came up short for a spot on the Board of Finance, will return to his position on the Board of Education, which expires in 2019.

“My heartfelt congratulations to Andrea, Brian, and Lee on winning,” Muktavaram said. “The best part about the Board of Finance race was that collectively we ran a positive campaign focused on issues (about) what is best for the town of Westport. I am looking forward to continuing my work on the Board of Education.”

The newly-elected Board of Finance will hold its first meeting in early December when it will choose a new chairman and vice chairman.; @SophieCVaughan1