Westport operations director leaving for private sector job

Westport Operations Director Sara Harris announced that she was resigning, effective Aug. 27, 2021.

Westport Operations Director Sara Harris announced that she was resigning, effective Aug. 27, 2021.

Lynandro Simmons /Hearst Connecticut Media /

WESTPORT — Westport Operations Director Sara Harris is leaving her job in the First Selectman’s Office to accept a consulting opportunity in the private sector after four years in the position. Her resignation is effective Aug. 27.

Harris started in July 2017 and her responsibilities included, among other things, the digitization of the land use permitting process to the Accela software. She also established and created annual management reports for the town’s budget book and oversaw the associated performance metrics for all town departments.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Harris has also served as the town’s public information spokesperson, and has acted as Westport’s economic development director, implementing several projects such as the town’s rebranding and website launch in 2018.

“We will miss Sara’s dedication, work ethic and demeanor,” said First Selectman Jim Marpe in a news release. “I am pleased that she worked to implement the projects and tasks we asked her to complete. Sara did this without partisanship and remained grounded in her professional values for efficient and transparent operations in government.”

In a statement, Harris said she had “very mixed emotions” about resigning. “First Selectman Marpe and his administration have been an inspiration to me, and I will carry that guidance throughout my career,” she said.

Lynn Scully, the town’s audit manager and senior accountant, will serve as the interim operations director. Harris will be transitioning some of her tasks to Scully and other staff members, although some projects will remain on hold until a replacement can be found.

The replacement hire posting will be released in the coming weeks. It is expected that upon assuming office in November, the incoming first selectman will choose the next operations director for the town.