Like many former visitors, I chose Westport 16 years ago as the ideal home for my three children and me. Like many who moved here and chose to stay, I do not need to have been born here to value, and be committed, to Westport's history, unique character and community.

Smart solutions to the challenges facing our town can be found with a Planning and Zoning Commission that encourages open discussion and community participation.

This won't happen if the Save Westport Now-endorsed Democrats win this race, as the P&Z will have seven-like-minded commissioners with a SWN mentality, forever opposing proposals, resisting change, and fearful of moving the town forward. Westport must adapt to a changing world or fall behind.

As Westport continues to evolve, it will be best served by a P&Z that is excited about the role it should play in pursuing policies that not only protect the special character and charm of our town, but also, enhance its appearance, value and quality of life for its residents. These are not mutually exclusive goals.

Creative modification of regulations can, and has, succeeded. Westport needs a P&Z that thinks and plans ahead, works pro-actively to create a framework for planned and controlled growth and eliminates reactive, haphazard development.

The nonpartisan Coalition for Westport believes that quality of space is about the quality of life. Bigger is not better. Better is better. Accessibility to our physical treasures-- the beaches, river and open space needs improvement. We can also enhance the distinctive features of our neighborhoods. I've lived in three -- Coleytown, Saugatuck and, for the past 12 years, on Main Street.

If elected, my coalition teammates and I would work to ensure Westport's evolution is managed creatively, with sensitivity, with an eye to the future and respect for the past.