Westport Republican Town Committee Endorses
Candidates for Town Boards and Commissions
WESTPORT – July 18, 2019 (Revised August 20, 2019)– The members of the Westport Republican Town Committee met Wednesday night to officially endorse Republican candidates for this November’s municipal elections. Among those receiving the unanimous endorsement of the Westport Republican Party are:
Board of Education
Liz Heyer and Vik Muktavaram
Board of Finance
Jay DesMarteau, James Foster, and Michael Guadarrama
Board of Assessment Appeals
Planning and Zoning Commission
Al Gratrix, Jon Olefson, Chip Stephens and Cathy Walsh
Zoning Board of Appeals
Tom Hood, Jr. and Liz Wong
“We are absolutely delighted with our strong slate of candidates,” noted Westport RTC Chairman Joe Sledge. “They are an extremely talented and accomplished group of individuals who, along with Westport’s successful First Selectman Jim Marpe and Second Selectwoman Jen Tooker, will work hard to protect Westport’s schools, property values and quality of life. Our candidates understand the challenges and opportunities facing Westport, and they are the best prepared, most qualified public servants to lead us forward.”
For more information, please visit www.westportrepublicans.com.
WESTPORT RTC EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE AND PROMINENT OFFICIALS OPPOSE STATE SENATE BILL MANDATING FORCED
REGIONALIZATION OF SCHOOLS
WESTPORT – January 29, 2019 – The Westport RTC’s Executive Committee and prominent Westport Republican officials announced today their strong opposition to the CT State Senate’s bill 454, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, Democrat from New Haven, which proposes the forced regionalization of school districts for towns with a population of less than 40,000. Westport currently has a population of approximately 28,000, and would therefore fall under the bill’s mandate.
“The achievement gap in the state of Connecticut is one of the worst in the country. This is an issue about which I care deeply,” said Westport Second Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker. “As such, I’ve spent much of my volunteer time on boards of various organizations across the state dedicated to closing this gap. State mandated regionalization of our schools for Westport and other towns is not a viable solution to this issue. Providing superior public education for our children has always been a clear priority for our community. Westporters demand accountability at a local level and would be frustrated by the addition of layers of regional bureaucracy. I believe this would be damaging to our town and our school system.”
Westport Board of Education member Vik Muktavaram stated, "No doubt there are serious issues of inequity of education in our state, and these issues must absolutely be addressed. However, regionalization will have the immediate impact of devastating Westport’s quality of education for which our town has come to be known. Addressing the fiscal crisis in the state should be the first priority to stop the loss of jobs and population from our state.”
“We are deeply concerned about new efforts by the Democrat Majority in Hartford to dictate how Westport educates our students,” declared Westport RTC Chairman Joe Sledge. “We firmly support efforts to improve education and reduce the achievement gap in our state, but we object to any bill that attempts to shift responsibility for years of failed management of our state budget onto our children and educators. There is no benefit to our children, our property values and our town’s fiscal health if this bill should become law. It is simply not designed to improve the quality of education in Westport. We urge our state legislators to reject this proposal.”
The Westport RTC will monitor this and other proposed legislation coming out of Hartford and will inform Westport’s citizens of their potential impact on our community. For more information, please visit us at www.westportrepublicans.org.
WESTPORT REPUBLICAN PARTY SEEKS CANDIDATES FOR
WESTPORT’S BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
WESTPORT, May 24, 2017 – The Westport Republican Town Committee (RTC) is now seeking candidates interested in running for the various Westport Boards and Commissions in this November’s local elections.
The RTC’s Municipal Boards Nominating Committee will be chaired by former Board of Finance member Ed Iannone, and will interview and recommend candidates for nomination for the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Education and the Board of Finance. Candidates interested in being interviewed for the Board of Education and Board of Finance should contact Ed Iannone at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, June 9th.
The RTC’s Land Use Nominating Committee will be chaired by former Planning and Zoning Commission member Jack Whittle and will interview and recommend candidates for nomination for the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Board of Assessment Appeals. Candidates interested in being interviewed by this committee should contact Jack Whittle at email@example.com by Friday, June 9.
To be considered for a nomination by the Westport RTC nominating committees, candidates must be a registered Republican voter in Westport. For general inquiries about the Westport RTC or about the positions available on the various Boards and Commissions, please contact Westport RTC chair Tim Wetmore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2017 Westport municipal elections will be held on November 7.
Congratulations to the 2016 Westport Republicans' Spring Gala honorees, Jennifer Tooker, Rick Towers and Cathy Walsh!
We deeply appreciate your service and dedication to our town.
CATHY WALSH RECEIVES GOP ENDORSEMENT FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE FOR THE 136TH DISTRICT IN WESTPORT
WESTPORT, May 18, 2016 – Cathy Walsh received tonight the unanimous endorsement of Republican electors at the GOP’s nominating caucus for State Representative for the 136th District in Westport. Walsh, a member of Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission, was formally nominated to be the Republican Party candidate by Planning and Zoning Commission Vice-Chair Jack Whittle and Chairman Chip Stephens.
“I am honored to receive the endorsement of Westport Republicans to be a candidate for the Connecticut State Legislature for the 136th District representing Westport,” stated Walsh. “Our state is in crisis, and we need strong, principled leadership in Hartford to turn Connecticut around. Governor Malloy and his allies have put the special interests ahead of taxpayers and the results have been devastating: two of the largest tax increases in the state’s history, and unconscionable cuts in services to the most vulnerable of our citizens. I want to put a stop to these reckless policies. You know me, and you know that I will stand up to Governor Malloy and fight for Westport.”
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe also added his endorsement of Cathy Walsh. “Cathy will be an extraordinary candidate and will go on to be an exceptional State Representative who will quickly become a leader in reforming our State’s fiscal and operational structure.”
About Cathy Walsh
Cathy Walsh is a 25-year Westport resident and a former Chairwoman and current member of Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Cathy is an outspoken and effective advocate on behalf of open space and conservation issues in Westport. On the Planning and Zoning Commission she chairs or co-chairs several key subcommittees, including Landscape, Senior Housing, and Open Space, among others. Under her chairmanship she successfully lobbied for and secured funding for the town-wide traffic study, and secured the funding for the Downtown Plan.
Cathy Walsh has been appointed by the First Selectman to the Downtown Steering Committee and the PIC. She is a past board member of the League of Women Voters, and Past Secretary of the Westport Republican Town Committee. Cathy has been an active volunteer in the Westport community, serving as a coach for youth swimming, cross country and soccer, and as a former board member of the Westport Soccer Association. Cathy was also a volunteer Athletic Director at Our Lady of Fatima School in Wilton for three years.
Cathy Walsh is a Steel Industry executive with more than 35 years of experience. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Russian from Penn State University, and is the proud mother of two daughters, Annie and Michelle, both Staples High School graduates.
Board of Ed Appoints New Member
WestportNow.com, Friday, February 12, 2016
The Westport Board of Education today appointed Vikas Muktavaram to replace Republican Paul Block, who resigned last month (See WestportNow Jan. 5, 2016), and Town Clerk Patricia Strauss immediately administered the oath of office in a Town Hall lobby ceremony. Muktavaram, 43, a Westport resident since 2009, was chief risk officer for an asset management company. He is married to Lavanya Bellumkonda, an assistant professor and cardiologist at the Yale School of Medicine. The couple has two children, Lyah, 11, and Anya, 8.
Pictured are (front row, l-r) Strauss, Eileen Flug, moderator, Representative Town Meeting; Muktavaram, BOE Chair Michael Gordon, and First Selectman Jim Marpe, (back row, l-r) BOE members Karen Kleine, Jeannie Smith, Mark Mathias and Brett Aronow.
Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
Westport News, Thursday, January 7, 2016
The only Westport elementary school that lacks air conditioning in the gymnasium and auditorium — a long-standing complaint by Coleytown students and parents — is a step closer to gaining that amenity after the Board of Finance unanimously approved $290,000 for the project Wednesday...Read More
WESTPORT REPUBLICAN TOWN COMMITTEE NOMINATES CANDIDATES
FOR WESTPORT BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS
From Left to Right: Michael Rea, Clarissa Moore and
Iain Bruce for Board of Finance
From Left to Right: Jack Whittle, Cathy Walsh, Al Gratrix and
Chip Stephens for Planning and Zoning
WESTPORT, July 27, 2015 – The members of the Westport Republican Town Committee (RTC) met Tuesday night to officially nominate Republican candidates for this November’s municipal elections. Among those receiving the unanimous endorsement of the Westport Republican Party are: Iain Bruce, Clarissa Moore and Michael Rea for Board of Finance; Paul Block for Board of Education; Al Gratrix, Chip Stephens, Cathy Walsh and Jack Whittle for Planning and Zoning Commission; Bill Harris for Zoning Board of Appeals; and Garson Heller for Board of Assessment Appeals. The RTC is also currently interviewing candidates for two additional Board of Zoning Appeals positions. The RTC nominated two placeholder candidates for the Board of Zoning Appeals while interviews are ongoing. “We are absolutely delighted with our strong slate of candidates heading into the November elections,” noted RTC Chairman Tim Wetmore. “Westporters have seen the positive results of strong Republican leadership on the Board of Selectman, the Board of Finance, and the Planning and Zoning Commission, and we are confident they will choose the Republican team to help lead Westport through the challenges and opportunities we face. Our candidates are experienced, dedicated to our community, and will serve Westport with distinction.” The nominated candidate slates were recommended by RTC Nominating Committees and then presented to the full RTC for consideration. The candidates will be on the ballot in Westport’s upcoming municipal elections on November 3, 2015.