Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff today issued the following statement:
"Today I am announcing that I will not be a candidate for re-election in November.
"As someone who grew up in Westport, it has been a special honor and privilege to serve my fellow citizens for two terms as the chief elected official. I am deeply indebted for the confidence shown in me. The challenges have been great, but the rewards have been even greater in the town I proudly call home.
"After almost 22 years in elected office in Westport, including 10 as Moderator of the Representative Town Meeting and eight as First Selectman, I look forward to spending more time with family, taking some time off, and pursuing other opportunities.
"When Shelly Kassen and I came into office in November 2005, our goal was to make Westport an even better place in the exciting early years of the 21st century. With the help of so many others, we believe that we have accomplished that goal.
"Westport remains one of the most desirable places to live, not just in Connecticut but the United States. Westport is also one of the safest, thanks to our highly trained, well equipped, and extremely dedicated police, fire and EMS personnel. Public safety has always been my No. 1 priority. Westport enjoys many other superb municipal services, thanks to our deeply committed town employees.
"Our schools continue to be a top-rated, making Westport a lighthouse school district that others envy. They have always had our strongest support.
"There are major projects under way that Shelly and I hope will flourish in the months and years ahead. These especially include the senior housing on Baron’s South, as well as the building of a new Levitt Pavilion, expansion of the Westport Public Library, a new Westport Weston Family Y, a new movie theater downtown, and general revitalization of our downtown and Saugatuck areas.
"In the remaining months of our term, Shelly and I will continue to work vigorously to pursue these and other projects. An anticipated change in town leadership must not be an excuse to stop or slow down the progress we have made."
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Board of Finance Chair Avi Kaner made the following comment regarding First Selectman Joseloff's statement:
"As a Westport resident, I thank Gordon for his incredible dedication to our town. While Gordon and I were both elected eight years ago, I have gotten to know him even better since the 2011 election. We have been meeting on a weekly basis since I became the chairman of the Board of Finance. Our regular dialogue has benefitted Westport in many ways. We have jointly reformed our pension plans, supported important projects, and nursed our finances to a better place. I wish Gordon the best in all of his future endeavors."