Three New Members Appointed to the Westport RTM

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT an official town website. 

Happy Labor Day!  The regularly-scheduled RTM meeting on September 4th was cancelled, but I have other newsworthy information to share in lieu of an agenda summary.  As you might already know, three individuals were appointed to the RTM over the summer:

Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 3.45.13 PMCatherine Calise (District 2):  Catherine Calise is a native Westporter whose family has lived in Westport since the early 1900s.  She previously served on the RTM for six years, with her most recent term ending in 2017.  Ms. Calise is a Realtor and Financial Advisor, with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from U.C. Santa Barbara.   This term, she looks forward to “helping Westport implement important, valuable changes while still maintaining the character and charm of the town we all love.”  Ms. Calise was appointed to fill the vacancy left by former RTM member Neil Phillips, who now serves on the Westport Board of Education. (photo from WestportNow.com)

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 3.44.45 PMArline P. Gertzoff (District 3):  Arline P. Gertzoff is a 62-year resident of Westport.   Ms. Gertzoff is a retired teacher, having taught in the New Canaan Public Schools and in Belgium through the Antwerp International School’s International Baccalaureate Programme.  She also worked as a substitute teacher in the Westport and Weston Public Schools and at St. Lukes School in New Canaan.  Ms. Gertzoff is a longtime volunteer of the Westport Library, a member of a local political organization, and a board member of both the United Nations Association of Southwestern Connecticut and a women’s political group.  Ms. Gertzoff was appointed after Lyn Hogan resigned due to professional obligations.  (photo from WestportNow.com)

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 3.45.03 PMLois Schine (District 8):  Lois Schine has lived in Westport for over sixty years and served on the RTM for eighteen years, with her most recent term ending in 2015.  She holds two degrees in engineering and worked in the field for numerous employers including General Electric and the University of Bridgeport, where she taught engineering.  Ms. Schine was also the president of the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce and the chairwoman of the Human Services Commission.   Currently, she is part of the Westport Downtown Implementation Committee and the Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities.  Ms. Schine was appointed after Elizabeth Moriarty relocated with her family to California.  (photo from WestportNow.com)

 

With these changes in membership, the Westport RTM has 22 female and 14 male members who, collectively, are involved in over 35 different non-profit or community service organizations.

The members come from different professional backgrounds and include at least:

  • 9 attorneys,
  • 9 finance industry professionals,
  • 8 teachers, including a retired principal,
  • 7 business owners,
  • 5 realtors or real-estate-related professionals,
  • 4 municipal or municipal finance professionals,
  • 4 current or former sports coaches,
  • 3 artists, including 2 writer/editors and 1 fine artist,
  • 2 presidents (one current and one former) of the Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce,
  • 1 engineer,
  • 1 medical and social policy professional, and
  • 1 architect.

As of the 2017 election date, the age range of the current RTM members was 28 to 90 and the mean and median ages were approximately 58 and 57, respectively.  By comparison, the mean and median ages of the 2015-2017 RTM when elected were 57 and 55, respectively, and the mean and median ages of the original 2017-2019 RTM when elected were 55 and 53, respectively.

According to the 2010 Census, the median age of Westport residents was 44.6.

This chart below compares the distribution of the approximate ages of the members as of the election for the pertinent term.

# of RTM members (2)

As you can see, the age ranges of the members of the current 2017-2019 RTM and the original 2017-2019 RTM are wider and more dispersed than the age range of the members of the 2015-2017 RTM.  While age is only one measure of diversity amongst a group, this increased variance seems like a positive development.  As noted this weekend in a New York Times article, diversified groups of individuals tend to come up with more solutions to problems, which generally results in better decision-making.

I look forward to continuing to serve this term with such a distinguished group of individuals.

It is possible that there will be two RTM meetings in October due to the large number of agenda items in the pipeline.  I’ll update you with agenda summaries at the end of the month.

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT an official town website.