Residents, if you want to contribute to decision making in our town you should consider attending and participating in RTM committee meetings on topics of interest to you.

Why? The RTM committees review any proposed ordinances, zoning reviews, or expenditures that must be approved by the RTM as a whole.  After the committee/committees approve a measure/expenditure, etc., an RTM member from the committee presents the the committee's recommendation on the agenda item to the full RTM.  Some RTM members say the recommendations carry little weight, and others think they are very important.  As a former RTM member explained, "in my two terms, I can think of only one or two times when the body voted against a committee's recommendation."  Some say that committee work is the most important contribution that any RTM member can make.  And you have the right to participate in these meetings too!

The town website lists committee members and longer committee descriptions here. I've incorporated that information below and added email addresses and examples of issues the committees have considered. A calendar with upcoming RTM Committee meeting dates is on the town website here. The committees are listed in order of how many times they met in 2017, from highest (13) to lowest (0).

Finance Committee

SCOPE:    Observes Board of Finance meetings and reviews appropriations over $20,000, budgets, financial policies and practices, and long-term financial planning.
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED:    Most issues before the RTM go through the Finance Committee first, possibly along with other subject-area committees. Examples include improvements to pavilion and restrooms at Compo Beach, police and firefighter pension agreements, infrastructure improvements, and yearly budgets.
MEMBERS:    Jeff Wieser (Chair), Lee Arthurs, Seth Braunstein, Greg Kraut, Christine Meiers Schatz, Lauren Soloff, Cathy Talmadge
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   13
EMAIL:    RTM-Finance@westportct.gov

Public Protection Committee

SCOPE:    Reviews policies, operations, and budget appropriations related to the Police and Fire Departments
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED:  Kroll school-safety study, police and fire department pension agreements, appropriation for new a centralized dispatch center
MEMBERS:   Jimmy Izzo (Chair), Seth Braunstein, Andrew Colabella, Kristan Hamlin, Nicole Klein, Louis Mall, Elizabeth Moriarty
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   6
EMAIL:   RTM-PProtection@westportct.gov

Public Works

SCOPE:    Reviews appropriations related to the Department of Public Works and the Public Site and Building Commission
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED: Sidewalk installation and improvements, sewer extensions, relocation of Parker Harding dumpsters
MEMBERS:   Jay Keenan (Chair), Andrew Colabella, Peter Gold, Lyn Hogan, Jack Klinge, Louis Mall, Matthew Mandell, Chris Tait, Cathy Talmadge
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:  6
EMAIL:   RTM-PWorks@westportct.gov

Ordinance

SCOPE:    Reviews the language (not the merits) of any proposed ordinance or amendment
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED: Language of the competitive bidding ordinance and the proposed coyote removal and tracking ordinance
MEMBERS:   Lauren Karpf (Chair), Lee Arthurs, Brandi Briggs, Peter Gold, Elizabeth Moriarty, Neil Phillips, Kristin Schneeman
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   5
EMAIL:   RTM-Ordinance@westportct.gov

Environment

SCOPE:    Initiates and/or studies legislation related to improving the ecological environment in Westport and reviews related budget appropriations
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED:  ban on plastic bags, pesticide ordinances for public areas, net zero community commitment
MEMBERS:   Wendy Batteau (Chair), Diane Cady, Andrew Colabella, Nicole Klein, Karen Kramer, Ellen Lautenberg, Matthew Mandell, Carla Rea, Lauren Soloff, Cathy Talmadge
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   4
EMAIL:   RTM-Environment@westportct.gov

Parks and Recreation

SCOPE:    Reviews policies and budget appropriations related to recreational facilities and recreational programs
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED:  improvement of Compo Beach pavilion roof and bathrooms, dredging compo basin
MEMBERS:   Chris Tait (Chair), Jessica Bram, Seth Braunstein, Jimmy Izzo, Lauren Karpf, Jack Klinge, Lisa Parrelli Gray, Kristin Purcell, Carla Rea
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   4
EMAIL:   RTM-PR@westportct.gov

Transit

SCOPE:    Reviews operations and appropriations related to the Westport Transit District and parking in town (including at train stations)
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED:  Saugatuck transit-oriented development study, review transit and railroad parking budgets
MEMBERS:   Peter Gold (Chair), Jessica Bram, Charles Carey, Kristan Hamlin, Amy Kaplan, Lisa Parrelli Gray, Jeff Wieser
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   4
EMAIL:   RTM-Transit@westportct.gov

Employee Compensation

SCOPE:    Observes major employment contract negotiations and makes recommendations to the RTM regarding the same
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED:  pension agreements for police and fire departments, employment-related arbitration awards
MEMBERS:   Louis Mall (Chair), Lee Arthurs, Peter Gold, Jimmy Izzo, Jay Keenan, Greg Kraut, Lauren Soloff
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   3
EMAIL:   RTM-ECompensation@westportct.gov

Library, Museum, and Arts

SCOPE:    Reviews operations and budget appropriations related to the library, Earthplace, and any municipal museum or arts council/programs
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED:  review library and Earthplace budgets, interview and vote on the library Board of Trustees
MEMBERS:   Brandi Briggs (Chair), Lee Arthurs, Wendy Batteau, Charles Carey, Mark Friedman, Amy Kaplan, Nicole Klein, Monique Lions-Greenspan, Kristin Purcell
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   3
EMAIL:   RTM-LMA@westportct.gov

Education

SCOPE:    observes Board of Education meetings and reviews school budget and school-related appropriations.
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED:  carryover account policies, school budget restoration
MEMBERS:   Neil Phillips (Chair), Mark Friedman, Lyn Hogan, Brandi Briggs, Lauren Karpf, Jack Klinge, Ellen Lautenberg, Elizabeth Moriarty, Kristin Schneeman
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   2
EMAIL:   RTM-Education@westportct.gov

Health and Human Services

SCOPE:    reviews policies and budget appropriations related to health and welfare matters for Westport residents
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED:  senior center enhancements, review budget for the Westport Weston Health District
MEMBERS:   Jack Klinge (Chair), Wendy Batteau, Jessica Bram, Diane Cady, Andrew Colabella, Amy Kaplan, Kristin Schneeman, Chris Tait, Jeff Wieser
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   2
EMAIL:   RTM-HHServices@westportct.gov

Information Technology

SCOPE:    reviews issues and budget appropriations related to town IT
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED:  review IT budget
MEMBERS:   Charles Carey (Chair), Monique Lions-Greenspan, Christine Meiers Schatz,
Matthew Mandell
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   1
EMAIL:   RTM-IT@westportct.gov

Planning and Zoning

SCOPE:    reviews budget appropriations and certain policies and decisions related to town planning and zoning
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED:  review budgets for Planning & Zoning, Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Historic District Commission, review negative P&Z report regarding the Gunn House, review P&Z decision regarding Baron's South
MEMBERS:   Matthew Mandell (Chair), Wendy Batteau, Seth Braunstein, Diane Cady, Jay Keenan, Karen Kramer, Greg Kraut, Neil Phillips, Carla Rea
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   1 (But note that this committee can meet 2-3 times in a month alone if the RTM reviews a P&Z decision)
EMAIL:   RTM-PZ@westportct.gov

Long-Range Planning

SCOPE:    brainstorm and consider issues related to long-term planning and improvements
EXAMPLES OF ISSUES CONSIDERED:  “Whatever is of interest to committee members for the future of Westport”
MEMBERS:   Lyn Hogan (Chair), Peter Gold, Kristan Hamlin, Jack Klinge, Karen Kramer, Monique Lions-Greenspan, Matthew Mandell, Lisa Parrelli Gray, Kristin Purcell
NUMBER OF MEETINGS IN 2017:   0
EMAIL:   RTM-LRPlanning@westportct.gov

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The RTM has a "Rules" Committee and a "Special Ethics" Committee as well.  Although there's no description of these committees on the official RTM website, section A162-16 of the RTM Rules of Procedure provides that the "Responsibilities and duties of the Rules Committee are to report to the Representative Town Meeting upon the appropriateness of proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure and upon such other matters as the Moderator of the Representative Town Meeting may refer to it" (emphasis added).  The Ethics Committee is a special committee formed by the Moderator each term and not a standing committee.  It met several times over the years to debate adopting a code of ethics, which was adopted in 2013 as Sections A162-20.1 - A162-20.3 of the RTM Rules of Procedure.
Looking back at archived meeting minutes and agendas, I couldn't find the last time that either of these committees met.  But if they do end up meeting in the next two years I will add more robust descriptions to this page.

DISCLAIMER: This is not an official town website