A large crowd on hand for the swearing-in of elected officials. / Photos by Thane Grauel
A large crowd on hand for the swearing-in of elected officials. / Photos by Thane Grauel

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — Dozens of recently elected officials, some newly minted and others well-seasoned, were sworn in Monday night in the Town Hall auditorium.

The large space was filled with those who won election or re-election Nov. 7 to several town boards and commissions, as well as proud relatives, friends and community members, including a row of Webelos scouts.

When taking the stage for the oath of office administered by First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker or Town Clerk Jeffrey Dunkerton, electees were invited to bring along people important to them. Several brought their spouses, children or grandchildren onstage.

Some youngsters also raised their right hands when it came time for the oath, though they won’t likely get a vote when it comes to matters before the various land-use, legislative and other town bodies.

First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker swears in newly elected Board of Finance members Liz Heyer, Danielle Dobin and Rich Hightower.
First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker swears in newly elected Board of Finance members Liz Heyer, Danielle Dobin and Rich Hightower.
Board of Education members Lee Goldstein, Neil Phillips and Jill Dillon.
Board of Education members Lee Goldstein, Neil Phillips and Jill Dillon.
Joseph Sledge of the Board of Assessment Appeals.
Joseph Sledge of the Board of Assessment Appeals.
Paul Lebowitz, Michael Calise, Patrizia Zucaro and Amie Tesler of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Paul Lebowitz, Michael Calise, Patrizia Zucaro and Amie Tesler of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Zoning Board of Appeals members Liz Wong, James Ezzes and Michelle Hopson.
Zoning Board of Appeals members Liz Wong, James Ezzes and Michelle Hopson.

“It is our elected officials that make all the difference,” Rabbi Yehuda Kantor of Chabad of Westport said during the invocation. “It’s our leaders that help foster the great American ideals of democracy, freedom, justice and equality for all, regardless of race, religion or national origin.”

Town Clerk Jeffrey Dunkerton swears in Andrew Bloom, Matthew Mandell and Kristin Mott Purcell of District 1.
Town Clerk Jeffrey Dunkerton swears in Andrew Bloom, Matthew Mandell and Kristin Mott Purcell of Representative Town Meeting District 1.
District 2's Melissa Levy, Louis M. Mall, Jay Keenan and Mike Perry.
District 2’s Melissa Levy, Louis M. Mall, Jay Keenan and Mike Perry.
Jimmy Izzo, Don O'Day and Ross Burkhardt of District 3.
Jimmy Izzo, Don O’Day and Ross Burkhardt of District 3.
Andrew Colabella, Clarence Hayes and Noah Hammond of District 4.
Andrew Colabella, Clarence Hayes and Noah Hammond of District 4.
Dick Lowenstein, Peter Gold and Karen A. Kramer of District 5.
Dick Lowenstein, Peter Gold and Karen A. Kramer of District 5.
Seth Braunstein and David Rosenwaks of District 6.
Seth Braunstein and David Rosenwaks of District 6.
Lauren Karpf, Brandi Briggs, Ellen Lautenberg and Jack Klinge of District 7.
Lauren Karpf, Brandi Briggs, Ellen Lautenberg and Jack Klinge of District 7.
Ari D. Benmosche, Wendey Batteau, Rachel Steel Cohn and Julie Uman Whamond of District 8.
Ari D. Benmosche, Wendey Batteau, Rachel Steel Cohn and Julie Uman Whamond of District 8.
Jennifer Johnson, Sal Liccione and Kristin Schneeman of District 9.
Jennifer Johnson, Sal Liccione and Kristin Schneeman of District 9.

“Your unique life experiences, your dedication to our town and to the people of Westport, and your desire to serve your community brought you here today,” Tooker told the members of the Board of Finance, Board of Education, Board of Assessment Appeals, Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and the Representative Town Meeting.

“These will guide you in your goals going forward, whether it’s your first time or your fifth, or even more, it’s hard not to feel the magnitude of this moment,” she said.

David Rosenwalks, newly elected to District 6, with wife Liz and their girls, Ava, 7, and Ella, 5.
David Rosenwaks, newly elected to RTM District 6, with wife Liz and their girls, Ava, 7, and Ella, 5.

“We have the most amazing residents,” Tooker said. “Involved, savvy, sophisticated and caring. So, tonight, you take an oath to serve all these Westporters to the best of your ability. And in the true spirit of public service, to try and make our wonderful community just a little bit better tomorrow than it was yesterday.”

“It’s an awesome responsibility,” Tooker said. “And one I know we all collectively take very seriously.”

Thane Grauel grew up in Westport and has been a journalist in Fairfield County and beyond for 35 years. Reach him at editor@westportjournal.com. Learn more about us here.