Letter To The Editor …

Nov 8, 2021 | Government, Opinion, Politics | 10 comments

To The Editor:

I’d like to clarify comments attributed to me by this publication on Election Night.

I thought I had been sufficiently explicit about my wariness in taking on responsibilities if I lacked confidence in my ability to fulfill the obligations required. That’s why, had I won the selectman’s race, I would have resigned as state Representative, knowing that I’d been unable to do justice to both jobs. Activities during session, particularly for a committee chair, would have required sacrificing one position or the other.

Similarly, when confronted with the prospect of being sworn in as Third Selectperson, I had to consider my availability to do the job during session, even if the responsibilities were significantly less burdensome. It wouldn’t have been fair to Westporters to be absent for an extended period. So, obviously, I’d be inclined to keep the Representative job, serving the people of Westport as I have for over a decade.

I certainly didn’t think I implied that the Third Selectperson role wasn’t important. I’m confident that Westport will have an excellent person in that role. And I wish the new administration all the best.

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg


  1. Bart Shuldman

    The role and responsibilities of a State Rep in CT is a part time job. Just look it up. Many members of the House in CT have other jobs at the same time they fulfill their responsibilities as a member of the House.

    Mr. Steinberg could easily fulfill his role as State Rep and 3rd Selectman if he really cared about Westport. But Westporters now know the real Steinberg as he turns his back on the town. All you have to do is look at his votes over the years to raise state income taxes on his neighbors, vote to cut yearly state funds to Westport schools and his desire not to help Westport with the burdensome 8-30g legislation to know how Steinberg feels about Westport and the residents.

    CT State Representatives and State Senators are part time jobs. That is the truth and the truth is Steinberg does not want to help Westport or he would gladly accept the 3rd Selectman role.

    • MElanie

      Let’s not encourage him to accept the position by continuing to criticize his decision not to. Westport dodged two bullets resulting from his hubris. Stop poking the bear.

  2. Charlie Haberstroh

    Past administrations have shown some flexibility in scheduling critical votes when full attendance of the three selectmen is important. A quorum for the BOS is two members, so that most meetings can be held on a regular scheduled basis even if a member cannot make a particular meeting. Jonathan and the rest of us who would serve in volunteer positions in Westport’s government can resign at any time for any reason. The way he did it, first without telling the voters that he would only serve if elected and second, how he chose words at the time of his defeat, reveal much about his nature. Career politicians often try to re-write history when they misspeak. His next election is November 2022, when the voters will speak.

  3. kandi rizzoto

    Steinberg’s statements demeaning the third Selectman job as “tiny” and refusing to be a “third wheel” are obnoxious and reveal a lot about his character and temperament. How is it that the DTC chair did such a poor job in vetting him? Why didn’t she ask if he’d be willing to act as third selectman if he lost?

    I’m shocked there weren’t better Democrat candidates available. Although maybe I’m not so surprised, since the RTC let Harrington slip through the cracks.

    I hope both the DTC and RTC vote for new, better leadership this winter. Westport can do better.

  4. Gloria Gouveia

    Since as has been pointed out, there may be times when Representative Steinberg’s duties and responsibilities on a state level might conflict with local interests, wouldn’t filling both offices risk the appearance of a conflict of interests?

  5. TOmmy Gun

    DONT Worry TEEN WOLF will fill the role!

  6. Darcy

    Jonathan Steinberg had my vote – as well as the votes of half the people who went to the polls this election. We are disappointed he won’t be bringing Westport values on a municipal level – we can really use his courage right now, as our current leaders have proven that they are unwilling to speak against racist groups that spread propaganda and seek to undermine our students and teachers. Jim and Jen have been notoriously aloof and non-inclusive to Democrats, despite their claims of “people over parties.” For this reason and others, I much prefer knowing Jonathan is continuing to fight for our town as State Rep in Hartford, where he has already brought so much safety and security to this town through his work on the Health Commission and by fighting for line items that directly enhance Westport. Everyone needs to make a difference where they can. As Third Selectman, he would not only need to compromise his work in Hartford, but he would be marginalized and shut out by Jen and Andrea. As State Rep, he will be doing the valuable work Westport needs.

  7. Jimmy Izzo

    I don’t know why some people continue to use the word “Westport Values” as owned my one candidate and his supporters? My Family has been in this community for over 100 years. Between my Izzo and Gilbertie sides of the tree, I find it insulting that those of us who supported Jen and Andrea had to face a brutal barrage of “value questioning.”
    Seems to be a lot of “Trumpism” on one small loud side of this community. In The WEstport I know, we work hard to help others, we don’t a “letter” in front of one’s political party to define the human being and bodies of work and worth.
    I look forward to Jonathan Steinberg and his Hartford “connections” in now taking a “lead” on our state road traffic wows in helping to “synch” our Post Road traffic lights. I also will be looking to see Jonathan and Will Haskell both take “LEADS” in modification of 8-30g. which under current law we will NEVER be in control of local zoning when it comes to affordable housing.
    As for “Public Health” I hope to see the irresponsible votes in favor of legalization of Marijuana by Mr. Steinberg and Mr. Haskell be modified as well, there is NO law against “driving smoking marijuana.” You just can’t be stoned!! Yes, a health crisis as police cannot act, they must react to an accident. We don’t drive with open alcohol, we should NOT be able to drive with a joint or vape! Take a lead on getting this law RIGHT!
    It’s time for Mr. Steinberg and Mr. Haskell to “lead for Westport” in Hartford going forward and not fall in line with their majority Party and the continued extraction of dollars and silence when it comes to our community Work with Westport for Westport.
    The Tooker Moore administration like the Marpe-Tooker and Marpe- Kaner Administrations before, will continue the work in progress of a Westport moving forward for all WEstporters. WEstport “values” should never be hijacked of claimed by anyone, because they belong to everyone.

    • Jay Walshon

      That was well stated.

      The only thing I would add to this conversation is to simply reiterate my prior comment:

      Despite his disappointment, and without diminishing the value of his opinions which can still be expressed, TJ should recognize that his 67 votes meaningfully represent Westport’s lack of desire for his BoS leadership.

      Although he might create argument, I suspect Mr. Elgin understands this as well.

      Jen & Andrea have the potential to provide ALL Westport’s residents with outstanding executive branch leadership, and under the current circumstance should be afforded the opportunity to best compliment that goal in the most efficient and effective fashion.

      Rather than seeking a legal “loophole” I would hope that Mr. Elgin removes self-interest and instead supports our newly elected leadership in deciding the important 3rd position selection.

      That’s what love of WEstport is about.


      Dr J

      • kandi rizzoto

        We can agree to disagree. I think the center/right of center in Westport, although more aligned with TJ, chose to vote for Tooker/Moore to block Steinberg. If there were a more palatable alternative, I think we would have seen many more votes for TJ.


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