The Representative Town Meeting.
The Representative Town Meeting.

By Thane Grauel

WESTPORT — Jeff Wieser on Tuesday night was re-elected moderator of the Representative Town Meeting.

It was the first meeting of the newly constituted RTM since the Nov. 7 election. The town’s legislative body has six new members and there was some housekeeping to get done. In addition to choosing leaders, there was an orientation for new members about the numerous committees, and Freedom of Information Act requirements.

Jimmy Izzo of District 3 nominated Wieser for another term as moderator.

Jeff Wieser.
Jeff Wieser

“The moderator must have thick skin to keep everything inclusive, and understand that we debate with passion, honesty and always with the goal of putting the interests of our community, residents and employees first,” Izzo said. “Not easy to moderate, but Jeff has done an excellent job.

Wieser, of District 4, was first elected to the leadership post two years ago. Before that, he was deputy moderator for four years.

Deputy Moderator Lauren Karpf of District 7 was re-elected to that post. She replaced Wieser in the role when he moved up to moderator.

“He has a great temperament, the smarts, the ability to listen, and lead this group with compassion and integrity,” Izzo said. “I hope you all will join me in re-electing Jeff Wieser as our moderator for this term.”

Lauren Karpf.
Lauren Karpf

The vote was 29-0, with Sal Liccione, District 9, abstaining.

“Lauren is a quiet leader,” Nancy Kail of District 9 said. “She works behind the scenes to solve problems and make sure the RTM runs efficiently and harmoniously. Many of us count Lauren as the go-to when we are confused or frustrated. And I know Lauren doesn’t only counsel and mediate within the RTM, she does this in other parts of town as well …

“Lauren is the epitome of moderation,” Kail said. “Lauren cares a lot about the RTM and takes her work on it seriously.”

Karpf was re-elected 30-0.

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.