With 32 of its 36 members present, Westport’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight unanimously elected Velma Heller as it moderator and Jeff Wieser deputy moderator.
Both have held the positions for the past four months, with Heller, who had been deputy moderator, taking the helm after former moderator Eileen Lavigne Flug took the post of assistant town attorney. At the same time Wieser was elected deputy moderator.
Tonight’s vote comes with new RTM convening with 12 new members elected in November.
Senior RTM member Jack Klinge, who has served 20 years on the legislative body, presided over the election of Heller. She was nominated by Neil Phillips of District 2, who described Heller as “a tireless, thoughtful and pragmatic individual.”
RTM member Jimmy Izzo seconded the Heller’s nomination
“I cannot think of a kinder, more gentler person with an ability to lead,” Izzo said, lauding Heller as one with “a calming voice and demeanor as a leader.”
Speaking for the public, First Selectman Jim Marpe reiterated the comments about Heller. He described her as “someone who can really mentor others and be a calm voice in the heat of the moment.”
As he did four months ago, RTM member Lou Mall of District 2 nominated Wieser, who has served on the body since 2007, for deputy moderator.
“Jeff has always been a moderating voice on the RTM,” Mall said.
RTM member Wendy Batteau seconded Wieser’s nomination.
– James Lomuscio