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Westport Selectman Wins Top Spot on Regional Body

WESTPORT, Conn. – Westport First Selectman Gordon Joseloff is expanding his reach beyond Westport. On Thursday, Joseloff was elected chairman of the South Western Regional Metropolitan Planning Organization, an announcement from his office said.

The organization, known as MPO, is responsible for planning, programming and coordination of federal highway and transit investments in the southwest region of the state. Its members include directors of the region's transit districts and the top elected officials of the eight communities that make up SWRPA, the South Western Regional Planning Agency. These communities are Westport, Weston, Wilton, New Canaan, Darien, Greenwich, Norwalk and Stamford.

"I am deeply honored by the confidence shown in me by my fellow CEOs to lead this important organization," Joseloff said. "While we may be little known to the public, the [Metropolitan Planning Organization] is crucial to improving the transportation infrastructure which is so critical to the economic viability of our region."

Former Westport First Selectman Diane Farrell also served as chairman of the organization during her time in office. Joseloff, who previously served as vice chairman of the organization, succeeds outgoing New Canaan First Selectman Jeb Walker.

Joseloff said he intended to continue efforts first begun under Farrell and continued by Walker to combine the Metropolitan Planning Organization and the South Western Regional Planning Agency into a South West Council of Governments. Such a structure, which would be headed by municipal CEOs, has been adopted by a majority of the other regional planning agencies in the state, Joseloff said.

"I think a Council of Governments structure would make the elected CEOs more directly responsible and streamline SWRPA operations while retaining the important contributions of our planning commissions and professional planners in our member municipalities," he said.

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