Long-time Darien RTM member retires; write-in candidates sought
DARIEN — Long-time Representative Town Meeting member Joan Davis, 91, is retiring after serving on the body for 34 years.
Moderator Seth Morton announced the retirement at Monday’s RTM meeting, during which he read a proclamation from First Selectman Jayme Stevenson declaring Monday, Oct. 19 as “Joan Davis Day.”
According to the proclamation, Davis has been a resident of Darien since she was in preschool. She was initially elected to the 1986 and has served on the Education Committee and the Planning, Zoning & Housing Committee.
Davis is also a member of the Darien League of Women Voters, handled its press releases and authored “Seeds of Change,” a history of the league for its 75th anniversary. Davis is a published journalist and has been a world traveler. She is an active parishioner at St. Luke’s Church in Darien.
Davis, a former substitute teacher, said this week she enjoyed being on the RTM’s Education Committee.
“I’m very interested in education and it really gave me an outlet for that,” she said. “I worked on spending more money for education, to put it bluntly, because I think the schools are a vital part of the town.”
“I’m sad, but I think at 91, it’s about time. I think it’s time,” Davis added.
As to why she wanted to join the RTM, she said she has always been interested in politics.
“I was a government major and I worked in the CIA so I have that interest. I like being involved in town politics,” Davis said.
At the same meeting, Assistant Town Clerk Lisa Buxton noted there are several districts with vacancies on the RTM, including Districts 1, 4, 5 and 6. District 2 currently has a contested seat.
Write-in candidates can register with the Town Clerk’s office up until noon on Nov. 2. Write-in candidates must have 25 votes to be elected.
Residents who are uncertain of their district can search the town website database.
“Joining the RTM is a great way to get involved in running your town,” said RTM Moderator Seth Morton.
The RTM has 100 members and acts as the legislative body for Darien, reviewing and voting on spending plans and monitoring the operation of town government.
“The RTM is great training for involvement in town government. At the same time, you will meet people who have been involved in major Town Boards,” said long-time RTM member and League of Women Voters President Clara Sartori. “It is a good way to meet other like-minded people. It is public service and an opportunity to influence what happens in Darien.”
The RTM is a non-partisan body so members are elected and serve regardless of their political party affiliation. Elected members serve two-year terms and half of the body is elected each year.
If seats are unfilled after the election, the districts may caucus to select new members, filling out each district’s apportioned number of seats.
For more information contact the Town Clerk’s office at 203-656-7307.