In light of the recent announcement that she will not be seeking re-election, the Darien Republican Town Committee would like to express sincere, heartfelt thanks to First Selectman Jayme Stevenson for her years of tireless service to the town of Darien and her inspiring leadership.
Serving as a Selectman from 2009 to 2011 before being elected First Selectman in 2011, Stevenson’s remarkable 12 year tenure will be long remembered as a period of amazing progress and prosperity for Darien, punctuated by many notable successes as well as challenges along the way, where her open and steady leadership proved to be invaluable. Whether managing the fallout from a crushing winter storm, a power outage, or the unthinkable COVID-19 Pandemic, First Selectman Stevenson showed herself to be a steadfast and collaborative leader who worked around the clock to ensure our town was safe and well-managed.
Jayme Stevenson is enormously respected and has proven herself, time and again, to be a highly effective municipal CEO who is laser-focused on pursuing the best interests of Darien. Through collaborative leadership, strategic thinking, and a track record of holding taxes to a lower level while expanding and improving services, Jayme has earned the trust and respect not only of Darien’s residents, business owners, town employees, but also a long, bi-partisan list of local, state, and federal government officials.
Through prudent fiscal stewardship, Stevenson has helped deliver historically low budget increases, further supporting Darien’s all-important AAA credit rating. With the help of an exceptional team, she accomplished this by strictly requiring justification of all town department operating and capital expenditures, negotiating meaningful changes to collective bargaining contracts and recruiting and retaining high-quality employees. Her tireless efforts to seek efficiencies have kept town operating costs down. And she accomplished all of this while keeping public safety and transportation issues at the forefront and encouraging commercial and residential development that has preserved Darien’s small, New England town character.
Throughout her tenure, Stevenson’s unwavering work ethic and consistent leadership always stood out. In recognition of these qualities, she held many leadership roles during her service with Western Connecticut Council of Governments, the Southwest Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, and Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency.
Stevenson represented Darien in a very positive way at the regional level with strength and vision. All the while, she always put the well-being of Darien at the forefront of her work.
Through her commitment to strong Republican ideals of smaller, smarter, accountable government, coupled with justified and limited spending, Jayme has proven herself to be a dedicated leader shepherding Darien forward in a planned, thoughtful, and intelligent way.
Republican Town Committee Chairman, Alexander Davidson, had the following to say in reaction to the news:
“The Republican Party of Darien, is grateful to Jayme Stevenson for the exemplary leadership she has provided to all Darienites over the past decade. During her highly successful tenure as First Selectman, our town has grown and thrived under her competent and collaborative stewardship. We should all recognize that it has not nearly been as easy or effortless as she always made it appear. The role of First Selectman truly transformed into a full time, ‘24/7’ job under her watch because Darien needed it, but also because she could handle it. Never was that more obvious than during the past 18 months. An unprecedented pandemic coupled with a global economic shutdown would have tested any municipal leader, but Jayme rose to the occasion and Darien is so much better off today because of that. She was a unifying force, a voice of calm reassurance and a beacon of strength when we all needed it most. Darien is forever in her debt,” stated Davidson.
The Darien Republican Town Committee’s responsibility is to recruit and support qualified, competent candidates for elected and appointed positions who firmly believe that all Darien residents are best served by a transparent, accountable, responsive, and fiscally prudent government.
The RTC has been interviewing and evaluating candidates for Selectmen, including First Selectman, for several months. The Darien RTC already has an exciting pool of well-qualified and well-known Darien town leaders, and additional endorsements will be announced in the coming weeks. However, as this is an extremely important role to represent, we are considering additional candidates to interview. If you wish to be considered for RTC endorsement for a Selectmen seat or First Selectmen, please visit the Darien Republicans’ website, fill out an application (under the opportunities tab), and submit it as soon as possible.