Cormier to lead Westport Council on Aging

The Board of Selectmen last week unanimously selected Toni-Ann Corimer to serve as the new director of the Westport Council on Aging.

She replaces Mary Ellen Gomes who served two stints totaling 13 years before announcing her retirement recently. Ms. Gomes took the job in 1995, left in 2004, and returned in 2008.

Previously working as the activities director at the Dartmouth Council on Aging, Ms. Cormier brings a decade of elder services experience to the job. She had also worked as business manager for The Cedars assisted living center in Dartmouth and as a clerk and volunteer coordinator for the Westport Council on Aging.

A graduate of Westport High School, Ms. Cormier recently earned a degree in social work from Boston University and also holds certifications in gerontology and outreach.

She told the selectmen that she is familiar with the culture of Westport, having grown up on a farm in town.

Asked about challenges facing the COA, she listed budget pressures and the need to better spread the word about services that are available and the good work done by the COA. She said that residents often visit the center and say they had no idea about the breadth of services and activities available there.

Before voting, the selectmen said they had received 19 applications for the position. screening committee led by Selectman R. Michael Sullivan narrowed that field to seven finalists, two of whom eventually withdrew from consideration.

Mr. Sullivan reported that the lengthy and thorough process produced a number of high quality candidates.

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