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More than one video camera taped Norwalk council meeting

Common Council member Michelle Maggio (R-District C) holds up a "barrier" to Norwalk Democrats briefly at Tuesday's meeting after it was announced that she is the new majority leader.

Common Council member Michelle Maggio (R-District C) holds up a “barrier” to Norwalk Democrats briefly at Tuesday’s meeting after it was announced that she is the new majority leader.

Updated, 9:03 a.m.

By Nancy Guenther Chapman

NORWALK, Conn. – Sure, there was a long discussion about a controversial topic (involving guess who? – ME) at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting. But what else happened?

Well:

  • It was announced that freshman Common Council member Michelle Maggio (R-District C) is the new majority leader.
  • Common Council member Sarah Mann (R-At Large), a replacement for Joanne Romano, had her first meeting. Fun – it went past 11:30 p.m.
  • There was a video camera aimed at Common Council member David Watts (D-District A) throughout the meeting – by another council member.
  • Common Council member Fred Bondi (R-At Large) spent at least five minutes sleeping during the public comment portion of the meeting.
  • The seating arrangement was switched around. Most Democrats are now sitting where the Republicans used to sit. Oddly, the name plate of Common Council member Anna Duleep (D-At Large) was missing.
  • Common Council member Bruce Kimmel (D-District D) did not change seats. He stayed in the same place he has had since being elected in 2010, on the end, sitting with Republicans now. Kimmel, who has expressed dissatisfaction with the Democratic caucus, is now caucusing with the Republicans, according to The Hour.
Common Council member Fred Bondi (R-At Large) takes a nap Tuesday evening as a member of the public talks about Washington Village at the council meeting.

Common Council member Fred Bondi (R-At Large) takes a nap Tuesday evening as a member of the public talks about Washington Village at the council meeting.

Maggio was sitting next to Democrat Matt Miklave and the rest of the Democratic caucus. When Council President Doug Hempstead announced her new position, he joked that she put a barrier up. Maggio held up a sheet of paper for a moment. He also said Republicans had picked their most attractive member to be leader.

Watts interrupted the public speaking portion of the meeting to ask why there was a video camera pointed at him from in front of Common Council member David McCarthy (R-District E). Mayor Richard Moccia replied, “It’s freedom of the press,” drawing laughter and some applause.

Common Council member Warren Peña objected to the comment. “That is not the press, that is a council member,” he said. “I recall that, at one of our first meetings Mr. Bondi and Mr. Kydes had some issue with signs and TVs over here, and you told them to shut it down. Now you have a video camera specifically pointed at our caucus here, or at the Democrats, I think it’s just very inappropriate and very childish.”

That drew applause.

“All I can tell you is that it’s an open chamber,” Moccia said. “… This is  not a private conversation.”

A video camera was shortly thereafter placed on the table in front of Peña, pointed back in McCarthy’s direction. It stayed there for about half the meeting.

Watts said afterward that he requested the change in the seating arrangement. He had been sitting in the middle and is now on the end of the right side. He said he asked for the change because he didn’t like sitting next to Republicans.

And, oh, there was another little thing: There were placards on the press table, specifying where news organizations should sit.  I’ve never seen that before. There was not one for me, although I have been a regular attendee at the meetings for more than two years.

Whoever set them out has not noticed that Robert Koch of The Hour always sits on the end. He ignored his assigned seat, as did everyone else.

Common Council member David McCarthy (R-District E) debates a point Tuesday evening. The video camera in front of him represented Freedom of the Press, Mayor Richard Moccia said.

Common Council member David McCarthy (R-District E) debates a point Tuesday evening. The video camera in front of him represented freedom of the press, Mayor Richard Moccia said.

 

6 comments

oldtimer January 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Of course it was. It was intended to divert your attention from the issue they really did not want debated in public.

Al Raymond January 9, 2013 at 4:27 pm

All this Child`s play needs to stop! All of you were Elected to do a job for the people of Norwalk,if you don`t want to do it get out and let someone else come in and try to move things forward.From the Mayor right down to the newest concil person quite playing these games and do the job. I think I`am going to run for Mayor if nothing else maybe I could bring peace back to city hall.Lately there has been so much unrest at city hall with all this back and forth between partys he said she said for get about it work together for the greater good of Norwalk. Just one more thing I think its wrong for anyone to change there party or who they caucas with until there term is over you can`t just change in mid stream that is not what the people who voted you in voted for.One more thing and I`am done Mr Bondi you need to appolige to the public for sleeping,clearly you don`t care what the people think other wise you would at least listen,what you have done is just showed the people disrespect.

Al Raymond

Tim T January 9, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Typical Fred Bondi….. ASLEEP…… Why doesn’t he just retire along with the rest of the old boys club of Norwalk.. Well at least Michelle wasn’t texting for a change.

Tim T January 9, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Bruce Kimmel should resign. He was elected as a democrat and not a Republican. If he wants to be a Republican he should have to run as a Republican.
Bruce will you do the right thing and step down?

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