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Miklave finished exploring: Councilman will run to be Norwalk’s next mayor

Norwalk council committee 063-20130219

Norwalk Councilman Matt Miklave (D-District A) is running for mayor.

NORWALK, Conn. – Long-time Norwalk Democratic Councilman Matt Miklave is going ahead with a run at becoming Norwalk’s next mayor, promising to do everything he can to not raise taxes should he win.

Miklave, who has been gauging support after forming an exploratory committee last November, will kick off his campaign March 23 at Bradford’s Tavern in South Norwalk, a press release said.

“Frankly, I couldn’t be happier with the support I’ve received thus far.” said Miklave, in the press release. “I’ve been approached by residents from all walks of life and from every neighborhood in Norwalk.  And to each I’ve said the same thing.  My goal is to be a mayor for ALL residents of Norwalk and to help reshape both the way Norwalk operates and our collective futures.”

Miklave, an equity partner at the national law firm of Epstein Becker & Green, is competing for the Democratic Party nomination against District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra, former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling and former Town Clerk Andy Garfunkel, who ran against incumbent Republican Mayor Richard Moccia in 2011 and lost by about 600 votes.

The Miklave campaign has been vocal in recent weeks, with numerous press releases criticizing Norwalk’s budgeting process, calling for top-to-bottom reform.

“I’m proposing, and I’m a firm believer in, a regular, rigorous review of all city programs based on the principles of Performance Based Budgeting,” Miklave said in the release. “Like Norwalk, cities around the country find themselves in similarly dire financial straits.  Through PBB, many have found substantial savings.  If we can create savings of just 2 percent, we’ll free up over $6 million that can be used to fund Norwalk’s education shortfall, hire more police, increase targeted tax-relief for seniors and rebuild our economic infrastructure.”

The labor and employment attorney says we’re entering into a new era for municipal governments.

“Recent state and federal budget cuts simply mean there’s going to be less to go around.  I will do everything in my power as Norwalk’s mayor not to raise taxes,” Miklave said in the release.  “Right now, Performance Based Budgeting is the best first step toward reining in spending, while protecting critical efforts to educate our children, fight crime, create jobs and keep local taxes in check.”

Miklave, a graduate of Notre Dame Law School, and his wife have lived in Norwalk for 22 years. They have three children, two of whom attend Norwalk High School and one of whom is in college.  He was first elected to the Common Council in 2001 and his current term on the Council began in 2011.

The kickoff will be from 4 to 6 p.m. March 23 at Bradford’s Tavern, 15 North Main St.

19 comments

LWitherspoon March 12, 2013 at 3:51 pm

It is really funny to hear labor attorney Miklave talking about reining in spending since he has used his time on council to fight tooth and nail against any attempt to rein in spending.
Now Miklave asks us to forget about all the time he spent on Common Council fighting to give more of our tax money to municipal employee unions, and simply accept that he would be a fiscally responsible Mayor. This in spite of the fact that Miklave has been on Council for a long time and failed to achieve any cost savings for taxpayers. Luckily, there are far better options than Miklave for Democrats to choose.

Chrissy March 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Shocking! Lwitherspoon is railing against a Dems…again. How predictable.

In his time on the Council, Matt Miklave has fought for our public schools, transparency in government, crime prevention and for responsible fiscal policy. Matt Miklave has shown real leadership…which is exactly what scares his opponents. The last thing Lwitherspoon wants Norwalk voters to have is a strong, smart, capable option to Mr. Moccia.

Lwitherspoon might be willing to put his/her head in the sand and hope that Norwalk’s fiscal problems will just go away, but thankfully we have people like Matt Miklave who actually have a plan to keep critical programs intact.

From where I sit, Matt Miklave is the only candidate in the race for Mayor who isn’t making empty promises. In addition to discussing comprehensive ways to improve schools, make our streets safer, create jobs and improve our quality of life, Matt Miklave is proposing something truly revolutionary. He’s actually proposing a way to fund critical programs without imposing skyrocketing property tax increases.

How dare he… right Lwitherspoon?

Matt! You’ve got my support, and the support of many of my Norwalk neighbors and friends.

Ksully March 12, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Amen Chrissy!!! I’ve known Matt Miklave for years and the Matt I know is a dedicated father and husband, a true public servant and smart as a whip. Matt has helped build one of most respected law firms in America, he and his wife have raise three great sons and he’s built a reputation based on integrity, honesty, intellect and hard work. We’re here for you Matt. Don’t listen to Moccia’s shills. Can’t wait for 3/23. And I can’t wait to vote for Matt Miklave for Mayor of Norwalk.

Tim T March 12, 2013 at 8:42 pm

LWitherspoon
You are getting very boring with your same old same old..Tell us who will you be working for when Moccia is out of office come Nov.

Harold March 13, 2013 at 10:49 am

Whats with Bradfords? Mr. Mangiacopra kicked off his campaign there over a month ago. Also, Mr. Mangiacopra has said earlier he wants to be mayor for ALL Norwalk citizens. Matt come up with some of your own ideas please.

Osgood Schlater March 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Matt Miklave, the new entrant to the field of candidates seeking to send Mayor Moccia into retirement, is perhaps the strongest yet. Matt has solid experience in city management from eight years on the Common Council and he has a clear-cut vision of how to improve city management based on performance and outcomes, as well as to improve our overall quality of life.

As I understand it, Matt proposes to use innovative, creative solutions that other cities have adopted to successfully and efficiently manage present-day conditions. He would establish standards for every program and service throughout City Hall, and by making the workings of City Hall regularly transparent and accessible to all, performance will soar and everyone will benefit. A welcome change from our present do-nothing Mayor.

Matt believes in setting priorities that favor educating our kids, and in reforming the yearly battle that pits our schools against everything else. Who needs another debacle like we had last year?

Hard data shows that stimulating local businesses oriented toward growth is the best way to create jobs, and Matt wants to initiate a program that would overcome the red-tape that currently hobbles small business development. Let’s make City Hall user-friendly!

Matt also makes it clear that he wants to transform Norwalk into an innovative, attractive city with open spaces, bike ways, clean streets and safe neighborhoods that are in keeping with our spectacular location and history. Amen.

Suzanne March 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Harold, you have truly highlighted one of the least important aspects to this political process called an election for a new mayor. I mean, really, where the kick off to the campaign is held? If that is all you have for Mr. Mangiacorpa in your back pocket besides a not so original slogan, “all Norwalkers”, you might want to start working for another candidate. Real issues, please, no rhetoric.

Harold March 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

@suzanne I do not work for any of the candidates I just thought it was funny that they both used Bradfords to kick off the election process. I think you should visit norwalksfuturenow.com and check out some of the real issues that Vinny and all of us “Norwalkers” are facing and what he wants to do about them.

Chrissy March 14, 2013 at 9:20 am

Wow! The Hour poll has Matt Miklave at nearly 40% in a five way race for Mayor of Norwalk. I’m no math whiz, but I’m pretty sure 40% puts Matt squarely in front of the pack. Great job Matt! Clearly your message about “a regular, rigorous review” (I love that line) of Norwalk’s finances is getting through to voters. Maybe if someone were “rigorously reviewing” Norwalk’s finances, problems like the current Town Clerk scandal could be avoided. By the way, Matt Miklave is the only candidate running for Mayor who has pledged to work to find savings via Performance Based Budgeting, keep critical programs intact and do everything in his power to keep property taxes from spiraling out of control. No wonder Matt’s in the lead. Great ideas. Great public service record. Coming Soon…Great Mayor. We’re with you Matt.

LWitherspoon March 14, 2013 at 12:21 pm

@Chrissy
On the Hour’s web site I challenged you and other Miklave supporters to name one proposal Miklave has made during his time on the Common Council that would save money for Norwalk taxpayers. You failed to do so, so I’m repeating the challenge. I can name plenty of times that Miklave fought against attempts to save the City money.
So we are left to ask, which Miklave will be on the ballot? The one who claims to support fiscal responsibility? Or the one whose disingenuous bloviating fights any attempts to reduce spending, for his own political benefit?

Harold March 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm

@Chrissy
That is 4% on the hour poll which puts Matt dead last…..
Not sure where you got that extra zero….

Suzanne March 15, 2013 at 5:49 pm

OK, Harold, I did as you asked and went to the WEB Site. I couldn’t get through the video which seemed to be vying for a slot at Sundance. I saw lots of testimonials, a lot of slogans, no obvious platform or sharing of just what comprehensive experience Mr. Mangiacorpra has had to qualify him as a valid candidate for a Mayor of a very complicated, politically charged town. “Norwalk’s Future Now!”, “Vote for Vinny”, “Sooner Rather than Later” (what?), “Enthusiastic”????? This is not a student council position; this campaign is to run a sizable town with a very large budget. “Together we can win and make things happen” just doesn’t do it for me.

Mark Chapman March 15, 2013 at 7:13 pm

In the interest of accuracy, it appears The Hour has run polls on three of the five candidates individually (we could not find a poll about the five candidates, or Mr. Mangicopra or Mr. Garfunkel).

A poll asking if Mayor Moccia should run for re-election brought 49.7 percent yes votes, 46.9 percent no, with the rest undecided.

A poll asking if people would vote for Harry Rilling showed 39.5 percent said yes, 51.1 percent no, with the rest undecided.

A poll asking if people would vote for Matt Miklave showed 37.1 percent said yes, 55.6 percent said no, with the rest undecided.

There was no indication of how many people took part in each poll.

Suzanne March 15, 2013 at 10:55 pm

Mark Chapman, Those polls are quick clicks on their e-edition WEB site and simply reflect those who read the Hour via their computer and, also, the editorial leanings of the Hour which are largely conservative. (Why do you think “Nancy on Norwalk” exists?) The Hour asks other questions in their polls like, “Would you like winter to be over?” I would not consider them to be indicative of any type of legitimate polling for any candidate for any office. The Hour fails in every respect to reflect on what accurate polling even is.

Mark Chapman March 15, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Agreed. Just pointing out that, unless there was a poll that didn’t make it onto the site (and they pretty much put everything up — I worked there for a year) — the other references were not necessarily, um, current.

BARIN March 16, 2013 at 4:02 pm

PLEASE stop it, Miklave has had ample opportunity as a long time councilman to actually put his foot forward on many occasions to speak up as he is doing now.
He did not do so, instead he would usually vote along party lines, be silent or put his foot directly into his mouth.
Why would any reasonable thinking person put him in the top seat? I forgot, he is now a ball of fire according to what we’re reading about him in an election year.
I’m sure he is a great father/husband, smart as a whip, what actually does that have to do with it, but honesty, if that was the case he would have stepped up when he had numerous chances as a councilmember to call for the PBB he wants to implement now.
So PLEASE stop it, he is not the right man for the job based on his previous actions as a council member, that simple, so do not confuse voters because you are his friend, by leaving out pertinent facts of his history as an elected official.
You would be foolish to think any other way based on the facts in front of you.
I know he is a friend of yours but dont let that blind you to the reality.
He has voted FOR many of the things that are hurting Norwalk now, but he then complains that it was wrong for Norwalk, then why vote yes in the first place, STEP UP my man, vote no.
I have nothing personal against the man but c’mon folks we dont need another flip flop knopp in charge.
As a Star Trek (trekkie) fan, when Mr.Spock died saving the crew he did his Vulcan Mind Meld thing and made sure he told Dr. McCoy(Bones)to remember, we certainly could use a little of that mind meld thing in Norwalk.

Suzanne March 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Barin, don’t quite understand the Star Trek reference (and I once was a fan) but, frankly, I would just like to see someone, anyone, who will be of service to Norwalk, show some respect for the constituency, manage the responsibilities without political rancor (this is a town in CT, after all and not the House of Commons) and follow their own recommendations for improvement (unlike Mr. Moccia who continually shows a preference for the nonsensical when it comes to money management, development, education, you name it.) Please read Mike Mushak’s piece on urban development in this thread – whether you agree with the traffic planning or not, he is saying Norwalk could be a great town. I see City Government and politics standing right square in the middle, obstructing any progress toward making Norwalk a fantastic place to live. You, Barin, since you believe everyone who wrote in is a friend of Miklave, should show your colors and respect and give us your views on who the best candidate for the job is. We Norwalk citizens need it.

BARIN March 22, 2013 at 9:36 pm

I don’t believe everyone is a friend who wrote; your impression of my comments, but what everyone fails to remember is, that out of all the Dem candidates, Matt has had more opportunity than anyone to get something done.
I’m not mad at him, I just won’t vote for him, because I refuse to forget that he has had more opportunity while sitting as a councilmember, to suggest these ideas every time he had the floor of council chambers on numerous issues.
That said, what makes you think he would act any differently if he was mayor?
I believe this is the second time I’ve mentioned Harry has, in my opinion, the best chance to unseat the incumbent.
This is a great chance for the Dems to get the top seat for the next ten years if they stick together.
As for the best candidate, I think Andy may have a hard time overcoming recent findings at his former office, I think Vinny hasnt been a around Norwalk long enough to be familiar with voters and people also associate him with Ernie Newton’s campaign.
So there you have it, as plain as the nose on your face, Harry has the best chance to win in November, why some folks cant figure that out is beyond me.
I’ll even throw in a prediction just for you Suzanne; in eight years Vinny will run for mayor, with a legit chance to win, you heard it here first.
By the way Suzanne, first chance you get watch the reruns of the original Star Trek and you’ll get what I mean, that particular episode ended with Spock being jettisoned into the Genesis machine and any fan worth their salt knows what the Vulcan Mind Meld is.

Suzanne March 23, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I gave up being a fan of Star Trek somewhere in high school so I guess that does not make me “worth my salt!” I get your assessment, Barin, but still feel like I am waiting for a real platform to be presented as in, this is a problem, this is what we need to do about it and this is what we are going to do. Mr. Rilling seems to be the only candidate I have seen who listed a series of issues with some substance when he announced his candidacy. The slogans of the others are just frustrating when balanced against the issues constantly being reported in this blog as well as other publications. I would just like to see the incompetence, lack of transparency and rudeness that keeps the status quo going here out. I am still watching and waiting but am inclined to agree with you.

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