Norwalk Common Councilman Doug Hempstead (R-At Large), right, on Tuesday in City Hall, expresses a commonly held observation about Darien’s railroad bridge over Route 1. Listening from left are Councilman Nick Sacchinelli (D-At Large), Councilman Rich Bonenfant (R-At Large), Councilwoman Michelle Maggio (R-District C) and Councilwoman Shannon O’Toole Giandurco (R-District D).
NORWALK, Conn. — Michelle Maggio’s cry of frustration was met with a perhaps unexpected victory Tuesday as a few members of the Common Council’s Democratic majority sided with Council Republicans in a move that Bruce Kimmel said could cost the city big money.
See video at end of story
“I know, I should have stayed home and talked to myself in the mirror with this one,” Maggio, an East Norwalk Republican Council member, said at the beginning of a discussion of a $359,000 contract for preparatory study and design on expected East Avenue road work to be done in conjunction with the state’s massive Walk Bridge project and the lowering of the road under the East Norwalk railroad bridge. But a charge led by Councilman Doug Hempstead (R-At Large) to send yet another “message to the state” regarding the height of the railroad bridge succeeded, with an amendment to the contract passing 7 to 6, with two abstentions. Continue reading Norwalk Council votes 7-6-2 to send ConnDOT another ‘message’ on East Avenue
Senior tax relief is available for Norwalk homeowners. (stock photo)
NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk tax officials will host a Senior Tax Relief Workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 13, in the Community Room of Norwalk City Hall.
Norwalk Tax Assessor Michael Stewart invites all Norwalk property owners 65 or older to attend. Residents will be able to ask questions and learn if they qualify for city tax relief programs.
Continue reading Senior Tax Relief workshop on tap for Saturday
Sen. Bob Duff with Rep. Antonio Guerrera (left) and Jim Chen of Tesla Motors (right) (Christine Stuart photo)
HARTFORD, Conn. – With Tesla Motors in mind, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff renewed a push for legislation that would allow electric vehicle makers open up to three retail locations in Connecticut.
Currently, Connecticut law requires that any new vehicle be sold to a consumer by a dealer franchise that is not owned by the manufacturer. Each dealer location must be at least 14 miles away from another dealership selling the same brand.
Continue reading Duff renews push to let Tesla sell cars directly to Connecticut consumers
Norwalk’s Board of Estimate and Taxation listens to Finance Director Bob Barron explain his 2016-17 recommended operating budget.
Finance Director Bob Barron shows off the 2016-17 budget book Monday in City Hall.
NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk’s piggy bank is going to allow the city to fund the Board of Education’s “critical programs” and not tax the taxpayers too much, according to the proposed $337 million budget unveiled Monday by Finance Director Bob Barron.
The city’s average mill rate would go up .46 percent, Barron said to the Board of Estimate and Taxation. If you own a house assessed at $300,000 and you pay according to that average mill rate, your tax bill would go up $35.10.
“This is by far the lowest tax rate increase we have seen in years,” Barron said. Continue reading Proposed Norwalk budget would increase average mill rate .46 percent, fund BoE
Norwalk Finance Director Bob Barron explains his 2016-17 recommended operating budget Monday in City Hall.
NORWALK, Conn. — Numbers, as in dollars and cents – or maybe sense – were laid out Monday by Norwalk Finance Director Bob Barron at the close of the Board of Estimate and Taxation meeting.
The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report of Norwalk’s fiscal year 2015 is on the city’s website. Barron laid out a series of bullet points from the audit, with notations of the page where the information can be found in the CAFR: Continue reading Barron underscores reasoning behind $2M Norwalk fund drawdown
NORWALK, Conn. — The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency is looking to spend $52,000 on a consultant to help with mitigation of the effects of the expected Walk Bridge replacement on local businesses.
“While the City recognizes the regional benefits of the bridge project it is adamant that Norwalk’s impacted businesses and residents should not be forced to leave their homes and businesses behind because of it. An appropriately funded construction mitigation plan as part of a $600 Million construction budget can reduced such possibilities significantly,” Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan said in a memo to the Agency. Continue reading Redevelopment aims to help Norwalk businesses cope with Walk Bridge replacement
NORWALK, Conn. — The plan to build a 5-story apartment building on Belden Avenue is out of step with Norwalk’s design plans for the area, but nothing can be done, according to Norwalk Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan.
“The (Wall Street Redevelopment) Plan guidelines are out of step with the land use regulations. It is legally impossible to impose a ‘guideline’ on a project that has a scale allowed as of right under the zoning regulations and unfortunately, it is generally the scale and the lay out of the building on the site that is the basis of its inability to effectively meet the other Plan design guidelines,” Sheehan said in a memo to the Agency. Continue reading Sheehan: Proposed Belden apartments out of step with Norwalk neighborhood
NORWALK, Conn. – A public hearing on charter revision is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb.10, in the Community Room.
The Common Council has charged the Charter Revision Commission with evaluating the following six details in the City Charter:
Continue reading Charter Revision Commission public hearing set for Wednesday
The Norwalk Public Library requested $25,000 in this year’s capital budget, and $2.6 million in the 2017-18 capital budget, to address its lack of parking.
NORWALK, Conn. — Sure, you’ve heard about the request for $3 million for an Oak Hills Park driving range but what about the $2.6 million for parking at the main library?
How about the $160,000 program to rehab historic façades in South Norwalk?
None of those items were in the 5-year capital budget plan submitted a year ago. Continue reading Norwalk capital budget full of sleepers
Mark Chapman is NancyOnNorwalk.com’s editor.
So what’s up with this?
Two years ago, by Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), Norwalk was buzzing about Democratic primaries in two races for State House seats and a familiar Dem candidate for a third. A fourth Dem had long since established an exploratory committee that would turn into yet another primary challenge.
Continue reading Opinion: For all the kvetching, challengers for State House slow to surface
Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.
The legislative session kicked off under gloomy skies as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced his plans to balance the budget through massive spending cuts and layoffs. The stage is now set for what should be a brutal battle between the governor and state employee unions, with the legislature caught in the middle.
Continue reading Opinion: Welcome to the new austerity
Sarah Darer Littman is an award-winning columnist and novelist of books for teens. A former securities analyst, she’s now an adjunct in the MFA program at WCSU, and enjoys helping young people discover the power of finding their voice as an instructor at the Writopia Lab.
For Stamford resident Matt Olson, a career in IT was the pathway to the American dream. A New Mexico native, who experienced hard times as a kid when his mother became ill and drowned in medical expenses, he graduated with a computer science degree in 1997 and went to work for Sandia National Labs. There, he was paid to go into an accelerated Masters program. By 2001, on his first consulting project, he was making $150 an hour. As Olson observes, “Now that was a labor shortage.”
Continue reading Opinion: Middle class jobs, American dreams sold out to highest bidders
Terry Cowgill lives in Lakeville, blogs at ctdevilsadvocate.com and is news editor of The Berkshire Record in Great Barrington, Mass. Follow him on Twitter @terrycowgill.
Of all the issues that arise in national, state and municipal government, few of them raise my hackles like public officials who try to block access to information that should be available to the public.
Continue reading Opinion: FOI Norwalk style and no violins for Shankar