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Letter: Sixth Taxing District commissioner endorses fellow Republicans

By Tammy Langalis

Commissioner, Sixth Taxing District

To the Editor:

After six years on the 6th Taxing District Commission, I would like thank all of the people who have worked with me during that time. It has been an exciting and challenging time. We have faced Superstorm Sandy and hurricane Irene and we have made some large long term investments in the properties we manage. There is rarely a dull moment.

I would like to endorse the recently announced candidacies of Dave McCarthy and Emily Wilson for the Common Council in District E. As DPW chairman, Dave has accomplished many good things for Rowayton and the rest of the city. Having seen Emily’s work on the Zoning Commission, I know she will be an excellent councilperson, fair minded and a consensus builder.

I think my efforts in the 6th Taxing District will be multiplied with their presence on the council, but it is really our mayor, Richard Moccia, who I believe will keep all of Norwalk moving in the right direction. The last eight years have seen tremendous challenges for Norwalk, but under the mayor’s firm and steady leadership, we have met each challenge head on, and the city continues to thrive. With the West Ave. redevelopment and many improvements to our infrastructure, Norwalk continues to attract new people to our vibrant community.

As a Republican, I am excited to work closely with all of the members of the Republican slate once they are elected. I wish them every success in our convention this Monday and in the election this fall. I will continue to work with my colleagues on the Taxing District Commission, and will hold them to the highest standards in the work that we will do for the citizens of Rowayton maintaining our fiscally responsible house.

Tammy Langalis

Rowayton

 

4 comments

Joe Espo July 23, 2013 at 3:48 am

@Dino: supporting Igneri would have been ignorant. Pun intended. He’s a bit challenged in the idea department. Has he ever said anything while on the council? One word?

Mike Mushak July 23, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Ms. Langalis, it is important for you to know that McCarthy and Wilson do not believe the by-laws of the Zoning Commission matter, even though they swore an oath to uphold them when they became Zoning Commissioners (McCarthy served for one year prior to his running for Common Council, and Wilson is current Chair of the Commission.)

The by-laws specifically require supervision of staff by the Commission (performance reviews of staff ended in 2006 when Moccia took office, and they get automatic raises every year with no oversight or review), and monthly financial statements showing all transactions, which Ms. Wilson as Chair of the ZC has not enforced, removing all accountability and transparency from the Zoning Commission. This has allowed staff to behave in a management vacuum while millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted.

It is important that everyone in Norwalk understand that public safety on our streets has been seriously compromised while Mccarthy has served as Chair of the Public Works Committee, under Moccia as Mayor and Chair of the Traffic Commission, including badly designed brand new sidewalks in front of Marvin School that are dangerously narrow, “sharrows” on Beach Road which no experts recommended, and the illegal parking and lack of sidewalks, bike lanes, and crosswalks on Seaview Avenue near Overton’s, a place where thousands of kids every summer have to risk their lives walking or riding their bikes into speeding traffic just to get an ice cream as they walk over from Vets Park.

It is important to remember that under Moccia, the $4 million dollar boondoggle Bus “Pulse Point” Hub was designed and built on the wrong side of town, 2 miles from the Sono Train Station where it should have been, and which gave Norwalk the distinction of being the only city in America, seriously, which ignored federal standards requiring MULTI-Modal Transit Hubs that combine bus and train hubs in one location for obvious common sense reasons.

It is important to remember that on West Avenue in front of the new $350 million Waypointe, whose owners wanted bike lanes since they know that’s what potential renters and businesses would be looking for, Moccia, Mccarthy, and Alvord rejected the $200k Connectivity Study which the public and professional consultants worked on for over 2 years, and stuck in an obsolete suburban style 4-lane speedway instead of the modern separated bike lanes and 3 lane “road diet” solution to slow traffic and improve safety for cars, pedestrians, and cyclists.

It is important to remember that McCarthy and Moccia promised on-street bike lanes in the last election 2 years ago, and Norwalk has not had a single inch installed since then. Perhaps that is why Moccia and the GOP rejected their old slogan from a few moths ago which was “Promises Made, Promises Kept”, which in the case of bike lanes and so many other issues, was easily morphed into “Promises Made, Promises Broken”.

In fact, we are the last large city in CT to have no designated on-street bike lanes, an embarrassing honor that is making us the laughing stock of cities in professional planning circles and among anyone who visits other cities and witnesses the remarkable transformation of cities over the last 20 years into bike and pedestrian-friendly places. It also discourages anyone interested in moving here who like to bicycle, which is an exploding demographic as both young and older folks are seeking places to live and retire to where they don’t have to rely on their cars all the time.

It is important to remember how McCarthy is ignoring millions of dollars in professional studies that taxpayers paid for, calling for bike lanes that would improve safety for children AND drivers by slowing speeding traffic near 3 schools (McMahon, Brookside, Roton) on Highland Avenue in his own district, and Strawberry Hill Ave in front of 3 schools (Norwalk High, Naramake, Nathan Hale), which are both being repaved this year with no indication the much-needed and recommended bike lanes are going to be installed, which will serve potentially thousands of children and slow chronic speeding traffic (as well as reducing traffic near the schools) in these dangerous child-filled areas.

It is important to know that Mccarthy supports the $3 million boondoggle to widen and lower Rowayton Avenue at the train station, which will allow trucks to pass under the bridge turning Rowayton Ave. into a busy truck route, and help increase traffic speeds exactly where you do NOT want to speed traffic up in a pedestrian-congested area where the parking lot access occurs. It is ironic that the 6th Taxing District requested safer footpaths under the bridge many years ago, along with better footpaths to connect the station to the center of town, and never requested the slight hump in the road be removed north of the station along with lowering and widening the road, which did not come at the request of the community but at the request of higw-obe eginrswho do not live in the community, or in Norwalk for that matter. Why McCarthy is supporting a completely unnecessary highway project and ignoring footpaths is a question he must answer, but I do know when I told him the former 6th Taxing District Chair stated on the record at a Common Council meeting that this project was unnecessary and that the original request 20 years ago for improvements at the station was mainly for footpaths and bridge widening (the latter is completed with 2 new footpaths under the bridge), McCarthy, by his own admission, stated he had coached the former 6th Taxing District Chair before the meeting, and the elderly gentleman had the nerve to actually speak the truth and not say what McCarthy wanted him to say.

It is also important to remember that Rowayton property taxes went up 30-60% in the last 8 years under Moccia, along with South Norwalk’s and condominiums across the city, because Mayor Moccia said he thought they were not paying their fair share during the last badly botched Reval in 2008, which also intentionally shifted the tax burden off of commercial properties to residential properties.

So, vote for the GOP candidates Mccarthy, Wilson, and Moccia if you want: official By-Laws of the Zoning Commission to be ignored removing all public accountability and transparency; professional taxpayer-funded studies to be ignored calling for bike lanes and safety improvements on our streets; illegal and improperly managed property tax revals that target specific neighborhoods based on politics instead of good science and the law; $3 million dollar boondoggle projects to install highway truck standards on country roads like Rowayton Avenue while ignoring the footpaths for pedestrian safety that the community has begged for for decades; and if you want politicians (in the case of Mccarthy)who secretly stalk their political enemies taking video from behind the bushes which he then posts on the internet, as he did with Mike Barbis in a creepy episode last year which disgusted most folks on both sides of the aisle, especially when Barbis was doing nothing wrong except going about his daily routine without knowing an elected offfical was hiding in the bushes taping him.

Yes, A GOP future for Norwalk is rosy indeed, a vision of a poorly planned, traffic-clogged city whose trash-filled empty streets are lined with vacant storefronts and blighted apartment buildings, while department heads get automatic raises every year no matter how lousy a job they do, since Mayor Moccia does not believe in staff meetings or performance reviews.

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