Norwalk political notes: Camacho up for re-election vote

Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairman Ed Camacho.

Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairman Ed Camacho.

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s what we have for you in political notes this Tuesday:

  • It’s looking like Camacho again
  • NHA director reportedly against CAP agency pursuit
  • Rosett takes Bike/Walk baton from Mushak and Libre
  • Zoning taking unusual approach to mall application

Camacho for DTC chair

Norwalk Democrats meet Wednesday to select a new Democratic Town Committee chairman and, as of Monday, it was looking like the old chairman would be it.

An email sent by NoN to 17 people elected to serve on the newly expanding DTC netted six replies, all with the same message: No one has yet expressed an interest in unseating DTC Chairman Ed Camacho.

Three Democratic Common Council members who were at the Health, Welfare and Public Safety Committee meeting Thursday had heard of no one.

On Feb. 22, Camacho said, “I do intend to run for re-election for a second term as DTC Chair. As yet, I have not heard of any interest by others in the position.  Nominations will be received and DTC officers will be selected at our organizational meeting on March 2.”

That’s at 7:30 p.m. the South Norwalk Community Center.

Brenda Penn-Williams, who ran for chairman two years ago and lost after three votes, said she would “absolutely not” be running this time.

“They had their chance,” she said.

“I certainly hope Ed Camacho runs for another term,” Bruce Kimmel wrote. “He’s done a fabulous job and the Norwalk Democrats have really moved forward under his leadership.”


Law on CAP agency

Rumor has it that Norwalk Housing Authority Executive Director Curtis Law is not in favor of the Authority continuing its pursuit of becoming a Community Action Program agency.

Asked about this, Law said, “The commissioners have authorized our attorney and she has moved with submitting the contract up to DSS (Connecticut Department of Social Services) and they are looking at that now. We have to submit some other information. At this point the commissioners are moving ahead with trying to help set up this CAP agency. My own personal opinion is not part of the record.”


Bike/Walk Task Force elects new chairwoman

The Mayor’s Advisory Bike / Walk Task Force is now being led by Nancy Rosett, a member described by former Co-Chairman Mike Mushak as “a dedicated professional with a long history of promoting bike/walk issues.”

“Peter (Libre) and I stepped down as co-chairs after a year and a half to give someone else a chance, and we have only one chair now to make things more efficient,” Mushak said in an email.

“Peter and Mike have done a great job so I know I have big shoes to fill,” Rosett said in an email. “So far, everyone has been very supportive, so I’m looking forward to continuing to make Norwalk more desirable and safe for pedestrians and bicyclists.”

The task force is working on a strategic plan, vetting it with groups that include the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, Norwalk’s department heads, the Norwalk Hospital Community Board, the Norwalk Community College Wellness committee, the Parent-Teacher Organization Council (PTOC) and the Common Council,” Rosett said.

There’s been a consensus that the bike lanes installed on Strawberry Hill Avenue by the Department of Public Works under the previous administration need to be redone.

“Strawberry Hill is still on our radar,” Rosett said. “During the past year, the City has striped the Stroffolino Bridge, Monroe Street from State to MLK Drive and part of Belden Avenue with bike lanes as well as sharrows on Rowayton Avenue and Walter Lane.  Due to budget limitations, Strawberry Hill couldn’t be addressed last year.”

The task force meets Monday.


NHA TV choices

So what was on the television at the Norwalk Housing Authority recently when NoN was waiting for an excruciatingly long executive session to end? People shopping for luxury homes.

As in, “Eww, this house with the marble bathtub doesn’t quite fit the bill for me.”

Seem ironic to you?

A series of HGTV “Property Brothers” episodes featured couples comparing million-dollar homes in search of just the right bargain. Then the Property Brothers fix up the selected fixer-upper and turn it into just the right dream.

A NHA employee said the television usually plays something innocuous; Housing residents seem to prefer reality television segments about brides to be, she said.

In the humble opinion of NancyOnNorwalk, the children’s book about “The Third Story Cat” was preferable to “The Property Brothers.”


Zoning going full out on mall application

Major zoning applications typically start with the Zoning Commission’s Plan Review Committee and go through a full vetting before being presented to the full Commission.

Not the application put in by General Growth Properties (GGP) to build a mall in South Norwalk. There have been brief conversations on the committee level about the mall proposal, but the full Commission has a special meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday with only one topic to be discussed in public – the mall.

“My understanding is that the application is starting with the full commission, then, prior to a public hearing, the application will formally be considered by the Plan Review or Zoning Committee and a recommendation will come out of that committee to the full Commission and then it will be public hearing and then a vote by the full commission,” Commission Chairman Adam Blank said in an email. “While our committee meetings typically function fairly similar to a meeting of the full commission, we wanted to make sure that for a project of this magnitude everyone on the Commission unequivocally had a voice in advance of the public hearing.”


EveT March 1, 2016 at 9:01 am

Let’s hope the Democratic Town Committee can get a good Vice Chair this time around. And maybe a new Treasurer?
Ed Camacho has done a fine job as Chair, but you can’t rely on just one person for leadership. There’s also great value in giving newer people the experience of serving in office.

Tish Gibbs March 1, 2016 at 11:38 am

Ed Camacho has done an amazing job as Democratic Chairman. This is an entirely different Democratic Party although many of the same people remain. That takes true leadership and a lot of hard work.

Alex Knopp March 1, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Althiugh I am not a member any longer of the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee, I certainly hope that Ed Camacho gets re-elected. The reason why I am making this comment is that I did not support the change in the Rules of the Democratic Party that allowed a person who is not a member of the Committee nonetheless to be elected its chair. A majority of the Committee disagreed with my recommendation and adopted this new rule. My opposition to this rule change, however, was never intended to reflect any dissatisfaction with Ed’s service. Therefore, I wanted to make clear that I support Ed and urge members of the NDTC to re-elect Ed Camacho.

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