Norwalk political notes: National news, odds and ends

James Cahn's Facebook profile photo shows him and his wife, Cie Grant Cahn.

James Cahn’s Facebook profile photo shows him and his wife, Cie Grant Cahn.

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

  • James Cahn takes ironic look @ national politics
  • Mergers, millennials and the changing mall market
  • David Orr talks extra duty
  • Kimmel on penny wise, pound foolish approaches
  • Tax sale ‘rescheduled’

Republican humor

James Cahn, a Republican Town Committee member who ran unsuccessfully for Common Council last year, posted a wry observation Friday on Facebook:


“Last month: ‘Donald Trump is destroying the party!! He’s out of line and out of his mind. How could this happen?? We can’t let him be the nominee.’

“Today: ‘Ted Cruz is destroying the party by not endorsing Donald Trump. Is he out of his mind?!?! What’s he thinking??’”

“Out of chaos comes order….. look at both parties…. very divided over the candidates,” came the first comment.

“This ‘chaos’ is as much constructed theater as the Colbert bit,” a woman replied.

“Yeah. It’s all for show and they’re going to pull it all together and make it look great before the end. That’s optimistic,” Cahn said.

About Late Show host Steven Colbert, Cahn said, “I don’t have TV. All I know is that the WSJ was reporting that ‘people’ were incredulous that Cruz wouldn’t endorse Trump ‘for the good of the party’ which struck me as odd since as recently as last week, nothing that Trump did was for any other reason than to ‘totally derail the party.’”


Forbes on malls

NancyOnNorwalk receives a number of links to stories about the mall business, usually from a South Norwalk naysayer, unhappy that General Growth Properties (GGP) was approved to build The SoNo Collection.

Friday we got a link from a financial type, an article about malls that are partially being repurposed.

The Forbes story, titled Fall Of The Mall? How Mergers And Millennials Are Changing An American Icon, says mall operators are repurposing space to include non-retail uses, such as office space and apartments.

An excerpt:

“From the days of early civilization, people came to market not merely to buy bread and spices, but to socialize. What has changed since then is what consumers expect in return for their transactions. We are spending our money in different ways, and increasingly on experiences. It is up to the retailer what that experience will be.

“In some places, the mall of tomorrow will hold amusement parks and white-collar employers. But it also will continue to include clothing stores and cosmetics shops. The difference will be the reasons consumers congregate: to work, to spend the night, perhaps to buy a shirt. Mall operators, and their retail tenants, simply need to serve those needs as more space opens up around them.”

The naysayer also weighed in on Friday, asserting that a mass shooting at a mall in Munich, Germany, would affect the stock market tomorrow, with a snarky, “Good thing GGP doesn’t own any malls in Germany.”

He then pointed out that GGP Chief Executive Officer Sandeep Mathrani sold 600,000 shares of GGP on June 24 at an average price of $28.76 a share, a total sale of nearly $17.3 million. Also, GGP Chief Financial Officer Michael Berman sold 90,000 shares of the stock on June 21 at average price of $28.60, a total of nearly $2.6 million.


Orr pushes safety aspect of extra duty details

Norwalk Police Sgt. David Orr, president of the police union, in pushing for a new city ordinance on June 21 said once again that the presence of uniformed police throughout the city on extra duty assignments adds to the roster of cops who can respond to incidents, specifically mentioning mass causality events.

The first responding officer to the recent massacre at an Orlando nightclub was an extra duty police officer, Orr said.

Orlando Police Officer Adam Gruler was working security for the Pulse nightclub, in his uniform, and was the first officer to take on the shooter, according to news reports.

“In an increasingly dangerous environment like the world we live in, extra duty goes beyond just the job assignment of the day, it provides public safety at no expense to the city,” Orr said.

In the summer there are 40 to 50 cops out on the streets doing extra duty details, Orr said.

“We train for these things every day,” Orr said. “We read the articles and watch the news differently than the normal person does because we have experience, watching people die, we know the human impact of that. There is a bigger message here.”


Kimmel on hiring city staff

Continuing on the topic of extra duty police but focusing on the collection of the bills from the companies doing the work, Council President Bruce Kimmel (D-At Large) said “shame on us.”

Years ago, at a Finance Committee meeting, Kimmel was given a list of 22 lawyers on retainer from the city, whose job it was to collect delinquent property taxes, Kimmel said.

“The longer the taxes were delinquent the longer they were getting paid, basically. Nothing was actually being resolved, wheels were just spinning,” Kimmel said.

Then the tax collector’s office hired a lawyer and “things began to change,” Kimmel said, but, “That lawyer had to argue for years to get an assistant to help keep up with delinquent property taxes.”

It was penny-wise and pound foolish, he said. But now, with an assistant, Norwalk has a 99 percent tax collection rate, he said.

“It was no one’s fault but the city’s,” Kimmel said.

Council member Michael Corsello (D-At Large) said Kimmel was “a little mistaken” as, “I think they were parceled out individually to different law firms for collection and when they were finally collected they got fees based on what was awarded by the court.”

Kimmel said the cases dragged on for four to 10 years.

“We weren’t collecting… the city was losing money,” Kimmel said.


Bargain boat slips for sale

Norwalk’s tax sale will conclude Wednesday with the sale of 25 boat slips at 10 Platt St., at the bargain opening bid of $3,000.

Norwalk Tax Collector Lisa Biagiarelli has tried twice before to sell 52 boats slips at “Greyrock at Oysterbend” and “East Greyrock” with no success but on Tuesday they were a hot item for three bidders, who bought 27 slips between them. It was her prerogative to keep the sale open and the auction would reconvene for the remaining boat slips, she said.

Bidding registration begins at 3 p.m. in City Hall room 101. For more information, visit the city’s website.


Council meeting cancelled

There will be no Common Council meeting this week. By charter, the Council must meet for its first Tuesday meeting on the second Tuesday of the month, therefore the next meeting will be Aug. 9, Council President Bruce Kimmel (D-At Large) said.


Casey Smith July 23, 2016 at 8:47 am

Just a couple of comments about the mall.

First of all, the Munich shooting apparently took place across the street from the mall at a McDonald’s. If one wanted to be snarky about it, it was also near the 1972 Olympic venue. No matter what anyone says, there are nine families in Germany that are mourning the loss of loved ones and making funeral arrangements this morning.

Secondly, the Forbes article mentions malls of the future having amusement parks in them. Guess they’ve never heard of the Danbury Fair mall which has had a merry go round in it since the day it was built back in the late 80’s, I believe. I’ve seen malls with trains and trolleys in them along with other amusements, also.

James Cahn July 25, 2016 at 5:07 pm

Must be a slow news week in Norwalk. This was hardly my most hilarious or ironic post on Facebook. We do adore that picture, though.

Esther November 12, 2016 at 7:38 am

I almost never leave a response, however i did a few searching and
wound up here Norwalk political notes: National news, odds and ends | Nancy on Norwalk.

And I do have 2 questions for you if you don’t mind. Could it be simply
mme or does iit look like some of the remarks appear ike coming from brain dead visitors?
😛 And, if you are posting on additional online sites, I’d like to keep up with anythging fresh you havfe to post.
Could you list of the compkete urls of all your social pages like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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