To the Editor:
Some sincere Norwalkers are reluctant to grant the mayor a 4-year term for fear of losing the ability to throw out a rascal soon after he or she is elected. Rascals, however, are not Norwalk’s problem. I can only recall one and that was very long ago. No, Norwalk’s problem is sloths, not rascals…mayors who sit there and either don’t know what to do or don’t much care. We tend to keep them around for too long because they may seem nice and because for the average busy citizen it can be very hard to tell whether they are doing anything or not. By foolishly retaining mayors who basically just took up space, Norwalk has fallen behind the curve in a number of important areas.
The cure for this damaging inactivity is obviously to elect and retain a mayor who knows what to do and who has the energy to do it. Not so easy with a 2-year term. The significance of fundamental change does not always become obvious in the first two years. It takes time to flower. The old mayor’s appointees last longer than that. So within the two-year election cycle, even when good things are indeed underway, there is always the momentary turmoil of controversial change when it comes time to vote. This allows opponents to play upon the natural fear of change and to derail it. No wonder even good mayors are reluctant to rock the boat.
So let’s remove those fetters. Give the new guy a little slack. If she can’t show something after four years, then dump her. But two years is not enough for a fair trial and the burden of those frequent elections has up to now helped make Norwalk a bit of a backwater in a number of ways. With development booming and in serious need of government direction, let’s give the mayor long enough to make some meaningful adjustments without having to stop the train every two years in order for her to go out and campaign.