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Norwalk’s Clean Bill of Health

Then-Norwalk Director of Health Tim Callahan attends a February meeting of the Bike/Walk Task Force. (File photo)

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I am skeptical of how the city of Norwalk spends my tax dollars.  I have no tolerance for senseless waste and civic quagmires.  But before you think “Oh Lord, here he goes,” I am actually writing to complement Norwalk.  Specifically, a leader of Norwalk.

A few years ago, while jogging past the Norwalk Health Department I asked myself, “I wonder what the ‘H’ goes on in that place?  It’s nice, rather large and casts an impressive presence along East Avenue but I never really hear or read about it.”  I thought maybe because, knock on telephone pole, I am generally healthy so I have not had to stop for a visit.  Fast forward a few months and I started working alongside the volunteers of the Norwalk Bike Walk Task Force.  When I heard the meetings were at the Health Department I thought finally….. I’ll see what goes on in there.

During the first meeting I was introduced to Tim Callahan, the Director of the Health Department.   First he had to explain he is not related to my wife, a different Callahan.  I got to know Tim as he helped us navigate the many ins and outs of town processes.  As an advisor to the Task Force, he took time out after work to guide us with helpful insights, input and of course, always with a great attitude.   Along the course of 2+ years to now,  he’d also fill me in on all the Health Department does.  Restaurant and food service inspections, yes even food trucks and the school kitchens.  Health education and various screenings.  Clinical services.  Pleasant stuff like septic tank inspections, disease investigation, bioterrorism preparedness, even tick testing.   Oh, and let’s not forget monitoring and testing all the water we drink.  Very impressive!

Last week, Tim retired after 25 years of service.  Like the other critical services such as Police and Fire, Tim and his staff operate behind the scenes big time.  But perhaps no other entity tangibly impacts our lives every moment of every day  – think about it:  eating, drinking water, and the surrounding aura of all-things-health.  Pretty amazing, right?  Enjoy your retirement Tim and above all else, a huge thanks for leaving Norwalk with a “clean bill of health.”

Kevin Kane

Norwalk

3 comments

jj July 2, 2017 at 10:05 am

As a long time Norwalk resident and 30 year owner of a Norwalk hair salon, I have known Tim, and have worked with him on several issues since the Health Department started licensing salons about twenty years ago. He has always had time to talk, always followed through with e mails, etc…and was always willing to help with even the smallest matters. Tim, enjoy your retirement…you will be missed. It has been a pleasure….Jan Muro, Hair and Company..

Rick July 2, 2017 at 11:12 am

Great article Now its time the city backs the new guy. Apparently the State is stepping in and ensuring the city residents will have a voice with Grasso and other Health issues that are directly leaving residents exposed to questionable exposures.

Tim was a good guy short handed little or no staff and could only send you to State agencies than to respond himself.

Thank you Tim for all the help and records you made available now its time for the city to recognize this office needs to double by the time the mall and other projects in the city are completed.

Thank you Kevin for letting us know we have lost a valuable asset in the Health dept but now its time to roll up some sleeves and get to work.

No doubt when Tim was involved there was positive results now let tackle the stuff Tim had no time for or simply couldn’t cut the red tape the city has made or creates daily for the office.

This is a serious wake up call for the city , the new person will have to plenty of hurdles if they expect to cover all the complaints and issues .

Nice tribute to Tim now Kevin help us out give us Tims to do list lets talk expansion and pool the resources the city has now together and tackle the big stuff Tim could never take on

Peter Franz July 7, 2017 at 11:17 am

Tim Callahan is a deserved subject of this letter — thanks Kevin. Lot’s of subjects dominate local news, but as you say, behind the scenes the Health department, under Tim’s guidance, has kept Norwalk safe and continues to create community-benefitting programs.

Thanks Tim for your years of service, and happy retirement!

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NancyOnNorwwalk.com was conceived as the place to go for Norwalk residents to get the real, unvarnished story about what is going on in and around their city. NancyOnNorwalk does not intend to be a print newspaper online; rather, it exists to pull the curtain back and shine a spotlight on how Norwalk is run and what is happening regarding issues that have an impact on taxpayers’ pocketbooks and safety. As an independent site, NancyOnNorwalk’s first and only allegiance is to the reader.

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Nancy came to Norwalk in September 2010 and, after reporting on Norwalk for two years for another company, resigned to begin Nancy On Norwalk so she engage in journalism the way it was meant to be done. She is married to career journalist Mark Chapman, has a son, Eric (the artist and web designer who built this website), and two cats – a middle-aged lady and a young hottie who are learning how to peacefully co-exist.