It was a very difficult decision not to run for re-election this year. So many people helped me during my first run for office that I initially felt that not running was a disservice to the folks that dedicated time to my campaign. That being said, midway into my council term, my career path changed and in my new role, I’m now required to travel out of state on a just about a weekly basis. While this presented an exciting opportunity for me professionally, I’ve struggled with my ability to dedicate (what I believe is) the appropriate amount of time to my council position.
I owe a heartfelt thanks to the residents of District D for electing me to the council. And, many thanks to my fellow council members, the Mayor, his staff and the various department heads for their collaboration across countless projects during the time I’ve served. Until you’ve sat in that seat, and heard arguments from the residents on both sides of a critical debate, you cannot appreciate how difficult the job really is. And, while I haven’t shared the same point of view with my fellow council members on every topic, I believe that passionate discussion and even debates, are healthy for our community’s growth.
I’ve forged close friendships over the past two years. Some of the closest of those relationships are with council members from the other side of the aisle; notably my counterpart in District D, Shannon O’Toole-Giandurco. I didn’t know Shannon before I ran, other than that she was running against me as an incumbent from the opposing party. But from Election Day on she demonstrated the utmost professionalism and courtesy in her role. We connected via phone or text on critical issues, and she was consistently clear and honest as to where she stood. We might not have agreed on every vote, but I never felt she was putting party lines ahead of the needs of our district, or the City, and I always respected that.
To that end, I’ve learned from my two years on the Council, that when it comes to local government, citizens should focus their vote on the most qualified candidate, and not a party line. I encourage the residents of Norwalk to reach out to this year’s candidates and understand why they decided to run and their goals for how they plan to serve. It’s impossible to predict what issues are going to dominate the next two years, so your vote should elect candidates who are hardworking and motivated by the idea moving this city forward, regardless of their political affiliation and that party’s agenda.
To my family: The Council commitment is often tied to long nights out of the house. You too should be recognized for our collective decision to give back to the community through my position on the Council. Thank you for sharing in my passion and our goals for this city.
To all those that contributed to this experience, I’m forever grateful. In the future, when I can dedicate the time required of the post, I hope that you will once again consider my candidacy. I look forward to the opportunity to once again serve, and to give back to the city I so proudly call my home.