Brinton Thomson: Rilling leadership failures harming Norwalk

Unaffiliated Norwalk mayoral candidate Lisa Brinton Thomson, center, speaks to the press Thursday morning in front of the stalled Wall Street Place development, on Wall and Isaac Streets.

The election is Nov. 7.

Updated, 3:30 p.m.: Clarification regarding DECD funding, a$5 million grant.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk is suffering from a lack of leadership that affects its residents and businesses, unaffiliated mayoral candidate Lisa Brinton Thomson said Thursday, adding that Norwalk will not be taken seriously as a thriving city if its core “continues to languish.”

Brinton Thomson met with reporters in front of the stalled Wall Street Place development, backed by key supporters, to again assail Mayor Harry Rilling’s leadership, advocate for a city manager and “sanity in land use decisions.” The press conference prompted a much sharper reply from Rilling than Brinton Thomson’s previous barrages, as Rilling said it did “little more than highlight Lisa’s inexperience and lack of understanding of what leadership means.”

Video by Harold Cobin at end of story

“I’m standing before the POKO development, which is in much the same shape as the day Harry Rilling stood here a few years ago, newly minted as Mayor, touting it as a shining example of Norwalk’s ‘moving forward,’” Brinton Thomson said. “In fact, this project was put together during the Knopp administration and advanced during the Moccia years. That didn’t seem to bother my opponent as he put a point on the scoreboard.”

Asked about that later in the day, Rilling said that the Merchant’s Bank was still standing when his administration began so the corner of Wall Street and Isaac Street isn’t in “much the same shape.”

Rilling in May 2014, six months after he was sworn into office for the first time, held a press conference to celebrate the beginning of demolition on Merchant’s Bank, as POKO Partners began construction on Wall Street Place after at least eight years of delay.

Rilling met with POKO shortly after taking office and got the project moving, he said Thursday evening, echoing his comments in 2014.

Stalled construction on the backside of Wall Street Place.

The project has since stalled again. Construction stopped more than a year ago, after POKO Partners principal Ken Olson became ill; Citibank foreclosed on POKO’s loan in March and has been working with a developer to restart the project, Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan said in September.

Asked after her press conference if she knew Olson’s illness was the reason for the end of POKO’s construction, Brinton Thomson said, “It was a bad project from the beginning. If the project was sound, it wouldn’t matter. He’s got a company that would keep building it.”

Asked during her remarks what she would specifically do to get the construction going, Brinton Thomson referred reporters to Michael McGuire of the Austin McGuire Company, a commercial real estate company, whose office is across the street from Wall Street Place.

“I think this is way too complicated for any one developer to take on,” McGuire said. “They don’t really have the background to do this. To do a property like this that has so many strings attached, it’s like buying into a lawsuit. Because you still have to buy the property, its insufficient parking, and every string attached has a price tag that needs to be unwound.”

POKO lined up Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHAFA) 9 percent tax credits and a Competitive Housing Assistance for MultiFamily (CHAMP) grant as part of its financing for Phase I of Wall Street Place, and tjhe Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) awarded it a $5 million grant. The project also featured an underground, 220-car automated parking garage.

Reporters asked Brinton Thomson why she had McGuire answer the question. She said she’d seek advice as mayor.

“That’s the difference between being a manager and being a politician,” Brinton Thomson said. “Like I said, I want to get a city manager onto the ballot but in the meanwhile I would look to experts in the field to advise the city. Mr. McGuire is one of those and there would be others.”

“I try to bring experts to the table here, I don’t try to stay at a 50,000-foot level and wing it,” she said. “I try to bring people who know much more about topics than I do. That is how I would be as mayor and it would be very transparent.”

McGuire mentioned all the new apartments in the area, characterizing that as 1,700 new units in the last decade. A Wall Street train station would be a gold amenity for the area, and would stimulate the completion of Wall Street Place, McGuire said.

Brinton Thomson said she supports a Wall Street train station.

Rilling has said he supports the idea also. The bipartisan budget passed by the legislature Wednesday includes $250,000 for a feasibility study on a Wall Street train station.

In other comments, Brinton Thomson said she’d bring the Redevelopment Agency and the Planning and Zoning Departments closer together, and she would like the Planning Commission to merge with the Zoning Commission to become one Board, as it once was.

“The Parking Authority is an autonomous agency,” she said. “They have their master plan for parking, I am not sure how it fits into Planning and Zoning or the Redevelopment Agency. Once again, there’s another agency that operates autonomously and that’s where I think we need to bring together some more centralized planning.”

The Parking Authority began a $200,000 parking study in September.

“It’s really a city-wide look,” Carolyn Krasnow of Walker Parking Consultants said to the Council Planning Commission on Oct. 5. “We are looking at every area.”

“We are really trying to look at the city, for example how parking can work with development, that’s why we are looking at studies being done by other consultants,” Krasnow said. “We are going to coordinate with them because there are other consultants working on this as well. Our goal is to think about the ways in which, and help give advice on the ways in which, parking and development and growth go together because parking can support that and it can not, it can be a hindrance.”

Brinton Thomson on Thursday said, “We need to move our operations away from political mayors. I will make sure that we have a discussion with the goal of hiring the city’s first trained and certified city manager—one that will understand the needs of a city our size.”

Rilling has recently said that Norwalk has three city planners on staff.

“There’s a difference between having credentials for a city manager and actually being structurally organized to act as the city planner,” Brinton Thomson said.

While some have said that a city manager wouldn’t be accountable to the public as it wouldn’t be an elected official, Brinton Thomson said the city manager would be held accountable in the same way as a superintendent is.

A city manager position would need to be created via a charter revision; it would require a two-thirds vote from the Common Council to create a Charter Revision Commission, and a revision to create a city manager doesn’t appear to have support from Council candidates.

Rilling specified a new charter revision commission in the 2017-18 operating budget, Brinton Thomson said, producing a document to prove it and explaining, “It’s not just me, it’s in our budget.”

“There will be a mandate from the people,” she said. “This election isn’t about me this election is about the issues I stand for. Ergo, if I win, the public is supporting those changes. I would create a bipartisan Council much the same way I influenced the bipartisan ‘Board of Ed.’”

Brinton Thomson is the founder of the education reform group Red Apples.

“Doing what we did on the ‘Board of Ed’ and doing what we have been doing to move the professionalism of our school system with a strong superintendent and a bipartisan Board is exactly what the city needs,” she said.

Brinton Thomson also criticized Rilling for the state of 45 Wall St.

“Around the corner from where we are standing is another building which suffered from a tragic fire in 2010, and has still not returned to being a tax-contributing business that is part of a robust and attractive neighborhood,” she said. “There has been little progress during four years on my opponent’s watch. Again, there were multiple opportunities to intervene and help over the past four years, and this administration chose nothing.   Protecting the citizens means actually making the hard choices, not just talking about them.”

The Council Ordinance Committee in 2013 created a residential blight ordinance. In December 2014, one year after Rilling took office, Norwalk Chief Building Official Bill Ireland sent blight warning letters to the building’s owner, Ganga Duleep, and TD Bank, the lien holder, beginning a legal process.

A view through an open door at 45 Wall St., on Sept. 27.

Ireland has provided NancyOnNorwalk with regular updates on the building, explaining that there is a court process and that the situation is particularly complicated in this case. Although there appears to be no progress from the outside of the building, Ireland in early October provided NoN with photos to show that work is progressing inside, and a new kitchen is being built behind the building.

Brinton Thomson said, “I may not have every answer, but I recognize that Norwalk citizens want their voices heard.  They want to have a city that they can be proud of and they do not want a small group of individuals dictating to them.  True leadership means willingness to make a decision, and to put Norwalk First. We’ve had four years of ‘not at all.’ Now, let’s ‘Do it Right!’”

That was a reference to Brinton Thomson’s successful 2016 campaign against two charter revision questions on the ballot.

Asked about Brinton Thomson’s myriad remarks, Rilling, in an email, said:

“I’ve refrained from attacking Lisa thus far.  I prefer a positive campaign speaking to my accomplishments and vision for the future.  All I’ll say on this is that this press release does little more than highlight Lisa’s inexperience and lack of understanding of what leadership means.  She fails to appreciate the complexity of the issues facing Norwalk and offers simplistic solutions thought up in a vacuum and researched on Wikipedia.  She has failed to build any coalition or support for her agenda on the common council (which we all know is necessary to do any of the things she has promised.)  This is not leadership.  Leadership is identifying the challenges, building a coalition and rolling up your sleeves to get the work done.  Lisa’s disconnection from the people who live here (8th happiest in the country!) and constant negativity will not serve her well on election day.”


NoN asked McGuire why he feels Brinton Thomson is the person to bring charter revision and a city manager-style government to Norwalk.

“I think she is just shining a light on it,” he said, explaining that the people in city government aren’t bad, it’s the process that is at fault.

“Enough people have been living here to see this and all you really need is to shine a light on it,” McGuire said. “I wouldn’t say she is going to do it herself, but no one person is capable of doing that. I think it’s more of a rallying cry.”


Sue Haynie October 27, 2017 at 6:42 am

Rilling sees the demolishing of the Merchant’s Bank building as an accomplishment? That’s not leadership, that’s grasping at straws.

Rilling says he’s for the Wall Street Train Station, mentions submitting some random application but doesn’t communicate any follow-up. That’s not leadership, that’s CYA.

Rilling has no new ideas himself, he waits for them to happen and goes to ribbon cuttings. That’s not leadership, that’s just old-style politics.

Lisa’s Red Apples ed reform group helped take Norwalk schools from a fiefdom of adult special interests w/no direction to where it is now. Rilling, who seldom attends BOE meetings, is trying to take credit for the district’s progress. That’s not leadership, that’s fake news.

Vote for Lisa for Mayor. Norwalk needs a real leader.

Bryan Meek October 27, 2017 at 8:18 am

How can you write a story with POKO in the subject and not remind readers that $5 million of taxpayer money simply vanished from this project?

This is where you run to the Mayor’s defense and fact check me in 3, 2, 1…..oh wait, you can’t. $5 million is gone forever.

How much is it going to cost to replace all the wood that is going to rot away over the winter? How long can the steel beams corrode before requiring some type of remediation?

Amazing how this story draws no interest from the press.

Holden Caulfield October 27, 2017 at 8:22 am

“Building a coalition.” In other words, pandering to public unions to maintain office. Perhaps the current mayor wouldn’t see such opposition if residents knew what he stood for specifically.

Rem October 27, 2017 at 8:48 am

Personally I’m still unclear on the visions of two of the mayorial candidates: Rilling and Morris. Conroy is against the Walk Bridge and Brinton-Thomson is for a city manager and charter revision. To me, real leadership is having the guts to stand up and take a position. This kind of wishy-washy feel good muddle is meaningless and quite frankly shows insecurity more than stability. Be a man and take a position. Why would I want to keep you in office or why do you prefer local office versus the state?

Also, I’d like to point out all candidates for public office are representatives of the people. If the people want a city manager and you don’t like it, tough luck 🙂 Just because you get a vote in favor doesn’t give you blanket authority…

Bob Welsh October 27, 2017 at 9:47 am

Bryan Meek:

Nobody likes being fact-checked, and if that is indeed what happened to you at some point, it appears to have been especially unpleasant for you. I’m sorry. Perhaps you will take some comfort in knowing that just yesterday Nancy fact-checked and required changes in a submission from someone who is very left of center, who didn’t like it much either. And a week or two ago she deleted a personal insult directed at you and at Mike Lyons, which provoked ire from the commenter.

If you have evidence that inaccuracies in news or opinion pieces are allowed to go uncorrected by some but not others, then please let me and the rest of the NON board know. I’ve never seen Nancy refuse to correct inaccuracies and in my opinion her commitment to accuracy is a feature, not a bug, of this site. Fact-checking comments is not practical and recently it has been yeoman’s work just to moderate them for basic civility.

Adding more information to the story is always welcome. Writing and submitting an opinion piece of your own is even more welcome. If something you read frustrates you, there are myriad ways to have your views prominently aired here, all of which are far more effective than attacking the widow Chapman.

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 27, 2017 at 11:04 am

Mayor Rilling does not offer much in the way of comfort relative to the stalled POKO Partners Wall Street Place development, which the mayor touted during his first term as a major accomplishment. Taxpayers covered $5,000,000 of this white elephant. And Rilling doesn’t have a compelling explanation aside from questioning Lisa Brinton’s ability to build support on the Common Council.

Did the mayor forget he asked the Common Council TWICE to empanel a new Charter Revision Commission, and Igneri said he didn’t have the numbers? Sounds like the mayor already has a problem with support from the CC on some of his asks. The support is so weak, in fact, that you can’t get one CC member to fess up to denying the people’s will on charter revision. They refused to do a roll call vote. That’s political cowardice.

Monday’s Common Council at-large panel debate would seem to echo the problem. There is an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude among many of the candidates. The incumbents were especially disappointing save Rich Bonenfant, who also was the lone CC member to vote against the MA request to renovate their facility in advance of the Walk Bridge project.

Leadership is having the guts and the vision to stand up to those who say ‘it can’t be done” or “the political will isn’t there” or worse, “we are content with mediocrity”. Norwalk has too many assets— principle among them its citizens—for city government to flounder from one costly failure to the next.

Finally it is incorrect for Mayor Rilling to say that Lisa Brinton has failed to build any coalition of support. Maybe he’s not looking in the right places, but I see support for Lisa all over, from all quarters, regardless of party affiliation. The people are ready for change. No other candidate is willing to rolll up their sleeves and work for it.

Bryan Meek October 27, 2017 at 11:07 am

@BW. It’s not an attack. Just an observation. I believe NON is a great product, but is hindered by selective fact checking and selective omission of truth. You don’t need me to give you a litany on this. Ask anyone else. I don’t see the practice as nefarious, rather it is just habitually one sided. Perhaps there is behind the scenes balance, or maybe it is happening since I’ve been crying foul on things. I don’t know.

The story here uses Poko as a backdrop. It was a hole in the ground until the state came up with $5 million magically to cover it in time for the 2015 election, when the developer then had no money.

Again he had no money after we gave him more money and now it sits rotting. The $5 million giveaway came on a day (9/12/2014), ironically, when the Facilities commission was struggling with the problem of how to deliver a much needed PreK building under 2.5 million, cutting back on the original designs….and here they were taking photo ops for a $5 million giveaway (from a broke state) for a project that can never economically happen without huge taxpayer subsidy.

So our kids get shortchanged, but some Developer without a pot to piss in gets a huge payoff that probably ended up financing other projects he was in the hole on.

Anyway, my whole point here is that there is a tremendous story that goes with the picture, but is suspiciously missing.

cc-rider October 27, 2017 at 11:38 am

Bryan- you make many valid points, but seem to imply NON has some huge staff and real newsroom vetting stories. As far as I can tell, we have Nancy writing stories herself so you saying that things are suspiciously missing seems totally unrealistic for what we have in this one woman show of a website.

Bryan Meek October 27, 2017 at 11:58 am

@CC. Thanks, but I would never say Nancy doesn’t work her tail off, nor am I under any impression that she has some huge staff. This story just forgot about the icing on the cake that $5 million of our money was given to a developer who was already out of money and no one in leadership thought to put tighter controls on that purse. Had the developer failed on his own merit, fine….that happens all the time. He failed with OUR money and we let him. This is the story.

Patrick Cooper October 27, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Well, there’s a whole lot more that isn’t in the story, but one should never try to digest the whole enchilada in one bite.

@Bryan Meek, yes – $5 million. Would love a forensic accounting on those dollars. Political Timing? At the front end, a photo op. On the back end, inconvenient truth’s and a mayor trying to distance himself from the stench.

Let’s not forget – 100 feet away we have the Duleep building. 7 years of …..waiting. On one corner, we have a parking lot purportedly eyed by DiScalla (Not AJ…) looking for another insider transfer of city assets for a dollar, and on the other – a zoning decision that created a multi-million-dollar windfall for a different developer related to Library parking. Across the street is the opportunity for a transit infrastructure solution (Train Station) that would add immediate dividends – one supported by the quoted Mike McGuire now for years – the one Harry is possibly/maybe/could be supporting (a study – again) once he was told he should be.

Also missing was the vision: add the train station, fix the walk bridge, and develop elements of a “Riverwalk al fresco entertainment” along the natural meandering Norwalk river. It would immediately be the most interesting downtown area in Fairfield county.

Long term – you could see a series of encampments tying all of this together – not only the train – but even bike/walk trails along the river connecting Wall Street to Lockwood Mathews/Oyster Shell Park, then to the Mall (can’t stop it now), and then to SoNo, and the Harbor.

The long list of land use fiascos under the current administration has been documented over and over in NoN-comments. Funny it seems Harry is just waking up to how vulnerable he is once voters see these in total, with the light shining on the pattern of one deal at a time thinking. If lurching from one crisis to the next, and a demonstrated fumbling, reactive and secretive approach is our mayor’s idea of leadership, I’ll take my chances on Lisa.

Elections matter. Vote November 8th.

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 27, 2017 at 12:09 pm

@Bob Welsh, it would be nice if commenters could post at their own risk, insults and all, without the need for moderation and editing. This would save Nancy time as well.

Also I continue to struggle with the internal reactions to public comments regarding content and reporting, specifically when a commenter suggests there is an objectivity problem. For example, the word “myriad” is used in the article to modify Brinton’s comments. “Far ranging” would have had a different connotation, Your use of “myriad” above seems to me appropriate, even if I disagree with the intent. My point is that reasonable people may disagree, and that it is possible to value this news source while still legitimately questioning editorial decisions and possible bias in reporting.

Whether or not the iron hand of the censor is applied equally behind the scenes is besides the point. What is visible to the reader is the presence not only of fact-checking and comment moderation (where I am currently serving out my sentence for I know not exactly what), but also of “attaboys” and protective/defensive statements from board members. An excellent journalistic product doesn’t require the latter. Comments from board members suggesting that a poster has attacked Nancy does not elevate the credibility and reliability of the product.

Pamela Parkington October 27, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Did the Lisa Briton fan club every take into consideration that Lisa’s all out campaign to stop Charter Revision may have tainted it with the good citizens of Norwalk forever?

She was against it and now she’s for it? Explain that one.

And having surrogates attack citizens who have willingly stepped up to run and serve time on the Council is not how you build a coalition. Good luck with that one.

Seaworthy October 27, 2017 at 2:39 pm

It was quite unfortunate to see Lisa attack Andy Conroy last night out of the blue for his fundraising. Seeing a one issue candidate flounder when candidates want to talk about all of the issues was pretty sad.

Debora Goldstein October 27, 2017 at 3:03 pm


Glad you asked, because the evidence doesn’t support that view. The only ones for whom charter revision appears to be tainted are the people who were never really for it in the first place.

The appendix to the final report from the CRC acknowledged a list of items that the PUBLIC asked for, but those things were not addressed. Instead, the Council charged the Charter Revision Commission, who largely complied with their request, to let them eat their dessert before their vegetables.

The Charter Revision Commission itself wrote: “Once you have reviewed our proposed changes to this Charter and by procedure, you will be holding a public hearing of your own, you will probably hear more on the City Planner issue. We suggest that you listen and look into this matter and address it with another Charter Revision Commission in the near future or at your discretion, this Commission can be reconvened to explore the feasibility of a City Planner.”

Note that our Mayor was in favor of doing so. (https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2017/01/rilling-looking-to-new-charter-revision-commission/) and throughout the electoral season, then council president Kimmel continually offered up a second charter commission.

The NO campaign wasn’t about being against Charter Revision…it was about being against using the Charter Revision process without attempting to resolve issues that stem from the charter. The voters got this.

Debora Goldstein October 27, 2017 at 3:14 pm

It’s interesting that nobody actually defends an unpleasant truth when it is spoken, instead characterizing it as an attack.

Judge for yourself whether Brinton is attacking volunteers who step up to run for council. And whether the fundraising issue should concern the rest of the ticket.


Suda has also raised more money as of Oct. 1 than any other Republican Council candidate, more than $7,525…


…Republican candidate Andy Conroy has raised $6,682.95.

And I should remind everyone, LISA BRINTON happens to be a VOLUNTEER who is stepping up to run for office. It hasn’t stopped anyone from attacking her…

Rusty Guardrail October 27, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Lisa is offering a new beginning. If she wanted to go full-tilt negative, she’d be referencing the Firetree mess, the mall deemed “unthinkable” by Wall Street Journal, the BJ’s application turnaround coinciding with thousands of dollars from the developer’s associates suddenly show up as campaign contributions, the white elephant Globe Theater, the general lack of enforcement, and more.
Mayor Rilling called her “inexperienced.” True. She lacks experience at making excuses, lacks experience at spinning wheels, and lacks experience at pompously ignoring the needs of the electorate while the city stagnates for lack of proper governance. Norwalk will benefit if she kicks his butt at the polls.

Nancy Chapman October 27, 2017 at 3:27 pm

Bryan, I was very tired last night. I found the information about a $5 million DECD grant for POKO but did not immediately find information indicating how much of the grant had been used in the project, which of course isn’t complete. It’s what it is referred to by the line, “obtained Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) funding.” That reflects an uncertainty about how to describe a transaction for which I don’t have details. The story could have benefitted from another set of eyes at that point but it was late, as I bit off more than I could chew yesterday. I agree I could have worded it better; I was very bleary-eyed.

I have inquired as to details of the grant, and am updating the story to specify a $5 grant.

Cindy October 27, 2017 at 3:47 pm

It’s nice to see Lisa and her merry misfits holding press events to show the negatives of development in Norwalk. If the Developer didn’t become gravely ill, the project would be complete and a non-issue this election season. So since its still sitting it becomes a target.

Thats one way to campaign, point out everything the other guy has done wrong.

I guess thats a strategy to take as opposed to really communicating what you realistically look to achieve and how you will do it.

The comment from Harry brings up a great point.

How would Lisa get anything done without alignment from the Common Council?

If you think think Harry is ineffective as a a Mayor just picture Lisa with no allies on the council.

Rusty Guardrail October 27, 2017 at 4:03 pm

The project collapsed because the developer became ill? Come on! And as for allies on the Council: with friends like them, who needs enemies? Most Norwalkers don’t even know what the council IS, so unfortunately this is what we get.

Bryan Meek October 27, 2017 at 4:06 pm

@Cindy. The developer became ill. Yes. He announced it himself. You really want to take that position? So we gave $5 million to someone, who if something happened to him, our money would be gone. There was no contingency plans? No insurance for the demise? Or what you are really admitting is no control whatsoever over public finances. Ok. Keep going with that one.

@Nancy. The money is gone. If it were there and the project was worthwhile, it would have been done by now. If there is a nickel left it will be needed to raise the structure that will be undergoing a second winter of rot shortly.

And Nancy. Thanks for your hard work. Get some rest this weekend for the last 10 days of fun.

Debora Goldstein October 27, 2017 at 4:08 pm

It’s unfortunate that people have so little faith in the council candidates that they believe that those that are elected have already made up their minds not to work with the Mayor selected by the people unless that Mayor agrees with them.

It’s equally unfortunate that an informal survey of the at large candidates on one issue is being conflated this way. Only five of the candidates from the at-large interviews will actually make it onto the council. TEN in-district candidates might have a different view of charter revision, if asked. By my count, ten is two thirds of the council.

All you have is stated platforms that don’t align before an election. Every single candidate running for council has pledged to do the best for Norwalk. Hard to believe that some people think those people would have so totally made up their minds before the issue is brought before them that they would veto the will of the people. I choose to believe that the current candidates will honor their promises to work on a bi-partisan (or non-partisan basis) and examine all the information about an issue before making up their minds.

Voters should take a good hard look at anybody who tells you right now that they will not work with the Mayor that is selected on November 7th, before they even know what the question is.

Pamela Parkington October 27, 2017 at 4:49 pm

“The NO campaign wasn’t about being against Charter Revision…it was about being against using the Charter Revision process without attempting to resolve issues that stem from the charter. The voters got this.”

Deb, let’s be honest, most voters didn’t take it that way. Most voters had no clue on what they were voting for or against. I know this because I spent my whole day last election day at Nathan Hale explaining the questions to them and I bet you did the same at Marvin.

Lisa’s and your campaign back then against Charter Revision was fear based, scorched earth. All or Nothing…Oh and BTW everyone, that ALL is going to be what WE decide for YOU, whether you like it or not.

You guys basically told everyone the world will end as they know it if this thing passes, so yeah everyone voted against it because of fear. Simple as that. Fear gets out votes.

Big win for you and Lisa, now what? Do really think a good majority of voters are going to believe her now?

Heck she told us the world will end if this happens.

Why should they believe her now? Because she said so?

Don’t think so.

Voters don’t turn on a dime.

And good luck trying to get them to.

Bob Welsh October 27, 2017 at 5:56 pm

It’s really nice to hear appreciative comments regarding Nancy’s work from Bryan Meek and Deb Goldstein and ccrider and others.

I spoke up here because, as has frequently been the case, I was aware of facts that ran counter to the narrative of alleged uneven treatment. It was suggested that Nancy’s failure to mention $5 million in public money that went to POKO was evidence of a tendency to defend the mayor. If that’s true, then Lisa Brinton Thomson must have been defending the mayor at yesterday’s press conference as well, since Lisa’s statement did not mention the $5 million in public funds either. And the theory of “defending the mayor” isn’t consistent with Nancy’s reporting on the mayor’s contributions from BJ’s developers, acceptance of a pay hike, and more.

I speak for myself here, not for the board, but the board was unanimous a week ago in encouraging commenters towards gentle treatment of each other, and of the writer. In my opinion, that means giving her the benefit of the doubt, rather than starting with a conclusion of bias and then seeing evidence of it in every word.

Nancy will be the first to admit she is not perfect and she always wants to do more than time permits. Her commitment to accuracy is remarkable, and her coverage has been deemed unfair by campaigners for every mayoral candidate except for Bruce Morris. Mark Chapman liked to say that if most people think the coverage is unfair to them, then we’re doing it right. Good journalism makes people uncomfortable.

Thank you again for all the kind words for Nancy’s efforts.

Debora Goldstein October 27, 2017 at 6:12 pm


I respectfully disagree. We issued essay after essay outlining what the problems were. They were specific and fact based. Much of what was circulated is still up at NorwalkFirst.com because the research we did on City manager was a useful resource.

We were outspent 20:1 and yet managed to get the message out. We were called naysayers, and worse, by elected officials. WE were the ones who pointed out that the city hadn’t done the statutorily required explanatory language for the voters to be displayed until it was too late. Even then, it didn’t get done until after the absentee ballots went out. We weren’t the ones who got party support before the YES position was officially endorsed by the party. The message resonated “DO IT RIGHT OR NOT AT ALL”.

Like now, pointing out the flaws in our opponent’s positions is being taken personally. It shouldn’t be. This is what elections are for.

Patrick Cooper October 27, 2017 at 6:20 pm

@Pamela, I can’t use the dog-whistle word “hysterical” because of all the misogynist history, but seriously, your “hyperbole” is just fantastic. Laughable. I don’t recall “the world will end”. I do recall clearly, the questions amounted to 4 more years for Harry, gender neutral language, and two other measures not worth the time to create them. NONE of the issues I wanted were put forth – so I voted against them. “Most voters didn’t know what they were voting for or against?” EVERY voter I know got this. Oh, inconvenient truth: It showed in the voting numbers – a fact you can’t spin – fear doesn’t bring people out – it keeps them home. We must travel in very different circles.

I get it – you’re a dyed in the wool democrat – you just can’t say it. Well, good for you – everyone should stand for something. I mean, that’s really working for CT – right? You criticize the criticism, but offer no advocacy positions that you believe in. Hollow. So, you take Harry, and I’ll take Lisa. It’s a tie. Now it’s up to the other voters, and given the reaction of late, the Rilling camp is starting to worry. Bet that 160k starts to drown the low information voters, but it’s a bit late.

One last point: why has city hall not spent a single dollar towards any kind of “Get the Vote Out” campaigns? Civic duty, sure – but the current administration would prefer only the connected vote. Oh, and as for voter’s don’t turn on a dime? Not sure the currency, but we get the chance to re-evaluate every 2 years. The report card is in – lower grand list, higher property taxes, an exodus of longtime residents, and 100 different land use fiasco’s. If you own a home, have a small business, have a child in the school system, or just care about the future of this city, your only option is Lisa for mayor.

JB October 27, 2017 at 9:23 pm

I am an undecided voter. Have voted for Rilling in the past but am open to Lisa. That being said, Pamela brings up a good question. What is the plan for building a coalition? Norwalk is a mess – not everyone can win but there’s got to be a way to build consensus and move forward in a positive direction.

If I vote for Rilling am I voting for more of the same? If I vote for Lisa will she have the wherewithal to get everyone on the same page?

At what point do all of the concerned citizens that voice their opinions here give up on getting their way and being right all the time and figure out how to get along? There has to be some common ground.

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 27, 2017 at 9:40 pm

@Pamela I’m certain you’re a fine volunteer, public servant and candidate. But what I read above is a pretty naked observation about the ignorance of voters, which I find surprising since you’re on the ballot. It’s one thing to lament the low information voter privately and another to post it here. The CRC proposals were defeated soundly. I was new in town (which I know does not entitle me to an opinion). Initially I believed I would support all four initiatives because they seemed benign. The more I learned, the more I realized that two of the four were self serving. And I voted NO on those two. I didn’t vote no out of fear. I voted NO because Charter Revision is a serious and infrequent undertaking. Of all the things that needed revising, the mayor’s term and the CC pay would have been fourth or fifth on my list after doing something about planning and zoning and looking into the overall structure and functionality of city government.

Also “serving time on the CC” is not a prison sentence. It’s a privilege bestowed upon candidates by the voters who vest them with this power. Service on the CC then becomes a solemn duty. That means that those who serve had better be diligent in their approach and strong enough to withstand public scrutiny. It’s not sandbox school.

Stephen L Horvath October 28, 2017 at 8:49 am

Last Night the West Norwalk Association had hosted a forum with Candidates running for office in Norwalk . It was set up with a time restriction to give them all time to let you know who they were and what they plan for the City. They were all pretty well versed on their achievements. The four Mayoral candidate spoke, 3 messages were similar and one was not. Three spoke of their time spent as an employees systems and how to expand on what they’ve already achieved. The current Mayor said he had only raise taxes a little and in the future promised to keep the increases as small as possible. I wondered? “Why raise them at all? as did others. All 3 were inside politicians who had favors to uphold. To most in the crowd of over 100 people, that had meant higher taxes and no curbing on the expansion of City Hall, while their “assistants took note on the audiences reactions”. Then there was Lisa Brinton. When Lisa spoke, she spoke of the City as a business, managing the asset of the city’s people and preserving its value through a more financially conservative approach and avoid the pitfalls that have bankrupted our state. . Through the proper managing the various offices of the City Hall. Lisa Brinton, with real corporate business experience, we can reduce spending and improve on current programs to make them more efficient and get our money’s worth. To curb the States pressure on the City with their programs that effect our town. Yes we have great assets in Norwalk, Oak HIll Golf Park, our coast line along with our geographical location between New City and New Haven. We need to attract business to Nowarlk not scare them away with the red tape they now have to go through. Lisa clearly sees through the minutia into the core of the institution of the city. She has the pulse of the people in mind, it is our town and we should have a little more say in how our moneys out spent. At the end of the evening, for the socializing part of the event, all the candidates had quickly left, except Lisa, She had a line of people who wanted to meet her. she was gracious and gave every one time to say their piece. All had a very positive response to her approach as did I. We need a change in Norwalk, it is time we took back our policy making from the politicians and put our City’s business in the hands of people that make good business decisions. To grow and develop the City properly from within. I will be standing with Lisa and her run for the Mayors office of Norwalk. Yes I’m conservative, but out of all the candidates that spoke, she was the only true conservative with the peoples interest out front that made sense of our current problems….Just remember the Realtors, selling Norwalk, the higher taxes, the slower the growth. It time to give Norwalk back to its people…Please share

Pamela Parkington October 28, 2017 at 12:14 pm


““Most voters didn’t know what they were voting for or against?” EVERY voter I know got this.”

Since you didn’t see it, therefore it didn’t exist.

That tells me a lot.

“One last point: why has city hall not spent a single dollar towards any kind of “Get the Vote Out” campaigns?”

You really don’t know how this works do you? Should I have Harry call you personally? Would that make you feel better?


See JB’s post: “At what point do all of the concerned citizens that voice their opinions here give up on getting their way and being right all the time and figure out how to get along?”

Your writing ability is exceptional, you do your research and your opinion posts on just about everything under the sun are well thought out. Problem is, everyone of them drip with condescension. If I were you, I would take heed of JB’s statement…but that’s just my opinion.

Lastly, @ Deb

“The message resonated “DO IT RIGHT OR NOT AT ALL”.”

The perfect is the enemy of the good.

I agree that we need to revise the Charter, I also agree that we need to take a hard look at our Zoning laws. Heck, you and I agree on mostly everything, we just don’t agree on how it should be done. I just don’t get tied up in knots if it’s not perfect. Legislation has never been, nor will it ever be perfect.

There was momentum on Charter revision, the well has been tainted because of the no campaign. Now we have “Not at all”.

And I just don’t see how one person who was previously against it, who is now for it, is going to make it happen with the message of “only I can fix this”.

But hey, the guy in the White House now said the same thing, “only I alone can fix this”…may just work for you.

Pile on in 1, 2, 3….

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 28, 2017 at 2:51 pm

@Harry Rilling’s quote above, received as an email response, is worthy of further analysis. Allow me to give it a stab, offering my own—and only my own—translation of the Mayor’s response to Ms. Brinton’s press conference highlighting the failure of this administration and past administrations to revitalize downtown Norwalk.

“I’ve refrained from attacking Lisa thus far.”
Translation: I prefer to leave this work to my surrogates.

“All I’ll say on this is that this press release does little more than highlight Lisa’s inexperience and lack of understanding of what leadership means.”

Translation: Everyone knows leadership in Norwalk means showing up for photo ops and smiling for the cameras, at which I excel. Was there anything else I was supposed to be doing?

“She fails to appreciate the complexity of the issues facing Norwalk and offers simplistic solutions thought up in a vacuum and researched on Wikipedia.”

Translation: I didn’t actually write this sentence, which is so out of character for me that I’d be shocked if anyone reading it believes this is my work. In my own words, unless you do backroom deals behind the scenes, you can’t smile for the cameras announcing your triumphs. I know Lisa won’t bow down to the good ol’ boys network that makes the rules, and this frustrates and confuses me.

“She has failed to build any coalition or (sic) support for her agenda on the common council.”

Translation: and neither have I because I’m not sure what my agenda is. Besides Lisa’s coalition of support is just among voters. Who needs them when only one out of three vote?

“This is not leadership. Leadership is identifying the challenges, building a coalition and rolling up your sleeves to get the work done.”

Translation: which weirdly sounds like exactly what Lisa IS doing and what she DID last fall when she shot down my four year term.

“Lisa’s disconnection from the people who live here (8th happiest in the country!) and constant negativity will not serve her well on election day.”

Translation: actually I’m mostly connected to the unions. And to be honest, even though the wife of my campaign treasurer is married to the president of the NFT, I’m not sure I have all their votes either. Norwalk wasn’t actually named 8th happiest. It’s just sandwiched in there with the towns that are better run, so the line should probably read “close to the 8th happiest places in the country!” Also Lisa’s connection to the people frightens me and my cadre of supporters, especially my highly paid campaign manager who may have written this for me. Some of my cronies and cheerleaders aren’t so happy either who have to attack Lisa for running a negative campaign because she’s campaigning against my record of lackluster achievements and out right failures.

I hope my translation of the Mayor’s statement helps to clarify his position for the voters.

Debora Goldstein October 28, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Actually, it was not the perfect being the enemy of the good. More like being part of the solution and not part of the problem.

None of those proposals did anything to solve land use problems or would have removed a single dollar of costs for running this city. It would have removed accountability for the Mayor by having him stand for election half as often. It would removed all supervision of the voters for raising council stipends. I take it back. We would have saved a few bucks on printing municipal ballots by removing the offices for which nobody can figure out a purpose.

Apparently, the notion of charter revision is so tainted…this term money was put into the next budget to support it, by the self-same council and Mayor who professed they cannot get another charter revision off the ground.

The only logical conclusion is that nobody wanted charter revision to be an election issue while they were on the ballot. Next year? Fine. This year? They are all for it, then against it, then for it again.

The citizens desperately want charter revision, that revises the actual charter…not just the ballot form. The best way to get it is to ask them what they want, and then ask the Charter Revision Commission to address THOSE issues. This is something Lisa has undertaken to do. I have faith that the duly elected Councilmembers will carry out the will of the people when she starts the process.

Victor Cavallo October 28, 2017 at 5:52 pm

Deb: Lisa killed the people’s will and desire for charter reform, as well as the council’s enthusiasm for it. So, what happens if the council embarks once again on incremental fixes instead of Lisa’s “break everything and rebuild it my way” campaign? Will she call out her troops and kill it again? Fact is, she doesn’t have apparent support for her platform where it counts: with the council.

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 28, 2017 at 8:15 pm

Victor, nice twist on democracy you’ve envisioned where those elected to serve at the pleasure of the people are allowed to do as they please instead. The people said they weren’t done with Charter Revision. Do it right or not at all was a resounding success. More people voted against the proposals—which were the wrong proposals at the wrong time—than voted for mayor.

Any person currently running for office who does not openly support revisiting Charter Revision, and doing the work correctly over an interval of at least one year with comprehensive public outreach, should be voted out of office. Incumbents. At large candidates. Mayoral candidates. In early 2016 the people told the CRC they wanted more restructuring and reform and all they got was self serving proposals to double the mayor’s term and increase compensation for the CC based on a percent of the mayor’s salary. No wonder very few on the CC wanted to empanel a new CRC as was the wish of Norwalk citizens. Norwalk citizens voted down their pay raise.

Be careful party loyalists. The people are watching and this year they’re voting too.

Debora Goldstein October 29, 2017 at 7:49 am


You, and they, need to actually read the charter. The people will have their charter revision if they want it.

Now, about those councilmember candidates who have neither read the charter and can’t figure out that five is a minority on the council…

Tell me Victor…is it your position that candidate Conroy will have a coalition on the council for his agenda if the Dems take a majority of the seats?

Isn’t coalition building part of evert Mayor’s job on a new council?



Isabelle Hargrove October 29, 2017 at 12:35 pm

I find it comical that anyone would defend last year’s charter revision. Our charter is antiquated, and we have not had any revisions to it in recent times. Yet, all Mayor Rilling and the Council manage to accomplish is some meaningless elimination of obscure positions and some self-serving pay raises and term extension. The city spent no resources to educate the public on the ballot questions. They also created a PAC led by Kay Anderson, who, “coincidently”, happened to be the wife of the Common Council President at the time, Bruce Kimmel. Said PAC raised $20,000 to launch a YES campaign.

Beating this was just about the easiest task anyone could achieve. It was misguided, poorly managed, and the PAC was unsavory and arguably unethical.

It should be disheartening to every person still thinking about voting for Mr. Rilling and anyone else in that group that they are incapable of admitting they managed it poorly. Do they not know, do they not care, are they too cocky? All they seem capable of is attacking the citizens who stood up and said NO, enough!

We live in a time where the world around us changes at lightning speed and where winners adapt and cease new opportunities quickly. How can we ever hope to be a thriving city if our leadership remains a bunch of good-old-boys who seem incapable of learning from their failures and only know how to disparage the citizens who dare become active?

My Opinion October 29, 2017 at 1:05 pm

{..} The only thing that’s harming Norwalk is the horrible mudslinging of politics and the habitual lying of certain democrats, currently in office.
Edited to remove an insult.

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 29, 2017 at 1:17 pm

Every culture has an incest taboo to protect the health of the tribe. Except political culture, where unseemly alliances are embraced rather than shunned.

Victor Cavallo October 29, 2017 at 5:29 pm

OK. For you legal geniuses who think you can accomplish charter reform single-handedly, and in one fell swoop, let’s debate it.

Here’s are the indexes of the Charter, Special Acts and the Ordinances taken off of the website. Do you want to stick with the Charter only, or would you entertain modifying some of the special acts and ordinances to make good on your delusional promises to chase after rainbows. Oh, those pesky taxing districts; what will we do with them?

Charter and Special Acts

Chapter 1: Charter and Related Laws

§ 1-1 Body politic and corporate.
§ 1-2 Territorial limits of the City of Norwalk.
§ 1-2.1 Council districts established.
§ 1-3 Division of city into wards.
§ 1-4 Transfer of rights and liability from town to city.
§ 1-5 Liability of city.
§ 1-6 Exclusion of town meetings.
§ 1-7 Rights, privileges, and immunities vested in the Cities of Norwalk, South Norwalk, East Norwalk Fire District and the Town of Norwalk.
§ 1-8 Building, owning, leasing and using docks, wharves, piers, bridges and property along waterfront.
§ 1-9 Acquisition of public lands and buildings owned by any taxing district.
§ 1-10 Acquisition of property for public use by condemnation.
§ 1-11 Acquisition or school property owned by taxing districts.
§ 1-12 Care and maintenance of sewer systems; continuance of former municipality Police and Fire Departments.
§ 1-13 Maintenance of garbage-disposal plant.
§ 1-14 Authorization of Council to establish a building district where it shall be unlawful to construct or remove wooden buildings.
§ 1-15 Building lines in Fourth Taxing District; and removal of buildings.

Chapter 5 : Special Acts

Article I First Taxing District
§ 5-1 Authorization to issue water bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness.
§ 5-2 Maturity, rate of interest.
§ 5-3 Water rates.
§ 5-4 Obligation of district inhabitants.
§ 5-5 Exemption of limitation.
§ 5-5.1 Authorization to issue water bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness.
§ 5-5.2 Date of maturity; rate of interest; other particulars.
§ 5-5.3 Payment of principal and interest.
§ 5-5.4 Obligation of district and inhabitants.
§ 5-5.5 Authorization to issue water bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness upon approval of district electors.
§ 5-5.6 Commissioners and Treasurer to determine conditions.
§ 5-5.7 Form and maturity.
§ 5-5.8 Manner of selling.
§ 5-5.9 Payment of principal and interest.
§ 5-5.10 Obligation of district and inhabitants.
§ 5-5.11 Purpose of issue; exemption from statutory limitations.
§ 5-5.12 Limits on indebtedness.

Article II Norwalk Community College
§ 5-6 Authority granted to confer degrees.

Article III Center for Vocational Arts
§ 5-7 Age waiver by statute.
§ 5-8 Employment provisions for Center apprenticeship courses.

Article IV Police-Court Building in Mathews Park
§ 5-9 Authorization to use building.

Article V Transit District
§ 5-10 Establishment of district.
§ 5-11 Boundaries.
§ 5-12 Powers.
§ 5-13 Board of Directors.
§ 5-14 Assessments; appropriations.
§ 5-15 When effective.

Article VI Title to Franklin School Property
§ 5-16 Transfer of title.

Article VII Second Taxing District
§ 5-17 Authorization to issue water bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness.
§ 5-18 Date of maturity; rate of interest; other particulars.
§ 5-19 Payment of principal and interest.
§ 5-20 Obligation of district and inhabitants.

Article VIII Sixth Taxing District
§ 5-21 Extension of sewers.
§ 5-22 Authorization to issue bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness.
§ 5-23 Sale and terms.
§ 5-24 Purpose.
§ 5-25 Determination of form and conditions of sale.
§ 5-26 Obligation of district and inhabitants.
§ 5-27 Authorization to issue bonds, notes or certificates of indebtedness.
§ 5-28 Terms of sale; form; term.
§ 5-29 Purpose.
§ 5-30 Commissioners and Treasurer to determine conditions.
§ 5-31 Obligation of district and inhabitants.

Article IX Five Mile River Commission
§ 5-32 Establishment of Commission.
§ 5-33 Additional Members from Town of New Canaan

Chapter 7 General Provisions
Chapter 8 Adoption of Code
Chapter 9 Administration
Chapter 10 Adult Use, Licensing
Chapter 11 Air Pollution
Chapter 11A Alarm Systems
Chapter 12 Alcoholic Beverages
Chapter 14 Amusements
Chapter 15 Animals and Fowl
Chapter 17 Aquifer Protection Agency
Chapter 17A Arts Commission
Chapter 18 Auctions
Chapter 18A Body Care and Body Art Facilities
Chapter 18B Tanning Facilities
Chapter 19 Bidding and Purchasing
Chapter 20 Bike/Walk Advisory Commission
Chapter 21 Billboards and Signs
Chapter 26 Building Code
Chapter 27 Buildings and Facilities, City
Chapter 30 Capital Projects Program
Chapter 30A Certificates of Occupancy
Chapter 31 Civil Preparedness
Chapter 32 Code of Ethics
Chapter 34 Contractors
Chapter 35 Conservation Commission
Chapter 35A Department of Code Enforcement
Chapter 36 Enterprise Zone
Chapter 37 (Reserved)
Chapter 38 Explosives
Chapter 39 Fair Rent
Chapter 40 Fire-Alarm Systems: Institutions
Chapter 41 Fire Department
Chapter 42 Fire Lanes
Chapter 42A Fire Prevention
Chapter 43 Floods and Erosion Control Board
Chapter 44 (Reserved)
Chapter 45 Food and Food Establishments
Chapter 47 Fuel-Oil Heating
Chapter 50 (Reserved)
Chapter 53 Going-Out-Of-Business Sales
Chapter 54 (Reserved)
Chapter 55 Demolition Delay
Chapter 56 Historic District
Chapter 57 Health and Sanitation
Chapter 57A Historical Commission
Chapter 57B Home Health Care Agency
Chapter 57C Water Emergency
Chapter 58 Housing, Tax Abatement
Chapter 58A Blight Prevention
Chapter 59 Housing Code
Chapter 59A Housing: Equal Opportunity
Chapter 59B Housing Site Development Agency
Chapter 59C Housing Partnership
Chapter 59D Urban Rehabilitation Homeownership Program Tax Deferral
Chapter 60 Human Relations Commission
Chapter 60A Inland Wetlands and Watercourses
Chapter 61 Justices of the Peace
Chapter 62 Living Wage
Chapter 62A Landlord Identification
Chapter 63 Law Department
Chapter 64 Loitering for Solicitation
Chapter 65 Massage Establishments and Therapists
Chapter 66 Milk
Chapter 66A Mooring and Anchoring
Chapter 67 Motor Vehicle Junkyard Operations
Chapter 67A Municipal Liability
Chapter 68 Noise
Chapter 69 Norwalk Harbor
Chapter 70 Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk Authority
Chapter 70A Nudity, Public
Chapter 71 Nuisances
Chapter 72 Numbering of Buildings and Trailers
Chapter 72A Panhandling and Loitering
Chapter 73 Park Authorities
Chapter 73A Parking Authority
Chapter 73B Parking Violations and Citations
Chapter 74 Parks and Recreation
Chapter 77 Peddlers, Street Vendors and Solicitors
Chapter 78 Phased Increased Assessment
Chapter 79 Planning and Zoning Commissions
Chapter 80 (Reserved)
Chapter 81 Pocket Bikes and Motorized Scooters
Chapter 83 Poles, Conduits, Wires and Fixtures
Chapter 84 Post-Employment Benefits Trust
Chapter 85 Police Department: Cadet Corps
Chapter 85A Procurement Guidelines
Chapter 86 Public Lighting
Chapter 87 Public Library Board
Chapter 88 Public Gatherings and Special Events
Chapter 88A Public Safety Board
Chapter 89 Council of Governments
Chapter 89A Regional Council of Elected Officials
Chapter 90 Public Works, Department of
Chapter 91 Sewers, Public
Chapter 92 Septage Disposal
Chapter 93 Stormwater, Illicit Discharges and Connections
Chapter 94 Solid Waste, Collection and Disposal of
Chapter 95 Streets and Sidewalks
Chapter 95A Littering and Illegal Dumping
Chapter 96 Excavations and Encroachments in Public Streets and Grounds
Chapter 97 Excavating and Filling of Land
Chapter 98 Vehicle and Traffic
Chapter 99 Snow Emergencies
Chapter 100 Special Services Districts
Chapter 101 Scenic Roads
Chapter 102 Swimming Pools
Chapter 103 Taxation
Chapter 104 Tenements: Abatement of Nuisances
Chapter 105 Tenement Houses: Registration
Chapter 106 (Reserved)
Chapter 107 Town Clerk, Compensation of
Chapter 108 (Reserved)
Chapter 111 (Reserved)
Chapter 112 Trees
Chapter 113 Water Pollution Control Authority
Chapter 114 Water Use for Tree Spraying
Chapter 115 Women, Commission on Status of
Chapter 116 Zoning Board of Appeals
Chapter 117 Zoning Enforcement
Chapter 118 Zoning

Part I
Chapter 125 Land Subdivision Regulations
Part II
Chapter 126 Pension Plan
Part III
Chapter 127 Sewer Assessments
Part IV
Chapter 128 Veteran’s Memorial Park
Part V
Chapter 129 Voting Hours
Part VI
Chapter 130 Welfare Benefits
Part VII
Chapter 131 Salaries
Chapter 132 Food Service Employees Pension Plan
Part IX
Chapter 133 Executive Orders
Disposition List
Chapter DL

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 29, 2017 at 6:14 pm

@My Opinion, it’s not mudslinging if the observations are based on evidence and history. The “we try hard” apologists are more detrimental to good government than the critics. The coven of city regulars are conjuring spells to convince the people that crappy developments are the Taj Mahal and that CYA equals “Standing up” for us.

Donna Smirniotopoulos October 29, 2017 at 11:15 pm

@Victor Cavallo, thank you for proving that a CRC with a two month timeline was set up for diisappointment. Thanks also for proving that the mayoral term extension and CC compensation were not the 800lb gorillas in the room. On your other points regarding the infeasibility of Charter Revision, are you sure the RTC wants to be known as the little engine that wouldn’t?

Debora Goldstein October 30, 2017 at 7:17 am


Nobody said single-handedly. Seriously, read the charter. The people will have real charter revision of they want it.

While we are on the subject of what might need changing, you haven’t answered my question about whether Andy will have a coalition for HIS agenda of the Dems win a majority on the council.

If the RTC doesn’t have any ideas about how to improve things, then there is no reason to change leadership.

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