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Norwalk Dems keep Camacho at helm

Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairman Ed Camacho.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Democrats affirmed their top leadership Wednesday while finding new blood for lower positions.

Democratic Town Committee Chairman Ed Camacho sailed to reelection during the DTC meeting in City Hall, with no opponents and reference made to the Democratic landslide last fall.  Newcomer Bill Pappa was made vice chair and the pattern continued, as mostly not-your-regular-players filled out the list of DTC officers.

The DTC elected new membership in January, for the 2018-19 session. Wednesday’s meeting was the standard organization session held to elect new officers. None of the positions were contested.

The DTC has “done pretty well” under Camacho’s leadership, taking 14 of 15 Common Council seats and “losing the last seat by a tiny margin,” Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said, in nominating Camacho.

“We all want to do the same thing for the state so hopefully we can continue what we have been doing,” Wells continued. “Of course, we had some pretty good candidates, which made a difference in all that, too.”

Norwalk Democrats also won every Board of Education seat, in an election that featured some voters complaining about Republican President Donald Trump.

Pappa was the lone Council candidate to fail last November, losing to veteran Republican Doug Hempstead by 13 votes.

Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Vice Chairman Bill Pappa.

Pappa showed “great enthusiasm,” helping other candidates pull together as a team, Board of Education member Barbara Meyer Mitchell said.

Colin Hosten, leader of the Village Creek Homeowner’s Association was elected recording secretary.

“He’s just joined District E and he has shown incredible dedication,” Kay Anderson said.

Common Council member Eloisa Melendez (D-District A) nominated Anderson for corresponding secretary.

Anderson, wife of Board of Education member Bruce Kimmel, has been a DTC stalwart.

“We are at a very important point right now for the Democratic Party,” Melendez said. “A lot of people want to join because of what is happening at the federal level and I think Kay is the perfect person to deal with the outreach, and deal with the new people coming in and the people we have here, given but also her experience with the party but also her energy and her dedication to her party.”

Anderson nominated Pat Marshock for treasurer, describing her as a Norwalk High School math teacher in the 1980s, who started the school’s first Advanced Placement computer class, a retiree with experience with HR and payroll.

Galen Wells, who served as DTC vice chair for the past two years, nominated Stephanie Thomas to be assistant treasurer.

Thomas “founded Stetwin Consulting to provide fundraising and events expertise to the non-profit community,” according to her website.

Wells said, “I think Stephanie would be a fabulous assistant treasurer and maybe Stephanie and Pat could work collaboratively, each of them with different skill sets.”

3 comments

Rick March 17, 2018 at 12:04 am

Go Norwalk!

always rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Im sure some of the old blood Democrats on Quintard ave wont forget like the new ones will what transpired last year.

Donna Smirniotopoulos March 17, 2018 at 12:23 pm

@Rick, we will make sure no one forgets where the party chair used to live and how little he and his buddy, the mayor, did to protect Quintard when they had the chance. Firetree’s certified letter from 2014 spelled everything out in excruciating detail—Firetree’s connection to the Federal Bureau of Prisons and their intention to operate a Residential Reentry Center for up to 19 Federal prisoners on Quintard Avenue. This letter was NOT simply overlooked. And it’s unlikely that the mayor, in consultation with corporation counsel, decided doing nothing was actually better for that neighborhood than doing something. Doing nothing was better for THEM maybe. But doing nothing did nothing for the neighbors. In 2014, Firetree did not yet own the property. The mayor allowed that transaction to take place, which is why Quintard will soon have 18 people related only by a common addiction living in the midst of families with young children.

How this party took 14 of 15 CC seats and retook the mayor’s office is mostly a matter of voter apathy and broad dislike of Trump. But take heart. 45% of the voters wanted something different. People are waking up to systemic problems in Norwalk. Our property values are stagnating. Land use decisions continue apace without regard for a plan. Developers—who are coincidentally Rilling campaign donors—get sweetheart tax breaks. Half the student population has identified need. Yet the mayor hoards the people’s money. Homeowners foot the bill for everything. And the majority party is worried about flexing its collective might in Hartford via block voting.

Does the party measure its success by the number of seats they took last November or by the progress the city has made? Looks to me like the former. An accountable local Democratic Party would look to a growing grand list, rising property values and lower taxes as measures of success. In Norwalk it’s all about how many seats they took.

Rick March 17, 2018 at 4:23 pm

They took the seats like taking candy from a baby. They now own the mall and all the problems that come with it.

The city owns Firetree as well with all the problems they created.

Broken election promises the Democrats own, wonder if the new blood realizes the base of the party was built on lies deceit and tunnel vision.

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