Many years ago, the slogan for a donut shop at Times Square in New York City read,
“Keep Your Eyes on the Donut, not on the Hole”
That same advice should be applied for Norwalk’s governance because Norwalk’s stakeholders have an overflow plate of active issues for review, namely several new redevelopment plans, a parking plan, POCD, a barrage of P&Z, Common Council issues and most recently, the Mayor’s questionable reorganization plan.
All require study and careful analysis with consideration for “what if” and “unintended consequences.”
We need to step back, pause, and not be sidetracked by any of the redevelopment plans currently in the works nor the Mayor’s restructuring plan.
We need to focus on a goal that benefits all of Norwalk’s stakeholders!
Specifically, a plan to raise the Grand List return from 3 percent to 10/12 percent!
Currently, our city’s governance structure overhead with a minimal 3 percent Grand list growth is not sustainable without raising property taxes even with millions of dollars of new construction.
Raising the cost of governance is a self destructive process! Any increase in our overhead expenses just makes matters worse!
Achieving a 10/12 percent Grand List GOAL would provide funds for education, pensions, and maintenance, without the continuing burden of increased property taxes, a major reason folks leave Norwalk.
As a first step to achieve this goal, serious thought needs to focus on the fundamental reasons our Grand List is so low and set remedial targets. (As I read these proposals, none have a specific Grand List measurable growth target).
Questions to ask: Are we being too generous with new development tax incentives, or improper land use, or with employee salaries or pensions, or being satisfied with marginal competence performance levels, or not imposing an ROI requirement for new developments to list a few?