Norwalk election notes: Signs of election season, more praise for Hosten

A campaign sign at the Norwalk Senior Center. Republican Marc D’Amelio is seeking to unseat State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25).

The election is Nov. 6.

Updated, 6:46 a.m., 5:58 a.m.: Copy edits, revised headline

NORWALK, Conn. – Some election-related items for you:

  • Meek blasts Duff for out-of-district billboard
  • Sign size, shape, position, and… theft?
  • Hosten ‘earns top marks from Connecticut Education Association’

Meek blasts Duff’s Bridgeport billboard

Marc D’Amelio’s campaign treasurer blasted D’Amelio’s opponent Wednesday for spending public campaign funds on an electronic billboard in Bridgeport.

Bryan Meek told NancyOnNorwalk that he saw an electronic billboard promoting Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) next to Interstate 95 (I-95) in Bridgeport.

“It’s a tremendous abuse of taxpayer dollars,” because the sign is “out of district,” Meek wrote in a text to NoN.

Google maps pegs the distance from Duff’s Senate district to Bridgeport as more than 11 miles.

Duff, like many other candidates, is participating in Connecticut’s state-financed election program designed to limit the influence of outside money.  Candidates must collect small donations in order to qualify for a state grant, which in Duff’s case was $95,000, Meek said.

NoN drove to Bridgeport to see the sign, but couldn’t find it.

Asked about the Bridgeport sign, Duff campaign manager Mary Pugh told NancyOnNorwalk that the campaign has used electronic billboards, but does not have any up currently.

Meek charged that Duff’s out-of-district billboard reflects “higher aspirations at our expense.”  Pugh declined to comment on Meek’s criticism.

D’Amelio is also participating in the public financing program.  Meek is a Republican member of the Norwalk Board of Education.



About those campaign signs

Campaign signs near City Hall, and the curb of the intersection of Tierney Street and Chelene Road.

NancyOnNorwalk drove more than 14 miles around Norwalk on Tuesday looking for campaign signs that might be on City property or otherwise violating the City’s sign ordinance.

On Monday the City issued a press release reminding campaigns not to put signs on City property, and that “signs placed behind the sidewalk are permitted. If there is no sidewalk, signs must be placed at least ten feet from the curb.”

A D’Amelio campaign sign on East Avenue.

There are signs less than 10 feet from the curb all over Norwalk.  Signs for Republican State Senate candidate Marc D’Amelio seem to violate the city’s sign ordinance, which states that signs shall be “rectangular and one of the following dimensions: 12 inches by 24 inches, 18 inches by 24 inches.”

D’Amelio has distinctive circular signs with a 27-inch diameter and a few banner-like signs measuring nearly four feet across.

Norwalk Ordinance Enforcement Officer Ed Schwartz on Wednesday indicated that there’s “one” campaign with signs that are not in conformance, but all he’s worried about is the location of the signs. If they’re in the wrong place, he’ll take them out, he said.

Acting Department of Public Works Superintendent Jose Lopez shows off signs Tuesday in the Public Works Center.

Confiscated signs go to the Public Works Center. There were two campaign signs for Democratic incumbent State Senator Bob Duff and one Doug Stern for Probate Judge sign in the Public Works Center on Tuesday, along with a few signs advertising events that had already happened. Workers said former Department of Public Works Director Bruce Chimento, who retired recently, had pulled up the Duff signs because they were in the wrong places.

A sign promoting Republican Larry Cafero for Judge of Probate, Tuesday on East Avenue.

The only sign spotted by NoN on public property was a D’Amelio sign at the Norwalk Senior Center.

“We cannot control what supporters or detractors do with our signs and we have no issue with DPW removing illegally placed signs,” D’Amelio campaign manager Isabelle Hargrove said in an email. “Our campaign uses an app to fill requests submitted by residents. We do not place signs on public property or on private property without the expressed consent of the property owner. Our process is apparently much different than Bob Duff’s judging from his recent public disclaimer alerting people to contact him if they want unwanted signs removed from their yard. I am guessing Bob subscribes to the ‘better ask for forgiveness than permission’ adage, we don’t.”

A Bob Duff Facebook post.

Duff campaign manager Mary Pugh declined to comment.

“We have received great feedback on our signs and we are grateful that so many residents and businesses are excited about Marc’s campaign,” Hargrove said.

DPW workers aren’t the only ones pulling up signs.  A reader pointed NancyOnNorwalk to video posted by Republican candidate for Judge of Probate Larry Cafero in which a person emerges from a car and pulls up a Cafero yard sign.  “Come on! Support who you want. No need to steal signs from private property,” Cafero wrote under the video.



Hosten ‘makes the grade’

District 140 State Representative candidate Colin Hosten has received an Honor Roll designation from the Connecticut Education Association, a press release said.

Hosten is running as a Democrat on the Working Families Party line against the Democratically-endorsed Common Council member Travis Simms and Republican John Flynn.

Colin Hosten, Working Families Party candidate for State Representative in District 140. (File photo)

“It is indeed an honor to receive this Honor Roll designation,” the release quotes Hosten as saying. “As the son of career public school teachers, I believe we owe it to our kids to make sure our schools are properly funded. No child should be robbed of educational opportunities because of his or her ZIP code. That’s why I support the plan to build more classroom space in South Norwalk—especially since the proposal includes a larger and more versatile playing field for neighborhood children. This will be the first public school built in Norwalk in almost 50 years. It still baffles me that Councilman Travis Simms voted against it.”

Simms has repeatedly voted against the plan to build a magnet school behind the Nathaniel Ely Center, on the grounds that it would lead to loss of open space.  The City is replacing the open space with a land swap that includes land next to Norwalk Community College; the swap has been criticized for the new parcel’s distance from South Norwalk.

The release said that CEA President Jeff Leake praised Hosten’s support for issues important to teachers and students, including the “fundamental right of teachers to collectively bargain.” The organization currently has 43,000 active and retired members throughout the state, it said.


Norwalk Native October 4, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Can’t wait to vote in November and turn this state red.

All of my neighbors in Flax Hill are planning to do the same.

Keep it up Mark!

Jeffery October 5, 2018 at 10:10 am

hahah! The {…} campaign of D’Amelio complains about Duffs signs, locations etc. yet they are the worst offenders.

In my opinion, the only thing going to be red in CT are the faces of the loser Republicans on Nov 7th.

Neighbors on Flax Hill voting Republican? HAHAHAHA! Most are registered Dems!

Edited to remove an insult, a violation of the comments policy. https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/comment-guidelines/

Norwalk native October 5, 2018 at 10:55 am


I was also a registered Dem through the 2016 election.

The only losers of the Malloy/Duff/Laoise regime are the taxpaying citizens of Connecticut and Norwalk.

If being ranked at the bottom for economic growth while simultaneously being ranked at the top for taxation makes sense to you; keep voting for the Duffman.

Scarlet ohara October 5, 2018 at 11:26 am

@jeffrey, lol! So you’re saying the residents are dumb dodo’s that just follow blindly?
Lol! How insulting are you?
People are a lot smarter than you give them credit for, just look at the presidential election.

Jeffery October 5, 2018 at 2:18 pm

Nope. Quite the opposite. They are clearly voting against the Republican party and everything they allow Trump to get away with. Trump has made a mockery of the Republican party and members stand by complacent.

Unfortunately, some good candidates may never get a chance to serve. I’d vote for Bryan Meek over D’Amelio any day of the week. Bryan has served the public on the BOE and has a record. You clearly know where the guy stands and whats he’s capable of doing. The RTC in Norwalk has once again bet on the wrong horse.

Rick October 5, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Colin once again your not from our streets, a park on the other side of the city where sidewalks getting there are in desperate need of repair some sections of Richards rd have none at all. If you had thought of how kids got there by bike its not good for kids on Rt 1 . Go to park and use most of that time to travel? Enough.

Not having bus service from the Rowyaton train station for just the students doesn’t share that line of thinking we need in South Norwalk.Does the CEA know this?

I think asking Travis why he voted his way is better than showing us some rookie move calling him out online maybe he knows things you simply didn’t n think out well enough.

Hate to push it but Radon was and always be an issue in some of our schools, its generally found on ledge, like the spot they want to put your teachers and students. Lack of knowledge is not an option when protecting our teachers students or even workers in our schools.

I could provide facts on the Radon issues in our schools so cant your teachers who live out of the city , its not about taxpayers its about health what else could you be thinking?

Radon once found in high readings like Rowyaton has a cost down the road testing fixing cracks maintaining a system to remove it is taking money from students teachers and taxpayers so why build on a ledge?

we both sat in a meeting and heard why not find a better spot it wasn’t Travis speaking exclusively on siting others had a whole host of issues clearly what we heard was not NIMBY it was concern for a range of issues that left you baffled.

Come out with passion for the teachers and children and ignore health and safety is not a plan. Its an election tool and honestly its not warranted for our city.

Id think how to get kids to NCC for just school would of been a priority, I called transit and asked about bus service to the school from the train station you think I was asking for shuttle to the moon.

I bet if there was a connection to NCC it may effect workers even teachers with simple transit logistics. Im not sure what your thinking at this point.

In all those BOE meetings you have gone to was there other issues you think wasn’t covered by anyone?

How much of the Woodward park could be used and expanded with lights it would be a south Norwalk issue Im sure that option is in your stack.Any idea how that park could be improved?

I always said between the money we threw away on Manressa and the money Eversouce would of given us towards the Woodward ave park it would of been a good offering for the kids you seem to be advocating for.

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