Norwalk is our state’s only major city without a four-year college. It’s not because the idea has not been floated over the decades. Just that Norwalk’s political leaders haven’t had much interest. That may reflect that Norwalk is the county’s most transient city. Or has a very small business sector. Private business comprises only about 5% of our grand list – the smallest proportion of any of the state’s major cities. And our grand list has remained stagnant for almost a decade.
Nationally some 30% of adults have four-year college degrees. Connecticut does slightly better at 32%. Norwalk is 41%. Westport, New Caanan, Darien each have 80% of their adult population with college degrees – double Norwalk’s. Along with per-capita incomes and housing values three to five times greater.
Maybe it’s time for City Hall officials to think about securing a four-year college. Maybe it’s time for Norwalk residents to abandon the idea that no business or management experience is needed for a City Mayor managing a $400 million budget. With many more city residents having four-year college degrees city residents might well ask why our business sector remains so small. Or our grand list so stagnant. Or why our city is viewed by our neighbors as the “hole in the middle of the donut”.
Peter I Berman