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Norwalk election notes: The serious and the light

Ned Lamont talks to Norwalk Democrats in January. Lamont won Tuesday’s election and is governor-elect.

The aftermath.

Updated, 7:05 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s a collection of election-related items for you, some serious, some light:

  • Rilling opines on Lamont; promises POKO info, further action on Citibank
  • Suda shoots promotional video while driving
  • Replacing Common Council members
  • Flynn sought support in Spanish
  • D’Amelio: ‘I will not be silenced’
  • Duff’s domination over the years
  • ‘H to O’
  • Other Norwalk vote tallies

 

Rilling on Lamont, Citibank

Asked about Ned Lamont on Tuesday, Mayor Harry Rilling revealed, as part of the conversation, that the City will be filing a Zoning complaint against Citibank, due to Wall Street Place issues.

Democratic Governor-elect Ned Lamont has the “true platform” for bringing Connecticut back as a great state and inspiring people to invest in Connecticut, Rilling said, explaining that he’s spoken to Lamont on the issues many times.

Rilling said he is not sure about the likelihood of resuming construction on Wall Street Place, under Lamont.

Construction on Wall Street Place, referred to by many as “POKO” because POKO Partners was the developer, stopped in 2016. Citibank held POKO’s construction loan and obtained ownership through a deed-in-lieu property transfer.

Rilling said that within a week he will be releasing an “entire explanatory” statement about Wall Street Place, “from where we started, where we are and how we got there.”

Norwalk has cited Citibank for blight, due to the condition of Wall Street Place.

“We will be filing a Zoning violation against them and they will be fined,” Rilling said.
“I am looking for them to announce a preferred developer that will work with us and make sure that we get this project moving. We have been negotiating for a year and a half to two years right now and have made virtually no progress. The most important thing to us is that people adhere to the LDA (Land Disposition Agreement); public parking is a major part, the LDA requires a certain amount of public parking. Those residents, those businesses, have suffered and enough is enough.”

NancyOnNorwalk asked Rilling if Lamont would support the current plans for the Walk Bridge, the aged railroad bridge over the Norwalk River.

“I believe that Ned Lamont understands that the Walk Bridge needs to be a lift bridge,” Rilling said. “I believe that Ned Lamont feels that the 1.5 to 2 miles of river north of the Walk Bridge is important because if we don’t have a bridge that can allow navigation, that will be a non-navigable waterway that will silt in and eventually a lot of the marine life will die. Nobody will dredge it.”

 

Rilling also said he expects the work on Soundview Landing to continue under Lamont.

Funding is secured for phase II of Soundview Landing, the replacement to Washington Village, and continued support is needed for phase III, Norwalk Housing Authority Board Chairman Cesar Ramirez said recently.

 

 

Video sought to drive voters to the polls

Republican Town Committee Chairman Mark Suda, a Norwalk Police officer, on Tuesday posted a video on Facebook in an effort to get people out to vote.

Driving a car with one hand on the wheel and sporting a shirt with the D’Amelio for Senate logo, Suda said he was delivering coffee, danishes and bagels to volunteers working the polls and urged voters to cast their ballots. He also attempted to reassure people that they wouldn’t be deported for voting Republican, calling that “nonsense” spread by Democrats.

See for yourself:

 

Replacing Simms and Stern

Tuesday’s stunning Democratic near-sweep of local races has presented Norwalk Democrats with a question: who will replace Common Council members Travis Simms and Doug Stern?

Simms, who has represented District B since 2013, is headed to Hartford as District 140 State Representative. Stern, a first time At-Large Council member, will be the new Norwalk/Wilton Judge of Probate.

Stern’s replacement will be selected by the entire Democratic Town Committee because he is an At Large member, DTC Chairman Ed Camacho said Tuesday. District B Democrats will choose Simms’ replacement.

There are a “couple of people” who are being discussed because they have recently “shown themselves to be very interested, very capable,” people who “we know will use that position to help make Norwalk Better,” Rilling said Wednesday.

Rilling declined to identify the potential Council candidates.

Only two Norwalk Democrats fell short in their bids for elected office Tuesday: Stephanie Thomas and Colin Hosten.

Thomas sought to replace State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143), earning 48.45 percent of the vote.  Hosten tried as a Working Families Party candidate to become District 140 State Representative, after losing the Democratic primary to Simms.

District B Democrats Chairman Bobby Burgess did not reply to a Wednesday email asking who might replace Simms.

A District B Democrat recently said he expects Darlene Young to be considered. Young is Human Relations and Fair Rent program coordinator.

State legislators are paid $28,000 a year; Council members are volunteers. State Representatives are provided with $4,500 a year to cover expenses, according to the Connecticut Mirror; Council members receive $50 a month.

 

A John Flynn campaign sign.

Campaign signs in Spanish

Some candidates speak of seeking Hispanic support; Republican District 140 candidate John Flynn took action, producing campaign signs with English on one side, and Español on the other.  One of the double-sided signs was spotted by NoN on Westport Avenue, near Wendy’s.

See photo.

 

D’Amelio opines on Facebook

If Republican State Senate candidate Marc D’Amelio had anything to say Tuesday about his unsuccessful bid to replace State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25), NancyOnNorwalk would not know it, as Suda sent NoN away from the RTC Election Night party, minutes after it began.

D’Amelio did, however, express opinions on Facebook.

On his campaign page, he wrote:

“Last night I lost my bid to be State Senator of Connecticut. The campaign saw amazing highs and some tough challenges but we always stayed positive and had a great time along the way. As I begin to reflect, I am so proud of the campaign we ran and am inspired by the outpouring of support and love from so many. I have learned much about myself and I am happy with my growth as a human being. This campaign was never about me or my desire to be a politician. To be quite frank politics sucks but serving people and helping the city and state I love and call home is what fueled me.

“Over the next few weeks I am going to spend time with my amazing family and enjoy my life outside of the public eye. Although I am done running for public office I promise I will not be silenced.

“I am humbled by this experience and I look forward to thanking each and every one of you directly.”

 

NancyOnNorwalk was also sent a screen capture of a statement D’Amelio posted elsewhere. To those who had just been elected, he wrote:

“Congratulations!

“Now please get ready to have your work serving the people scrutinized like never before. The one constant I witnessed running for office is just how insulated the average voter is from the impact the decisions made by the people we elect affect us.

“Remember, facts matter and I will be monitoring the facts, votes, policies and their impact on the people of Norwalk, Connecticut and our Country.

“This is not a threat but our right and duty.

“No fake news, no spin – just straight facts because facts matter.”

 

 

Duff’s statistics since 2008

D’Amelio, in this mid-term election, received a lesser percentage of the electorate than 2016 Republican candidate Greg Ehlers did, in the last Presidential election.

A post-election Facebook post from Board of Education member Bryan Meek.

D’Amelio received 36.8 percent if District 25 votes in 2018 and Ehlers received 39.86 percent in 2016, according to the Secretary of State’s website. Bill Dunne in 2014 scored 38.3 percent of the vote.

Duff’s statistics, from the Secretary of State:

  • 2018: Duff, 63.1 percent (24,437 votes with D’Amelio as the alternative)
  • 2016: Duff, 60.14 percent (26,509 votes with Ehlers as the alternative)
  • 2014: Duff, 61.7 percent (16,310 votes, with Bill Dunne as the alternative)
  • 2012: Duff, 67.9 percent (27,015 votes, with Jack Chiarmonte as the alternative)
  • 2010: Duff, 64.4 percent (18,767 votes with Artie Kassimis as the alternative)
  • 2008: Duff, 64.9 percent (26,807 votes, with Steve Papadakos as the alternative)

 

Duff was first elected State Senator in 2004.

D’Amelio won Darien with 56.8 percent of the 6,487 votes cast. Ehlers, a Darien resident, scored 68.3 percent of the 2016 vote while Dunne had 65.2 percent in 2014.

 

 

Humanist humor

A voter checks in Tuesday at Ponus Ridge Magnet School. (Cary Shaw)

Humanist and Freethinkers of Fairfield County President Cary Shaw said he was surprised Tuesday when he went to his poll at Ponus Ridge Middle School.

He went to the check-in table and asked for some water, but they just stared at him uncomprehendingly, he said, explaining that he pointed to the sign and pointed out that it said “H to O.”

“What did they do about it?  They laughed,” he wrote.

 

The Norwalk votes

Wells on Wednesday provided Norwalk vote tallies. Here are the results not previously reported by NancyOnNorwalk:

 

Governor’s race

  • Ned Lamont and Susan Bysiewicz (Democrats) 19,373
  • Bob Stefanowski and Joe Markley (Republicans) 11,337
  • Ned Lamont and Susan Bysiewicz (Working Families Party) 477
  • Bob Stefanowski and Joe Markley (Independent) 531
  • Rodney Hanscomb and Jeffrey Thibeault (Libertarian) 152
  • Mark Stewart Greenstein and John Demitrus (Amigo Constitution Liberty) 27
  • Oz Griebel and Monte Frank (Griebel Frank for CT) 375

 

U.S. Senator

  • Chris Murphy (Democrat) 21,209
  • Matthew Corey (Republican) 9,717
  • Chris Murphy (Working Families Party) 757
  • Richard Lion (Libertarian) 193
  • Jeff Russell (Green) 120

 

Congressional District

  • Jim Himes (Democrat) 21,493
  • Harry Arora (Republican) 9,978
  • Harry Arora (Independent) 494

 

Secretary of State

  • Denise Merrill (Democrat) 19,724
  • Susan Chapman (Republican) 10,402
  • Denise Merrill (Working Families Party) 567
  • Susan Chapman (Independent) 479
  • Heather Lynn Sylvestre Gwynn (Libertarian) 210
  • S. Michael DeRosa (Green) 230

 

Treasurer

  • Shawn Wooden (Democrat) 19,313
  • Thad Gray (Republican) 10,649
  • Shawn Wooden (Working Families Party) 597
  • Thad Gray (Independent) 513
  • Jesse Brohinsky (Libertarian) 295

 

Comptroller

  • Kevin Lembo (Democrat) 19,346
  • Kurt Miller (Republican) 10,353
  • Kevin Lembo (Working Families Party) 597
  • Kurt Miller (Independent) 12,541
  • Paul Passarelli (Libertarian) 356
  • Edward Heflin (Green) 204

 

Attorney General

  • William Tong (Democrat) 19,548
  • Sue Hatfield (Republican) 10,611
  • William Tong (Working Families Party) 584
  • Sue Hatfield (Independent) 560
  • Peter Goselin (Green) 243

 

 

Registrar of Voters

  • Stuart Wells (Democrat) 19,410
  • Karen Doyle Lyons (Republican) 11,582

27 comments

Stuart Wells November 8, 2018 at 6:53 am

As to Cary Shaw looking for water at the “H to O” checker table, I believe that Mother Nature provided more than enough of that on Tuesday. We had tabulator problems at several locations due to the ballots getting wet from the humidity and from voters wet hands. The ballots were all counted — no votes were lost — but in a few cases the tabulator memory card had to be moved to a new tabulator in order to print the “results tape.” We have a procedure for that, but only Registrars are allowed to unseal a memory card from one tabulator and move it to another tabulator and election officials from the other party must observe the process. One more thing to do when we are already very busy!
Plus, many of our “75 Foot” signs, which are also made of paper, were destroyed by being outside in the rain on Monday night. We will probably print some new ones on plastic lawn sign material which survives the rain quite well. A sad looking sign melting in the rain is still a legal boundary and the campaign workers everywhere I went were still respecting that line.

JOHN C ROMANO November 8, 2018 at 9:13 am

Reading a N o N article this morning I had to laugh. Nancy is having a community gathering tonight all geared towards UNITY and yet she is the most devicive of all. Taking shots at the REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES, REPUBLICAN TOWN CHAIR MARK SUDA, Unity among her core supporters and Democrats. Unity what a joke.

1955 Flood November 8, 2018 at 9:14 am

Really looking forward to the “entire explanatory” statement. Is explanatory a word?

Everyone knows it is all my fault. Ha ha ha

Wouldn’t it be funny if Citibank named Jason Milligan as the new Redeveloper?

1955 Flood November 8, 2018 at 9:25 am

ex·plan·a·to·ry
adjective
serving to provide excuses for something.
“Blaming others”
synonyms: excuse, justify, defend, condone, vindicate.

Billy November 8, 2018 at 10:01 am

I am taken back on your Suda video and comments.Its not a fact he was driving with one hand and if he was its not against the Law,he also might have a hands free or go pro making this video.Without fact ,don’t assume.Mark Suda is also an elected republican town committee representative and furthermore he is a declarated police officer who not only took numerous illegal guns off our streets from felons but removed major quantities of drugs off our streets as well.Officer Suda has received numerous federal and state awards for his actions.Maybe you should post that on your website. I am proud of his continued loyalty to our city.Quite honestly Nancy I feel you should re frame from negative attacks on Norwalk and post positive things.Our city is moving forward because we have a wonderful mayor who is positive and always moves this city forward in a positive way. You should follow his footsteps it might bring you more followers.

Jason Milligan November 8, 2018 at 10:01 am

Mayor Harry Rilling revealed that the City will be filing a Zoning complaint against Citibank, due to Wall Street Place issues. (Which exact issues? Hopefully for failing to provide the 100 public parking spaces.)

“We will be filing a Zoning violation against them and they will be fined,” Rilling said.

I am willing to bet that Citibank will never pay any fine.

Rilling said that within a week he will be releasing an “entire explanatory” statement about Wall Street Place, “from where we started, where we are and how we got there.”

Does anyone really care? Who wants to hear a bunch of B.S. about “how we got there”?
The real reason is extreme incompetence throughout the process. Doubtful that will be in the explanation.

Wouldn’t it be better to just state where we are and then explain the ideas about how to fix it?

Maybe I will create an addendum to the explanatory statement that gives the solutions.

Here is a sneak peek.
1. Drop the frivolous lawsuit against me.
2. Start a dialogue with all parties
3. Clearly articulate some goals.
4. Take input from me and other area stakeholders not just people in government

Does everyone know what the city is suing me to get? They want the court to forcibly take back the properties I bought and put them back in POKO’s hands. HUH?

How about an explanatory statement about that?

Bob Welsh November 8, 2018 at 10:28 am

@John

On Nov. 1 you cited a report by Nancy as supporting your opinion of a Dem candidate. “Thanks Nancy for bringing to light what has been the topic of polite discussion by many,” you wrote.

Bob Welsh November 8, 2018 at 10:38 am

@Billy

Here’s a prior report by Nancy of awards won by Officer Suda:

https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2018/03/norwalk-firefighters-promoted-police-officers-awarded/

Here’s a prior NoN report regarding a successful investigation by Officer Suda:

https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2017/12/norwalk-woman-arrested-on-drug-charges/

Here’s a prior report by Harold Cobin about Officer Suda winning the Officer of the Year award:

https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2016/02/norwalk-police-recognize-34-of-their-own-at-annual-awards-ceremony/

James Cahn November 8, 2018 at 11:17 am

I don’t care who you are or what “party” you’re a member of. Driving around while taking your eyes off the road to make a video to post on the Facebook is careless at BEST. The amount of awards you’ve received and the position you’ve been elected to isn’t going to give be a valid excuse when you hit someone’s kid. Period. Hard stop.

Mark is an honest guy. He won’t, in good conscience, defend this and he knows in his heart that he was lucky he didn’t hurt himself or someone’s family member. As a police officer, Mark, of all people has seen EXACTLY what can happen in the split second someone takes their eyes off the road.

Instead of screeching that this is an unfair attack, let’s all calm down and use Mark’s clear momentary lapse of judgement as a reminder that we’re responsible for each other’s safety behind the wheel.

It’s not partisan. It’s common sense.

Piberman November 8, 2018 at 12:40 pm

CT ‘s economy under Gov. Malloy has stagnanted for nearly a decade. So too Norwalk’s Grand List. Under Gov. Lamont we can expect the same. And for Norwalk too under continued Democratic “leadership”. Lets bring on the renters, CT’s major cities are all solidly Democratic. Save Stamford. So we know our future. Few readers of Nancy’s will ever retire in Norwalk. One of the benefits of living in “CT’s Greatest City”. Or so we’re told.

Bill Nightingale November 8, 2018 at 12:44 pm

As I have said many times, until POKO is auctioned off at market clearing price it is going nowhere. The LDA needs to be torn up. Let an investor buy it and build what he can per zoning rules. Period.

Redevelopment Agency needs to be abolished and those at the Redevelopment Agency that got us into this mess need to be held accountable, aka dismissed.

How long will it take for Mr Rilling to accept this? It’s been too long already.

Tommy D November 8, 2018 at 1:11 pm

@ Piberman last time I checked I saw no gates at the city line. If Norwalk is so bad feel free to leave anytime. Oh I forget,what then would you have to complain about everyday.

Jason Milligan November 8, 2018 at 1:33 pm

Harry says,

“I am looking for them to announce a preferred developer that will work with us and make sure that we get this project moving. We have been negotiating for a year and a half to two years right now and have made virtually no progress.”

I’m sorry, who exactly were they negotiating with for 2 years?

Who did they sign a non disclosure agreement with?

New flash – Naming a redeveloper or as Harry called a “preferred developer” won’t solve a damn thing.

Pressing Citibank to get sell the property would be a good start.

The LDA should be shredded and replaced with a one page document that is recorded on the land records. It should protect the 100 public parking spaces forever and always.

There is one other component that should remain that I will reveal at the appropriate time.

Harry if you shred the LDA then you could save the city $4.4 million in improvments that were promised. You could instead give it to the schools.

Pamela Parkington November 8, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Elsa, the candidates are supposed to pick them up, if they haven’t then email the respective political party. For the DTC, email Ed or Eloisa. For Bob Duff’s signs, you can PM him and he will send someone out to pick them up.

Sid Welker November 8, 2018 at 2:08 pm

Lets not forget that Nancy was met at the door by Mr. Suda at the Sono Ice House and was told to leave during election night. Maybe this is why the video report was posted?

Teacher November 8, 2018 at 2:22 pm

@PBerman, I respect your ability to write and post on this blog, but can we get a new delivery. You are continuing beating the same horse. Its dead already. I just wish you would develop some sort of solution or at least and idea of one…

Bob Welsh November 8, 2018 at 2:54 pm

@Sid

The video was posted for one reason only: it’s news. If we learned of a similar video by DTC Chair Ed Camacho, we’d report that too.

Sid Welker November 8, 2018 at 7:21 pm

@bob with all due respect how is a cell phone video while driving news? I think the players involved is what drives this “item”. And with election results, what did Milligan do now?, Pizza Parties and more this is a stretch for a story. Ive never met Suda nor do I know him besides the story a couple months back on here so I am not biased towards him. Its just interesting timing with the incident that took place at Sono Ice house that you reported on.

Bryan Meek November 8, 2018 at 11:32 pm

Can reasonable people agree that this was a phenomenal campaign kickoff? I mean they couldn’t have staged it better. A perfect confluence. Kudos. The only thing you screwed up was forgetting the Tappan Zee traffic to allow for Channel 12 news more time to get there.

Mary Pugh November 9, 2018 at 6:04 am

LAWN SIGNS,

Please bring BOB DUFF lawnsigns to:

Bob’s house: 50 Toilsome Ave Norwalk

Several folks have helped out by grabbing a friend, driving around and picking up signs. If you want to help, please pickup any you see and bring them over to Bob’s house. (pls put them on the side of the house by the trash cans.)

Thanks so much for your help.. It was a fun campaign and you were all so helpful.

John Levin November 9, 2018 at 10:55 pm

OMG. Diane and I were out of town for 5 weeks. What can I say? It’s great to be back. I love this town.

Nancy Chapman November 10, 2018 at 1:23 am

Sid, timing has nothing to do with it, other than the video was posted Tuesday. You are correct, if Attorney Ed Camacho had shot a video of himself driving it would have been worthy of notice and would certainly have been a topic of interest for all concerned. Political notes are sometimes just a lighthearted notation of quirky or amusing behavior.

Here’s some relevant information: https://www.ct.gov/dmv/lib/dmv/20/29/cellphon.pdf

I don’t see what pizza has to do with anything here.

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