Updated, 10:33 a.m.: Copy edits
NORWALK, Conn. —Some Norwalk political news for you:
- Norwalk set to name a new DPW chief
- Norwalk Dem legislators holding community conversation
- Proposed bill would send some sales tax revenue to municipalities
- ‘Do not enter’ Chestnut Street
- A send-off for Chimento
From White Plains to Norwalk
Mayor Harry Rilling has selected Anthony Robert Carr to be Norwalk Chief of Operations and Public Works, according to the agenda for Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.
Department of Public Works Director Bruce Chimento retired in September. Carr will be Norwalk’s first Chief of Operations and Public Works, a position created in the recent reorganization.
Carr has been Deputy Commissioner of Public Works and City Engineer for White Plains since October 2015, overseeing 55 Public Works staff members and managing a $22.5 million operating budget, he states in his January letter to Rilling. He was Commissioner of Public Works for the Village of Croton-on-Hudson from January 2015 to October 2015, and village engineer for Mamaroneck from March 2013 to January 2015.
He’s been a United States Coast Guard reserve officer since January 2011, and a Lieutenant Junior Grade since May 2016, his resume states. He received a Bachelor in Science in Civil Engineering from Clarkson University in 2002 and is a licensed professional engineer in New York and Connecticut as well as a certified floodplain manager.
“I possess a dedicated work ethic and believe in applying multiple approaches and resources to ‘solve the problem,’” Carr wrote to Rilling. “I am open-minded, eager to take on complex projects and challenges for personal and professional development. I believe in cultivating a team environment and remain focused during high stress situations such as personnel matters. I have a vast understanding of municipal government organization, Public Works operations, operating and capital project budget preparation and monitoring and management of a variety of personnel.”
Community Conversation with Dem legislators
State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) and State Reps. Rep. Lucy Dathan (D-142), Chris Perone (D-137) and Travis Simms (D-140) are meeting with the public Tuesday evening in City Hall.
The Community Conversation will take place from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Community Room.
Sales tax bill would send .3 cents per dollar of mall revenue to Norwalk
A bill proposed by State Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven) would increase Connecticut’s sales tax rate by .5 percent and send additional revenue to municipalities. If passed, Norwalk could receive three-tenths of each penny spent at the SoNo Collection mall currently under construction and slated for completion in October.
“Looney said the Office of Fiscal Analysis estimated the .5 percent increase would bring in an additional $350 million per year which, he says, would then be returned to the municipalities from which the sales tax was collected,” Yankee Institute reports.
One catch: all of that .5 percent would go to the municipalities it was collected in, except in the case of a regional shopping center, i.e., a mall, like The SoNo Collection.
Norwalk would receive 60 percent of the mall’s additional .5 percent and 40 percent would go to “municipality or municipalities contiguous to,” the bill states.
“The bill is in only in proposal form at this point and Looney deferred to the judgement of the Finance Committee in crafting the details, but probably the biggest question facing the proposal would be the state’s poor history of returning tax revenue to municipalities – a history Looney acknowledged,” Yankee Institute reports. “…the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities offered testimony in support of the tax increase, feeling the gamble with the state is worth it.”
The Yankee Institute is a conservative think tank which, according to its website, advocates for “smart, limited government; fairness for taxpayers; and an open road to opportunity.” The organization’s director of public policy opposed the bill in its current form, but would support the proposal if the tax were voluntary, paired with property tax relief, and included guarantees that the revenue would be returned to municipalities.
Chestnut Street safety, traffic flow, improved
“To help ensure safe routes to school for students, motorists, and pedestrians near Columbus Magnet School and Side By Side Charter School, new digital ‘Do Not Enter’ signs have been installed,” a Feb. 28 press release from Norwalk Communications Manager Joshua Morgan said.
The signs at the intersection of Chestnut Street and Concord Street and the intersection of Chestnut Street and Henry Street operate when students are coming and going from the schools, prohibiting northbound traffic from Concord Street to Monroe Street, he explained.
“This is about the safety of students, drivers, and pedestrians. The area gets incredibly busy when students are coming and going, and the new signage will help alleviate some of these concerns,” Rilling is quoted as saying. “After listening to feedback from the public and police, something had to be done. I appreciate the Department of Transportation, Mobility, and Parking for analyzing the traffic in the area and implementing these changes.”
The digital signs are powered by solar panels, he wrote.
Good news: “Chestnut Street between Henry Street and Monroe Street – an area that is currently one-way – will reopen to two-way travel at all other hours of the day which will improve traffic flow in the area,” he wrote.
Chimento retirement fun
Speaking of Chimento, NancyOnNorwalk recently tripped over a YouTube retirement tribute posted in September. Enjoy: