Updated, 8:43 a.m.: Copy edits, new headline
NORWALK, Conn. – Some Norwalk political notes for you:
- Rilling pushes for Wall Street train station
- ‘Give the plan a chance’ and ‘what Mushak said’
- Maddafari for Mayor?
Enthusiasm for train station
Wall Street businessman Mike McGuire looked startled Tuesday evening when Mayor Harry Rilling walked by him outside City Hall and casually remarked that he’d spoken to Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) Commissioner Joseph Giulietti and asked him to pursue a Wall Street train station.
Rilling said he met with Giulietti a few weeks ago, told him there had been $250,000 earmarked for a study on the potential station, and asked him to see if he could move the study forward.
Rilling added that he’d always supported the concept of the Wall Street Station.
The pair shook hands.
Rilling: Mushak said it well
Rilling and McGuire had both just left the Common Council meeting, where McGuire had helped lead opposition to the Wall Street-West Avenue Neighborhood Plan, drawing on his commercial real estate expertise to criticize the area’s blight determination.
On Wednesday, NancyOnNorwalk asked Rilling what he would do to address the concerns of Wall Street property owners, specifically that the plan gives the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency authority over the Wall/West area and, some owners believe, will prevent progress.
“Let’s give the plan a chance,” Rilling replied. “It was made clear last night that any concerns voiced in the future would be dealt with. I think Mr. Mushak’s comments, if you have them, address a lot of what is going on here.”
Mike Mushak on Tuesday said that ironically the opponents had been crying out for planning for years, calling that “very strange indeed.” All you have to do to see that the area is blighted is drive around Wall Street, Mushak said.
The “loud opponents… have some self-serving reason for opposing this plan, including, plain old-fashioned politics and of course, greed,” he added. See below for video of Mushak speaking.
Maddafari for Mayor? He’s ‘thinking about it’
NancyOnNorwalk heard recently that Norwalk Republicans have been considering Brien McMahon High School Athletic Director Joe Maddafari as a Mayoral candidate.
“I’m really not too sure about that,” Maddafari said to NancyOnNorwalk on Wednesday, explaining that he’s applied for the open Director of Recreation and Parks position. “I really think I could help the town,” at Recreation and Parks, Maddafari said.
He’s waiting on that, and a potential mayoral candidacy is “out in the clouds right now,” he said.
Rilling declined to comment. Norwalk Republican Town Committee Chairman Mark Suda did not respond to an email asking about Maddafari.
Norwalk Republicans have been considering a cross-endorsement of independent Mayoral candidate Lisa Brinton, sources say.
Maddafari is set to retire from Brien McMahon in June after 23 years on the job. He’s a lifelong Norwalker. The Norwalk Hour quotes Maddafari as saying in December that he has no plans following retirement, but, “I want to be in the community in some way.”
NancyOnNorwalk asked Maddafari again Wednesday about running for Mayor. “I don’t know,” he replied. “We’re always thinking about it.”