NORWALK, Conn. – Some Norwalk political news:
- Georgia man hired for Norwalk Recs and Parks role
- Maddafari for Mayor?
- An expert for the POKO lawsuit
From Georgia to Connecticut
Nick Roberts is set to be appointed as Norwalk Director of Recreation and Parks at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.
Roberts has been assistant director for the City of Savannah (Georgia) Parks and Recreation Department since August. For nearly three years prior was Superintendent of Community Parks & Aquatics Division in Miami, Florida, according to his resume. He has additional experience in Naples, Florida, and was recreational facility manager in Charlotte, N.C., from June 2008 to September 2014. Before that, he was assistant to the Bronx Borough Commissioner in the New York City Parks and Recreation Department.
Mayor Harry Rilling on Sunday said Roberts’s hiring is the result of a nationwide search.
The Council Personnel Committee recently expressed some disappointment that it did not have the opportunity to weigh in on new hires, including in December when then-Massachusetts resident Jessica Casey was selected as Norwalk Chief of Economic and Community Development, following another nationwide search. Personnel Committee Chairwoman Barbara Smyth (D-At Large) on Sunday wrote:
“Nick Roberts went through the usual process for Chief positions … first through the Personnel Department with a hiring committee composed of those with expertise in personnel and the specific field. Top candidates are then recommended to the Mayor’s office for additional rounds of interviews. After Mayor Rilling makes his decision and the hiring is finalized, the candidate meets with Council Leadership, Personnel Chair, and the chair of the associated committee. In addition, we have been able to arrange for the candidate to meet all of the council members prior to the vote, as we did with Anthony Carr.
“In Nick’s case, the Personnel Committee was able to examine his resume in Executive Session during our March meeting. Due to sensitive matters of confidentiality and timing, this is not always possible, so I was pleased we were able to have this opportunity.”
Maddafari for Mayor? Still thinking about it
Brien McMahon High School Athletic Director Joe Maddafari was also up for the Rec and Parks Director job.
Maddafari, who is retiring in June and is being considered by Norwalk Republicans as a Mayoral candidate, said in March he was waiting to hear back on his application and a potential mayoral candidacy was “out in the clouds right now.”
Maddafari on Monday said he totally understands that the decision to hire someone else for Rec and Parks. As for running for Mayor, he said he’s going to Florida for a few days. “I’m going to think about it. Leave it at that.”
Milligan lines up Stamford expert
A real estate broker who is being sued by Norwalk and its Redevelopment Agency has lined up an expert witness to testify on his behalf.
The lawsuit seeks to invalidate Jason Milligan’s purchase of “POKO” phase II and III properties, which the plaintiffs claim were obligated for use in the construction of Wall Street Place, a mixed-use development spurred by a 2004 redevelopment plan.
The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency and the City say in their lawsuit that Milligan’s purchase of properties violated a tri-party Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) between the City, the agency, and the original developer. Attorney Rachel Goldberg, former Stamford Redevelopment Agency counsel, is expected to testify on behalf of Milligan and other defendants that the LDA governing the “POKO” properties does not comply to the requirements of the 2004 Wall Street Plan.
The case resumes on April 30.
Milligan is seeking to have the case dismissed on the argument that the LDA is invalid because the 2004 Redevelopment Plan expired in June. Attorney Joseph Williams, representing the City and Redevelopment Agency, says that the unfair trade practices of which Milligan is accused of occurred in May, before the plan expired, and asserts that issues with the redevelopment plan do not affect the LDA.
Goldberg will testify about the implementation of Connecticut urban redevelopment plans in general and “the expiration of redevelopment plans and the impact thereof on underlying and/or extant redevelopment agreements and projects,” Rubin wrote.
“Ms. Goldberg is expected to testify that there is no longer an operative redevelopment plan to which the LDA refers,” Rubin wrote.
“Bringing up an expert witness, and also having someone intelligent to talk, with no ax to grind, to be honest, it’s refreshing,” Milligan said on March 26, expressing confidence that the case against him will be dismissed.