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Rilling, Brinton disclose first quarter Mayoral campaign donations

The election is Nov. 5.

Updated, 2 p.m.: Additional information.

NORWALK, Conn. – Mayor Harry Rilling has raised $51,775 in his drive for reelection. His only challenger, unaffiliated candidate Lisa Brinton, has raised $12,400.

Both campaigns were early in submitting their April 10 itemized campaign finance disclosure statements to the Town Clerk’s Office.

At this point in his 2017 campaign, Rilling had raised $96,745. In 2015, he had about $46,000.

NancyOnNorwalk counted 192 individual contributors to Rilling and 72 contributors to Brinton. Rilling has 12 contributions of $1,000, at least six of which are from people connected to development.  Brinton has five $1,000 donors, including one is from her mother and another is from real estate broker Jason Milligan, who purchased properties which were part of a public Wall Street-area redevelopment project.  The City and its Redevelopment Agency have sued Milligan, alleging that the purchases were illegal.

Rilling is a Democrat seeking his fourth two-year term in office. Brinton ran as an unaffiliated candidate two years ago and is in the running for an endorsement by Republicans, who have not yet announced a candidate.

“I am so thankful to have such strong support from so many individuals and small businesses across the city,” Rilling said in a statement. “These funds will help us continue to spread the positive message of Norwalk’s grand-list growth, quality of life and school improvements.”

Rilling’s filing lists 42 businesses as having bought a $250 advertisement in a program book.

“I’m pleased with our number, as I didn’t start reaching out to folks returning from my overseas trip until late February — so the number represents only five weeks of work (except my mom, lol.)” Brinton wrote. “I also have held no official fundraising events yet – the campaign launch was just to cover the event cost.”

Brinton filed her papers to form a campaign on Dec. 3. Rilling announced his campaign Jan. 22. Brinton began the quarter with $1,514.81; she contributed $1,000 of that herself and has put in $100 this quarter.

“As far as I can tell there are no Russian donations,” in Brinton’s $12,400, campaign treasurer Bryan Meek said.

Rilling’s 2015 campaign took flak over reports that showed six $1,000 contributors who were connected to New York City Attorney Albert Feinstein, who, according to the Connecticut Secretary of State’s website, is the manager for Main Norwalk LLC, a developer looking to build a big box store at 272-280 Main Ave., known to many in Norwalk as “the BJ’s site.”

Feinstein has contributed $1,000 to Rilling this time, too. Another $1,000 contributor, Yulia Sergienko of Brooklyn, appears to be connected to Feinstein, who has an office in Moscow, according to his website.

In 2013 the owner of 272-280 Main Ave. submitted a proposal for a BJ’s Wholesale Club, but it was withdrawn after a massive public outcry that the proposed building was too large and would draw too much traffic through residential areas.  Critics, including first-time candidate Rilling, said zoning rules needed to be changed to prevent excessive construction of big box stores.  In 2017 the site’s owner submitted a new proposal for a big box store hidden by a village-like street front of smaller stores and restaurants.  The Zoning Commission approved the plan 5-2.

“Rilling raised over $51,000 in the first fundraising quarter of 2019 from more than 250 persons and small businesses in Norwalk and beyond,” a campaign press release said. “Approximately 60% of the individual donors were Norwalk residents. More than 50% of the contributions were from individuals contributing $50 or less.”

Rilling has 56 contributions of $30; the list includes 16 Norwalk firefighters and eight Department of Public Works employees. Out of towners include 11 attorneys with Halloran and Sage, a total of $1,550 in donations.

 

The list of contributors:

 

Mayor Harry Rilling

$1000

  • Daniel Amoruccio, undertaker
  • Jason Enters of Darien, EDG Properties
  • Bryan Dietz of Stamford, EDG Properties
  • Albert Feinstein of New York City
  • Tom Rich of Stamford, F.D. Rich Company
  • Paul Garavel, Garavel Auto Group
  • William Hennessey of Stamford, Carmody, Torrance, Sandak & Hennessey LLP
  • Richard McGonigal
  • Phil Mendence, Crystal Ice
  • Lawrence O’Brien
  • Yulia Sergienko of Brooklyn, AFRE LCC manager
  • John Stafstrom of Bridgeport; Pullman & Comley LLC

 

$750

  • Ed Camacho
  • Clay Fowler of Pound Ridge
  • Michael Kolokowski of Wallingford, KBE Building Corp

 

 

$500

  • Donna DiScala
  • Mary DiScala
  • David Gable, Hocon Gas
  • Natalie Grillo
  • Stanley Goldberg of Wilton
  • Patricia Jurgielewicz of Easton, Sedona Group VP for Finance
  • David Jurgielewicz of Easton, ASML engineer
  • Eugene Kimmel; Berchem Moses PC
  • Gregory Kimmel of Milford; Berchem Moses PC
  • Chuck Kriewald; Securitas Security
  • Jennifer Morawski of Monroe; Sedona Group
  • John Moeling
  • Kim Morque of Greenwich
  • Gregory Oneglia of Litchfield; O&G exec
  • Alan Webber of Fairfield; CFO First Mortgage Fund

 

$330

  • Mike Mushak

 

$310

  • David Westmoreland

 

$250

  • Adam Blank
  • Robin Penna; AJ Penna
  • Paul Antinozzi of Woodbridge; Antinozzi Associates
  • Andy Soumelidis, Land Tech civil engineer
  • Elefterios Tsiropoulos of Westport; Ticnix LLC
  • Winthrop Baum of Fairfield; WEB Realty
  • Michael Fazio of Fairfield
  • David Herbst of Fairfield
  • Allan Kleban of Wilton; KBE Building Corp
  • Joseph Nosal of Chesire; IBL LLC
  • Lawrence O’Brien
  • David O’Connor
  • Michael Andreana of Unionville; Pullman Comley
  • Bruce Beinfield
  • Peter Romano of Weston; Landtech
  • Joseph Walkovich of Danbury, Walkovich Associates
  • Michael Schinella of Fairfield, real estate developer
  • John Igneri
  • Nathaniel Yordon of Easton
  • Adam Wood of Rocky Hill

 

$200

  • Marc Bradley
  • Frederick Trotta of Guilford; Halloran and Sage
  • Dawn DelGreco

 

$185

  • Donna King

 

$150

  • Pam Parkington
  • Enrico Constantini of Trumbull; Halloran and Sage

 

$130

  • Tom Livingston

 

$100

  • Charlie Taney
  • Stuart Wells
  • Frank Peloso of Easton
  • Bill Ireland IV
  • Janet Evelyn
  • Peter Brown
  • Michael Corsello
  • Demetrios Sotiropoulos; Harbor Lights
  • Peter Carroll of Stratford; IBEW
  • Stephen Fogerty of Wilton; Halloran and Sage
  • Robert Cox of New Haven; Halloran and Sage
  • Jeffrey Gostyla of Avon; Halloran and Sage
  • Brian Sage of East Lyme; Halloran and Sage
  • Christopher McCarthy; Halloran and Sage
  • Thomas Lambert of Westport; Halloran and Sage
  • William McGrath of Portland; Halloran and Sage
  • James Perito of Branford; Halloran and Sage
  • James Maher of Hamden; Halloran and Sage
  • Daniel Scapellati; Halloran and Sage
  • Matthew Necci; Halloran and Sage
  • Christopher Jarboe; attorney, Lovejoy and Rimer
  • Sylvia Schulman
  • Lois Flynn

 

 

$90

  • Bobby Burgess

 

$80

  • Tony Mobilia

 

$75

  • Elsa Obuchowski

 

 

$70

  • Gary Oberst

 

$60

  • Patricia Tinto
  • Diane Lauricella
  • Tyrone McClain
  • Nicole Ayers
  • TJ Sportini of Stratford NFD
  • Stephanie Thomas
  • Susan Weinberger
  • Matthew Bannon NFD
  • Jane Walters
  • Karl Basone
  • Bill Collins

 

$55

  • Jerry Crowley

 

$50

  • Mary Bellavia of Stamford
  • Susan Guerrero
  • Christopher Madden
  • Beth Siegelbaum
  • Barbara Smyth
  • Greg Capuano of Orange
  • Robin Montgomery of Brookfield
  • Michael Witherspoon
  • Michael Frengs of Stamford
  • Marija Bryant
  • Robert Bryant
  • Louise Flax
  • Louis Schulman
  • Josephine Anderson
  • Nicholas Pichotta of San Francisco, Calif.

 

$40

  • Charles Corbo
  • Linda Langston

 

$35

  • Alex Knopp
  • Galen Wells

 

$30

  • Lucy Dathan
  • John Hauter
  • Jud Aley
  • Kyle Bank
  • Mike Barbis
  • Chad Boudreau of Westport
  • Maria Cheung
  • Paul Dirsa of Orange
  • John Eagen
  • Maurice Ferdinand of Ansonia, city employee
  • Gino Gatto
  • Milton Giddiens of Stratford
  • Corey Gilchrist
  • Ryan Hart
  • Edward Hutton
  • Adrian Ibarrondo
  • Jane Ireland
  • Brian Kilcoyne
  • Whitney King
  • Matt Lauria 
  • Nick Lipeika 
  • Daniel McInereney of Trumbull
  • Eloisa Melendez
  • Eric Montgomery
  • Charles Nystrom
  • Anthony Papacoda of Fairfield
  • Kadeem Roberts
  • Randy Rogers
  • Nate Sumpter
  • Larry Taylor 
  • Bob Vesaglio of Stratford
  • Linwood Whittaker
  • Darlene Young
  • Miguel Fuentes
  • Colin Hosten
  • Anthony O’Marra 
  • Luis Quinga of Stamford
  • Sean Davis 
  • Carmen Tutillo
  • Kelsey Shay
  • Jerome White of Stratford
  • George Baez Jr. 
  • Bill Ireland III
  • Kay Anderson
  • Oliver Lawrence 
  • Bruce Kimmel
  • Andres Ramos
  • Nora King
  • Darius Williams
  • Brandon Adams 
  • Michael Cripps
  • Ilya Denunzio
  • Michael Delmonte 
  • Chris King
  • John Kydes
  • Scott Carroll

 

$25

  • Eric Fischman

 

$20

  • Josh Morgan of Beacon Falls
  • Elyse Lyons
  • Erica Brown of Stamford
  • Fanny Osorio
  • Jospeh Andrasko
  • Zaida Folgar
  • Dorothy Mobilia
  • Judith Cobin
  • Joanne Duff
  • Joel Zaremby
  • Alton Landsman
  • George Mandler
  • Marilyn Robinson
  • Nancy Usic

 

$10

  • Kevin Doonan of Stamford

 

 

$5

  • David Murchie of Stamford
  • Erika Folgar

 

 

 

Donations from Committees

  • Third Street PAC $250
  • UA Plumbers and Steamfitters $1,500
  • Roofers Political Education Legislative Fund of CT  $300
  • Carpenters Local Union #326 PAC $1,500

 

$250 purchase of advertising

  • Berchem Moses PC
  • TTC LLC
  • eQuality Valuation Services
  • Quality Data Services
  • Sapienza Architects
  • TR Washington LLC
  • TR Sono Partners LLC
  • S&S Realty Services LTD
  • Halloran & Sage
  • A-1 Services Inc.
  • Antinozzi Associates, P.C.
  • Municipal Valuation Services, LLC
  • Kerin & Fazio, LLC
  • On Purpose PR
  • Harbor Harvest LLC
  • Gault Family Companies
  • A Glass Company Corp.
  • Central Conn Acoustics, Inc.
  • Corporate Site Investors, LLC
  • Vimini Valuation Services LLC
  • Chase Holdings, LLC
  • Bansley Anthony Burdo, LLC
  • Xenelis Construction Co., Inc.
  • KBE Building Corp.
  • Okee Industries Inc.
  • RRJR Construction Corp.
  • Philip H. Cerrone III Architect
  • A Pappajohn Company
  • Landtech
  • Daniels Caulking
  • Saugatuck Sweets
  • Gaffney Bennett & Associates
  • Harbor Lights LLC
  • Dileina Taverna Inc.
  • Duchess of Norwalk
  • Schicchitano Inc.
  • Freshii Westport LLC
  • Tuliptree Site Design, Inc.
  • CT Pest Elimination Inc.
  • Tierney, Zullo, Flaherty & Murphy PC
  • Lesko Funeral Home LLC
  • DLZ Architectural Millwork LLC

 

 

 

Lisa Brinton

$1,000

  • Nancy Brinton of Scottsdale AZ
  • Ernie DesRochers
  • Jason Milligan of New Canaan
  • Lisa Henderson
  • Volckert Van Reseema

 

$500

  • Rosaria Konstantin
  • Marc D’Amelio
  • Venneri Abudow HR Exec, Ms.

 

$250

  • Stephen Horvath
  • Robin Penna
  • Patricia Schlegel
  • Vanda McGlade-Baker
  • Terri Wood of Darien
  • Marjorie Neaderland

 

$200

  • Patrick Cooper
  • Cathleen Chawla of New York City
  • Adolph Neaderland

 

$100

  • Michael Brinton of Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Carol Kaplan
  • Matt Miklave
  • Amy O’Brien
  • Heather Dunn
  • Charles Schoendorf
  • David McCarthy of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Eric Dino
  • Michael Foley
  • Robert Kunkel
  • Helen Skipper
  • Sue Haynie

$55

  • Bryan Meek

$50

  • James Feigenbaum
  • Margaret Epprecht
  • Tamsen Langalis
  • Patrick Cooper
  • Gjuraz Nizgit
  • George Caceres
  • Peter Berman
  • Silvia Doyle
  • Gerri Lloyd
  • Annette Dichiaro
  • Karin Van Sloten
  • Chris Greco
  • Sheree McCormick
  • Denise Brown

$40

  • Stephen Bentkover
  • Maggie Trujillo
  • Jo Bennett
  • Margarita Connors

 

$25

  • Erika Luthy
  • Meghan Gatt
  • Brian Anderson
  • Robert Ferri of Ormand Beach, Fla.
  • Maria Salkie
  • Loisa D’Allaco
  • Bill Dunne
  • Steven Cordovano
  • Cris Bower
  • Daniel Friedrich
  • Leanne Lanefski
  • Andrew Todd
  • Paul Hammet

 

$20

  • Joshua Jewett
  • Brian Arsenault
  • Ellen Arsenault
  • Maureen Bonenfant
  • Richard Bonenfant
  • John Flynn
  • Jay Sequeria
  • Charles Yost
  • David Davidson
  • Kitty Kuhner
  • Scott Kuhner
  • David Marley
  • Rachel Konstantin

32 comments

Bryan Meek April 5, 2019 at 7:34 am

Third Street PAC is Bob Duff’s slush fund. It’s donors include mostly lobbyists and developers who live off taxpayer abuse. He uses this money to promote his image, which is a direct violation of state election law.

Third Street PAC’s treasurer is a state employee who is on Bob’s staff. He routinely used to post the financial reports for Third Street PAC during normal business hours for the state until I previously pointed out that he was doing this.

Bob has taken $500,000 plus over the years in taxpayer funded grants to run his campaigns. The one stipulation on these grants is that you don’t use outside money to promote your image and cause.

Search on Committee name “Third Street PAC” here: http://seec.ct.gov/eCrisReporting/SearchingDoc.aspx

But that’s not the news here. The news is the Mayor has lost half of his Support while retaining the bulk of what’s left from commercial interests. Going to be an interesting campaign.

Jo Bennett April 5, 2019 at 8:39 am

@Bryan – You have to dig, but the most recent filing shows these PAC contributions all come from lobbyists, and occasional trade groups (basically, the same thing).

Piberman April 5, 2019 at 11:09 am

Mayor Rilling certainly has his business and public Union supporters in our One Party City with its $150k Administrators and Chiefs.

But who supports hard pressed City homeowners facing ever higher property taxes ?

Mike Mushak April 5, 2019 at 11:35 am

@Bryan Meek, you could get a job at Fox News with that kind of spin, lol.

We are all waiting for Lisa’s detailed budget proposal for Norwalk that will match Danbury’s budget, as her main supporters including yourself have been demanding.

Lisa has 5 days to produce it, in the name of transparency that she is always demanding of others.

How many teachers, police officers, and firemen will she fire or reduce in pay? How many school and ballfield renovations will be cancelled? How many drainage projects and road paving projects will she cancel?

Anything less than a detailed budget for Norwalk to match Danbury’s, as Lisa’s supporters have been demanding, will be seen as a compete failure of leadership.

The truth is Harry has increased the grand list by $2 billion, and reduced property tax rates across most of the city, while simultaneously increasing funding for our schools, athletic fields, first responders, and infrastructure improvements including paving, sidewalks, and drainage.

So let’s see Lisa’s detailed budget to cut funding for all these areas, so we can be more like Danbury, that still has a mil rate on average 17% higher than Norwalk’s despite an austere budget that underfunds everything. But that’s what Lisa’s supporters are demanding, so she better provide it! It’s all on the record in another NoN article.

Lisa, you better put up, or shut up!

Yes, Bryan Meek, it will be an interesting campaign.

Piberman April 5, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Is it true that Mayor Rilling has raised more campaign funds from business and public Union interests over his term of office than any other Norwalk Mayor in the City’s history ? Given the decade long stagnant Grand List prior to the current Reval that’s quite an accomplishment.

Piberman April 5, 2019 at 12:23 pm

Mr. Mushack ought review past City budgets. Since the 2008 Reval the City’s Grand List has remained about $12 bil. The new Reval raises it about 16.5%. That’s similar to the percentage increase a decade earlier in 1998. The difference is that the City’s Grand List rose sharply from 1998 to 2008. That didn’t happen these past 10 years suggesting falling/staganant residential property values given the new apartment building projects completed with renters now 40% up from 30%. Whatever the reasons the City has the smallest business sector of any CT City and most would agree its the shabbiest. So ever higher City budgets fall mostly upon City homeowners. Hence the well documented Exodus. In a tough economic environment a commuter City without a major business sector is a risky proposition.

EnoPride April 5, 2019 at 1:37 pm

“Lisa, you better put up, or shut up!”

Wow. Nothing like kicking a candidate while she is up and celebrating what is an impressive start fo her campaign, @Mike Mushak.

Good strong start, Lisa. Happy for you!

Nobody has been demanding a Danbury budget except perhaps you it sounds like,
@Mike Mushak. And nobody was saying that they wanted Danbury schools as you have ascribed in another thread. Many of us are happy with the great work the BoE is doing and we follow the budgetary issues they face. You missed the point. Posters were simply admiring how transparent, how comprehensively executed and how tight a budget Danbury’s was, no more no less.

Under this current administration, my property taxes increased with this revaluation. The BoE had to fight tooth and nail last year for their budget ask in what seemed like an agonizing, dragged out deliberation process (I watched it) which brought out an unprecedented number of stakeholders to support the BoE in fighting for their ask. Parents and sports organizations have been fighting forever, for years, for long overdue athletic field improvements (I am one of those parents) which are just now happening. The sidewalks on my street look like they suffered aerial bombardment by military aircraft. Nobody clears the drains around my property which backs up with a flooded backyard and a driveway stream, water damaging my home. I was told many years ago by the city that the drains near and on my property were my responsibility to empty or to call in to them when they are backed up! Essentially, I was told by them that I had to do part of their job. I asked if I will receive a job title and a paycheck.

Mike Mushak April 5, 2019 at 2:07 pm

@Piberman, I’ve tried to avoid engaging you as it seems you repeat yourself as nauseum, but let’s tear apart your boiler plate comment and reveal how “shabby” your repeating criticisms are.

You state our grand list is stagnant. Norwalk’s grand list took a huge hit in the recession like everywhere in the country, and it took years to recover same as everywhere else. We just added 16% to the grand list since the last reval which is a remarkable achievement. It is anything but stagnant!

Your argument is baloney.

You state Norwalk has “the smallest business sector of any CT city and most would agree it’s the shabbiest.”

More baloney, this time with fact-free liverwurst.

No one agrees we have the “shabbiest business sector” unless they are you. You agree with yourself, no doubt.

You state “renters now 40% up from 30%.” Then you go on to say “ever higher City budgets fall mostly upon city homeowners.”

This is a baloney sandwich!

Yes we have more renters, horror of horrors some might say but just so happens it’s a huge trend and lifestyle shift everywhere as many folks both young and old don’t want to mow lawns and clean gutters anymore!

And your bizarre assumption that you share with Lisa Brinton and her few loyal groupies, that renters don’t pay property taxes, is so wrong as to be laughable. Renters pay a higher proportion of taxes per square foot than “homeowners” as you put it. That’s right, renters pay property tax, at a higher rate than homeowners! They’re subsidizing you it turns out. Taxes areincluded as part of their rent, and the landlords turn around and pay the taxes same as everybody else. And that old argument that tax breaks are given to the developers so they don’t pay taxes is bogus. Some do get breaks but those sunset out after a few years, and they always are paying the original property tax their properties always paid before their improvements.

You say “Hence the well-documented Exodus.”

Baloney regurgitated.

Norwalks population is increasing, houses are selling, and some really fun folks from the city and all over the world are moving to Norwalk. I know because I meet them all the time in my business. These are the folks renovating their homes, hiring local contractors, eating out in local restaurants that are thriving, and basically adding value to our economy and our community.

One client I’m renovating an entire landscape for is a young couple from Brooklyn, who did much research and decided Norwalk was the coolest city to live in both Westchester and Fairfield Counties. I agree! And they have a lot friends moving here from the city as well.

The “Exodus” you speak of is all in your mind. Maybe you’re confusing it with a film you once saw?

With all due respect, your outrageous claims are a bunch of baloney that don’t hold up to scrutiny.

Norwalk doesn’t have the “smallest business sector of any CT city.” Baloney.

Mike Mushak April 5, 2019 at 3:10 pm

@EnoPride:

Your quote from above: (4/5/19)

“Nobody has been demanding a Danbury budget except perhaps you sounds like, Mike Mushak.”

Your quote from two days ago, on NoN, 4/3/15:

“Where’s the Sharpee marker? Let’s have at it and cut the City Hall excess so we can restore the sidewalks and a better quality of life for our residents. Make it easy City Hall, and take Danbury’s template, for cryin’ out loud!”

As I said, many of Lisa’s supporters were asking for Norwalk to adopt Danbury’s austere budget, lower salaries, and lower school budget, , just this week!

And as I said, Lisa needs to provide a budget for Norwalk to match Danbury’s, just as her supporters like you asked for!

Lisa has 5 days to “find that Sharpie” as you put it, and “cut that City Hall excess”.

I’m only asking the same thing you did, EnoPride!

Lisa has better come up with a budget for Norwalk to match Danbury’s, and show us all what salaries and positions and projects including school renovations she would cut.

All in the name of “transparency” Lisa demands of everyone else. What’s her plan?

Otherwise, it’s just all meaningless campaign talk, no?

EnoPride April 5, 2019 at 5:15 pm

Discussing considering a format or template style and philosophy similar to Danbury’s in which to plug Norwalk’s own unique city budget data does not mean LITERALLY adopting a budget to match Danbury’s what you are calling austere budget, lower salaries and lower school budget, obviously, @Mike Mushak. That is just nonsensical. My quote does not imply that. And nobody asked for a budget. Norwalk has one already. Hopefully, Ms. Brinton will get a shot at coming up with Norwalk’s budget when she is our next mayor. Until then, the budget is Mayor Rilling and his team’s responsibility. I stand behind my quotes. I feel our current administration is overspending in certain areas, isn’t spending enough in others, and could use to make cuts for a leaner budget, and I am entitled to my opinions.

Have an amazing weekend, @Mike Mushak.

Mike Mushak April 5, 2019 at 6:47 pm

@EnoPride:

You are clearly advocating for a double standard.

You want one standard for Mayor Rilling who YOU and the rest of Lisa’s supporters say spends too much taxpayers’ money.

But you want another standard for Lisa who wants to be mayor, by saying we have to wait for her to become mayor to find out what she would cut out of the budget!

UNFAIR!

No more double standard!

I’ll say it again, and will continue to say it because we can’t have a double standard for mayoral candidates:

LISA, WHAT WOULD YOU CUT OUT OF NORWALK’S CURRENT BUDGET TO BE MORE LIKE DANBURY, INCLUDING OUR BOARD OF EDUCATION????

No more “let’s criticize Harry RIlling all day long for spending too much, but we’ll just keep secret what Lisa will cut until she gets elected.”

Lisa has 5 days to “take a Sharpie to our budget” including her proposed cuts to the Board of Education, which every single Norwalk voter deserve to see in the name of transparency, or else we will have nothing more to say than:

“The Empress has no clothes.”

And to all those Lisa supporters who lob daily insults at the current administrations budget:

Put up a revised Lisa budget for the city that shows EVERY cut she will make, or shut up!

Al Bore April 5, 2019 at 8:42 pm

Harry gets a lot of his money from the out of town developers, many that are destroying Norwalk as they over build, over crowd, and are then given tax breaks for their thoughtless development rubber stamped at city hall. At the end of the day they go home to their quiet neighborhoods in the surrounding towns and the tax paying homeowners have to deal the traffic, the continually deteriorating infrastructure, and the many cost associated with over building. Mike M talk about a spin, CNN has a job for you. Give me a tax break and let it sunset after a few years, no problem. Most of the union that support Harry don’t live in Norwalk they just get paid by the taxpayers of Norwalk, I said most not all. What a shame!!

Jake April 5, 2019 at 10:45 pm

Al Bore-

What tax breaks?? Tell us what apartment developers have gotten tax breaks?? If I recall correctly, Nancy confirmed not to long ago that the fictitious tax breaks don’t exist. But since you say it constantly in this forum, go ahead and educate us as to what multifamily developers have received tax breaks. I suspect silence will be your response.

Lisa Brinton April 6, 2019 at 3:43 pm

Jake, There are tax credits associated with the Ironworks development in Sono. I think it was part of the RDA Reed Putnam deal. I’ve also seen the tax bill with adjusted credits. The mall has tax credits for the next 7+ years and I think the Innovation District funds could be applied to the POKO Phase 1 bailout for Mr. McClutchy if the deal goes through. Hope that helps.

EnoPride April 6, 2019 at 5:45 pm

What a fascinating mouthpiece you are for the Rilling Administration, @Mike Mushak. You misinterpret perfectly clear and reasonable posts, harrass and marginalize posters and put words in their mouths when their words are of opposing views to yours, insult, ascribe motives, but your piece de resistance definitely has to be telling a courageous mayoral candidate who deserves all the respect in the world to “Put up or Shut up.” Keep up your great work, @Mike Mushak. You might just win Ms. Brinton some more votes! This will be my last response to you, ever.

Jake April 6, 2019 at 8:54 pm

L Brinton. Ironworks is the only multifamily development in all of Norwalk to receive tax incentives and it was through the enterprise zone/Reed Putnam designation, the same tax credit program as the mall. So why do people on NON blogs constantly say, untruthfully, that the City has given all of these tax incentives to apartment developers?? It’s a lie but I guess it sounds good, especially over and over again. The truth is more closely reflected by what Mushak pointed out, that these apartments pay over $4k per unit in taxes and the average size is roughly 800 sq ft. Compare that to residential homeowner taxes and tell me who is paying the lion’s share. As far as I understand the tax incentives you refer to as the Innovation Zone has been tabled. And your supposition that there is a “bailout” for Poko is merely more fodder as, unless you are holding back on us, you do not have any more of an idea what is going on with Poko than anyone else.

Nancy Chapman April 6, 2019 at 9:59 pm

The proposed tax credits for Wall Street-West Avenue Neighborhood Plan have yet to be approved. That’s the tax credits that were formerly referred to as the Innovation District tax incentives. There are no “funds” associated with the proposed tax breaks. These are tax breaks rather than expenditures, and the idea is that the tax intake will go up due to improvements that would not have happened without the tax incentives; the proposed ordinance has a “but for” clause, meaning that the development would not happen “but for” the incentives. So just to clarify, the City would not be spending money. Any tax incentives would have to be approved by the Common Council. Your elected representatives would be in charge of determining and/or enforcing the “but for” clause.

Jake April 6, 2019 at 11:47 pm

Exactly right Nancy!! Well put. Too many people preach the falsehood that a tax incentive is a loss/giveaway of taxpayer money when in actuality it is a gain. It is irresponsible when people, especially someone running for office, pushes a falsehood on the public.

Lisa Brinton April 7, 2019 at 7:39 am

Jake,
You raise a couple of additional points I’d like to comment on. I wonder if Ironworks will still be able to collect $4000 in rent when their tenants have the Walk Bridge cranes swinging overhead and construction site to gaze upon for the next 5 years? They can’t be happy about that.

Also, my supposition regarding the ordinance committe’s yearlong quest to pass the Innovation – now renamed Wall St West Ave real estate tax credit plan (or somesuch) is an educated guess. The ordinance has met opposition at every turn, by folks far more knowledgeable in real estate than me and en masse, even when public meetings have been held at inconvenient hours. Opposition also includes a former mayor. It’s no secret, the POKO Project still needs to have financial gaps closed for a host of mistakes made. It’s a shame the city isn’t spending more time making CitiBank eat the losses instead of finding creative tax incentives that local Norwalk homeowners can only dream of. The city puts a lien on a homeowner’s property if behind on taxes in the tax sale every two years and puts it on the chopping block. Imagine if they had done that to Citibank with Poko?

jo bennett April 7, 2019 at 9:19 am

The idea that a tax break isn’t an expense as is silly as the idea that a “no money down” auto lease is a “great deal.” Mike Maguire and Bryan Meek did a nice job of explaining how the budget defines the mill rate. Once those budget decisions are made, the money has to come from somewhere – it’s just a matter of how the expenses, meaning, tax burden, are apportioned.

One issue that I have is that with new development, the city bears infrastructure costs. And as Jason Milligan has noted, our infrastructure is struggling to keep up with recent large-scale development. So it’s a double-whammy effect. Triple whammy if you consider the drag that overdevelopment/oversupply of housing stock is bound to have on pricing.

I’ve gotten off-topic with these comments, but to also respond to another commenter in this thread, Mike Mushak, I don’t think any voter is looking for a mayoral candidate to submit a budget proposal. That would be foolish, and it’s why we have a CFO, Common Council, etc. (Wait – I don’t think we currently have a CFO…) We’re looking for ideas to keep a great city great. Give me a reason to stay, and make me proud to invite family and friends to visit.

Mike Mushak April 7, 2019 at 4:08 pm

@jo bennett, your comment contradicts yourself, sorry.

On the one hand you want the budget to be part of the mayoral campaign discussion, but you say you don’t want
to see Lisa’s budget proposals. Why the transparency with Harry Rilling’s budget but secrecy for Lisa’s budget?

Lisa has 3 days to submit a Norwalk budget to match Danbury’s as her own supporters have demanded.

I’m trying to help Lisa’s supporters understand what Lisa’s priorities would be, since she says our budget is bloated and needs to be cut.

What would Lisa cut for our budget? If she doesn’t provide her own budget proposal, we are left with a lack of transparency and accountability, making her a hypocrite as that’s what she demands from the current administration every day.

Would Lisa cut education? Road paving? Police and firemen? Salaries? Positions?

Lisa has 3 days to put up or shut up.

And this old claim about new development not paying for infrastructure improvements is not supported by the facts. The city requires an analysis of infrastructure impacts on every project, and is reviewed by DPW, WPCA, and local utilities for impacts and for sign-offs before it’s approved.

Any improvements identified as necessary by any particular project become part of the approval process discussions. That is how, to pick a recent example, the Glover Ave transformation into a multi-modal boulevard is being paid for by BLT who is the developer of the Curb project. The city negotiated this giveback with them as part
of the approval.

If you have any specific evidence of infrastructure impacts not properly vetted before any project was approved, please list them now. Thank you.

Otto Delupe April 7, 2019 at 6:14 pm

@Mike M Why do you gotta pick a side on every single thing? In your world we’d all have one party, one choice- your choice. It don’t matter if you’re wrong or right – people are going to vote for who they believe in. This idea that a candidate has 3 days to submit a budget this early in the process is kinda wacky. It’s Rev Al-esque.

Jake April 7, 2019 at 6:14 pm

L.Brinton and JoBennett-

JB, when the existing infrastructure (roads, gas, electric, sewer, water etc) are not sufficient to support a project- whether it be a new single family house, a new shopping center, a new multifamily building, etc- the entity proposing the project (builder, developer, retailer, whatever) pays for the adequate upgraded infrastructure. The City and the taxpayers do not and neither do the utility companies. It is another falsehood that is promulgated on this blog.

LB- I am not sure what you mean when you ask if Ironworks will still collect $4k in rent when there is walk bridge construction?? I did not say Ironworks has $4k rents….and I doubt they do. Maybe you are referring to the fact that I said the average apartment in Norwalk, which is 800 sq ft in size, pays on average $4k in TAXES a year??? Are you trying to make the walk bridge part of the real estate tax discussion??? If so I have no idea what one has to do with the other unless you are just trying to deflect my point about real estate taxes and how people on this blog lie about multifamily dwellings not paying their fair share?? Regardless, I will address the walk bridge. Will it effect the direct area?? Of course. But I happen live on a planet where construction projects do not fall out of the sky and just land in place with no impact whatsoever. There is no such thing. I do not care if it is getting the floors in your house sanded and refinished or repaving the roads or building a new bridge….things do not get done without impact. It’s the cost of progress.

As for Poko, you admitted you are guessing. Then you go on and again and make another series of wild guesses and supposition. You say that Poko has financial gaps that need to be filled because of a host of financial mistakes.
You said you are no real estate expert, but tell me what the host of mistakes are?? And you imply that the City is trying to fill them- how so?? Another guess….I guess! Citibank does over $6 billion in lending annually through its Community Capital division, the division that now owns Poko. They have less than $20 million out on the Poko project. I will take a guess like you like to do and say that they can fill their own financial gap and that they are not asking the City to do so. But we’ll see. And you say the City should just put a tax lien on Poko…which is funny….because Citibank has been paying all of the taxes due so how does that work!!?? Then you go on to say it’s a shame that the City puts tax liens on properties that do not pay their taxes. I guess you would just let people not pay their taxes and let the City go broke?? Good plan.

Jason Milligan April 7, 2019 at 8:26 pm

Jake,

You are off base.

POKO project got $4.4 million in city infrastructure approved along with a nice tax incentive package.

It also got 2 FREE city parking lots.

While under the infamous nondisclosure agreement Citibank/McClutchy asked for $2 more million from the city and they tried to reduce or eliminate the public parking they owed the city.

It is a head scratcher that enormous Citibank is continuing to waste its time in the POKO loser project.

The best thing that could happen for Norwalk would be for Citibank to leave. Just auction off the Tyvek Temple to the highest bidder, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Al Bore April 7, 2019 at 8:50 pm

Thank you Lisa and others for helping Jake understand what tax breaks are, I was away for the weekend. Otto Delupe you hit the nail on the head with @Mike M in your comment, wow does he worship Rilling.

Jake April 8, 2019 at 1:05 am

Al Bore an JM.

Of course AB did not respond to his continuous lies regarding tax incentives, instead ignoring his original comments completely. But I predicted that. I am sure he will promulgate the same lies on a future blog participation.

JM- As with LB, let’s deal with facts. Has the City funded any of the $4.4 million you suggest was part of the Poko deal?? Or are you just “guessing” like Lisa Brinton is very good at and it seems you gave the maximum $1000 donation to?? Seems like you may have a conflict and as such are preaching falsehoods like many others?? It’s funny how Lisa Brinton and others quote you in reference to being a developer and having knowledge as a developer but you go out the way to call yourself a broker and proclaim you are not indeed a developer. Are you a developer?? Have you developed anything?? Should we put weight on people who comment on your thoughts as a developer?? I am confused. It seems like it is one of those situations where people want to have it both ways??? But I am sure Eno Pride will figure it out…hahahaha.

And as far as two free parking lots go, and I am not lending credibility to your suggestion that the statement is true, but geez…it seems to have worked out very well for you. It seems like a guy like you would have had some sort of inside information that the rest of the NON audience have not been priviledge to if you were able and willing to pay $5 million dollars for parking lots that the City supposedly gave away. When something smells ike a fish there is usually a fish swimming around. Are you a fish?? Or are you the “savior of Wall Street” as your outrageous propaganda suggests??? You smell like a fish. Pee-eew.

Sid Welker April 8, 2019 at 9:51 am

@ Al Bore as Mike M “worships” Rilling its vice versa for the rest of this panel for Lisa. The proof is in the donation list. Although I don’t always agree with Mike M’s view or comments, I do admire his passion to stick to his morals and stay the course all while this comment section has a posse mentality of “let’s get em boys”. He’s pretty much out numbered 20/1 with everything he comments on. He fights you all off like rapid dogs and stands his ground while trying his best(sometimes crossing the line)not to lose his cool.

Piberman April 8, 2019 at 11:11 am

Is Mr. Mushak, reportedly a landscape designer, now the “unofficial” economics and financial spokesman for City Hall ? Dismissing comments by those with major business and professional economics and financial backgrounds as just plain “silly” ? No one else seems to do that in Nowalk or CT at large. So what’s the story here. If Mr. Mushak wants to discuss the reasons for Norwalk’s stagant Grand List since 2008 in a well documented article then lets get going. Lets encourage Nancy’s to follow a suggestion made several times and print a copy of the Grand List history from the City’s Latest Operating Budget for the past decade and the one for the prior decade. It ought be fairly obvious that the past decade of stagnant Grand Lists is quite differnet from the previous decade when Norwalk was a dynamic City.
Blaming Norwalk’s decade long stagnant Grand List on just the “Recession” is the kind of statement that would earn a freshman college student an “F”. Municipal economics and finance are serous subjects.

Norwalk Lost April 8, 2019 at 1:37 pm

Reports of “only” marginal decreases in the mill rates coupled with a draw down on the city’s rainy day fund does not bode well for taxpayers given the “advertised appreciation” in the Grand List. Unfortunately, no amount of alternate reality can mask the fact that city’s finances will devour an ever larger part of household finances in the the form of much higher taxes in the years to come. If city hall is so confident in the sustainability of its budgets, why not put a pro-forma in future years to justify its planning or lack of thereof, alleviate taxpayer’s fears and dispel rumors of a transformation to a Bridgeport style municipality? Further, with the luxury end of the real-estate market experiencing 30%+ declines, is the city’s insatiable appetite for massive apartment expansion enough to offset these declines? I wonder if anyone of the city’s “seasoned staff” is paying attention.

Jason Milligan April 8, 2019 at 8:32 pm

Jake,

It is hard to unpack your rambling comment.

As for POKO $2.2 million of city money was funded. Plus the 2 very valuable parking lots that our leaders gave POKO for FREE.

$5 million state money from the DECD was literally dropped into the POKO hole aka the asinine automated car vending machine basement.

POKO is a disaster. Anyone trying to defend it will lose. POKO took advantage of the politicians big time. It is embarrassing to admit, but unless they admit it we will never be able to move on.

The most accurate label for me would be Dad and youth sports coach.

However, I have been invloved in all aspects of real estate for 2 decades. I choose to label myself as a broker. I am self employed so I can choose the title on my business cards. They say Broker.

You can feel free to call me “Savoir of Wall Street”.

I can also decide to donate money to a worthy political campaign.

City Hall is full of fish.

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