NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk political notes for you:
- Brinton on par with Rilling in master’s degree department
- Team Brinton member thanks Rilling
- Morris quoted on life-changing drug experience
- Ragin made Justice of the Peace
Brinton finishes mid-life schooling
Unaffiliated Mayoral candidate Lisa Brinton has sent out an email blast announcing that on Saturday she received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy from American University in Washington, D.C.
“After her elder son enrolled at George Washington University in the fall of 2016, Brinton felt inspired to continue her own education in public service,” the announcement states. “Her interest in pursuing Public Administration was the natural byproduct of her decade of political activism in Norwalk.”
“I learned a lot, and made some great new friends and colleagues working in public service from around the country,” she’s quoted as saying. “We exchanged stories about administrative, operational and policy issues in our respective cities. Norwalk featured in many of my case studies.”
Brinton is seeking to unseat Democratic incumbent Mayor Harry Rilling and appears to have competition for the Republican endorsement from lifelong Democrat Darnell Crosland, who recently switched his party affiliation to Republican after pitching himself to the Republican Town Committee as a Mayoral candidate.
Crosland promised to file papers with the Town Clerk by May 3. As of Friday, he had not done so. He did not reply to a Wednesday evening text message.
Rilling on his campaign Facebook page states, “In 1991, as a Graduate Fellow I earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Labor Relations and Human Resource Management from the University of New Haven. I am also a graduate of the FBI Executive Development Course.”
Brinton’s “decade of political activism” includes founding REd Apples, an education reform advocacy group, and efforts to reform Norwalk Public Schools, followed by a focus on Zoning issues and a successful effort to defeat charter reform in 2016.
Crosland is a criminal defense attorney and former NAACP Norwalk Branch president.
Rilling, former Norwalk Police Chief, is in his third 2-year term.
“In addition to my duties as Chief, I also served on numerous boards and commissions locally and throughout the nation. … I presided as Chairman of the Mid-Fairfield Substance Abuse Coalition (MFSAC). I was past President of both the Fairfield County Chiefs of Police Association (FCCP) and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association (CPCA),” Rilling states on the Facebook page.
Brinton’s announcement states that her “diverse private and public sector background uniquely positions (her) to tackle inefficiencies at city hall.”
On Tuesday, the Common Council approved the last piece of Rilling’s reorganization of top City administrators, creating a Chief of Community Services.
“It’s critically important that we design a system of management within the City of Norwalk that is going to help us run the city in a professional way,” Rilling said.
Meek notes ‘cost conscious’ efforts
Board of Education member Bryan Meek addressed the Common Council on Tuesday, beginning his remarks with, “I just want to thank you Mayor, thank you Council, want to applaud the Council subcommittee of Land Use for being cost conscious about a lot of the future projects we have underway.”
Meek is Brinton’s treasurer. His 4-year Board of Education term ends this November; although he’s been known for sharp commentary, his tone has become much milder in recent months.
The Finance Committee Chairman was there to suggest that the Council reconsider its decision to renovate the Columbus Magnet School building instead of demolishing it to build a new school.
Morris decries marijuana ban, cites LSD
Former State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140) was once again traveling to Hartford in April, speaking in opposition to marijuana legalization at three events.
That resulted in a Connecticut Post story that said:
“Morris started using marijuana in high school, before experimenting with harder drugs while attending UConn, he said. Morris went to college wanting to become a lawyer, but a terrible trip on LSD shook up a young Morris and eventually led him to find God, he said.”
Morris in 2014 told NancyOnNorwalk that he had, as an eighth-grader, considered being a priest, but as a high-school grad went to the University of Connecticut with the intention of being a lawyer.
There he had a spiritual transition, he said.
“I would rather not go into detail about it, but let’s just say I had a miracle where God saved my very life and my mind,” he said.
Asked on May 1 if he wanted to tell NoN readers anything in addition to the Post story, Morris explained his opposition to marijuana legalization.
“My position is that the negative impacts of marijuana normalization upon our society, far outweigh the much needed economic benefits the bill seeks to provide,” he wrote. “Moreover, the state should have sought such economic benefits in distressed communities during the last 20-30 years and should pursue such going forward – but with a different revenue source.”
His full thoughts were published May 5 in a letter to the editor.
Simms campaign coordinator becomes JoP
Mellodye “Sweets” Ragin was recently made a Justice of the Peace by Norwalk Democrats.
Ragin took the JoP slot held by the late former Mayor Frank Zullo, Democratic Town Committee minutes say, calling her campaign coordinator for Travis Simms in his successful bid last fall to become District 140 State Representative.
Ragin is running SoNo Entertainment and Recording Studios on her own since the unexpected and sudden death of her husband, John “Dolo” Ragin, in September 2017. The pair were honored by the Norwalk NAACP in February in 2017.