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Norwalk Republicans set to lose heavy-hitter incumbents, work to line up candidates

At left, Board of Education member Mike Lyons; at right, Common Council member Doug Hempstead, at Monday’s Republican Town Committee meeting in the Norwalk Inn. Neither plan to run for reelection.

Updated, 5:05 p.m., May 22: recording added; 10 a.m.: More information.

NORWALK, Conn. — The Norwalk Republican lineup on the ballot this fall will not include Mike Lyons. Doug Hempstead has also said he’s not running. Bryan Meek is a maybe.

On the other hand, it was revealed at Monday’s Republican Town Committee that two currently not-in-office Republican electoral veterans are set to run, and there are newbies lined up.

Hempstead told NancyOnNorwalk on April 16 that he’s a definite no, although party members were pressuring him to run.

“I think it’s time to move on. I need a break,” the veteran Council member said. “It’s been 16 years straight. I just want a breather, I am not saying never run again.”

Council members either run in-district, to represent the part of the city they live in, or at-large, to represent the entire city. Hempstead’s done both.

He squeaked by to reelection in 2017 as an in-district Council member, with 12 votes over Democratic third place-finisher Bill Pappa.

It’s been hard to be the only Republican Council member, Hempstead said on April 16.

On Monday, Hempstead sat quietly as District D Chairman John Romano revealed that Tom Keegan and Carl Dixon are going to run as in-district Council candidates, and that at large candidates are needed.

Traditionally, District D has presented multiple candidates for at large Council, but “right now we are deficient in that area,” Romano said, commenting that there have been “some issues” with “both” of the candidates that have come forward for mayor, and “people are hesitant to come forward.”

Some Norwalk Republicans would like the RTC to endorse unaffiliated Mayoral candidate Lisa Brinton, while others appear to support Darnell Crosland, who recently changed his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. Both hope to unseat Democratic incumbent Mayor Harry Rilling.

Crosland spoke at Monday’s RTC meeting, run by Vice Chairwoman Liz Lyons in the absence of Chairman Mark Suda.

“I’m trying to understand offense and defense,” Crosland said. “…I don’t have anything against Democrats, I have something against the Democratic policies.”

“This campaign for me is about listening to the people in our community and seeing what they want. It’s not about making Harry look bad, or the other candidate look bad,” Crosland said. “… I look forward to the debates, I look forward to learning what it means to run the city.”

Brinton did not attend. In a 9:30 p.m. email to NancyOnNorwalk, she said she had just pulled into town after spending the weekend in Washington D.C. for her son’s college graduation and dorm move out.

District C also has Common Council candidates lined up, Chairman John Tobin said.

Mike Foley has already raised $3,000 for an in-district run, and former BoE member/former Council member Glenn Iannacone is going to run for Council, probably at large, he said.

Former Council member Rich Bonenfant said he’s planning to run at large.

“It’s been successful enough that we know that we can win if we have a good frontrunner who will pull in the ticket. It’s been proven: Kelly (Straniti) worked real hard and it brought in four of us.  Last time around didn’t work so good. We’ll let it go at that,” Bonenfant said.

Straniti challenged Rilling in his first reelection bid, in 2015. In 2017, Republican candidate Andy Conroy finished behind Brinton and there was a near-sweep for Democrats.

Charlie Yost has filed paperwork to run for Third Taxing District, Tobin said.

“Bryan (Meek) is making whispers that he wants to run again, maybe,” Romano said.

Meek would be seeking a second 4-year term on the Board of Education, if that’s the case. He is Brinton’s campaign treasurer.

“I have not filed my paperwork at this point,” Meek said. “I will probably not run if the mayoral ticket is a fractured ticket, period. Interpret that the way you want to.”

“A three way race for Mayor will guarantee a 4th term for the incumbent,” Meek said Saturday on Facebook. “…Doug Hempstead who has served our city for the last 30 years barely kept his seat by a dozen votes running out of district D (Cranbury to Silvermine). Our brand is dead and coalitions with the Independent party is the only way to resurrect it.”

Lyons on Monday stood to give a Board of Education report, and said he wouldn’t be running for reelection because “eight years has been more than enough.”

Five or six years ago, Norwalk’s student performance trailed badly behind state averages and now, the city’s results exceed those averages, he said, also pointing out that Norwalk has its first new school construction program in many years.

“I really feel we have made dramatic improvement in the education system, for a city school system, we have significantly closed the achievement gap. We have done things that no other city in the state able to achieve,” he said.

A new superintendent search is starting soon because Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski is sticking with his words and retiring in June 2020, fulfilling the commitment he made for five years, Lyons said.

“I’ve been very pleased with the bipartisan way that the board has run,” Lyons said, observing that he was made BoE Chairman five times, four of those times by a Democratic majority.

“I am going to miss Mike dearly on the school board,” Meek said. “But everybody owes this man a deep thank you and debt of honor for running what he did for the last eight years… Mike had brought this city forward more than any elected official that I have ever known in this city.”

Lyons won reelection in 2015 with 1,408 votes to 1,369 votes for Democratic challenger Lisa Nuzzo.

In January, there 53,542 people registered to vote in Norwalk: 20,384 Democrats, 9,790 Republicans, 1,037 Independent Party and22,238 unaffiliated, Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said.

Romano expressed optimism Monday about the fall election.

“I think the public is seeing that a 14 to 1 scenario is not good for the town at large so hopefully we’ll be able to field some good candidates,” Romano said. “Also keep in mind that a lot of the candidates that are on the Democratic side, are not running. And they are not running because they… have other things to do or they have a different career path. They are not running because they don’t like what’s going on in the city themselves. They’ve been browbeaten and pushed and coerced, to vote with the party line. We need to break that stranglehold.”

Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairman Ed Camacho did not immediately respond to an email seeking a response to that comment. Neither did Council members nor Mayor Harry Rilling.

“That’s the backstreet story,” Romano told NancyOnNorwalk after the meeting. “That’s the backstreet conversation, I have no substantiation from them, other than people are talking.”

“Mr. Romano’s ‘backstreet story’ for which he admittedly has ‘no substantiation’ is, as I’m sure he knows, false,” Camacho wrote Tuesday.

50 comments

Ed Camacho May 21, 2019 at 7:33 am

Mr. Romano’s “backstreet story” for which he admittedly has “no substantiation” is, as I’m sure he knows, false.

Educator May 21, 2019 at 8:54 am

Lyons is not running because he will never be reelected. He has been the major cause of racial division in this town and has single handedly increased the taxes of Norwalkers due to his overinflated budgets. Since he took office the BOE budget has increased by $20M. Next time you pay your taxes think of Mike.

Alice Allen May 21, 2019 at 9:23 am

Looks like I won’t be voting for either major party. Time for a change in Norwalk.

Mike Barbis May 21, 2019 at 9:29 am

Educator,
Are you serious?
Our union contracts — both salaries and health care — are why our budget increases every year. Of all people, you should understand that.
In addition, student enrollment has continued to grow — 11,588 students on January 1, 2019, up from 10,595 in 2007 … do you think we can educate an extra 1,000 students for free?
Mike Lyons could easily get re-elected — just as he did in 2015.
If you are so worried about your taxes, you should lobby Hartford to change collective bargaining laws and City Hall for illegal multifamily apartment enforcement.

DrewT May 21, 2019 at 10:13 am

@educator Obviously you don’t know Mike Lyons at all. Because if you did you would know that there isn’t a racist bone in his body. He is probably one of the smartest people in the City. He has done Tremendous work on the BOE for our Students (Remember Them)? He was elected a couple of times by a bipartisian Vote Chairman of the BOE. His record of acomplishemnts speaks for itself. And further the ones who like to scream racism this racism that are usually the racists themselves.
Thank You Mike for your many years of dedicated service to our Students and City!

Rambo May 21, 2019 at 10:14 am

The Norwalk Republicans need to wake up from this embarrassing coma they are in. How is a guy who got annihilated in a Democrat Primary for Probate Judge in 2018 going to save the Republicans? Also, if he had become Probate Judge would he have anything to do with the Republicans? I highly doubt it…

Mike Lyons May 21, 2019 at 10:27 am

LOL, ‘Educator’ – how many times I’ve heard that ‘Lyons can’t win’ mantra – and then won four elections (two to the Council, two to the BoE). If you actually ARE an educator (who knows, since NON allows people like you to hide behind fake names), then you’re a member of a union – and the unions are the primary drivers of our budget increases.

What’s different about the current BoE is that instead of just increasing salaries for union members, we’ve done two new things. First, we’ve made conscious efforts to control / reduce costs where we could, and second, we’ve redirected our spending from less impactful to more impactful uses.

On cost control, we have saved literally millions of dollars a year for our taxpayers by privatizing services like custodial work, and continuously working to hold the costs of those union contracts down (we have consistently negotiated union increases below state averages). We saved several million dollars moving our employees onto the State 2.0 insurance program. Every one of these cost-saving measures were fought by union members and their political allies, but the Board majority prevailed. Norwalk’s taxpayers can thank us for not letting the NPS budget grow $10 million more than it would have otherwise.

Meanwhile (and apparently of no interest to ‘educator’), we have dramatically improved the education of Norwalk’s students, moving Norwalk’s school system into the highest performance status of any urban school system in the State, and above State averages for the first time in its history. See the State-certified numbers here – https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2019/03/nps-touts-accountability-results. Oh, and BTW – we’ve achieved those milestones while spending LESS per student than any of the other lower Fairfield County towns (see the chart in NON’s article here – https://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2019/01/norwalk-boe-looks-to-tout-successes-in-12-9-million-budget-ask). Norwalk’s taxpayers should be happy that with that lowest-level spending we have achieved that high level of improvement.

I’m happy to have played a part in that success story.

Piberman May 21, 2019 at 11:14 am

Under One Party Rule Norwalk has become an overtaxed “renters City” with long term homeowners seeking to exit if only they can find scarce buyers. Norwalk attracted homeowners when it had 2 active political parties.

Under One Party Rule CT’s economy has stagnated for an entire decade with major tax hikes. Why can’t Norwalk do much better becoming a low tax City attractive to new business bringing good jobs. Instead of a City attractive only to Developers bringing renters not paying their share of the City’s heavy taxes. And Developers funding our One Party elections.

Al Bore2 May 21, 2019 at 11:14 am

Mike Lyons for Mayor, that would be great imagine if he could do as great a job being mayor as he has with the BOE.

Al Bore2 May 21, 2019 at 11:21 am

Losing Doug and Mike is going to be very hard shoes to fill, these two gentlemen gave their all to the city and the citizens of Norwalk. Thank you both for all you did over the many years that you donated your time and expertise to make Norwalk a better place.

Bryan Meek May 21, 2019 at 11:38 am

Working together with independents and unaffiliated voters can help resurrect the local GOP. Recall we’ve been here before. Alex Knopp had a 15 member Democrat council and a 13-2 edge another term.

What is going on right now in the GOP (from a very small minority) is a side show guaranteed to make 2017’s humiliating defeat look like a graze across the chin. If there is a GOP primary this year, there will be another 15-0 council situation and that isn’t ever a good thing for the city, no matter what party is in control.

There is no need for me to run, if the party continues this march towards self destruction.

Rusty Guardrail May 21, 2019 at 11:46 am

Republicans:

It’s very simple.

Nominate Crosland and guarantee Rilling a 4th term.

In 2012, he falsely defamed Norwalk in the national media! Norwalk could’ve won a libel suit against him! Now he’s running for Mayor?!

If Crosland was the ONLY CANDIDATE, he’d nonetheless find a way to lose!

Hank May 21, 2019 at 11:58 am

Norwalk is the new Bridgeport. Republicans should just mail it in. At least we have Trump until 2024.
Also, I’m from the camp that believes school teachers (you know, the ones who actually work with the kids each day) should be paid more, and the big-wigs at Central Office should be paid less. Who is more important to the success of a child? Their teachers or the ones bossing the teachers around?

Mike Lyons May 21, 2019 at 12:09 pm

Hank, you’ll be pleased to know that Norwalk’s teachers are among the highest paid in the State. The downside of that is that Lamont is proposing that communities that pay high salaries to their teachers get hit with a shift from the State to those communities of the teachers’ pension costs (another off-loading of a state responsibility onto local taxpayers). Get ready for that hit.

Victor Cavallo May 21, 2019 at 12:15 pm

Please understand that Mr. Meek’s declaration- that the Republican brand is dead- is far from the truth and purely a self-serving statement from the Lisa Britton campaign to advance Britton’s amateurish political strategy of building some sort of ersatz coalition for her election as mayor. Apparently it’s also Lisa Britton’s brilliant strategy to embarrass and emasculate the very party from which she seeks an endorsement.

For this, there likely will be hell to pay at the July convention.

Mike Lyons May 21, 2019 at 12:27 pm

Hank, as a follow-up, the CT School Finance Project numbers show that Norwalk’s average teacher salary is $97,164, which is $18,489 higher than the state average. Lamont’s proposal would add $1,098,000 to next year’s budget (erasing the meager $500K increase in our ECS funding that year). The cost increase in ’21 would be $2,269,000, then reaching the Lamont target of $3,296,000 per year thereafter. See https://public.tableau.com/profile/connecticut.school.finance.project#!/vizhome/TableauMap-AvgTeacherSalaryandTRBPercentage/Est_AverageSalary.

Rusty Guardrail May 21, 2019 at 1:30 pm

It’s Lisa BRINTON, not “Britton”…and given the Republican party’s full support, she can probably unseat Rilling this time.

Bryan Meek May 21, 2019 at 2:56 pm

Lisa had nothing to do with my statement. I speak for myself. I’ll take all the criticism and heat and if the GOP wants to move away from me, that’s out of my control. I’m only 1 vote out of 100. My position is simple and basic math. By ourselves we simply do not have the numbers to win elections like we used to.

Victor, by all means if you want to secure another defeat (what are you now, like 0 for 8 or something?), keep picking winners and keep feeling emasculated in your own mind.

Me, I don’t like losing and I really don’t care who feels emasculated and I don’t need anyone to come kiss my imaginary ring. This city needs to modernize to survive and we are way behind, following ideas and strategies that worked decades ago. I suggest those who think we are winning take a trip to towns with a clue. Annapolis. Reston. Raleigh. Vision and winning involves a little more thinking than who’s ego needs to be satisfied every two years.

itsjustme8 May 21, 2019 at 3:44 pm

Oh the drama. My suggestion, let’s drop party affiliation for Mayor and other town offices.

Heck, dog catcher gets 79% of the vote if there’s a ‘D’ after their name. The more I read this website, the more I want to move. I’ve not been on here in a long time

Signed,
Proud Tax Paying Independent — past 20 years in Norwalk

Rusty Guardrail May 21, 2019 at 4:18 pm

So why do you think it is that a majority of the 20% of eligible Norwalk residents who bother to vote have voted a straight Democratic ticket? I too am independent LOCALLY, but my view of current DC politics won’t allow me to support any state or federal Republican candidates.

JOHN C ROMANO May 21, 2019 at 4:26 pm

ED Camacho, I believe my words were taken out of context. I may have been trying to rally the troops in my original remarks, looking for enthusiasm for additional candidates to step up. Then after the meeting Nancy cornered me and I thought she was on another subject regarding the Harbor commission and I may have misspoke or she misinterpreted what I was relating to. She was overhearing another private conversation and I told her that it was off the record. Now it makes sense we were not both talking about the same thing. sorry for the confusion.
Editor’s note: This comment was cleared for publication at 5 p.m., May 22

JOHN C ROMANO May 21, 2019 at 4:36 pm

As far as the Republican party is concerned, it is far from dead or dying. We have not committed to any Mayor candidate. But some have thrown their support to a non Republican, there-in lies the issue at this time and place. Others have issues with a potential candidate who was recently a Democrat. Even though he has joined our party, and can be a valuable member, some think it may be to soon. Others like myself are still evaluating what is taking place. As a district D chair. my main concern is getting people elected to the common council and BOE. My goal is to hopefully try to strike balance on the common council. Many Democrat council people are not running for re-election, so a clean slate will give us and the electorate the opportunity to strike some balance in city governance.

Bill Nightingale May 21, 2019 at 4:41 pm

well said Bryan. Are you sure you are 1 of 100 votes? there are really 100 bodies left there?

Victor Cavallo May 21, 2019 at 5:35 pm

One out of 100? Last I knew and had seen, one of the districts was short by 17. And I’m desperately searching for a generally accepted “…or something…” GAAP rule that would be handy with the IRS – or even the SEEC.

Ron Morris May 21, 2019 at 5:48 pm

GREAT NEWS to hear that Adamowski is leaving and that Lyons is not running again. Hopefully Meeks and Barbis will also leave or not win re-elections. This way we can begin to repair the disaster that the Norwalk school system his. People do not be fooled by the links that Lyons posts. If you really want to hear what a mess the Norwalk schools are under this BOE and this superintendent just ask the students, parents and teachers as they are the true stakeholders in this..

Mike Lyons May 21, 2019 at 7:38 pm

Ron Morris essentially says ‘ignore the hard data, instead believe my unverified statements about what un-named people allegedly said.’ A pretty good example of ‘fake news’.

I know Ron is immune from facts, but for those of you who care about them, here are some more data poiints that Ron can urge you to put your heads in the sand and ignore.

1. Norwalk ranks first in its District Reference Group (DRG), ahead of all other districts similar to ours, with the highest student achievement of any urban school district in the State (interestingly, even though Stamford spends $1,284 more per pupil per year than Norwalk does (to illustrate, for a typical class of 22 students, Stamford spends $28,248 more on that single class each year than we do)), Norwalk’s students achieve higher results. [To show the stark contrast with our wealthy neighbors, Weston spends $105,270 more each year per classroom than Norwalk does.]

2. Norwalk’s 4-year graduation rate of 93% has now exceeded the state average (87.9%) for the third consecutive year.

3. Our State Accountability Index Score showed the second largest gain of any K-12 district in the state last year.

4. Our English Language Learners now have a higher graduation rate than their statewide peers.

5. Fifteen Norwalk schools achieved meaningful student growth in a year-over-year comparison, with Rowayton Elementary and the Center for Global Studies designated as category 1 (top tier) schools; other Norwalk schools are closing in on that level.

6. Rowayton was named Norwalk’s first Connecticut School of Distinction last year. Three more schools joined it this year.

7. The Achievement Gaps in English Language Arts and math have been largely closed.

These numbers are produced by the State in independent analyses, not by us.

And all this achievement in a school district that has to address problems of severe poverty and other socioeconomic impacts on our children that are virtually unknown in the surrounding communities (the percentage of high needs students in Norwalk is 61%, versus an average of 17% in the surrounding communities).

For the relatively low amount we spend, we are getting pretty impressive results. See https://www.norwalkps.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_71596/File/departments/Communications/State%20of%20the%20Schools.pdf.

So there you have it. You can believe the facts, or you can believe Ron.

DrewT May 21, 2019 at 8:24 pm

The RTC is not dead at all! Are we considering endorsing a not affiliated candidate for Mayor yet and we should. And let’s be clear about something. We welcome Darnell and any Democrats or non affiliated that see the light and want to join the RTC with open arms. But please work with us learn about us. You should run for CC or other positions. But jumping into the top spot and expect our endorsement is highly questionable. We have an independent candidate that deserves our endorsement. And in 2 years if we feel we need a change then e endorse someone else. All we want is for what is best for our City and right now an independent candidate with our blessing is it!
As for Bryan Meek he happens to be one of the smartest and brightest people in the room. I respect him and his answer last night and he is right. I truthfully hope he decides to run again and serve on the BOE and continue the success we have had over the last few years. But we need the leader at the top of the ticket to help carry us all and that is Lisa! We are far from dead and very much alive and Norwalk is ready for a change at Mayor and on the Council. I’m proud to be a Republican but sometimes we really need to take a hard look at who the better candidate will be. Welcome Darnell but it’s not your time at the top spot. But please continue brining more to our party we know you have a lot to offer! Thank You for seeing the light!

Mitch Adis May 21, 2019 at 9:26 pm

Mike! Please run for mayor! I’ll vote for you 8 times. I’ll get all my dead relatives to vote for you too!

Seriously… You have my vote no matter what.

jo bennett May 21, 2019 at 9:48 pm

I like the dropping party affiliation suggestion for public offices. Have voters vote on issues instead of tribal affiliation. (Said as a member of the winning tribe here for many years…but thinking we might want to try something different…)

Victor Cavallo May 21, 2019 at 10:04 pm

I just can’t believe that it would come to this: that I’d have to defend myself for being a Republican… against another Republican. Will there be other Brinton (sp) apostles to follow who will be eager to pulverize the fabric of our party for the sake of justifying an endorsement for … I dunno?

Ron Morris May 21, 2019 at 10:25 pm

So Mike are you saying that the true stakeholders views as in the children, parents,and teachers don’t matter??

james gallacher May 21, 2019 at 10:40 pm

Mike Lyons and Doug Hempstead have worked their tails off for us for years and they will be missed. We really can’t afford to lose them. Mike, are you sure you don’t want to stick around until after my daughter gets through school? 🙂

Otto Delupe May 21, 2019 at 10:58 pm

Registered Republicans in District B – and we’ve waited 10 years for the first knock on the door from any of you – Cavallo, Suda, Meek, Romano. We are totally out of the loop.

Bryan Meek May 21, 2019 at 11:48 pm

as written by

Victor Cavallo

May 21, 2019 at 10:04 pm

I just can’t believe that it would come to this: that I’d have to defend myself for being a Republican… against another Republican. Will there be other Brinton (sp) apostles to follow who will be eager to pulverize the fabric of our party for the sake of justifying an endorsement for … I dunno?

End of post.

Where do I start. I make a simple statement based on simple numbers and I clarify some things with no reference to you…..then I’m accused by YOU of being a campaign mouthpiece, then insinuated for being some kind of knowitall about campaign and tax laws, and then you are amazed about having to defend yourself about facts. OK.

As for pulverizing the party? I will give you credit there. 17% in 2017. Do the math.

Lisa Brinton May 22, 2019 at 5:16 am

Victor, I’m sorry my attempt to build a coalition of Us, Rs and Disaffected Ds offends you.

I am hoping to get a cross endorsement, since that’s what the voting numbers require. Just as I stated in the last election, the way to defeat this mayor is with a coalition. A three way race benefits one person, and one person only – the mayor.  

I’ve always argued there is no R or D way to run a city, as 22 of 30 of the most populated US cities have non-partisan elections. Non-partisan cities also do better economically. It’s hard enough to get people to serve, why add the ‘tribal’ factor?

If heavy hitters, Mike or Doug were running (or others like Fred or Larry) for a check and balance of the system, I wouldn’t be; but politics is changing. Why are you and others in the RTC so upset that I’m willing to throw myself on the proverbial grenade to try and stop this leadership?

I respect you for at least identifying yourself. Others anonymously challenge, saying I have no policies and simply attack Harry. But it’s really quite simple, my policies are 180 degrees the opposite of his. I believe the past six years have been squandered, despite claims of growth.

This is the growth I’ve seen:
– Conflicts of interest
– Tax credits
– Extreme partisan rule
– A rubber stamp council
– Additional layers of management
– Unprecedented lawsuits,
– fortress apartments,
– traffic congestion
– School poverty

The Rainy Day Fund was stockpiled, then conveniently raided in an election year.

The mayor is on the wrong side of the Boondoggle Walk Bridge, where even the governor has said he’d re-consider. Nearly $500k has been spent on a vendetta lawsuit against Milligan over Poko II and III, with plans to tear down the ‪Garden Cinemas‬, when FOIA made it pretty clear Poko I was doomed before the LDA ink was dry. Despite knowing this AND behind closed doors, this administration now wants 100% affordable housing to bail out a bank and big political donor developer, courtesy of the taxpayer.

And all you can do is complain I don’t have an R tattooed on my chest? Seriously?

Norwalk’s politics need a makeover and end to the culture of fear and retribution. That starts at the top and is what I mean by professionalism. I’m sorry you’re stuck on the alphabet.

Lisa May 22, 2019 at 9:52 am

Partisan tribalism brought us to this point. Norwalk R’s have a choice to make – are they going to die on the sword with and R on their chest? Or, are they going to start thinking about bipartisanship and working together for Norwalk taxpayers? It’s really hard to be a Republican in CT – look at what happened to Fred and Toni Boucher! Why not be the city that starts to redefine what the next generation of R looks like? Who is going to lead the way? Sounds like Lisa and Brian may be onto something… There’s a lot of independent voters and a few fiscally responsible D’s left in Norwalk.

Victor Cavallo May 22, 2019 at 11:13 am

Taking these arguments and advice – from both Republicans and others- to their logical conclusion, the Republican Town Committee should endorse NO Republicans to run for office at its convention July; only unaffiliateds, Independents and perhaps a Democrat or two. This to demonstrate a new resolve for “bi-partisanship” and by way of acceptance of the proposition that “our brand is dead.” No Republican candidate should appear in Row B of the November ballot.

Better still: the Republican Town Committee should be dissolved and stop wasting its members’ time and money with meetings and fundraising; and spare them the opprobrium of being associated with the Republican brand.

james gallacher May 22, 2019 at 11:38 am

parties change all the time. I’m registered R and i’m planning to vote for Lisa (again). She is where the party is headed and the leadership needs to either get on board or go.

Nancy Chapman May 22, 2019 at 5:06 pm

I do not believe I took Mr. Romano’s words out of context, but readers may judge for themselves by listening to the recording of his remarks, now attached to the story. He was speaking to the entire group — I did not quote any “side conversation.”

I approached Mr. Romano after the meeting to ask about another topic, then asked about his remark that Democrats were not running for re-election because they were tired of being pushed around. He opined that I had overheard a conversation before the meeting and said that conversation was off the record. I told him I was referring to the comments he made during the meeting, to the group. He said, “Then if I said it, you can say it, whatever.”

“Off the record” never applies to comments made in a public meeting. If a source wishes something to be “off the record” this must be agreed with the journalist before speaking. For more information, see this New York Times story: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/02/reader-center/off-the-record-meaning.html

Bryan Meek May 22, 2019 at 5:17 pm

Victor. No, what some of us are saying is that we should nominate those individuals with a vision for a modern city, a passion to win, and a snowball’s chance of doing so. That the RTC got away from this mission is something that is fixable as well as the party’s ability to thrive in a 21st century world with ideas that support it. It shouldn’t matter if they are R, D, U, I, G, or other letters of the Greek alphabet for that matter. Stay focused. We can do this and rebuild from the ashes. Capisce?

Patrick Cooper May 22, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Voting as reported here over the past year. Facts apparently. (Dissenting “D”’s in parenthesis’s)

8/29/18 – “Deal” with the New/Old SoNo CC: 13-2 (Dumas)
9/12/18 – “Rilling’s Reorganization: 10-3 (Dumas, Corsello)
10/24/18 – Pay Raises for non-union, appointed, and elected: 11-1-1
1/9/19 – Plastic Bag Ban: 15-0
2/14/19 – Oak Hills Restructuring: 10-0-5
2/27/19 – Budget Cap: 13-1-0
3/13/19 – Wall Street – West Ave: 13-1-0
4/24/19 – Noise Ordinance – 14-0-1

You see allot of independent thought?

Tysen Canevari May 22, 2019 at 11:43 pm

Bryan Meek for Mayor. BTW Where is Mr Suda? Isnt he the head of this republican comedy? Darnell for mayor? OMG Only a few years ago he was on national tv making Norwalk look like a joke! Harry must be reading the headlines and laughing at the nonsense going on with his old party. Maybe Saturday Nite Live can borrow the script! Bryan, you are the only chance the republicans have. Here is a link to an article when Darnell brought Al Sharpton to Brookside for a protest. And he wants to be mayor? Mark Damelio and gang should save their money and bet on Harry Rilling.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sharptons-rally-for-equal_b_872619

EnoPride May 23, 2019 at 8:29 am

Bryan Meek for Senator. Would love to see him go head to head with Bob Duff in a debate. Bob wouldn’t know what hit him.

Eli May 30, 2019 at 9:52 am

I am a yellow-dog Democrat and yet I’m very interested in hearing what Lisa would do as Mayor. Particularly when dealing with local elections, maybe we should all be looking to whatever candidate will simply do the best for the city and maybe party affiliation should be a secondary issue? Just a thought… I’m sure many of us are less than pleased with some of the current development happening in Norwalk (the mall, fortress apartments, etc.) and the present absurd bridge plan. Let’s see who has the best ideas regardless of what letter follows their name. Focus on improving the city. Norwalk has so much potential but needs people in government with a solid plan that actually makes sense. Presently such a plan seems to be lacking.

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