How many other communities in Connecticut have the vibrant urban core of a big city while also having the neighborhood charm seen in small towns? Throw in our coastal resources and abundant open spaces, and you’ll see how Norwalk is a unique gem. People want to live here, raise a family, start a business, plant roots, or retire. Norwalk is a great city, and I am proud to be your Mayor.
The truth is, the Norwalk of today isn’t the same as the Norwalk of yesterday. I feel fortunate to have been born here, raised my kids here, and now being lucky enough to see my grandkids attend Norwalk Public Schools. Through every generation, Norwalk has grown, improved, become safer, and more desirable. I have seen the changes firsthand. I remember the flood of the 1950s that decimated the Wall Street area. I remember being a Norwalk Police Officer working midnights in SoNo and seeing violent crime up close and personal. I remember prime lots of vacant land becoming overgrown and undeveloped. Some might argue that change is bad, but I wholeheartedly disagree. Take it from someone who has lived here for their entire life – Norwalk is not losing its charm or character; it is enhancing the great assets we have.
I know some are against growth and increased density, but the fact is how people live and work is changing. This has evolved over the years from single-income homes with a stay at home parent and another working a 9-to-5. Now, a new generation may or may not get married, may or may not drive a car, and may or may not work remotely. A diverse population requires a diverse housing stock. It means single-family homes. It means apartments. This is why Norwalk’s population is on the rise, while other communities decline.
Investments are happening all over Norwalk. We are addressing aging infrastructure that was neglected for decades. We are improving existing and building new schools, upgrading and replacing stormwater systems, and paving roads and installing new sidewalks. Without economic development, a greater burden would be placed on residents instead of commercial property owners. New developments have helped grow our Grand List by more than $2 billion. That growth allowed us to lower the Mill Rate, and as a result, reduce taxes for most people.
Grand List growth is also shifting the tax burden off of single-family homeowners and moving it to commercial properties and multi-family homes. New businesses are providing good-paying jobs for residents, and new housing options are creating an expanded pool of skilled workers for local companies. Our strong financial position – the best of nearly any municipality in the state – means we can weather a market collapse or economic downturn better than most.
With a top-flight public school system, Norwalk is a desirable place for young families. With generous tax relief credits, Norwalk is a great place for seniors. With further investments to our police and firefighters, Norwalk is a safe place for everyone. I want a new college graduate to live and work in our community. I want a retired senior to stay in Norwalk to watch their grandchildren grow up. I want a young family to move here and create lifelong memories. I am proud of what we have achieved and what we continue to do. We are making sure Norwalk is a great place to live, work, and play for all people, of all ages, and all abilities. Norwalk is the best city in the state and it’s only getting better.