NORWALK, Conn. – Minute-keeping was an issue at Norwalk’s Common Council on Tuesday evening, as a member of the public spoke about more than a dozen errors – although the minutes had already been approved without comment by council members.
Deb Goldstein said she had found 14 problems in the six pages of minutes of the March 13 meeting, written by secretary Marilyn Knox of Telesco Services, but Mayor Richard Moccia cut Goldstein off before she could elaborate.
In accordance with the agenda, the drafted minutes were approved by the council right after roll call. The vote was unanimous.
The next item on the agenda was public participation. Goldstein was one of two public speakers at the meeting. While public speakers are supposed to be allotted three minutes for their comments, her time at the lectern was very brief.
“I apologize, because I realize you just moved and adopted the minutes, but in the spirit of good record keeping I have come here to just ask that you send it back for a proofread,” she said. “I counted no less than 14 typos, including non-material things like —”
Moccia interrupted. “I don’t want to interrupt you, but that’s best handled if you find it and send it to the council people,” he said. “It’s not a matter for discussion for the public to correct the minutes.”
Goldstein said, “Thank you,” and sat down.
Here are three excerpts from the minutes, with mistakes in bold:
• “Mr. Kimmel stated that he knows this Board is a most difficult one to serve on as it is a very involved and tedious process of property evaluations, and he his appreciative of the willingness to serve. He added that he is pleased to support the above reappointments as he knows they will continue to serve with dedication to the City.”
• “Mr. Watts stated that he was excited about the paving projects as these are important programs for the City, and asked Mr. Alvord to address the concerns expressed during public comments. Ms. Alvord came forward and stated that there were pass problems with Deering, they met with them and analyzed the bid requirements and have worked out guidelines of holding them accountable and they have since been very compliant and have had satisfactory completion of projects. …”
• “Mr. Bondi sated that he did vote against them in the past, but based on the West Avenue project, those situations have been rectified, and they are satisfactorily compliant with guidelines.”
Goldstein said that, after the meeting, Assistant City Clerk Tammy Grimes-McPherson approached her with a business card, asking Goldstein to let her know in the future if she found mistakes.
Another member of the public, Diane Cece, and Goldstein went on to chat about the importance of good record keeping. Cece said she searches minutes for information, and typos might make that effort less fruitful.
Goldstein said that if there are typos getting through, she doubts other things in the minutes.
She asked, “How do I know if all of these 14-digit account numbers are accurate?”