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Anderson sets his sights on Norwalk Board of Education candidacy

Board of Estimate and Taxation member Erik Anderson
Norwalk Board of Estimate and Taxation member Erik Anderson is “very smart,” then Councilwoman Joanne Romano said in 2012.

NORWALK, Conn. – One passionately active Norwalker isn’t holding back – he’d like to run for the Board of Education, if there is the opportunity.

The technical wrinkle for Board of Estimate and Taxation member Erik Anderson is that he is an unaffiliated voter, a former Democrat, looking to run to represent District A for the Democratic Party. Another issue is that BoE member Rosa Murray has not yet decided whether she will run for re-election, she said in an email.

“If Rosa is running I would not like to challenge an incumbent,” Anderson said.

Anderson has been active in Norwalk politics since 2009, when he unsuccessfully ran to represent District A on the Common Council after first expressing an interest in being on the Board of Ed. He was appointed to the BET in September 2012; his term is up in November.

“I have learned a lot about the city and how to be involved, and ultimately, the financial components that I have been learning on the Board of Estimate and Taxation have really strengthened the passion I initially had to be on the Board of Education,” Anderson said.

A 2002 graduate of Norwalk High School, Anderson is openly gay and volunteers for the Triangle Community Center as youth group leader for LGBT children in the Fairfield county area. He is president of the Norwalk Historical Society’s board of directors, and is currently a business development consultant for Arthur Murray Grand Ballroom and GreenwichVIP.com. This after working for Reed Exhibitions, JPMorgan Chase and Wachovia Bank, in that order.

Anderson left the Democratic Party in 2012 after some ugliness; his appointment to be assistant city clerk was challenged by then-Councilman Carvin Hilliard and Councilman David Watts, with the result that Tammy Grimes-McPherson got the job.

The wrinkle to his potential candidacy is that the city charter only allows for three Democrats on the BET. Anderson would have to stay unaffiliated if he runs, in order to stay on the Board.

“When John Igneri ran initially for his Common Council seat (in 2011), he was still registered as unaffiliated. It wasn’t until two months into his term that he officially registered as a Democrat,” Anderson said. “So unless the rules have changed, and I know that they have been looking into that, on the (Democratic Town Committee) they can nominate an unaffiliated candidate, just as the Republicans nominated a Democratic candidate the last go around. So it depends on the rules of the individual committee.”

Anderson, who got engaged to Moises Guerrero on Saturday, said he wants to have children and raise them in Norwalk. “By all means, I have no intention of leaving this city. I have stayed involved as I have because I want to make this the best city I possibly can in any way I could,” he said.

As a BoE member he would bring “a stronger voice” due to his experience on the BET, listening to BoE budget presentations, he said. “At the end of the day, what do we want to do? We want to make the school system the best it can be because it’s going to make us more attractive to bring families in, it’s going to make us more attractive to have families stay, and as long as we have the right superintendent … we have that potential,” he said.

Five years ago he “didn’t understand,” he said, explaining, “Seeing more of the mechanics of what happens in Norwalk with education, while still having a passion to make it the best school system, I feel I could do a much better job for the city with my current knowledge, which is why I am asking for the opportunity.”

Correction, 2:46 p.m., Anderson is a business consultant.

Comments

10 responses to “Anderson sets his sights on Norwalk Board of Education candidacy”

  1. Concerned

    Bravo! Would love to see this man on BOE!

  2. John Hamlin

    Great candidate — no reason for him to re-join a toxic Democratic town organization — particularly if he believes his treatment by the party was discriminatory. We should support him if he runs a as an independent — which more and more candidates are bound to do with the state of the two parties in Norwalk (one nasty, the other nastier, neither one committed to fiscal responsibility, both pursuing petty political vendettas).

  3. John Levin

    This is great news. Erik is smart, fair, and informed. One question left to answer: is he polite?

  4. EastNorwalkChick

    Got to love how Karma/fate works, he is ousted by an unprecedented move by the minority in the DTC in 2012. Only to be appointed to the BET, thus gaining much more experience and knowledge than he would have as an assistant town clerk. Which now gives him stronger credentials as a candidate for whatever he chooses to run for.

    Run Mr. Anderson, Norwalk needs people like you right now and you will find that at this time many people who are tired of what’s going on in the DTC will support you.

  5. Carol

    Eric would be a great addition,having worked with him,I can say he works hard and does his homework.
    Run Eric–we need you.

  6. EveT

    The back story about choosing asst city clerk says Matt Miklave was the one to object to Erik in the first place. Anybody know what the objection was based on?

  7. Non Partisan Voter

    The “back story” was that Carvin Hilliard wanted a minority member from his church appointed to be assistant city clerk and that was the deal that Carvin struck with then Mayor Moccia. In return, Carvin stopped caucusing with the Democrats and effectively became a Republican, voting for whatever Moccia told him to vote for. I guess that made a Carvin a “fake dem”.

  8. piberman

    Once upon a time City candidates actually offered “platforms” on what they planned do if elected and demonstrated serious knowledge of the activities, duties and budgets of the agencies involved. By itself BTE members, judged by their long standing inability to control City spending and taxes, would not be desirable candidates for the BOE. We ought to seek out and encourage our most experienced and knowledgeable members if our community to serve in the BOE. Especially those from our minority communities. Youth and inexperience in education are hardly qualifiers. Best stay on the BTE where no harm will be done.

  9. Bill

    Did this guy go to college? Not that it matters too much when the alternative is the 3 stooges we have on the BOE currently, but it would be good to know.

  10. Norwalk Voter

    Has anyone asked for his bio? His education?

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