Updated, 8:50 p.m.: Comment from Jerry Petrini
NORWALK, Conn. – Mayor Harry Rilling has made his choice of a replacement for controversial Zoning Commissioner Mike Mushak – Adam Blank, a former zoning commissioner whom former Mayor Richard Moccia declined to reappoint a year ago.
“Adam was eager to resume his commitment to the zoning issues facing Norwalk,” Rilling said in an email. “I served with him during the time I was on the ZC and was impressed with how he thought through the items facing us. He has a keen understanding of zoning ordinances and statutes that serve the city and commission well. He always voted for what was right and not just along party lines. That is an important mindset that serves the public well.”
Blank, an attorney, was originally appointed to the Zoning Commission in January 2012 to fill the seat vacated when former member David McCarthy won election to the Common Council. When Moccia declined to reappoint him in July 2013, Blank said it was because he was not Moccia’s rubber stamp. “I was not reappointed because, when the mayor would secretly call me or meet with me in his office or at the Norwalk Inn, I would not always agree to vote exactly as instructed,” Blank said in a letter to the editor.
“He should not have a problem,” Majority Leader Jerry Petrini (R-District D) said of Blank’s chances of being confirmed.
Blank said he is returning to the Zoning Commission with specific objectives. If those objectives are not met he will leave, he said.
“I’ve wanted to see certain changes made to our Zoning Regulations for some time,” Blank said in an email. “I have been disappointed to read much of the news related to the Zoning Commission over the past year or two about discord and personal feuds rather than any substantive progress in reforming regulations. So I spoke with the Mayor about going back on the Zoning Commission with the goal of increasing civility and pushing for progress in reforming various regulations. If I’m unable to do either I can assure you that my stay on the Commission will be very short.”