Blank set for a return to Norwalk Zoning Commission

Former Zoning Commissioner Adam Blank. (File photo.)
Former Zoning Commissioner Adam Blank. (File photo)

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.”


10 responses to “Blank set for a return to Norwalk Zoning Commission”

  1. Norewalk Lifer

    Good move Mr. Rilling

    Norwalk Lifer

  2. Mike Mushak

    Great choice. Adam is a thoughtful and effective advocate for smart planning and decision-making, and has a strong grasp of the issues the ZC deals with, or should be dealing with but isn’t. He keeps the many needs of our still-struggling city on his radar screen at all times. He was missed! Good luck, and best wishes.

  3. Bruce Kimmel

    I hope this is the first step in reforming the zoning commission so that it seriously addresses the city’s zoning regulations, which many officials and knowledgeable residents have argued have been in need of a major overhaul for years.
    Excellent choice by Mayor Rilling. I hope he continues to appoint members to zoning that have the same skills, temperament and mindset as Adam Blank.

  4. EastNorwalkChick

    Excellent news!

  5. One and Done.

    No argument the guy seems somewhat level headed, but how does reform include putting the same people on the same commissions?
    How exactly is this supposed to be some bold new direction the mayor is taking? The electorate voded for change and all Harry is doing is shuffling deck chairs. I think a for sale sign just went up on 95/7.

  6. Anna Duleep, City Sheriff

    @One and Done: I think the reform comes from allowing Adam the opportunity to work on reforms he had wanted to implement before Moccia declined to reappoint him. Adam is an attorney, so his expertise in land use issues will help other like-minded commissioners craft stronger, more appropriate regulations. Adam will hit the ground running, without the doubtless steep learning curve that a brand-new commissioner might face.

  7. Oldtimer

    Sounds like a good move by the mayor. Next step should be replacing Santo. If his recent behavior isn’t enough of an ethics violation, calling in silly zoning violations on commissioners who didn’t vote his way, and stopping all work on zoning change in Rowayton because Nora King didn’t support his vote against lights at Nathan Hale school, then there is nothing he can’t get away with. Time to put your own choices on Zoning, Mayor.

  8. Michael McGuire

    Great choice. Clearly a step in the right direction.

  9. Nora King

    Great choice for Norwalk. We need young, smart and the next generation of leaders on these commissions.

  10. EveT

    Best news about the Zoning Commission in I don’t know how long!

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