Opinion: BOE racial woes spread across state; more union juice for Morris, Perone; press conference is deja vu

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk news generally plays out online, on News 12 and in local print, but now and then something catches the attention of a TV assigning news editor and the news spreads across the region – in the latest case, the capital region.

League of Women Voters Election Guide, Click Here

FoxCT, the Hartford Fox TV affiliate, showed up for the Board of Education press conference/protest Tuesday, giving a broader audience a look at allegations of racial discrimination on the board.

Norwalk got national exposure a few years ago when Tanya McDowell was arrested on charges relating to having her child attend a Norwalk school despite not living here. McDowell was ultimately tried and convicted on other charges, but not before the Rev. Al Sharpton joined local minority leaders in making it a national story.

Not exactly the kind of stuff Chamber of Commerce dreams are made of.


AFL-CIO adds backing to Perone and Morris campaigns

Labor giant AFL-CIO announced Friday it is endorsing Chris Perone (D-137) and Bruce Morris (D-140) in their re-election bids for state representative.

Both men are facing primary challenges Tuesday, Morris from Warren Pena and Perone from David Watts.

AFL-CIO is the state’s largest labor federation, with a membership of more than 211,000 union workers from more than 900 affiliated unions around the state.

“Both Rep. Morris and Rep. Perone have had an enduring commitment to protecting the interests of working families across Connecticut,” said Executive Secretary Treasurer Lori Pelletier in an emailed statement. “Their experience and knowledge has allowed them to champion causes such as increased minimum wage, paid sick leave and lower taxes for working families.”


No new ground broken at press conference

When the Registrar of Voters office found out the mailer sent out by the John Federici campaign contained outdated polling place information, the incumbent registrars sprang into action. Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells took the lead – only proper as Federici is trying to take incumbent Republican Registrar Karen Doyle Lyons’ job – in getting out the word. Pitching in was fellow Democrat and Deputy Registrar Bob Sodaro.

There was a very thorough press release explaining the errors, how they were made, who made them and offering the correct polling places and links to where voters can look things up for themselves.

Republican Town Committee Chairman Pete Torrano and his vice chairman, Art Scialabba, leapt into action as well, saying they were aware of the problem, Federici had nothing to do with it, and it was being corrected. And, by the way, the Registrars’ reaction was politically motivated, and the press conference was overkill and could violate election laws.

Remember the Certs breath mint commercial? “Certs is a breath mint! Certs is a candy mint!”

“Stop! You’re both right!”

When the errors, involving the polling locations in the 142nd District where two Republican races (including registrar) will be decided Tuesday, were reported, it was important for the city, through the Registrar’s office, to respond with the proper information. Then they scheduled a press conference for Friday, open to the public. About nine non-press people showed up, most or all City Hall workers.

NancyOnNorwalk covered the story thoroughly Thursday, and the story was part of the morning Newsdown email blast. The Hour covered it thoroughly was well, both online and in print.

NoN got a call Thursday from Scialabba, who was in the Midwest, to talk about the move and label it political stunt. He said, as did Torrano, another mailing was going out to the affected areas that would explain the situation.

Torrano and Scialabba could hardly be blamed. They have led the push to get voters to remove Lyons, a 14-year veteran, and elect Federici. While Federici has remained above it all, the campaign has been testy, to be polite. And the two Democrats in the office have publicly supported Lyons through it all.

NoN went to the conference, but more to see if there was anything new, or if there was any misuse of the office for political purposes.

Aside from the question of whether press conference was even necessary, we heard no politically tinged comments, saw not political literature. And there was no new news.

So this is the extent of our press conference coverage. In case you missed it yesterday, here’s the link.


20 responses to “Opinion: BOE racial woes spread across state; more union juice for Morris, Perone; press conference is deja vu”

  1. piberman

    It would be REAL news if Norwalk Democratic candidates for state office were not endorsed by public unions. Similarly for local office. Despite that relatively few public union members live in our City. Norwalk voters enthusiasm for public unions has a flip side – stagnant property values amidst a national housing boom. Paying the piper (public unions) is expensive.
    In terms of ever more punitive property taxes and lower property values for the foreseeable future. Its the one forecast you can really count on.

  2. MarjorieM

    Why isn’t the superintendent getting involved in the Board problems? I think the Board went on a retreat the last time to air out problems. Wasn’t that because of the superintendent? There must be a way to solve this. People want to be heard and respected. All they get is more disrespect?

  3. Bill

    Mosby is destroying our community. What a disgusting picture she paints of our town in the media, all because someone doesn’t agree with her. Please move to another city.

  4. concerned student

    @Piberman please check the stats Norwalk has plenty of union workers.
    including nursing homes, stop & shop stores, carpenter, and construction workers to name a few.
    head start workers may still be under union contract as well!

  5. concerned student

    @ Bill, Mosby as with everyone else on the BOE were elected based on thier willingness to do what’s best for the children within our town, since when was name calling a part of this. MY 2ND GRADE TEACHER, USED TO ALways SAY ONLY A coward resorts to name calling.
    Now we have people from other states making comments about Norwalk and thier racially discrimination versed board.
    Now Jack and both Mike’s, and let’s not leave Heidi out have let anyone privy to fox five news know exactly what they are made of, and I’m totally disgusted.
    I know we as mature adults can do better than this!

  6. Oyster

    Torrano is skating thin ice with his own party by-laws by giving material support to a candidate facing a party primary challenge. Pot, meet kettle.

  7. Bill

    Mosby has no proof, just allegation, has added no value to the board, and will definitely lose next time she up for election. Norwalkers want a functioning BOE, something Mike Lyons has given us, and something Mosby and her […] father try to destroy. I can’t stand people who add no value, just tear down people in the name of pseudo-racial justice. MLK would laugh at Mosby if he were alive and stand with Mike Lyons for actually doing something constructive for the towns minority children.

    This comment has been editd to comply with our name-calling policy.

  8. Things that makes u go hmmmm

    The proof is he said it. It’s in papers and now what is the outcome. It goes to students if there is a problem should they just keep quiet ie bullying and keep it moving. They are killing themselves for the bullying because the top people in charge are not taking these issues serious.

  9. One and Done.

    Concerned Student sounds like a product of public education alright.
    Not understanding the difference between privately owned companies like Stop & Shop where workers exercise their rights to collectively bargain versus those of the public sector who’s employers are taxpayers says it all.

  10. One and Done.

    For those of you might not understand the difference between public unions and private sector unions…..
    Stop & Shop decides it wants to do business in Norwalk. They charge $2 for a half gallon of milk that cost them $1.70 or so on the wholesale market. They pay a person a wage to stock and sell it and hopefully make a profit on it. The person they are paying is there voluntarily and so is Stop & Shop. Either one can agree to end the arrangement whenever they chose.
    A person who needs a place to live either rents or buys. The renter pays indirectly property taxes if the dwelling is not owner occupied, but the owner always pays the property tax, which is involuntary and subject to seizure by state laws. Whether you like it or not, you are indentured to the state just for the fact of living here. You do not have the option to close your store or find another job. You are not a customer. You are a taxpayer with no choice on what store to go to.
    The tradeoff for these involuntary taxes are services that are bound by state laws. We have state labor laws. If the state labor laws are in sufficient for state workers, then they must be insufficient for people in general. Allowing government workers to collectively bargain against the taxpayers clearly creates two classes of citizens, which is unconstitutional. The corruption of these labor laws was forewarned by FDR 80 years ago, when government spending was less than 5% of GDP. Today it is over 40% and it is crushing the country out of existence. Unlike GM there will be no one to bail us out.
    We are paying education majors for 10 month positions plus more than seasoned software developers and we wonder why our economy sucks. It will get worse until we understand the fair market value of certain kinds of labor. And it will never get better under a corrupt system where certain workers get certain rights and benefits guaranteed by law that other classes of citizens have to actually bargain for with their employers who don’t have the luxury of involuntary revenues like property taxes.

  11. One and Done.

    The taxpayer does have one choice. He or she could move out of CT. For years people moved from NY to CT to avoid high taxes. Yes, we were a tax haven. Now we are fueling the southern states growth with our young workers and once profitable (before onerous taxation) industries. And we are filling the void not by offering tax breaks, but by offering driver’s licenses and tuition benefits for anyone who wants to come here, regardless of their lack of skills or ability to pay their own way.

  12. Pibermanfmc

    Suggest that the “real news” about the discrimination charge and demand for resignation of current and former BOE Chairs by 3 minority BOE members is that these charges are NOT supported by the Norwalk community. That’s a sign of healthy relations. Unfortunately Mayor’s decision to “get involved” challenges the BOE’s independence and integrity. That will keep the story “public news” for quite a while. And will the 3 BOE members be successful in their efforts ? Not likely. At day’s end this is a story of public officials getting attention.

  13. concerned student

    @ one and done you do understand that the employees at all those business’s I listed pay thier union dues out of thier wages.

    These unions help guarantee better heath and pension benefits, job security, pension plans and so forth
    So yes while stop &shop may be private owned, the person making the statement knew the unions existed for City employees, but didn’t seem to know we have other union workers in town, mostly because we no longer have the large manufacturer which were also unionized.
    As I stated before it takes a coward to name call or speak negatively about someone based on THIER OPPINION?

  14. One and Done.

    @concerned student. The specter of public sector unions was raised. The fact that Stop and Shop workers are public sector union employees may be your opinion. But it is hardly a fact.
    Conflating union dues paid by people working for the private sector with public sector is disingenuous at best.
    Stop and Shop workers are lobbying collectively with their money against a property owner. Stop and Shop can’t force people to buy their products.
    State/City workers are lobbying collectively with their money against people (Democrats) who confiscate property. The taxpayer has no choice other than to leave the state and even then the state taxes you to leave. It is an unhealthy cabal and it is destroying the fabric of our society.
    Even with decades upon decades of failures evident right in front of their noses, union die-hards like Concerned Watts would rather watch society crumble just as long as they get theirs.

  15. Kathleen Montgomery

    @ Mark Chapman
    Constant name-calling and degradation to commenters by One and Done should not be allowed in my view. Taken one-by-one, it may simply cause some folks to refrain from posting their thoughts and ideas (not a good thing) but I imagine the targets of his venom no longer read NON. I believe the frequency with which he/she does this should be noted and dealt with. Sorry for being off-track in the discussion, but I am Done With One and Done.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @Kathleen Montgomery
      While I agree that One and Done has a singular way of trying to make his point, we allow everyone to have their say within the guidelines of our comment policy. There are many people who make me angry, on this site and on TV — especially on cable news channels — not to mention certain politicians. While I cannot avoid reading the people on this site, I simply skip past those in other venues who leave my blood boiling. We did purge a few of the ugliest trolls whose sole purpose to to cause anger and spread rumors and false information. But One and Done simply vents. I have emailed with him a few times offline, although we have not met. Without the screen name he is quite reasonable and not at all infuriating. Screen names unleash something in people, something, as Mrs. Lovette says in “Sweeney Todd” in reference to an incident upstairs in her shop, “not very nice.”

      We appreciate your concern for our readership — the truth is, our numbers are growing every month, and July was our best yet save for November and the mayoral election. We don’t doubt some people might stay away because of certain posters, but I would not give One and Done, PiBerman or any others that much power. Take my advice — just don’t read them.

  16. Kathleen Montgomery

    Thanks Mark. Consider your advice taken.

  17. Bill

    One and done speaks the truth. Everything thing he said above can be proven and the facts back him up. Concerned student has his facts all wrong.

  18. One and Done

    @Mark, I don’t think I’ve called anyone names, but can we censor crybabies? /s
    It is amazing to me that when confronted with facts, some chose to cry foul and insinuate that the factholders are bullies. Pointing out how false someone’s comments are shouldn’t be viewed as degradation, but rather a point of debate that implies how wrong the counterpoints are. Subtle similes and metaphors don’t cut skin, but the truth cuts pretty deep doesn’t it? If KM can point to one instance where I called her some name maliciously or degraded her own self worth by merely pointing out facts, I’d be happy to apologize. I get it, the unions have been caught red handed and their worth to our society in its present day has come under serious questioning. That’s a healthy debate to have. Most union members when shown the light have seen that the unions do much more harm to society than the personal benefits derived. Then, some are just in it for themselves and would rather dismiss anyone against them as being some kind of a bully. Sorry that argument isn’t going to win anymore. But some of us would rather keep the cloak of anonymity in place to prevent things like wild protests in front of our houses like the AIG folks had awhile back for safety concerns.

    1. Mark Chapman


      If and when you have strayed from the rules, it has been dealt with. Yes, you are blunt. Yes, you can be offensive with said bluntness. But there are many ways to be offensive, and you can find many of them in this comment section, and many more in other comment sections in the area. While I would prefer a considerate, less confrontational discourse, that’s just me. We try to allow freedom of expression within the bounds of good taste and a certain level of decency. When someone runs afoul, we deal with it. I will say that one often can gain sympathy for one’s position when it is presented more civilly, but, then again, sometimes you just need to vent…

Leave a Reply

Recent Comments