Growing up in the era before the internet, smartphones, emails, and Zoom, the importance of in-person meetings and sitting across the table from your colleagues, business representatives, and most important locally, your city officials, was very high. This was how business was conducted and if there was no meeting, business was not conducted. Phone calls were used in a limited fashion and a handshake finalized business after signing papers.
Today, that is lost on our local representatives in Norwalk who have gotten comfortable at home with a Laissez-Faire attitude towards city issues. City Hall continues to operate in a limited manner, City meetings are still being conducted via Zoom, and the biggest question mark is the Norwalk Superior Court. While Stamford handles our caseload, our city court continues to be shuttered even today without a rational justification. Our residents and businesses in Norwalk experience long delays and frustration trying to contact, get responses, and conduct business with City Hall.
Anyone with a legal matter, whether that be business, criminal, housing, protective, or others are forced to travel to Stamford to handle their legal issues. Not only is this a major inconvenience for those who use public transportation, but also time consuming for both public transportation and those who have personal transportation. The backlog of cases and judicial proceedings is abysmal and a failure of our government.
Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Costco, and Stop & Shop amongst other large chains never closed during the entirety of the COVID Pandemic. However, City Hall remained closed for over a year to the public, and with the current limited services the question remains, WHY?? I was appalled and stunned to hear from my neighbors, voters around the city, and business owners trying to secure permits, pay fees, and get approvals from City Hall, that there is limited in-person appointments, if any at all, and inquires go unanswered for days, sometimes over a week. I am repeatedly told, “Go drive by City Hall, you’ll notice the mayor’s parking spot is always empty.”
This begs the question, is our leadership asleep at the wheel and coasting down the Zoom road? Who is running Norwalk and where are our property tax dollars at work? Photo ops are not meaningful, being able to conduct city hall business and get a meeting with our elected officials is. It’s no wonder Wall Street is a disaster, city projects move at a snail’s pace, South Norwalk doesn’t have a school, and the sheer amount of meetings to get something done is ridiculous.
Upon being elected Mayor this coming November, I pledge I will immediately open City Hall back to full operations and do everything in my power to reopen Norwalk Superior Court. During my tenure City Hall will never close its doors to the public and I will be present at all times available for meetings with my constituents. My administration will take every precaution to protect its employees, while keeping the access opened to the public and run this government efficiently. I will cut wasteful spending, red tape that slows progress in city hall, and identify deficiencies to implement new city hall processes to speed up turnaround times for inquires, permits, applications, and other city business. My administration will end the current City Hall headaches you all are experiencing.
City Government is a vital operation for individuals and businesses each and every day. There is not one reason why our government cannot run at full capacity, other than the poor leadership inhibiting the operations every Norwalker needs and paid for already. Norwalk collects close to $400 million of Norwalkers’ hard earned money, the least our city government can do is open the doors so we, the people, can get the service we already paid for.
Republican candidate for Norwalk Mayor