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Things Norwalkers Really Should Know!

Updated, 6:30 p.m. 

By Diane C2

NORWALK, Conn. – The recent re-launch of a local newspaper brought a new feature called “10 Things to Know Today,” the editors’ picks for news of interest. Clever format that it is, it got me to thinking how I’ve daydreamed for years about writing a weekly blog to alert Norwalkers to things they really should know about the goings-on of local government. Things like council decisions and agency discussions that Norwalkers may have missed, misunderstood or mysteriously ignored. Things that will help folks get “in the know.”

This new column will contain a mix of what I think of as often comical, sometimes pathetic, but always thought-provoking shenanigans of Norwalk government. Think of it as the “It’s Ridiculous” version of Hour Editor Emeritus John Reilly’s ‘It’s Politics.” It’s what our mayor calls my “conspiracy theorist” nonsense, and at the same time is often the only thing that gets folks interested or irritated enough to get involved. It’s the things that, after the fact, will prompt folks to ask me “How could that have happened?” And since I’m an unaffiliated voter with allegiance to neither party, no one is safe. And certainly no department heads or Taxing District Commissions.

You might enjoy the feature “This Means That?!” where I give you ambiguous or cryptic words straight from a city agenda, and then tell you what the item really was about!

No recap would be complete without what could be called “Norwalk – the New Oz” featuring the hit “Somewhere Under The Radar” where citizens will learn of no-bid, single-source contracts; suspension of meeting rules to add controversial items to agendas during the actual meeting; questionable use of executive session; and poorly timed meetings that all but guarantee disappointing public attendance.

A category that may evolve will be “Point of Order? Point of Information? Point of No Return!”  where even the meeting process itself comes into question.

No recap would be complete without a “You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up” category. I’d gladly accept reader submissions of the “You’re Not Going to Believe This, But…” genre.

Lest you think I’m ambushing elected and appointed officials and department heads by airing dirty laundry without bringing it to their attention, offering to help remedy it, and giving plenty of time (years) for changes to be made, let me assure you I have spoken so often to these issues, that yes, I am a broken record. I’ve commented, contradicted, cajoled, complained and complimented. I’ve documented, detailed, demonstrated, distributed and demanded. I’ve been called every name in the book, including a nattering nabob of negativism, nincompoop, naysayer, nutcase, nosy-body and nitwit. But I’ve also been called observant, open-minded, objective and optimistic. And so in my daydream I share all of it with you, in hopes that you’ll join me at City Hall and our taxing districts to get “in the know” for yourself.

“Things Norwalkers Really Should Know” will open with current events and probably include a few highlights from past news straight from my own “Are You Kidding Me?” notes.

In the meantime, here is just one tidbit of ‘This Means That?!” which had me thinking “what ARE they smoking on the zoning committee?”

Zoning Committee May 10, 2012

Discussion Item read: Amendment to pharmacy regulations

What it meant: How to prohibit or restrict sales of medical marijuana in Norwalk

Diane C2 is an active Norwalk citizen, known to many.  Her identity is not a secret. If you’d like her name, email [email protected]

 

Comments

13 responses to “Things Norwalkers Really Should Know!”

  1. John Frank

    Diane
    Congratulations. I look forward to reading your contributions to our quality of life.

    You do remember what happened to the Republican vice president that first coined that “nattering nabobs of negativity” comment. He was charged with extortion, tax fraud, bribery, and conspiracy and allowed to plead Nolo Contendre ( “no contest” ) to tax fraud, forced to resign as Vice President, and later forced to pay back $268,000 to the State of Maryland. History has a way of repeating itself, wear that title proudly.

    1. Diane C2

      John, glad you pointed that the end of that saga! I think I’ll invest in a fancy “NNN” pin to wear to Council!
      There is SO much stuff going on this week that I’ll be submitting a long list to NancyonNorwalk, perhaps as early as this evening. Time is of the essence on much of it because I’m learning that many Norwalkers, including our own elected officials, ar not entirely in the loop on stuff to do with the Housing Authority, Recreation and Parks, Maritime Aquarium, Redevelopment projects, and much more.
      There are some important presentations and votes that will happen in the next few weeks, despite being in the midst of the holidays, and once done, some of ths stuff is cannot be undone!

      In the meantime, for immediate consideration, anyone who wants to question the legitimacy of a third-party consultant hired by the Housing Authority looking at redesigning Ryan Park may want to show up at Police Headquarters tonight (Tuesday 12/4) at 7pm for a Public Information Session. This park has been saved a couple of times from the grips of “let’s make money” schemes, and we’ll risk losing it again if folks don’t get informed and engaged.

  2. Tim T

    Now Diane I could be wrong but I think credit for the saying “Norwalk – the New Oz” goes to “old timer”…LOL ….Great to see your posts here and I certainly look forward to your column..

    1. Diane C2

      Likewise, Tim. I hope folks will play nice, we can all have some fun, and get informed and inspired at the same time.

  3. Oldtimer

    TIM
    Thanks for crediting me with something I didn’t exactly do. I believe I was the first to reference the “Great OZ” on local blogs and the importance of looking behind the curtain. I was, of course, borrowing from somebody else and trying to illuminate the similarity between the way this administration operates and the way the fictional land of OZ was operated by the wizard with smoke and mirrors and a commanding voice from behind a curtain. I find the great OZ an appropriate nickname for our OZ, but it never occured to me to call Norwalk the new OZ. This gets confusing partly because the original story called the place and the wizard by the same name.

    1. Tim T

      Hummmm SEEMS Like alot of OZ going on in Norwalk these days…..LOL

    2. Diane C2

      Oldtimer, pretty sure it was me, but I defer to you and a much better memory!
      I had to expand my Oz references to entire city, because there are a LOT of curtains that folks hide behind, and the under the radar stuff is an epidemic……
      Looking forward to polite, lively discussions here.
      I’ll mostly be asking questions, and hoping it will get others to raise the questions themselves.

  4. Myla

    Great “Lest you think” paragraph!

    1. Diane C2

      Thanks Myla….lots of fun writing that one, and from the heart. I want people to know the truth. I followed all the rules and paid my dues getting to this road, so I feel entirely comfortable, free and justified in speaking out. Agree or disagree, I hope you’ll speak out, too.

  5. John Frank

    Anybody else notice the “tipping fee” is going up to $85 a ton ? Legal notice is in today”s HOUR. That increase will get passed along to customers, but who gets the money, City of Norwalk or City Carting Co ? Is that a tax increase disguised as a user fee ?

  6. Diane C2

    John, folks didn’t stand a chance of noticing this “almost” under the radar item, as the Public Hearing and vote on it was on Election Night!
    A request to Committee Chairman David McCarthy to move the meeting date was denied, even after I pointed out that the Public Works Committee meetings in November almost always fall on Election Day, and historically get changed to another date. His explanation (nay, excuse) was that “we weren’t in charge then”. We meaning repubs, who perhaps then only speak when “in charge”?
    At any rate, no surprise that there was no Public Comment at the Hearing …..many people were out exercising their ultimate public “comment”.

  7. Anna Duleep

    Diane, consider me one elected official who looks forward to your observations, even (perhaps especially) if they hold the mirror to my own actions on behalf of Norwalk! I especially appreciate the historical context (from all sides) when faced with situations where previous Councils may have voted a particular way but for different reasons than I may be expected to believe. Hypothetically speaking, I wish.

    1. Diane C2

      Anna, I appreciate that support, especially given my “no one is off limits” guidelines. I always try to be nice, but that is going harder by the minute, and anyone who ends up called out in my comments had plenty of fair warning – I’m not an ambusher.

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