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Common Council, District A: Nicol Ayers

Nicol Ayers. (Contributed)

District A, Democrat

  • Describe how your occupation will assist you in serving Norwalk and give three brief but specific examples, including what committees on which you hope to serve.

I have 20 years in human services which has afforded me the opportunity to connected with people facing both social and economic barriers in the community. This gives me both insight and passion with my work on both Ad Hoc Sustainability and community Services Committee. As a person in executive leadership in a nonprofit I have partner with both the business community, and private and public sector and understanding the needs for strong policies aComnd procedures which guides my work in understanding the procedural requirements in Public Safety and General Government Concerns and Land Use Committees.

  • The Norwalk Charter is on the ballot for its first major revision in about 100 years. Assuming it passes, would you support forming a new Charter Revision Commission in the coming term to address unfinished business? What would be your top three priorities for change? Can you explain why? 

Having a new Charter Commission has my full support and should be a priority of this upcoming council. I think areas of priorities  should be elected and appointed positions there are a lot of positions that May can be eliminated or redefined in the charter. Secondly, taxing districts  the originally charter has much on taxing districts and this portion needs to be updated to ensure that the is a balance level of power and oversight between the taxing districts and the city. 

  • Do you believe Norwalk should have a Civilian Police Review Board – why or why not?

The Norwalk Police Department has been responsive to the concerns of the citizens when incidents accrue. They have shown their desire to actively work with community leaders and partners to ensure stellar community policing. With the increase of another Commissioner on the Police Commission it is hopeful that this desire to continue to address the public concerns will be adhered too. It seems nationally police review boards have been implemented in communities that have a concern about the negative interactions of the police. If NPD functions in away that becomes concerning and police leadership comes into question a Citizen Review Board could restore the relationship between them and the community.

  • There is a constant public battle between city government, the school board, and concerned citizens. It seems that all are “dug in” with their positions, eager to “defeat” the other to win their own agenda. What would you specifically propose to bring all groups to the table to solve issues rather than fight about them? Policy changes and revisions can certainly be part of your answer. 

Outreach is key for consensus and understanding. From the beginning lines of communication should flow and there has been this year with the first public participation for the budget with the joint meeting of the finance committees of the BOE and the Common Council. I think BOE members and Common Council members should be partnered up and hold Town Halls to hear the concerns of student, staff, families and citizens to guide the conversation. The BOE needs to understand the concerns of individual buildings and communities so that they can ensure the recommendations of the Superintendent reflect the needs of buildings. The Common Council must engage with school entities to ask clearly understand the needs of the school. Lastly, I would propose the Common Council should have a column for their recommendations for the entire budget not just the BOE. 

  •  “Housing affordability” means different things to many people. The current standard is based on the median income of Fairfield County, which is $84,233 per household. A job that pays $30 per hour misses that standard by approximately $22,000. What is your definition of Housing affordability, and do you think the standard should be made more equitable?

The standard is off. Affordable housing is providing equatable housing that is comparable to all housing in type, location and living wage. Affordable housing can not be determine by the minimum household income because it places the threshold too high for most working families. 

  • What would you propose to move Norwalk’s government agencies, businesses, organizations, and private citizens towards a zero-carbon footprint?

The City needs a comprehensive Go Green plan that can be implemented over a 10 year period that can address adding solar panels, electric car stations and other key infrastructure items that can assist the city to having a zero carbon footprint. 

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