Send signed letters to [email protected], with a suggested headline.

I’m concerned about Norwalk.

I’m concerned the City administration and the Board of Education administration can’t come to a reasonable budget agreement. 4% much too low; 12.5% maybe too high; maybe 8% could be a good target.

I’m concerned that the City government has gotten so used to zooming that they use it as a convenient way to work from where they’re at rather than coming to interact with the public. 

I’m concerned that we are not putting as much focus on the mental health of our youth as we should be.

I’m concerned that our counselors and teachers are not getting the full support that they need. Every few years they are looking at someone threatening to cut staff.

I’m concerned we are duplicating services; just wondering why we have two executive directors of leadership development.

I’m concerned that we may spend money updating some City departments that would take away necessary money to run programs like our middle school arts, activities and sports program which over the past two years have been a big success for school spirit and student growth.

I’m concerned that the new proposed 500 apartment and retail complex to be built in the heart of South Norwalk will be unaffordable for those who live in South Norwalk. We have a few vacant stores on Washington Street. Some studios start at $1,700 a month and go up past $3,000 for a one bedroom.

I’m concerned we are not serving the youth of Norwalk as much as we should be. The last community gathering place that I can remember which serves the town was the old YMCA. Which is still vacant. Maybe the City can eminent domain that building, just a thought. We need an affordable place where all are welcome.

I’m concerned that more of the great families that made Norwalk will walk away if we can’t get our act together with supporting our school system and all the students that need the help.

We’re Norwalk! We don’t want to be Stamford.

I’m concerned affordable housing is just a catch phrase, there’s just isn’t enough of it in the city of Norwalk.

Who’s concerned? Dougie P and most of the city of Norwalk.



David Muccigrosso March 6, 2023 at 1:34 pm

Doug, research has shown that new developments LOWER the prices in the surrounding area.

That’s because all the people who move into them, don’t go bidding up the housing nearby.

The SoNo development will be FINE.

If you’re concerned about the vacancies on Washington, I’ll give you a hint: It’s not because of high rents, it’s because of (1) Harry’s regulatory pay-for-play scheme, and (2) landlords speculating on Harry’s next big development deal.

Banning new construction won’t solve these problems, it’ll just make the housing crisis WORSE.

We need to clean up the permitting regime so that businesses can actually open, and we need a “use-it-or-lose-it” tax on landlords: double the property tax every 6 months that a property stays vacant.

Lastly, there are a LOT of under- and mis-utilized lots in SoNo. There’s no reason why an events-planning company should be occupying an historical building called the SoNo Brewhouse; that should be a freaking brewery instead (DUH!), and the event planners would be better off in the lovely SoNo 50 tower. Carpet and kitchen showrooms should be relocated to Connecticut Ave with the other furniture stores and big boxes, so that more interesting businesses can move in – what ever happened to my axe-throwing social club?! More bakeries and a Trader Joe’s please. And we should do something about all that ugly industrial waterfront along Water St. Another museum would be nice! Let’s host more street festivals and farmers’ markets – no offense to the Lockwood park, but it’s insane to put our flea market that far away from our highest-foot-traffic area.

It’s not rocket science. A lot of these problems are pretty obvious if you just take a walk around the neighborhood, and maybe sit and talk with someone who lives here over a beer. But overdevelopment ISN’T among them.

John O'Neill March 6, 2023 at 1:49 pm

Good for you Doug:
I too am concerned — Concerned about accountability and respect in the classroom. Concerned about Teacher’s burn out due to factors that Mary Yordon doesn’t seem to want to handle publicly. I’m concerned that when redeveloping South Norwalk we didn’t sign up more minorities as apprentices in the building trades…(I’m dumbfounded by that and would appreciate input on why) College seems nice, but so does $125k+ as a carpenter or electrician. I’m concerned that the minority staffers of redeveloped South Norwalk Restaurants are behind the walls, not in front of the customers. Why is that? I’m concerned that those that are pushing for more equity want to take the easy approach, not the long term approach. The old adage about teaching someone to fish, not simply handing someone a caught fish comes to mind…
I’m concerned that those like Doug Peoples will leave Norwalk.
It starts with challenging our kids, not coddling our kids…For goodness sakes, this is not rocket science.
Regarding Doug’s call for budget compromise…We’re assuming both sides of the negotiating table are being forthright — I don’t believe that to be the case. 4% should work.

Audrey Cozzarin March 6, 2023 at 7:06 pm

I’m concerned, too, Douglas, and thank you for airing your concerns.

My husband and I are concerned enough to move away, choosing NOT to retire here in Norwalk. This is a city where solutions to the most obvious issues either take years and years and years to be resolved (if, at all), are ignored and/or exploited, are outright corrupted, or residents have to fight way too hard for a good quality of life. I’m exhausted by Norwalk. We lag behind other cities in this country who support a better quality of life. We have an extraordinary city in mind.

Tysen Canevari March 6, 2023 at 11:09 pm

Kudos to you Doug. This has become a city where common sense has taken a back seat. Our mayor only shows up to ribbon cuttings and fund raisers for his campaigns to make sure he will get another two years added to his bank account. He has surrounded himself with admins to do his job and is held accountable by no one. He allows the state to push its agenda in our town to the point where raw sewage is over flowing into the sound at alarming rates yet our council wants to talk about banning leaf blowers! Yes, leaf blowers. Instead of adding thousands of apartments on an annual basis how about a youth center for children, a sub station for police, another fire station to cover the cranbury side of town? Oh yeah, these would be common sense items. We would have to run this by our chief of staff, chief of that staff, #1 super in the state of CT! We have more chiefs of staffs in city hall than the pentagon has in Washington DC. Finally, I am concerned that Norwalk doesnt utilize a fine mentor and teacher like yourself Dougie Peoples, who has a great history of working with kids in Norwalk! You have always been giving of yourself in teaching martial arts and supporting the children. Maybe city hall can take notice and ease your concern and become aware of the fine people and principles that built this town like Doug Peoples before he leaves too!

Alexandrea Kemeny March 7, 2023 at 9:47 am

Just want to add my voice in thanking Doug for his comments. The Board of Ed. is not transparent in their spending and I personally feel the members on the Board of Ed. do not have the qualifications for knowing what our educational system and children need to give them a quality education. They blindly follow the direction of the superintendent, assuming she knows and has the best intentions for our Norwalk students. Why isn’t there a committee established of teachers to inform and identify problems within the system. Why isn’t anyone listening to those in the trenches?…. The Superintendent holds her position; how do we know its in the best interest of our students? If it were…. what not be more transparent? Funds can be saved and redistributed if you listen to the teachers as to where the money is best used. They have no personal agenda except to make Norwalk a stronger school system. The Board needs 2 advisory committees; an elementary and secondary committee to advise the Board and give input. But it’s not happening, Why?
I also agree with Doug that there need to be more after school “hang outs” for students. We’re asking for trouble if students are idle ,left to their own devices.

David Osler March 7, 2023 at 9:56 am

I am concerned to somebody mentioned the industrial waterfront that I would actually like to keep functioning unless it could be moved out to Manrissa the industrial waterfront is absolutely vital for maintaining a awesome waterfront in Norwalk and it’s only a small area of the city and a very strategically well located one. I also agree that the next housing development is probably not great for the residents and I would like to see additional work done on two and three family houses being pursued over a gigantic tenant buildings that don’t do anything for us. I have a tremendous amount of interaction with the people in the harbor shores area I haven’t met anybody not one in the apartments that used to be washing village. As far as the other large-scale projects that have happened in the last few years that pay for play scheme should be Gannim style imprisonment offense. The schools do need to figure out their budget and they need to be smart about it they need to do more planning on Capital and less planning on break fix it’s been a death spiral since I’ve been in town. Sono also needs other things other than housing that lean towards the industrial and business areas yes the party place should definitely be a brewery no argument there that was a solid argument. However we don’t have a single functioning automotive shop in Sono for regular vehicles we should have at least two we have one horribly useless gas station that is incredibly overpriced. We have no legal body shops. So the support service industry which I just touched on automotive which is very relatable to everybody. We are being told every day that we need a good walk score to the train station yet you can’t get your car fixed anywhere near the train station. We have a total of two tiny grocery stores C-Town being the biggest CS grocery being the best run. And both of them are significantly more expensive due to how they’re treated by local legislation on vendors

Mike Ward March 7, 2023 at 8:10 pm

Well said Doug! I’ve known you a long time and you have always put our community first.

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