NORWALK, Conn. — The municipal election is less than a week away. NancyOnNorwalk invited the “downticket” candidates – taxing district, sheriff, constable, selectmen and treasurer – to submit some information to help voters get to them.
Debora Goldstein, running for commissioner of the Third Taxing District, has lived in East Norwalk since late 2010, when she purchased her first home.
“I chose to live in this neighborhood because it allowed me to access so many of Norwalk’s resources and amenities,” she said. “I am within walking distance of the East Norwalk train station for commuting and have access to both I-95 and the Merritt Parkway via nearby Exit 16. I have convenient access to our beach, to historic SoNo, and to our City Hall for participation in Norwalk’s very robust civic activity. I enjoy the many annual festivals held in the area. I have been here I am still exploring other areas of Norwalk and learning about the richness of those neighborhoods as well.”
Goldstein grew up in Brooklyn and lived in the Bronx for “about 10 years,” she said. “Both are vibrant communities with diverse cultural and economic backgrounds. I’ve always gravitated to coastal neighborhoods and East Norwalk’s beach area reminds me very much of the area where I grew up.”
She did undergraduate studies at the New School for Social Research/Eugene Lang in New York City.
Goldstein spent her early years in sales in the direct marketing industry.
“I was fortunate to have been educated in computer programming and database management just as this industry was undergoing a revolution due to new technologies,” she said. “I watched as sales orders moved from mail to fax to email. At the same time, the delivery of lists moved from index cards to printed sheets of labels to data tapes.
“I moved on to a sales position in newspaper syndication, which sounds boring, but is as fun as you can imagine because you represent columnists, cartoonists and other content creators to newspapers all over the country,” she said. “I helped to build our Internet sales department, developed the business model and negotiated our contracts. I worked with our technology department to make our product available to this new and vibrant marketplace and served on an industry-wide advisory group that was also grappling with the evolution of newspapers from print to online.”
Goldstein left the position and went to work in the legal department of a publicly traded financial firm.
“I handled investor relations, public filings, drafted employment and vendor contracts and participated in litigation and arbitration matters,” she said. “Our firm was eventually purchased by a private firm, giving me valuable experience in the merger and acquisition process and the different regulatory environments for public and private companies.
“My current job is also in the legal department of a publicly traded company, based in Stamford, doing many of the same things,” she said, “and it is what eventually brought me to Connecticut, and to Norwalk.”
Goldstein said she is running for district commissioner because she thinks that public service is important and that everyone should participate as fully as possible, “according to their ability and availability.”
“I think that my experience in corporate environments will allow me to contribute to managing our municipal electric utility responsibly on behalf of the rate-payers in East Norwalk, and to do it in a customer-friendly fashion,” Goldstein said. “I am dedicated to encouraging cooperation at all levels of municipal government and in civic participation. The Third Taxing District has done an exemplary job of meeting its obligations in recent years and I want to ensure that it continues to do so, with an eye towards the future of this neighborhood and the economy.”
She pointed to her education and professional experience as having prepared her for the position.
“This position, like almost every other elected or appointed position, needs someone who is able to read and evaluate budgets, contractor bids, contracts and to manage priorities,” she said. “It also requires someone that is sensitive to the needs and concerns of the workers who are carrying out the day-to-day activities of the business, and to the experience provided to the rate-payer. It is also important to be able to look ahead and anticipate evolving conditions to take advantage of technological advances and protect against unforeseen circumstances.
“I think I bring all of those skills to the table and will work hard to make sure that we continue to provide first-rate, affordable electric service to the rate-payers of East Norwalk.”
She also cited her personality and ability to “make connections” as being positive attributes for the job.
“I like to talk to people. I like to research new information to fully understand an issue. When you immerse yourself in that way, you bring together different pieces of a puzzle and it allows you to see solutions that may not occur to you if you only ask a question in one way.
“Growing up in a city with a population that is one-hundred times the size of Norwalk, I have been able to observe many of the same issues dealt with on a much larger scale. While we don’t have a population (or a budget) of that size, we do have a community of people who care very deeply about the future of our neighborhoods,” she said. “Folks running for office here in Norwalk often emphasize how many years they have lived here. Being a relative new-comer here allows me to apply a fresh perspective, with some first-hand experience to approaches that are working elsewhere.”