NORWALK, Conn. – Democratic mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra has been touting his four-year stint as economic development coordinator for the town of Monroe as one of his major qualifiers to become Norwalk’s top elected official. Now he’s drawing on that experience to give voters a look at one of his planned initiatives should they choose his to be the city’s next mayor.
In a Friday press release, Mangiacopra, the District D Democratic chairman, introduced a series of proposals aimed at streamlining business dealings with City Hall, creating a better environment for small businesses to grow and hire, and attracting new business to relocate to Norwalk.
Mangiacopra said he plans to:
• Establish a jobs task force led by the mayor to ensure all departments affecting business growth and development work in unison to cut down the red tape and get projects moving in a more timely fashion.
• Create Advance Norwalk, a Norwalk city app that helps connect neighbors with businesses in Norwalk, to compete with the chains. “We would include a social media concept to support small, local businesses,” he said.
• Create an economic development officer to be an advocate for business within City Hall.
• Institute facade improvement incentives for small business to improve their property and enhance neighborhoods.
• Conduct regular business roundtable discussions with business leaders to ensure everyone is pursuing the same goals.
• Modernize zoning regulations to make it smarter and easier to do business in town. Aim for the city to be a more walkable, bike-friendly community to attract visitors, prospective businesses and families.
• Spearhead aggressive marketing and public relations strategies to attract future business to town and stop settling for average projects with low-wage jobs.
• Advocate for the West Avenue Connectivity Plan, making the road a gateway connecting historic Wall Street and historic South Norwalk.
“We need to reshape Norwalk’s business environment so that it can compete in the 21st century,” Mangiacopra said. “Whether it’s outdated zoning regulations or slow-moving bureaucracy in City Hall, Norwalk needs innovative changes. Norwalk can be an attractive, inviting city to pedestrians and bikers. We can usher in a new generation of leadership to accomplish these goals. The residents of Norwalk are ready for it.”