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Dem mayoral hopeful lays out plan to spur Norwalk economy

Vinny Mangiacopra at Norwalk Greek Festival 082213 055
Norwalk Democratic District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra talks to a voter Thursday at the Greek Festival.

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 “Whether it’s outdated zoning regulations or slow-moving bureaucracy in City Hall, Norwalk needs innovative changes.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.”

Comments

9 responses to “Dem mayoral hopeful lays out plan to spur Norwalk economy”

  1. D(ysfunctional)TC

    You heard it here. Vinny wants to grow the government. The dozens upon dozens of federal, state, and city agencies that already do this aren’t enough for him. He wants to add more and more of it.

    Those of us with a clue about economics understand that it is the growth of government and regulations that takes away resources from taxpayers and small businesses that otherwise would go to jobs and investment.

    Except for one thing in this list, everything else is already happening. If he lived here long enough and maybe sat on a council or volunteered for any one of these agencies, he might get a clue.

    This one is different though: • Institute facade improvement incentives for small business to improve their property and enhance neighborhoods.

    How do you do this? Lower their taxes so they improve their buildings which will in turn increase their tax basis and property ytaxes? You can’t just say you are going to do something like this without specifics. How will this work?

  2. Clayton

    Seriously, this is why I actually support the candidate. He actually has inklings about technology and connectivity that most of our local candidates do not. There is a movement of social entrepreneurship brewing in Southern Connecticut. Can Norwalk be the tech incubator? Can the city harness the power of social enterprise? Let’s hope so…but I think this is a nice start.

  3. Don’t Panic

    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. (Sounds like Miklave’s plan)
    .
    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,” (Is there any data to support the notion that a city created app would increase business more than oa FB or Twitter account created by the business itself? Wouldn’t the businesses prefer the City do a better job on services such as paving, trash pickup and parking?)
    .
    Create an economic development officer to be an advocate for business within City Hall. (Would this replace or be in addition to the Director of Marketing and Business Development position currently held by Tad Diesel?)
    .
    Institute facade improvement incentives for small business to improve their property and enhance neighborhoods. (Where are these funds coming from? Will this build the tax base or add jobs?)
    .
    Conduct regular business roundtable discussions with business leaders to ensure everyone is pursuing the same goals. (When Moccia does it over breakfast at the Norwalk Inn, it is target for criticism, but if Vinny calls it a roundtable it will be okay.)
    .
    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. (Cribbed from Miklave again)
    .
    Spearhead aggressive marketing and public relations strategies to attract future business to town and stop settling for average projects with low-wage jobs. (Miklave’s plan again’ except Miklave actual speaks to targeting growth oriented businesses to get the best return)
    .
    Advocate for the West Avenue Connectivity Plan, making the road a gateway connecting historic Wall Street and historic South Norwalk. (Will this be before or after the floodplain mitigation in South Norwalk? )

  4. Ken P Jr.

    Grand ambitions, for a place like Monroe maybe. Norwalk s govt NEEDS downsizing and an elimination of grandstanding. Alot of our economic issues are really due to the state being a big fat unfriendly place to do business, meaning theres little a mayor here can really do to encourage businesses to move in. One way might be to lower the tax burden, but I dont see ANY democrat, or electable Republican even bringing that up. Shrink the city govt, cut back on social programs across the board, become focused on TAXPAYERS and things which would improve their quality of life, thats what the taxpaying voters of Norwalk need & their needs should come before all the rest. Theres so much excess that we are saddled with paying for its sad not one of the candidates even mentions it. From the top to bottom we have too many employees often making too much money, we have too many people living off the generosity of the taxpayer & those people are catered to all out of proportion to their contributions to this once fine city.

  5. KSully

    At last, Vinny is listening….to Matt Miklave.

  6. Bill

    The app idea is great, but I’m still not voting for someone who supports unions over taxpayers.

  7. D(ysfunctional)TC

    There is already a west ave connectivity plan. But it is obvious if you have never really spent time doing anything for the city, you might not know that. Go back to school, young man.

  8. Asa H.M.

    Hello Mr. Mangiacopra – it’s nice that you want to “Create..”, “Establish…”, “Institute…” and “Modernize…” HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DO THIS???? I agree with KScully and Don’t Panic that you are sounding more like Mr. Miklave except for one point…HE is telling everyone HOW. Still waiting for you to fill us in…

  9. EveT

    Norwalk’s problem is not a lack of ideas, it’s a lack of cooperation. We need a mayor who will unify and motivate people to work together so that ideas get carried out efficiently and effectively. Mr. Mangiacopra lacks the experience, reputation, and personality to do that.

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