Duff isn’t ‘standing up for us’

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Sen. Duff’s public rebuke of Norwalk’s Board of Education Chair for a letter has no precedent and raises disturbing questions. Sen. Duff remained quiet several years ago when three Democrat BOE members with NAACP support accused the entire BOE of “discrimination” but failed to submit any evidence. That accusation had no precedent in Connecticut and damaged our City’s reputation. All three BOE members subsequently either retired or were defeated during re-election.

Curiously no other City official or senior Democratic Town Committee or BOE official has supported Sen. Duff, save Mayor Rilling. Nor is the NAACP planning “demonstrations” among its 100 or so members. So what’s going on here? Is it just giving Mayor Rilling more “cover” in his upcoming re-election campaign?

Sen. Duff was elected to represent Norwalk in our legislature. Mayor Rilling is ex-officio at BOE meetings. He has a public form to speak out if he chooses to at BOE meetings.

Or he could register his disapproval privately. Taking the courteous route. As he did some years ago.

Norwalk has long had trouble recruiting capable and experienced citizens to serve on elected Boards. Sen. Duff’s troubling attack on the BOE is really an attack on all of us.

It’s crude vulgar politics pure and simple. Sen. Duff owes Norwalk an apology. Our BOE merits our continued appreciation. Because they earn it week by week.


Peter I Berman


EnoPride February 16, 2019 at 2:57 pm

Thank you, Mr. Berman, for addressing Senator Duff’s turning on Norwalk’s BoE. The gusto with which Senator Duff jumped onboard with Mrs. Penn-Williams to paint the BoE as racists and to slander the BoE Chair’s character is disturbing on so many levels. Many who follow see right through. Senator Duff is playing the reactive, as opposed to the proactive, politician, by taking the easy route of playing to his obvious constituents for his own personal political agenda. Mayor Rilling also jumped onboard this fabricated race card bandwagon, only to acknowledge the BoE’s professionalism and success in more recent comments. Flip-Flop. Which is it, and what is your agenda, Mayor Rilling?

Why Senator Duff has chosen to eat his own rather than to celebrate their accomplishments and successes, which have made NPS far more desirable over the past several years, is just beyond me. That this BoE’s obvious improvement of our schools is securing families who were formerly on the fence as to whether they should continue to keep their children in the NPS system is invaluable to our community. That Senator Duff is kicking the BoE while they are up with false allegations is dangerous and sends the wrong message to our community. I wish Senator Duff would tackle Hartford, secure appropriate funding for Norwalk and jumpstart economic development in our city with the same gusto that he attacked our hardworking and dedicated BoE.

Thank you, BoE, for all that you do. Many of us support you and do not take your dedication, hard work and professionalism for granted.

Isabelle Hargrove February 16, 2019 at 4:16 pm


It is interesting that Senator Duff is so vocal against Board of Ed members who have had the courage of calling him out, regardless of political affiliation, for not tackling Hartford, not securing appropriate funding for Norwalk and not jumpstarting economic development in our city. While at the same time, rewarding our mayor who has remained mute on our lack of State funding with a bill that would grant him control over the BOE.

We need less political gamesmanship and more actions that benefit Norwalk. We need fewer politicians running interference to cover up for their shortcomings and more people seeking to serve for the betterment of their community, not power or personal gains.

Bryan Meek February 17, 2019 at 11:47 am

Don’t worry, Bob Duff is an equal opportunity punisher of not just school boards, but also has spare time to continue destroying our economy.

Check out Senate Bill 9 from Bob, that looks shiny by reducing application fees for some licenses but then sticks it to you once you get the license.


The current annual cost of a CPA license in CT is $565, which is 6x the national average and Bob’s bill is going to make it even more expensive.

So when your tax return fee keeps going up and up (soon to have sales taxes added on too), you can thank Bob for increasing your costs.

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