Embattled Norwalk P&Z director’s fate up for debate

Planning and Zoning Director Mike Greene.
Norwalk Planning and Zoning Director Mike Greene.

NORWALK, Conn. – As the drumbeat to revamp Norwalk Zoning regulations continues, with government officials and members of the community adding their voices, there are calls from some to do a performance evaluation – and possibly sack – Planning and Zoning Director Mike Greene.

“Mike Greene hasn’t had a review for over 10 years. The Zoning Commission is supposed to be reviewing him and managing his goals and performance. This hasn’t been done in years. There should be huge public outcry over this. Especially with the recent debacles as the Mosque, Farm Creek and lack of village districts being created though out Norwalk,” Zoning Commissioner Nora King said in a comment on NancyOnNorwalk.

But while former Zoning Commissioner Mike Mushak is vocal about his desire to see Greene booted – a thought seconded by other NoN commenters – Mayor Harry Rilling’s latest appointment to Zoning, Adam Blank, said he is not on board.

Blank said he is ambivalent about doing a performance evaluation. He referred to the end of Zoning Commission Chairman Joe Santo’s term on the commission on July 15 in his reply.

“If, and I don’t know that it will be, but if I were to be the chair of the Zoning Commission I would suggest that we do that, that we do a performance review subject to being overruled by corporation counsel,” Blank said. “Assuming that doesn’t happen, I think you do performance reviews, I think probably in executive session. For me, the more important question, why I am ambivalent on it – I don’t have any preconceived notions, I’m not one of the folks saying Mike Greene or Mike Wrinn or anyone from the Zoning department ought to be fired. I’m not saying that any of them ought to get a raise. I’m sort of very neutral on that. So what is the purpose of those evaluations? If they cannot have any impact on the employee it’s just kind of a show. That’s why I am kind of ambivalent on them. My understanding is they probably would be more for a show than for substance.”

Asked for an opinion, former Zoning Chair Jackie Lightfield explained the structure of the Zoning Commission. Greene has many responsibilities, she said:

“The Zoning Commission acts as both a judicial and legislative body, it’s the city commission that has those two roles,” Lightfield wrote. “It’s also the only commission that has the director reporting to it. There’s been much talk about performance reviews and Mike Greene, the director of Planning and Zoning. Like most things in Norwalk, the way things are set up are subject to lots of interpretation. First, the Zoning Commission has not ever in my stint had anything to do with any pay-related review of any of the staff labor. I think this is a critical component of any performance review, at least in the corporate world, and Norwalk has historically left such ordinance-related positions to the discretion of the mayor. The Zoning Commission has an obligation, along with the Planning Commission to review the overall department budget. It became largely pro forma when the former mayor and finance director would just cut things in the budget without consultation. Given that it (the city budget) is, in the end, a mayor’s budget by way of the BET (Board of Estimate and Taxation), which is the only board to deal with line items, it is somewhat understandable.

“The other aspect of performance is the issue of whether a staff person accomplishes the goals set forth by the Commission,” Lightfield continued. “There are different styles of leadership, and certainly the constitution of the Zoning Commission has determined the level of engagement of that activity. As much as a chairman can exert influence in direction, the ability to act (or not) is based on a majority vote of the Commission.

“Mike Greene manages the day-to-day operations of the Planning and Zoning Department that has a somewhat interesting structure of having several commissions: appeals, conservation, planning and zoning. They each deal with the various parts of land use in completely different ways. This perhaps suggests that Norwalk has outgrown this amorphous structure. I suspect that to clarify roles and responsibilities, in an institutional manner, would require a charter revision. Informally though, it is a balance of trust between a mayor and the people he appoints to the various boards to work out exactly how things are managed.”

Blank hinted at that.

If Rilling were to do “a type of audit or some type of evaluation as to how the departments are just physically set up,” considering the roles of the Planning Committee, the Redevelopment Agency and other bodies, there could be an opportunity there, he said.

“If you were to juggle a lot of that stuff around and potentially create new job titles, you could probably restructure things sooner rather than later,” he said.

Former Zoning Commission Chairwoman Dorothy Mobilia and the late Walter Briggs, then Planning Commission chairman, were the last people to do a performance evaluation on Greene, at the request of then Mayor Alex Knopp.

“Because Mike, and senior planner Dori Wilson, were so pro-active in helping me and the zoning vice chair, Bob Keyes, research the issue of workforce housing and in meeting with Stamford zoners on how they approached the question, I had only good things to say about Mike for the evaluations. He also met the state requirements for a department head. Are, or were there, department heads in other towns who had higher qualifications? I don’t know,” Mobilia wrote.

Political pressures come into play, she said.

“I do know there were pressures on the commission from the mayor’s office,” Mobilia wrote. “Mayor Moccia and some members of the Common Council on both sides of the aisle were opposed to workforce housing and decided not to reappoint me. But different issues came before subsequent commissions. Mike Mushak and Nora King have their own reasons for opposing Mike, and they have been vocal on those issues.”

Mushak has said over and over again that Greene should be fired. A recent comment:

“I say ask for Greene’s resignation and if he refuses, fire him,” Mushak wrote. “Let him sue, as there will be property owners and businesses all over the city who would surely testify to offer their own nightmares of how they were treated by this retaliatory P and Z Department run into the ground under Mike Greene. The reason you don’t hear more from these folks now is that many have been silenced by the threat of retaliation by P and Z staff, who are relentless in their zeal to punish anyone who dares to challenge the P and Z staff for more accountability and transparency, creating Kafkaesque nightmares, some involving dozens of petty violations, that have at times literally shut down businesses and driven many investors and good people out of town. This is no way to run a city, but Greene has managed to create an independent … fiefdom in City Hall where professionalism and accountability and even laws do not matter at all, as Greene has said he and he alone interprets the regulations any way he wants in a shocking display of arrogance and self-delusion.

“Waiting until he retires is not an option anymore, as we just can’t afford 8 or 10 more years of this nonsense. I recently joined the Chamber of Commerce and am already learning more about Greene’s failed policies from insiders as they relate to business and the strong perception that Norwalk is a city without a strong vision for the future. Well, when you have a P and Z Director who thinks Master Plans are useless and real planning is just a waste of time and not his job, and who spends most of his time finding excuses to not do his job, this is what you will get.”

“Their biggest concern seems to be that he did not take the lead in supporting their valid concerns,” Mobilia wrote, of Mushak and King. “But it was my experience that the chair can definitely influence the assistance given by staff. How much support did Mike and Nora get from their chairmen? Were their concerns also priorities for other members of the commission? Are Mike and Nora saying that Mike Greene should have pressured the chairs to act on certain concerns? I’m not sure that is the staff person’s role.

“I’m suggesting here that there may have been political pressures exerted on staff and some commission members. I’ve heard grumblings I can’t substantiate, from members of other commissions.”


28 responses to “Embattled Norwalk P&Z director’s fate up for debate”

  1. Yankee Clipper

    Mushak is right on the money. I respect Dorothy but the benign neglect of Greene by various commission chairs has allowed tyranny to develop. Norwalk needs a master plan, a vision for where our fair city is to go. Enforcing nitpicky zoning codes developed decades ago is not the way for us to grow in the 21st century. The head of P&Z needs to have that vision, if not, they are doing us a dis-service. Adam Blank needs to figure that out, as does Mike Greene.

  2. John Hamlin

    A review of the needs of the city in the planning arena, the credentials, qualifications, and expertise of all those in the department, and the performance of everyone — a serious review of all of this is long overdue. People in important positions should not have lifetime tenure — in fact no one should have lifetime tenure with no accountability. What’s really striking from this article is how screwed up Norwalk’s government structure is — no one apparently in charge or accountable. Yikes! And because of the partisan bickering, nothing is likely to get fixed without a revolution, and that’s not happening anytime soon.

  3. Nora King

    This is a very clear cut issue for me. Our Director of Planning and Zoning needs to understand planning and be credentialed in planning. We are the 6th largest city in Norwalk. We need strategic planning on how to grow this city. Every person who collects a pay check from the city should have a performance evaluation. Goals should be clearly set. This is not being done. Anyone who has any corporate background understands the concept of accountability. Connecticut is a work at will state, if you are not doing the job you shouldn’t be here. Mike Mushak is spot on when he says that Norwalk cannot suffer another 8 to 10 years with a lack of planning. We need a strong city planner guiding our direction. I don’t like “legal speak” and prefer the direct approach – do you job, be evaluated and keep your job if you are doing it well. I see the role of Director of P and Z much more than managing the day to day operations. That person needs to have a planning background and a clear vision of how to grow a city.

    The entire P and Z department needs to be restructured, performance evaluations needs to be done, the Redevelopment role needs to be reviewed and this entire function needs to be one cohesive team.

    We need to formalize a role of a Director of City Planning and do a national search for this role. The old process of I know someone who knows someone is not acceptable in my viewpoint. We need someone who has the experience of taking a city like ours to the next level. The Chairman of Zoning and the commissioners are all volunteers. A senior staff person needs to be credentialed in city planning that can really create a strategy of what our city needs to look like in 5 years, 10 years and 25 years down the road. This is not currently happening.

    I am not one of these people who believe in the concept of this is how it was done before. I believe in setting goals and really driving the city of Norwalk successfully forward. We may be the sixth largest city but the number one goal should be having Norwalk be the “best” city in the state of Connecticut. To do this the charter needs to be changed, new people need to be hired and the P and Z and Redevelopment functions need to be restructured. It is very clear to me what needs to be done.

  4. Oldtimer

    Replacing Mike Greene will not fix the problems with Norwalk’s zoning code. He is careful to follow the law even when that is not a popular position. Some commission members would prefer he follow their directions, but have been unable to get the commission to make the necessary changes in the law. Enforcement on violations is not directed by Greene but seems to be managed out of the corporation counsel’s office by an attorney hired for that purpose.

  5. Taxpayer Fatigue

    Oldtimer, don’t obfuscate the facts. Enforcement violations ARE directed by Mike Greene and his staff. They are the front line that decides whether or not to issue a cease and desist order. It is only when the alleged violator doesn’t comply with the cease and desist order that the violation is referred to Corporation Counsel.

  6. Mike Mushak

    What a mess, and no one knows what to do, and no one has the nerve to do anything about it. That is exactly how Mike Greene has set it up over the years. Brilliant. He has no professional qualifications for his job (where are they?), finds every excuse as to why Norwalk does not need to be planned as other cities are, says our Master Plan is useless, ignores millions of dollars of expert taxpayer-funded studies that the city funds to try to get out of this mess, and all the while everyone else wastes years of their time spinning around in circles pretending Greene is above normal accountability and transparency while millions of our tax dollars (and a stagnant grand list) are wasted on poor planning decisions and a dysfunctional planning system that is completely uncoordinated. Oh, but I am the one being so unfair and unkind! Give me a break.

    I get that current commissioners may try to maintain an air of trying to get along, but let’s get real here for a minute: the only reason Jackie Lightfield didn’t continue the performance reviews of Mike Greene when she became chair is because she told me she didn’t know she was supposed to do it, and Mike Greene didn’t remind her of it. All the gobbledygook she talks about to justify her lack of proper oversight of the staff makes no sense. I like Jackie of course, and she was an effective chair relative to some others, but read her comments in the article and see a classic example of passing the buck. She now says “history” somehow puts the P and Z Director’s job at the discretion of the mayor.

    That will be news to Mayor Rilling who knows it is the Zoning Commission’s sole responsibility to hire and fire Pand Z staff. Our Charter, Zoning By-Laws, and City Organizational Chart are quite clear: The Zoning Commission has the right to hire and fire P and Z staff, and to supervise them, and to hold them accountable for their actions. There is absolutely no need for a Charter Revision to finally hold Mike Green accountable for his many bizarre and questionable actions. There is simply a need for commissioners who have the will to do it.

    And let’s clear something else up here: there is no union regulation that protects Mr. Greene from normal city oversight and performance reviews, and anyone that continues with this nonsense is just passing the buck and making excuses for their own lack of courage to do what need sot be done. That was Mr. Greene spreading that rumor about his “state union” to get everyone off his back (he is under the NASA contract just like most other management in City Hall), but he thought that hollow threat of some supreme protection of his position by some mysterious state union would work, and in many ways it has.

    He even felt brazen enough to threaten the Zoning Commission with a lawsuit “if we even mentioned a performance review.” He did this in 2012 in front of the entire commission when I caught him a in a blatant lie about official city business (he said after a meeting the night before, which he denied saying the next day while directly looking at me which has never happened to me before, that he would make sure the Harbor Loop Trail would never happen, asked me who I thought I was for promoting it, and then when I asked him why he would say that , he screamed that I was harassing him.) It was the most bizarre behavior I had ever witnessed by any city official, and resulted in the funding and the responsibility of the Harbor Loop Trail being taken away from his department and given to the Redevelopment Agency, where progress is finally being made after 34 years of delays in its completion. No city should ever take 34 years to finish a waterfront trail, but in Norwalk, that seems totally normal, and obviously for Mike Greene, there were reasons he didn’t want it completed that remain a mystery to this day, and why cooler heads prevailed that simply removed him from the process.

    EVERY employee in City Hall must be subject to performance reviews and be held accountable of their actions, just as every other city and private sector entity does it, and should not get automatic raises no matter how badly they perform. Mr. Greene didn’t bother to show up to meetings for almost a year last year, yet we are giving him a raise on top of his $165k a year and 2 full months of paid vacation. Unbelievable. Imagine getting a raise for not doing your job, but in Norwalk, we reward incompetence like this every year. I would think fiscally conservative Republicans would be all over this blatant waste of taxpayer money, but they remain mostly silent even though the business community knows full well exactly what I am talking about. I can’t tell you how many prominent developers and business people have thanked me for trying to replace Greene, who they can see is bad news for Norwalk and for business.

    Norwalk shockingly remains the last city in CT (now changing at the insistence of Corp. Counsel Mario Coppola) with no in-house zoning enforcement ordinance, farming out our local zoning enforcement to the swamped local court system who are fed up with Norwalk, only because Mr. Greene didn’t want to work harder with enforcing our own regulations over the last several decades that he has run Norwalk into the ground. All these years Mr. Greene has told residents we didn’t need a blight ordinance (because he didn’t want to do the work) and that pour zoning enforcement was doing just fine, until we found out that we were alone among cities in not even having a zoning enforcement ordinance. Greene’s efforts to limit his own responsibilities is ending, but just think of how many years we have all wasted (and the neighborhoods that have declined from lack of stability and enforcement) complaining about illegal apartments and blight because of Greene, not to mention the lost millions in property values as a result of the rampant unenforced blight across our city.

    The examples of Mr. Greene’s bad behavior and poor planning decisions are endless, and I am certainly not alone in my disgust with Greene’s behavior towards the public and applicants he and he alone decides to retaliate against. I have listed many of his poor decisions and bizarre actions in my long posts, and the outrage at Greene is much more widespread than the careful comments of a few players would indicate. It certainly is widespread in the business community and in many cases is pure corruption of process, and that it continues with so many officials pretending that it’s not there is beyond comprehension, and just shows you the extremes people will go to not have to make necessary changes in staff and move Norwalk forward. All this talk of reform is lipstick on a pig while Greene remains there. There was even talk of creating a new well-paid position of “head planner” or something like that, something we wouldn’t have to do if taxpayers were getting their money’s worth in a qualified and professional Planning and Zoning Director instead of the ineffective and under-qualified fraud we have now.

  7. Mike Mushak

    Oh, I forgot to mention that in the recent AMEC application to expand their construction trash transfer station on Crescent Street, Mr. Greene was completely unaware of nearly a million dollars of plans to reopen Crescent Street in the future and make it a major car/bike/pedestrian connection as an alternative to West Ave. The applicant presented a traffic study that assumed the street would remain a dead end as it is now, but which is only temporary.

    On one of the most important applications that will affect the quality of life and traffic in that area around Waypointe and Mathews Park for generations, the Commission and the applicant are acting on completely bad data before their scheduled vote on this soon because Mike Greene was too lazy to research it and tell them what the future of this street was, which is his job to do.

    Mike Greeen also approved AMEC’s parking lot a few years ago which drains potentially toxic materials directly into the Norwalk Harbor every time it rains, in direct violation of the state DEEP permit and our own regulations (anyone can see this, and photos were presented into the record at their first application to expand 2 years ago.) His approval of this parking lot was also in violation of our own regulation 118-1240, which states that “all parking and loading areas shall be suitably graded, drained, and maintained to prevent erosion and storm water runoff onto adjacent streets and properties.”. When I brought up this conflict in a meeting, Mr. Greene stated that he and he alone has the power to interpret our regulations any way he wants. Everyone in the room was shocked that he said this, but that is what we are dealing with here, someone who feels he is above the law if it suits his purposes.

    It is a felony for any official to be aware of a polluting incident and not do anything about it, but right here on Crescent Street we are dealing with Mike Greene having approved a parking lot and loading area that drain into storm drains in the street and into Norwalk Harbor, carrying a potential multitude of dangerous substances every time it rains, with no concern at all from him. And now we are dealing with an application to expand a use that generates a large amount of truck traffic bordering a public park and through a new residential area that is based on a faulty assumption that a street will remain a dead-end when all of the city plans are for it to become a major thoroughfare. Where is the outrage?

  8. Suzanne

    Mike, all that you write is so disturbing. Who is in charge of performance reviews and when will one be scheduled to review Mike Greene? (Apologies if you have already answered this question, however I am tired of the “thinking about it” state and want to see something DONE about it, posthaste.)

  9. Mike Mushak

    Suzanne, clearly no one wants the responsibility. Laws and regulations to protect neighborhoods and our environment are routinely broken, ethical violations are common, blight and poor zoning enforcement is rampant all over our city, and I have to endure accusations that I am being too harsh. I have endured a lot of abuse including petty retaliatory zoning violations and have nothing to lose at this point, and am committed to seeing justice prevail to help every taxpayer and business in our once- great city enjoy the excellent service and planning they deserve instead of the dumbed down mediocrity and corruption we have had for decades in our P and Z Department, as long as Mike Greene has been in charge screwing everything up. Without a professional operational audit from qualified experts, we are going to sit here and just waste our time trying to tackle the beast of a broken zoning code and corrupted planning process that Greene has created over the years to basically not do his job, because he doesn’t know how to do it. Replace Greene, and necessary change will come easily. Keep him, and watch the pretense of phony reform happen that will not deal with the real structural changes we need. And this is not about having to change our charter at this point, it’s about getting a planning and zoning director who is a real professional with a real passion to make Norwalk better, and who knows what he is doing, and who follows the charter and by laws which were set up to define the responsibilities of that position but which are routinely ignored by Greene with the response “that’s not my job”, which he gets away with in a climate of ZERO accountability.

  10. piberman

    Two points. First, its not professional for current/past members of P&Z to make public comments about the City’s staff members. Second, the appropriate authorities for evaluating/resolving City personnel issues resides with the Mayor and Council who have access to legal and personnel depts. for assistance. The sensible approach would be to ask for a P&Z review by these officials.

  11. Suzanne

    piberman: Then do it. “Talking” on this thread or any other that concerns this subject does not seem to be forwarding the agenda you describe. Why not? Could it be that Mr. Mushak is correct? No one wants to take the responsibility? Where does that leave Norwalk?

    Look around at sidewalks, downtown, south Norwalk, streets, controversies about wrong-sized buildings going willy nilly all over town, proposed projects. We are a random City with no center. Mr. Greene maybe following the letter of the law but he sure isn’t contributing to the best interests of Norwalk nor the citizens.

    Mr. Mushak, Nora King and J Lightfield have all regularly commented on these threads with transparent candor if not a full understanding of Norwalk’s regulatory ins and outs. I not only don’t see anything wrong with this, I see it as a service to citizens who have not served on P and Z and don’t know all of the criteria being followed. This would also mean that the frequent contributions by Mr. Kimmel and Mr. McCarthy are somehow inappropriate as well. I disagree.

  12. John Hamlin

    A past member of a commission is a private citizen free to comment on matters of public importance. And if the only response to Mr. Mushak’s lengthy, detailed critique of Mr. Greene’s performance is “he shouldn’t really say that,” then I think the public should want to know more. Can’t Norwalk even figure out whose responsibility it is to do performance reviews on planning and zoning personnel? If they haven’t been done in years, someone or some commission is not doing what they are charged to do. Either Mr. Mushak is wrong or he is right. No one seems to be able to point out how he is wrong. And if he’s right, why isn’t anyone doing anything about it? Are the entrenched interests of the status quo so powerful? Have we become Russia?

  13. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    Thanks to Mike, Suzanne and others and most of all to N.O.N. for pulling the scab off of this sore that has infected the Norwalk P&Z for so long.

    Certainly a highly qualified City Planner with a national reputation is needed immediately if not sooner. The cost of hiring such a person or group would be high, of course–but no higher than the cost of all the mistakes, misdirections, delays, and miscalculations that seem to go on because of the lack of direction, as so painfully described above.

  14. Lisa Thomson

    I am not in a position to comment on Mike Greene. However, as I sit in a P&Z meeting this evening, I can see how the situation with Mr. Greene might have evolved. I am appalled by the dismissive behavior by board members Joe Santos, Jim White and Mike O’Reilly towards requests for public hearings on developments. Nora King requested one for the neighbors living in the vicinity of Farm Creek Road and Sammis Street, where three new houses are going in that will dramatically change the neighborhood. These commissioners attitude was that public notification had already taken place in the small print of the Norwalk City website. Are they kidding? This is the sort of cat and mouse game …catch us if you can attitude of our city commissioners. Appalling!!!

  15. Suzanne

    I believe Mike Greene has been around longer than everyone but Mr. Santo. In any case, one would expect a person in charge of the government side of Planning and Zoning to show some professionalism and initiative.

    In addition, I don’t disagree with you, Ms. Thomson, in regard to the three musketeers (or stooges?) that so cavalierly dismiss issues of real concern to Norwalk citizens. I have had that experience as well and it is not only unpleasant but it can change the nature of a neighborhood in a deleterious way.

    Honestly? I think there needs to be performance reviews on the City Hall side, a City Planner with national expertise and a voting out of these longstanding Commission members who so disrespect the taxpayer.

  16. piberman

    No one is suggesting public complaints about P&Z City employees should be swept under the table. Rather its more likely to get to the heart of the matter by asking both the Mayor and Council whether they are satisfied with those employees performance. Could be done by OpEd letters, individual letters, questions asked at Council meetings, individual meetings with the Mayor/Council members, petitions, comments on NON and so forth. But the complaints in public ought be done with a degree of decorum. After all none of us have all the facts at hand and City employees are protected from dismissal without well defined cause. So there’s some homework to be done. Of course, if neither the Mayor nor the Common Council have performance problems with P&Z employees then we have other problems. But the way to start the review process is to ask these most senior City officials if they are satisfied with the employees performance. Surely if there’s been no recent (any) performance review then its apropriate to ask why not. So collectively we have some work to do focusing the attention of City officials on the P&Z employees’ performance by a variety of approaches. Hopefully that will get the issue towards resolution.

  17. WOW just WOW

    I have noticed that you have certain city officials that you seem to have a vendetta with as in Greene and Alvord. You also seem to have issue with each and every proposed development project in Norwalk. With all do respect I am sure that these professionals know a bit more about the issues than you do. Also do you have any credentials to support your opinions or are they just arm chair quarterbacking?

  18. WOW just WOW

    piberman is correct with his statement
    “its not professional for current/past members of P&Z to make public comments about the City’s staff members”

    Also the issue is not Greene, its the zoning code as written. He simply work’s with what he is given. Actually given the antiquated codes in Norwalk Greene is actually doing a fantastic job.

  19. Suzanne

    Wow just Wow, I am a landscape architect with a background in Urban Planning. I have dealt with many administrators and government planning professionals during the course of my work. Obtaining permits for developments from schools to residential projects as well as some municipal work make me, I believe, qualified to give my opinions on effective land use, proposed developments and the inadequacy of government department heads, particularly when I have seen the performance of such people in other environments well trained and highly effective in their work.

    It is a shame that personal criticism seems to be the stock in trade of those that cannot see content over reactive emotionalism that contributes very little to opinion making. There are many others on these threads that have expressed similar opinions to mine. It is ironic, given my background, that you have chosen me as the “vendetta” expert.

  20. Suzanne

    One more comment: even if I did not have the extensive background that I do, I have the right as a citizen to express my discontent. A lot of Joe and Jill citizens do just that on these threads. Wow just Wow, would you rather that right be taken away because you are particularly sensitive about remarks made with which you disagree? I am, as every citizen of Norwalk is, “a private citizen free to comment on matters of public importance” as stated by John Hamlin above.

  21. WOW just WOW

    I am very sorry that you feel asking for your credentials to support your opinions is criticism, as that was not the case. However with that said you do have your right as a citizen to your views and I have the right to point out that I feel your views are wrong. I am sorry that you are so sensitive to remarks that you disagree with. Also being a landscaper is not the same as the extensive credential that Mr. Greene and Mr Alvrod has.

    It just strikes me that you don’t seem to think anything that Mr Greene or Mr Alvord does is right. You also seem to think that every development in Norwalk is wrong. This doesn’t do much for your case.

  22. Norewalk Lifer

    Anyone who pays taxes in this town has the right to comment; that money is going directly into these individuals paychecks.

    Don’t stand on decorum, you’ll fall off one of these days.

    Norwalk Lifer

  23. John Hamlin

    Instead of saying “that’s not very nice” just tell us how the criticism is both unfair and WRONG. So far no takers on that score.

  24. Suzanne

    Wow on Wow: a point of clarification. A Landscape Architect is not a “landscaper.” Rather, it requires a rigorous Master’s Degree level of education, board examinations and knowledge of not just soils and plants but engineering, land use, urban planning, hardscaping (which requires collaboration with teams including architects and engineers) as well as, yes, putting in that occasional tree and shrub.

    You obviously have not read my comments very carefully: I give CONSTRUCTIVE criticism and never comments without foundation for any person. My writing is often rhetorical but, nevertheless, has nothing to do with any kind of accusations you make as to content.

    Wow on Wow, I am not sensitive to your comments. I could give a hoot. But I do have qualifications and even that wouldn’t matter. The fact that I can comment and I do and you don’t like is your view and your problem. Have a great day.

  25. Oldtimer

    Greene’s qualifications seem to be, mostly, many years of experience dealing with zoning commissioners, developers, and lawyers. Alvord, on the other hand, has an extensive military career, ending up as a colonel in the Army Corps of Engineers. He has demonstrated considerable skill in management, but seems to leave all the engineering to subordinates and/or contractors. He holds a CT engineering license, a requirement for his job.

    The conversation here about Greene seems to imply he as learned nothing in years in the zoning dept. If he were now being considered, as a young man, for his present position, a degree would be required. A young man, fresh out of college, would have a lot to learn to equal Greene’s experience. Accountability seems to be an issue. Developing the metrics to measure Greene’s work is not going to be all that easy. Changing our zoning ordinances to meet present challenges should be easy. Getting agreement on a City master plan to become part of zoning ordinances would be more of a challenge.

  26. Zoning regulations are good so long as they apply to my neighbor’s land. You will all find that making the radical changes most. of you want will not be an easy task. Pull at a thread and watch what happens.

  27. cc-rider

    Shouldn’t Greene be the one to push for the city to change the outdated zoning regs???? If things are that backwards, why does it take public outcry after numerous debacles to think about changing things? He is the highly paid expert in the room. From the outside, it appears that the only thing he is protecting is our half assed status quo.

  28. M murray

    The fact of the matter is it is only a small minority who care about these issues. The vast majority have no or little opinion on p&z issues other than they want to be able to exercise their rights on the property they own with minimal interference from the government. They want their property taxes to be lower, and they want the government to spend less and bring in development that also pays taxes to lessen their burden.

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