Garfunkel answers questionnaire, wants charter revision

Norwalk Democratic mayoral candidate Andy Garfunkel 061713 027
Norwalk Democratic mayoral candidate Andy Garfunkel speaks during a mayoral forum Monday at the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee meeting.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Democratic mayoral candidate Andy Garfunkel has answered his Democratic Party questionnaire.

Garfunkel had taken a stand, refusing to sign what was characterized by some as an “oath” or “pledge” to the party and refusing to answer the questions sent to all candidates by the Democratic Town Committee (DTC). He also did not respond to a slightly adjusted set of questions posed by NancyOnNorwalk.

Monday, however – prior to the candidate forum at the DTC meeting — Garfunkel submitted his answers and emailed them to the media. He declined to sign the “oath.”

In a most radical departure from the other three Democratic candidates, Garfunkel repeated and expanded upon his call for a charter revision commission. Garfunkel, the former five-term Town Clerk who lost his challenge to Mayor Richard Moccia two years ago by about 850 votes, said he wants to eliminate or consolidate boards and commissions with overlapping jurisdiction, merge the town clerk and city clerk offices and eliminate “do-nothing” positions such as selectmen and city treasurer.

He also said he would like to make the offices of mayor, town clerk and common council four-year terms, with staggered terms for the council.

Garfunkel took a swipe at former police chief and fellow candidate Harry Rilling when he said Moccia and “his chiefs” have denied a gang problem exists for years.

Also, his answer to the question, “What role if any would the Democratic Party have in your administration?” was in line with his refusal to sign the “oath.” The answer, in part, was: “The local Democratic Party would have no official role in my administration. That would be improper. However, I value the guidance of my fellow Democrats since we share many core beliefs, and given my past leadership role in the Party as District A Chairman, I expect that I would informally consult with the membership of the local Democratic Party on a regular basis. I would also reach across the aisle and seek to engage local Republican leadership in a frank dialog on policy and issues facing our City…”

See the entire questionnaire attached below.

Garfunkel Questionnaire


8 responses to “Garfunkel answers questionnaire, wants charter revision”

  1. M. Murray’s

    I am still waiting to see someone post the official loyalty oath provided by the DTC. Why such secrecy?

  2. LWitherspoon

    @M. Murray’s
    When the issue of the loyalty oath last came up, Vinny Mangiacopra stated that it was simply a statement pledging to adhere to the general principles of the Democratic Party.
    I have a hard time believing that when three out of the four Democratic candidates refused to sign the oath. But for the sake of argument, let’s assume it’s true. What then is the problem with releasing the text of the pledge so we can see for ourselves that it’s harmless, and move on to more substantive issues?
    What’s in the oath that Mr. Mangiacopra doesn’t want us to see?

  3. ScopeonNorwalk

    As with the questionnaire, I’m sure there is nothing to hide and that the candidates who did not sign will look quite silly. Quite frankly if you can’t agree to adhere to the nomination process of the NDTC and you cannot agree to promote the state’s Democratic principles then you should run as an independent or Republican…As with the questionnaire the Republicans managed to obtain a copy and if there was anything harmful they would’ve ran to the press with it.
    And as with the questionnaire it will add a sense of security to the Democrats of the city of Norwalk that the current NDTC leadership is making sure candidates know what Democrats stand for.

    And I bet you if it is released, just like the questionnaire the candidates who didn’t sign will be running to sign it once the public sees how simple and appropriate it is.

  4. LWitherspoon

    I respectfully disagree regarding the questionnaires. We learned something from their release. For example, responses on taxes varied significantly. Mr. Rilling stated outright that Norwalk taxes are too high relative to the services received.
    Mr. Miklave, in contrast, made no such statement. In fact after a lot of equivocating, Mr. Miklave’s concluding statement was that he felt Norwalkers would support a level of taxation which was appropriate to the challenges we face. In other words, Mr. Miklave believes Norwalkers are willing to accept more tax hikes.

  5. Don’t Panic

    This is issue is “insider baseball” and has little to do with the qualifications to be Mayor. The Dems are doing a good job of promoting their principles and their candidates with multiple forums to hear from all of them. If people read the websites of the four candidates as closely as they read coverage of DTC party activities, they’d be able to judge for themselves.

  6. Tim T

    Amazing how the Republicans are so concerned with the pledge but not one of them are commenting about charter revision. I would think that the issue Andy is raising about the outdated charter is more important than some pledge. Actually its the most important issue as everything revolves around it. This is so typical of the Republicans as they never not even once address the issues.

  7. Tim T

    This may be a bit off topic but does anyone know what’s going on with the employee that has been on paid leave for months and months and months for investigation of dishonesty in the town clerks office. Will this be yet another issue that the administration hopes the taxpayers forget about??

  8. M. Murray’s

    I am sure they won’t want it forgotten since that office was under democratic control when most of the theft occurred

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