Kimmel endorses Moccia’s bid for fifth term

NORWALK – Common Council member Bruce Kimmel (D-District D) threw his support to the campaign of Republican incumbent Mayor Richard Moccia in the Friday afternoon press release.

Kimmel, a registered Democrat who is running for an at-large council seat on the Republican ticket, cited what he said was Moccia’s strong record of improving Norwalk’s schools, reducing crime and keeping unemployment low.

“Dick Moccia has spent his time as mayor working with the people of Norwalk to protect the future of our city, and he has gotten results,” Kimmel said in the release. “Now, Norwalk is home to the best education system in the state, a strong economy and a close-knit, welcoming community.”

Kimmel cited a recent study by Connecticut Magazine that named Norwalk No. 1 among the state’s eight largest cities for education and community engagement in Connecticut. Norwalk’s other strong rankings for economy and low crime rate led Connecticut Magazine to name the city as the second best large town in the state, he said.

“That kind of improvement doesn’t happen overnight,” he added. “The mayor protected Norwalk through the toughest of economic times and major natural disasters. While the rest of Connecticut suffers high unemployment, negative economic growth and an insecure future, Norwalk enjoys strong employment, businesses flocking to our city and a perfect bond rating. … He deserves another term.”

Democratic mayoral candidate Harry Rilling was nonplussed at Kimmel’s endorsement

“It’s not unexpected,” Rilling said. “I mean he’s a Democrat running on the Republican ticket.”

Kimmel was elected as a Democrat in 2011 and left the Democratic caucus shortly afterward, one of two Democrats to defect after being elected. The other was Michael Geake.

In January 2013, Kimmel joined the Republican caucus, effectively ending any support from the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee for a future re-election bid.



13 responses to “Kimmel endorses Moccia’s bid for fifth term”

  1. Don’t Panic

    Says Mr. Moccia to Mr. Rilling:
    I see your sitting Republican Councilman endorsement, and raise you one fence-sitting party-hopping sitting Democratic Councilman endorsement.

  2. RU4REAL

    Mr. Kimmel, do you also support Moccia cutting off and yelling at speaking residents when he didn’t like what they had to say during city hall meetings, which you have personally witnessed?
    Do you also support Moccia taking all that cash in campaign donations from people who are doing business with the city?
    Do you support Moccia even though he manipulates the zoning commission to push through a project that is too large for the area?
    Mr. Kimmel, I and my family (and extended family) have supported you in every election, we didn’t even care when you switched teams in the middle of the game.
    But no more support for you, it appears you are no longer your own man, simply one of the herd now, we are truly saddened.
    By supporting Moccia you are condoning his and his cronies bad behavior with the lack of civility he creates, which is well documented.
    One last question, if you are re elected and Rilling wins, will you jump back across the political aisle?

  3. Norwalk Lifer

    So What?

    Norwalk Lifer

  4. Daisy

    Yeah, really – one for one

  5. Mike Mushak

    Talk about rubbing salt into wound! Ouch!

    I respect Bruce on other levels, but not on a political level. He seems to have selective memory of Moccia’s many shortcomings.
    Bottom line, Bruce is better than this. Moccia and the GOP have stood by as structural and management dysfunction in City Hall works grinds on and on and on (exhibit A: Planning and Zoning).
    In the corrupt Moccia era, good governance is a mirage, a myth, a joke. Bruce must know this yet he ignores it to kiss up to the very folks who don’t believe in good government and who celebrate mediocrity and incompetence. I am just saddened by his comments knowing he doesn’t believe a word of it.

  6. Rich C

    The comments on this site seem to be more unchecked by the day. When Mr. Mushak states “In the corrupt Moccia era, good governance is a mirage, a myth, a joke” Pretty strong statement there. What does this mean? What corruption? Corruption often involves investigations, charges, sanctions. I’m not asking because I don’t believe it I’m asking cause I’d like to know prior to casting my vote on Tuesday. It sounds awfully lot like sour grapes without any concrete evidence to support such a statement.

    Mr Mushak… please provide some examples besides personal grievances to the corruption you refer to.

  7. Piberman

    Like the gentleman that he is Councilman Kimmel explains his support for Mayor Moccia in positive terms without denigrating either the character or abilities of his opponent. Would disaffected Councilman Keides and perennially aggrieved P&Z commission Mushak follow Councilman’s Kimmel standard of civil discourse. They may be surprised that courteous disagreement carries far more weight with most folks than shouting to the heavens about unending injustices.

  8. Mike Mushak

    I have documented the corruption of the Moccia era on this site plenty of times over the last year or so, with facts, dates, and names. Perhaps Rich C is new to this site or hasn’t read any of it. But others have and agree with me.
    . I’m not making it up as Piberman claims, someone who has probably never been to a P and Z meeting and watched the childish antics of Moccia’s GOP appointees defy state and local regulations, and ignore millions of dollars if expert studies and even our own Master Plan to try to push through the misguided projects Mayor Moccia wants with as little scrutiny as possible to protect public health and safety, and local businesses and neighborhoods from potential huge impacts (exhibit A, BJ’s). (Exhibit B, the 20 years of GOP-led big box explosion with little planning on CT Ave, that has permanently impacted small businesses and neighborhoods and is now requiring $60 million in road widening on the local roads clogged with regional traffic, all on the backs of taxpayers who are now subsidizing the low-property tax paying retail explosion that started under Esposito and is Moccia’s main planning effort, turning Norwalk into a case study among professional planners around the state of how NOT to plan a city). Proud of that considering the taxes you pay?
    We have an obsolete and confusing zoning code protected by a staff who are keeping their professional credentials a tightly held secret (because none if them are certified APA professional planners according to the American Planning Association), a secret kept from the public who pays their generous six figure salaries (Greene makes $150 a year with 6 weeks paid vacation, among the highest taxpayer-funded salaries in the state for this position for a city the size of Norwalk). Do you think that is right? I call this corruption of process.
    Performance reviews of staff were eliminated when Moccia took office in 2005. Why? Staff get automatic raises every year with no accountability for their actions or how bad a job they may be doing, against best management practices for municipalities or any organization for that matter.
    This is unbelievable that Moccia has let the city get to this state of mismanagement, but it has happened without a peep from GOP leadership, as if bad governance is just fine, and it allows Moccia/Scialabba/McCarthy to control every decision no matter how bad it is for the city in the long run, and there have been plenty of bad planning decisions (like the CT Ave fiasco at the expense if our struggling downtowns), that are just too numerous to mention here but that I have written about in depth elsewhere on this site. .
    The requirements in the Zoning Commission by-laws for monthly financial statements from staff to be reviewed by the Commission have been ignored for years under GOP leadership of the ZC despite by constant requests, and staff have interfered with proper scrutiny of applications by routinely denying information that I have requested during the application process.
    It is apparent from the record and the evidence that the staff are often working for the developers’ interests and Moccia’s interest but not protecting the interests of the public who pay their salaries. This is corruption of process, and by not following the by-laws, ishoupd be considered illegal behavior. Corporation Counsel Maslan refuses to address this issue, as he works for his boss Moccia as his personal attorney, and the current system allows Moccia to control the staff and allow bad planning decisions that favor his own interests over those of the public. That’s why Moccia and the GOP controlled Council have to be replaced on Tuesday.
    Former GOP Zoning Commissioner and Councilmember Dave McCarthy had stated publicly that the by-laws don’t matter, which is astounding, and so does his good friend Emily Wilson who serves on the ZC as vice -chair now and is running for Council as McCarthy’s running mate, who both think the by-laws are a joke as she refuses to enforce them, which is all on the record.
    The issues of lack of accountability and transparency are similar to what happened at NEON, except that this corruption affects the entire city with major planning decisions that will affect the city for generations, which potentially end up costing taxpayers millions to fix long after the bad planning decisions have been made, just as we all now have to pay to widen the traffic-clogged CT Ave long after the developers have made their money and moved on.
    We even witnessed the ugly spectacle of Wilson and McCarthy distributing a flyer that misrepresents the truth about city policy, about many individuals including me, and insults a religious minority that jeopardizes the city’s position (and potentially increases taxpayer liability) in an ongoing federal lawsuit. I call this corruption, even if some call it just dirty politics. These current city officials spreading lies on people’s doorsteps to win votes is about as low as polics had reached in Norwalk, yet not a word of aplogy or regret from them.

    Call this and other similar behavior by the GOP leadership in Norwalk anything you like, but I call it corruption, as it clearly puts Moccia’s interests and the interests of a few individuals over the interests of the people of Norwalk for an accountable, transparent, and professional government they deserve, which Harry Rilling and the Democrats will deliver. Vote Line B for a “Better Norwalk” on Tuesday. Skip over Line A, which stands for “Abysmal Failure”, as the failed management and widespread corruption of process of the GOP leadership is on the record for all to see unless you really don’t care, which is sad if that is the case. Cleaning up the mess in City Hall will not happen overnight, but it needs to start now.

  9. piberman

    Sorry Mr. Mushak. If you really want to influence local politics the first rule of the game is to be courteous and respectful of the targets of your zeal. No one in recent memory has ever criticized so strenuously other elective officials. That’s not going to get the changes you desire. Most voters do not respond to such efforts. Politics is the art of gentle persuasion not shouting from the hilltops that the City is afire with corruption and greed.
    The NFT has done major damage to their reputation from their vitriol in the Vanguard. You have a raeal chance to contribute. But the packaging really does matter. Its not about being “right” but being able to influence others to change perceptions.

  10. Mark Barnes


    Mushak continues to repeat the same ridiculous claims in a hope that one person listens. Instead he galvanizes people into voting against Rilling. After all, who would associate with, much less nominate for chairman of zoning, a complete bully ….

    (The comment has been edited to comply with our policy)

  11. Mike Mushak

    Mike Barnes (Dave McCarthy probably) what ridiculous claims am I repeating? I have the facts on my side. And in the end, the truth wins!

  12. Better Norwalk


    Instead of this tirade of complaining and trying your case on-line in a public forum in a chance to attempt winning some points in the public eye, why don’t you just have a sit-down between the P&Z, the mayor to air your grievances so this department can move forward.
    I’ve terminated more people for less insubordination or ones that disturb the working environment which in your case, could be commonly known as a “hostel working environment” and would be grounds for removal.
    I just don’t see how the P&Z can continue enduring your rants and tirades that are laced with a hatred on a public forum.
    If it was me, I would ask for your resignation so this board can move forward and look for another individual who will not disrupt and make idle claims that you say you can back up. Well, you better do it then and do it in the correct forum and location, not on some public website where you stand on your soapbox and cry foul.
    It may be time for you to move on.
    Al others: Remember to vote for our mayor Moccia and let’s keep moving Norwalk FORWARD with Moccia-mentum!

  13. Suzanne

    Better Norwalk, The word is “hostile” not “hostel.”
    You and piberman are quite entertaining. I can see where the strategy lies: don’t look at the information but attack like crazy to try and bring the “enemy” down. piberman, certainly you have watched at least one session of the House of Commons. The yelling and caterwauling is part of the political style – Britain is not perfect but it is governed rather successfully. It’s the “pot calling the kettle black” when accusations fly against Mr. Mushak’s style. I, for one, do not want to see him leave the Zoning Commission so long as he is representing me, the taxpayer, by asking factual, clear questions based on data and the Master Plan. In case you have not noticed, piberman and Better Norwalk, the derision for these questions that Mr. Mushak must endure, including your own, is quite pervasive. I honestly don’t know how he would have been heard had he not spoken out loudly and often about the FACTUAL information no one from the GOP, including Moccia, wants to hear. To the topic of this article, I wish Kimmel would just become a Republican already. He is completely ridiculous in his party affiliation given his actions. That alone is a good reason NOT to vote for him.

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