By Peter I. Berman
Letter to the Editor
Mayor Rilling’s appointment of a Business Advisory Council and the recasting of the marketing director position into that of an economic development one is an important innovation though the presence of Senator Duff, the Democrat’s Senior Politician, certainly clouds matter. Presumably Senator Duff is preoccupied with resolving the state’s horrendous fiscal and economic mismanagement. The Council could demonstrate its professional druthers by insisting on hiring a professional search firm rather than just “advertising locally” and raising the specter that its just Norwalk’s traditional back door politics at work.
Hopefully Mayor Rilling will use the Business Advisory Council to review the capabilities of our long tenured Department Heads and bring fresh new highly capable talent to managing our City. The BOE demonstrated how to bring superb new talent. Hiring a capable search firm is essential. We’ve had decades of “local advertising” and “back door politics selection”.
It still remains puzzling why Mayor Rilling resorted to traditional back door politics by appointing a long-time Democrat politician who recently served several years as chairman of the board of the egregiously mismanaged, if not corrupt, NEON to serve on the Board of Estimate and Taxation — the city’s premier appointed commission. Maybe Mayor Rilling is learning. Elevating a political figure who had ultimate responsibility for the failed NEON over an extended period of time to the BET is back door Norwalk politics at its worst.
Mayor Rilling is widely admired for his grit and determination in becoming Mayor without prior political or business experience. To make a positive “mark” on our City its essential to hire the best advisors to assist in improving our management. The Business Advisory Council is an important step. Lets encourage the Mayor to appoint a similar body of financial professionals to advise the BET. Norwalk cannot become a well managed City where the BET is notable for the near complete absence of professional professionals. Our neighboring towns wouldn’t tolerate such ignorance.
Peter I. Berman
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