Letter: Norwalk DTC needs to be reformed

By Matt Miklave

Democratic candidate for mayor

Common Councilman, District A

NORWALK, Conn. – Last week, in response to the incident involving DTC (Democratic Town Committee) Chair Amanda Brown and Bill and Regina Krummel, I called on Ms Brown to resign as DTC Chair. As I am not a member of District E, the district Mr. Krummel heads, I cannot formally request that he step down. But I urge him to do so as a result of his participation in the altercation. Needless to say, because our school system has a zero-tolerance policy on physical violence, I simply cannot support Mrs. Krummel’s bid to run for the Board of Education for similar reasons. I would hope they would all do the right thing, accept responsibility for their wrongful conduct and step away from their leadership roles.

While I am personally pleased that the parties have reconciled, I am disappointed that neither the participants nor the remaining DTC leadership will acknowledge what seems obvious to me – that no slur, slight or circumstance justifies physical violence in civil discourse and debate. In fact, several friends and supporters had urged me to adopt Mr. Rilling’s and Mr. Mangiacopra’s wait and see approach. I could not do so. To me, waiting for an investigation that will never come, or further explanations by the participants, is a fundamental error. That approach suggests their conduct can be justified or condoned. It cannot be.

The staged reconciliation on Sunday, where candidates were invited to serve as window dressing to give validity to the participants’ attempts to play nice and mend fences, cannot overcome the damage done to our city or our party. That altercation, and the DTC Leadership’s collective response to it, prove to me that just as our city needs to be reformed following years of neglect, the Norwalk Democratic Party needs to be reformed as well. Those who fail to condemn (and by implication condone) the brawl at City Hall, either because they do not wish to alienate DTC insiders from whom they seek to curry favor, or because they believe violence may be justified, do not represent the Democratic Party I know and have supported all of my professional life. I have said repeatedly that the only special interests I wish to serve are the families, small businesses, seniors, students and taxpayers of Norwalk. Whether you agree with my positions on the critical issues facing our city or not, I have never put my principles or integrity on the shelf to appease party insiders, and I am not about to start now.

The Democratic Party I know condemns violence and supports the peaceful resolution of conflict.

The Democratic Party I know supports integrity, transparency, accountability and responsibility.

The Democratic Party I know holds leaders accountable.

The Democratic Party I know promotes diversity of opinion, as well as diversity based on gender, ethnic or racial background, sexual orientation, culture or ancestry.

The Democratic Party I know certainly does not walk in lockstep and occasionally resembles a disorganized collective, but it never resembles an angry mob.

And the Democratic Party I know does not adopt a position or stance simply because it is a winning tactic. The Democratic Party I know adopts positions that are responsible, sound and moral.

That is the Democratic Party I will work to create, grow and preserve.

When I announced my run for mayor, I said I was a different kind of candidate, would run a different kind of campaign and would be a different kind of mayor. My administration will seek to reform Norwalk’s $350 million budget process by implementing performance-based budgeting, so we can do more with the resources we already collected. My administration will seek to reform City Hall by making it more accessible, accountable and transparent, and by holding civil servants to a higher standard. My administration will seek to reform Norwalk’s approach to economic development by focusing on the jobs we create, rather than the buildings we build.  My administration will seek to restore integrity, civility and ethics to government, holding appointed and elected leaders accountable for their public and private actions. My administration will seek to arrest those who commit crime in our city, lock them up and keep them away from our families. My administration will seek to put all of Norwalk first, not one special-interest group, clique or party faction. And, now, my administration will work to rebuild the local Democratic Party into the party it once was – and can become again.

And so, today, I announce my commitment to help rebuild the Norwalk Democratic Party. Once I win the Sept. 10th primary on my platform of reform, and win the election to the office of mayor, I will spearhead a campaign to reform the Norwalk DTC. Working with those good women and men (many of them current DTC members) who are as disillusioned as I am with recent events, I will work to build a “New Directions” slate of candidates to run for leadership positions in the Norwalk DTC. The events of last week proves that the current DTC leadership is out of touch and out of time. This effort will seek to restore integrity, civility, accountability and responsibility to the Norwalk DTC, just as we will work to restore these values to City Hall.  There is only one requirement for becoming a part of my challenge New Directions slate – a commitment to restore these principles to Norwalk DTC politics and to put our city’s interests ahead of all personal interests.

Whether these individuals support me for mayor or not, I welcome all women and men of good will who believe that now is the time to begin this party reform and invite them to join me in “Putting Norwalk First.” I look forward to hearing from you.

Matt Miklave


14 responses to “Letter: Norwalk DTC needs to be reformed”

  1. loveforthecity

    Mr. Sour because none of the DTC leadership support his bit for Mayor. That is all this letter is about. Rumor is he has 3 votes including himself from his own party. Talks about pledges of money to his campaign which is a misleading indicator of where he really stands, loans himself money to boost his fundraising numbers, thinks he wins on budget reform. Some people need to pinch themselves and just wake up.

  2. ScopeonNorwalk

    Sounds like a sore loser.

  3. Joe Espo

    What’s the state of the Norwalk Democrat party? Let’s see: at the first council meeting of the current term, a group of rebel rabble-rousers came out swinging against the Mayor and their own party leadership- “Occupy Norwalk” style- and whose guiding principle seemed merely to be: “break everything!”. Then there was the cat fight between District B upstarts and everybody else in a politically bloody coup. There was a domestic violence arrest. Later, it was discovered that someone was stealing money under a prior democrat office holder’s watch. Then there was an embarrassing parade of disaffected council democrats that took refuge in the Republican caucus room this past year. Then there was a full-contact brawl last week between key leaders of the party, replete with black eyes, scraped elbows, smackdowns and race cards. Then there was the staged sweep-it-under-the-rug Sunday prayer session held on public grounds imploring God and everyone else to make believe that the black eyes, scraped elbows, smackdowns and race cards didn’t happen. Then there were the multiple calls for resignations that have fallen on defiantly deaf ears. There’s a coming spit and fire free-for-all for nominations at their convention. There’s a four-way donnybrook coming up in the September primaries. Everyone is balkanized into factions, sub-factions and lone-wolf grudge purveyors. The entire party is collapsing under its own weight of division, dissention, disingenuousness and lack of vision.
    BUT…Matthew Miklave will transform the Democrats into the reciprocal image of the tranquil, serene and focused Republicans….AND simultaneously….he’s going to bring to Norwalk the kind of prosperity, job growth, and super-duper education reform that no prior mayor has been able to accomplish, ever!.

    I vaguely remember hearing an equally messianic message like this in 2008. How did that one work out for ya?

  4. Suzanne

    Except for the “Bravo!” of Asa H.M. and the negative summary of events involving the DTC, I see no solution to the issues so outlined by Mr. Espo except for Mr. Miklave’s who apparently by trying to take the high road, can’t be cut a break. I have heard no such vision coming from other candidates. I have heard no other candidates even attempt such a bold statement toward a solution to the broken and, apparently, morally bankrupt DTC. It seems like those who are sour on Mr. Miklave’s statement are addicted to being negative and spreading the word. It seems impossible for these people to eke out just a bit of hope and support to anything but their own tin and decidedly sour ears. Personally, that is not the attitude, community nor the viewpoints I want to stick with. If Mr. Miklave is sincere, and I believe he is, let him do this good thing.

  5. Lisa Thomson

    Mr. Miklave has as good a chance as the other three candidates. Registered Democrats and a primary will determine who runs against Moccia not the DTC. Credibility has been damaged and the multiple rounds of voting by 35 members next week to determine who they ultimately endorse will be result of moral compromises and deal making – hardly the reform residents want to see. I trust the average Norwalk primary voter more than district party bosses who cling to their own status quo versus what is best for our city.

  6. Tim T

    Mr. Miklave is actually the only of the dems that I would consider at this point. I was an Andy supporter however it seems this time around Andy is asleep at the switch. Rilling and Vinny have proven not to be leader in regards to AMANDA BROWN GATE. I would hope all of the dems would rally around Matt and dismiss both Rilling and little Vinny. I see this as the only way to get rid of Moccia and we need to get rid of Moccia.

  7. LongTimeDem

    Joe Espo:

    It is the Democratic Party. Anyone who refuses to call a person or a party or an association of their proper name cheapens themselves in the process.

  8. loveforthecity

    Miklave doesn’t have the support, following or backing to do anything inside the Democratic Party nor the City of Norwalk. He is almost irrelevant, outside his 1 vote on the DTC and on the Council, Matt should go into hiding. He just loaned his campaign 10k because he cannot obtain the funds from the general public. Spare yourself.

  9. LWitherspoon

    At the risk of being accused of having tin ears, I have to respectfully disagree with you regarding Officer of the Court Miklave’s sincerity.
    The reason I disagree is that Mr. Miklave has offered us far too many examples of insincere pandering which make it impossible to ever know when he is moved by conscience or moved by his desire for political gain. There was the time he voted to fund the new fire station, and then stood in front of City Hall declaring it a “monstrosity” to curry favor with protesting Union members. There was the time he personally offered to paint bike lanes on Calf Pasture Beach Road to curry favor with cyclists. And there was the time he claimed to be passionately in favor of keeping the Norwalk Museum open to curry favor with those of us who supported that goal, but then proposed no potential cuts which would have freed up the funds to do so. There are plenty more examples, but I haven’t had breakfast yet.
    Lastly, there is Mr. Miklave’s first response to this ugly incident, in which he pompously proclaimed “I have spent my entire career in pursuit of integrity, honesty and civility.” The issue wasn’t about him, yet he used it as an opportunity to trumpet his alleged “integrity, honesty, and civility” and to remind us that he is an “Officer of the Court”. He also curiously failed to mention that Bill Krummel should step down too, in spite of having admitted to slapping Amanda Brown. I’m glad to see he reconsidered that position, but he seems to offer half an explanation for why he didn’t originally do so – that he wasn’t a member of District E so he couldn’t “formally request” it, whatever that means.
    While I agree with Mr. Miklave that Ms. Brown and Mr. Krummel should resign, Mr. Miklave’s long history of insincere pandering makes me think that he is yet again more interested in personal political gain than in doing good for the community.

  10. Don’t Panic

    Mr. Miklave continues to be the best qualified and has consistently put forth an actual plan to move this city forward. Only a half to one percent of the population gives money to campaigns. It is hardly an indication of how the rest of the population will vote.

  11. NorwalkDinosaur

    @Dont Panic AKA Mr. Miklave’s campaign manager….

  12. Piberman

    As an officer of the court Attorney Miklave would have been expected to suggest Ms Brown to offer her resignation and then let the DTC decide whether or not to accept. By not offering to resign Ms Brown demeans her leadership role and damages the campaigns of all democrat candidates in the City. And collectively the Democratic leadership confirms what registered voters have long believed – Norwalk Democrats as a Party are not yet responsible enough to take the leadership reigns of our City. The outpouring of outrage and dismay seems to have no impact on the insolent DTC. As Hour Emeritus Editor John Riley remarked this unseemly incident has no precedent in our City. The hour is late but there is still time for Ms Brown and the DTC to demonstrate responsible behavior. Imagine the “civics lesson” these citizen “leaders” are giving our children.

  13. Don’t Panic


    I’m honored, but it’s not true.

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