Letter: Preserving our neighborhoods, Mayor Moccia?

By Adam Blank

NORWALK, Conn. — The following is an open letter to Mayor Richard Moccia.

Dear Mayor Moccia:

I understand from reading the new flyer that your party is pasting all over West Norwalk concerning the ongoing litigation between the City and the Al Madany Islamic Center that you now believe you are the candidate to “Preserve our Neighborhoods.” It is obvious that the flyer was disseminated with no regard to the City’s financial interests or the truth and it runs afoul of the City Attorney’s clear instructions not to discuss this pending litigation matter; however, I don’t want to take up too much of your time – and pull you away from your mission of preserving our neighborhoods – so I will not go further into the merits of your campaign propaganda.

I would, however, like to thank you for your interest in preserving our neighborhoods. But I am a little confused by this sudden interest in our neighborhoods. Last summer when you were accepting a $20,000 check from Lowe’s to the City and pushing the Zoning Commission to amend regulations to more easily allow Lowe’s to build a big box store on Connecticut Avenue and to allow BJ’s to cram a big box store on Main Avenue was that also your way of preserving our neighborhoods?

When so many of our neighborhoods flood every time it rains, you understand that most people would not consider preserving a neighborhood in mud to be the same as “preserving our neighborhood”?

When the Oak Hills Golf Authority recently proposed a driving range I don’t recall you fighting with the neighbors to preserve their neighborhood.

So please help me understand how you preserve our neighborhoods? A more cynical person might think you do not care about preserving our neighborhoods; a more cynical person might think you will say or do anything that you believe will preserve your paycheck.

I am sure it is only a coincidence that one month before election day you have anointed yourself the savior of our neighborhoods, but please, can you let us all know how you have been preserving our neighborhoods these many years you have been in office before our imagination runs wild ascribing ulterior motives to your campaign materials?


Adam Blank


20 responses to “Letter: Preserving our neighborhoods, Mayor Moccia?”

  1. Another Harry

    Shrill and testy. Someone is a little sore for having been outed as voting to not decline the mosque. Now with the election over for Harry, thanks to the revelation that Harry has accepted money from the mosque’s chief spokesman, I guess it is damage control time.

    Lowe’s worked with neighbors to address their concerns. I was there, so I know. BJ’s didn’t and they got sent packing. That is how it is supposed to work.

    The Golf Course Driving Range? It was ultimately decided to build it away from the restaurant, exactly as the Friends of Oak Hills wanted. How is that not working to help neighborhoods?

    Rilling and Mosque supporter. No thanks.

  2. M Allen

    It does seem like a bit of sour grapes here. But pretty much everyone sounds shrill and testy these days. Its the rhetoric speaking…
    As for neighborhoods, its really in the eye of the beholder whether individuals believe their particular neighborhood is being protected. BJ’s would have made traffic worse, and thus been a net-negative for those neighborhoods. On the other hand, the driving range, even if it had been built squarely in the middle of Oak Hill National Wildlife Refuge, wouldn’t have had a negative effect on the “neighborhood”. It may have been against what some locals wanted, but its effect on the neighborhood was non-existant. And Lowes, its a store that apprently reached out to the locals. But more importantly, other than the height restriction crap, it is a project suited to both the property size and the location. Route 1 is a major commercial and retail road. Therefore nearby neighborhoods are situated in a way that is different than in other parts of town. Live next to the main road and you’ll see more traffic.

    So while I get the attempt at poking a sharp stick at the guy who didn’t invite you back to the party, the specific projects you list don’t exactly stand up to the test of someone who seemed to be a much deeper thinker than what this letter evidenced. But it’s election season and we all need to pick a team and words get more terse.
    By the way Adam, have you been working pro bono for Mr. Napoleone in order to provide your expertise to his cause? It would certainly be nice for a lawyer of your caliber to help the man out. And I say that in all seriousness. He could use the help of someone with your expertise.

  3. Mike Rotch

    I’m sure it didn’t hurt when Lowes “donated” $25,000 weeks before the zoning rules were suddenly changed in their favor. Wonder how that happened? So if you want to look at the money trail, forget the small campaign donations that are public record. Look at the real money and favors. Check on the contractors used at family properties, how about vacations, Jewlery and other personal expenses. It is amazing how much of the city’s property is given away for petty items and favors. If you only knew!

    If you look at the Moccia donors you will will see a list that is worse. There are donors who he as appointed to positions within the city govt; property owners who owe the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes and more. Look and see for yourself.

    BTW, the mosque is not the issue nor the people who attend the mosque. My understanding is the location is the issue, just like BJ’S.

  4. M Allen

    Campaign finance is stupid and we all know it. But you’re mixing some apples and walnuts here, no? To whom or what did Lowes donate money to versus the other instances of buying influence you are attempting to allude to.

  5. Joe Espo

    How two-faced is this complaint about preserving neighborhoods when Mr. Blank voted in favor of destroying West Norwalk and allow that monstrosity of a mosque to compromise the character and safety of the neighborhood.
    Understand that this pedestrian rhetoric comes from a a carpet-bagging former vice chairman of the Monroe democrat party, and an elected official there. It shouldn’t escape you that Mr. Blank hails from, and was a chief political operative in the same town where Vinny Mangiacopra held his short-lived economic development job. Mmmmm. Wonder how Vinny got that job? Is there a Quid Pro Quo lurking in the background?
    Understand, too, that this is motivated by sour grapes from a lawyer with a fractured ego whose delicate sensibilities were offended because he wasn’t re-appointed as a zoning commissioner – a position, no doubt, he wanted to bolster his career. Not for the sake of Norwalk, mind you, but for the sake of his career.
    But I am surprised that this lawyer would want to alienate the many Moccia supporters who are potential clients for his law firm in the commercial, personal injury and land use areas he practices. That’s a shame. Memories can be surprisingly long and durable in politics.

  6. Bob

    “Preserving neighborhoods”. Preserving what neighborhoods? Preserving blight and poverty while promoting division and seperatisim?
    Preserving and ensuring that Norwalks ancient infrastructure will fail under even littlist strain, again and again and again. Preseving insane traffic gridlocks and those mini lakes that spring up at high tide or a little rain and everyone gets stuck in. The drain sponges worked well didnt they? And tell us again why did Alvord say we didn’t intall the tide flaps? Oh yeah, the grade. The grade? And what was the reason again that North Taylor flooded so badly for decades? Oh Yeah, nobody ever cleaned the culverts. I am still waiting for the last campaign promise to “Move Norwalk Forward”, to take effect. Any word on the grapevine on that yet? Sombody forgot to wind the clock, Norwalk is stuck a time warp. The Slogan should be; “Norwalk, when the lights go dark and the water comes through the door”, — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwdZAPbYMNA

  7. Mike Mushak

    Bravo Adam! Moccia has NOT protected neighborhoods, as you say, and neither has Emily Wilson as Chair of the Zoning Commission. I don’t know who this “Another Harry” is that comments here, but Lowe’s did NOT work to address the neighborhood’s concerns. Quite the opposite!
    As a Zoning Commissioner concerned about public safety issues on all applications, I was fully aware of NO crosswalks along the mile-long length of Stuart Avenue between Grandview and Ct Ave., and I strongly urged new crosswalks along it’s length that Lowe’s could help with. I also suggested a much needed stop sign at Frost and Stuart to slow speeding traffic on a densely populated street with school bus stops and a high pedestrian use. Lowe’s came through with NOTHING for the neighborhood except a crosswalk WITHOUT a stop sign at Frost St. Emily Wilson supported that decision, and in fact, I was asked to recuse myself from the application by Maslan because I was so determined to get more safety improvements for the neighborhood! So much for protecting neighborhoods. What a joke that is!
    As far as Adam Blank supporting the mosque, he did not, and neither did I, two lies out of many on that inflammatory flyer the GOP is passing around with no regard for the implications to the city’s case in the appeal.

    Adam and I both stated clearly on the record when we voted against the “resolution to deny” that we were NOT in favor of the mosque, but we also did not agree with the resolution, which was NOT the one we approved in committee earlier, but was shoved in front of us by Maslan just minutes before the meeting preventing us from reading it or discussing it. This was a serious compromise of process, and interference with the “sovereignty” and decision-making process of the Zoning Commission, an action in and of itself that compromised the city’s position in the appeal.
    It seems that what we have here by the Norwalk GOP is a classic case of denying truth, and denying reality. Moccia and his appointees like Emily Wislon have NOT protected neighborhoods, based on the record and the truth. No amount of sleazy propaganda like the lie-filled flyer can change that.
    Just look at my comment over on the Moccia campaign contribution article here on NON this morning to see more detail on how entrenched the corruption of process is in the Moccia Administration.
    We need Rilling to clean this mess up, which will take a few years but which MUST be done to restore integrity and professionalism to City Hall including the boards and commissions.

  8. M Allen

    As much as it pains me to side with The Mush, stating he or Adam voted for the Mosque application is incorrect. They didn’t vote for the resolution to deny it, based on the wording, but they didn’t vote for approval of the application either. No resolution came up to vote for its approval. Of course, it would have been nice to see an up or down vote so all votes would be on record, but that isn’t how its done apparently.
    I hope that there is enough factual differences between the parties that we can restrain ourselves from lies and twisting the truth into a complete pretzel. I know its an election, but we don’t do outselves any favors by saying things that go beyond spin and into the realm of falsehoods. How do the hacks not see that they do themselves no favors? Especially on a site like this where most of the readers and posters are party hardliners? Both parties are involved and it is pretty ridiculous the lengths to which the hacks on both sides will go for absolutely zero political advantage. Yet still they try. So please, stop. You’re embarrassing yourself and your party.

  9. Joe Espo

    That Harry Rilling accepted contributions from Al Madany speaks VOLUMES!!! This is a tale of stealth conspiracy that should send shivers down everyone’s spines, especially residents of West Norwalk.
    If Rilling is elected, Rilling will appoint a new corporation counsel who will be directed to drop our challenge to the appeal. The composition of the zoning commission will change: Rilling will appoint his own replacement, he’ll ask or force the republican members to resign, and it will be loaded up with mosque supporters as a quid pro quo for Al Madany’s contributions. Adam Blank, a mosque supporter, will likely be re-appointed. Al Madany’s appeal will be settled against the interests of West Norwalk and the mosque will be built with the plans unchanged: same size, same traffic, same safety and noise issues. As part of the settlement of the law suit, Harry will be diverting a lot of tax dollars over to Al Madany; money that will have to come from education and increased taxes. With that money, Harry, basically, will be funding the mosque’s construction.
    Be afraid, West Norwalk. Be very afraid.

  10. Mom

    Hardliners? Looks in the mirror, sees a free thinkig, truth seeking, passionate, progressive with a vison of how things can be. Is that what a hardliner is these days? Gee, and I thought all this time that I was an independent, in mind and affilation, like this site has stated that it is dedicated to independent journalisim. Silly me. But doesn’t it say this is an independent journalisim site? Over here on the right somewhere. >>>

  11. Suzanne

    M Allen, the decrease in property values to the neighbors overlooking the “Wildlife Refuge” as you put it would have been devastating. The habitat by itself should have been cause enough for concern but the surrounding houses would definitely have seen a “lack of preservation” to not only the quality of their lives but materially – looking out onto five story high netting with the attendant thwacks of golf balls is far less appealing on resale than a nature area.

  12. M Allen

    Suzanne – I’ll be honest and say I have no idea how much of the proposed range would have been visible to neighbors. Or more visible than those neighbors already bordering the property with 8ft high chain link fencing or anything else associated with the property that isn’t just woodland. But insomuch as the argument was about protecting “neighborhoods” rather than isolated homes, I just don’t know if it qualifies. But whatever. We’ll all find nuance to debate here and act like each minor detail is the end of the world worth fighting for. One more reason nothing is ever going to get done and common ground can’t be found.

  13. notaffiliated

    Thank you for the response to the initial email. I find as an independent voter in a mainly Democrat town, it’s sometimes hard to get the true story.

  14. notaffiliated

    Lowes – YES
    Mosque – NO
    BJ’s – NO

    Case closed

  15. Oldtimer

    Having a crystal ball must be nice. You are probably correct that Harry will move to get the mosque federal lawsuit charging religious discrimination settled rather than risk the cost of a very expensive verdict against the City. He will probably appoint people he trusts into some positions. The mosque application, with some changes to address the off-street parking and traffic issues, will probably pass and the mosque will be built, essentially as proposed. To suggest that taxpayer funds will go into that construction goes beyond your usual style for scare editorials.
    By the way, I was a little disappointed when your name, and your alter ego’s, came up so far down on the list of Moccia supporters. I’ll bet he was, too. A lot of big supporters moved down on the list this time. What does your crystal ball make of that ?

  16. Mike Mushak

    Oldtimer, thanks for that tidbit!

  17. Don’t Panic

    Please stick to facts. Mr. Blank actually came before the neighborhoods prior to the Lowe’s application. He was reasonable and knowledgeable. The eventual alteration to the zoning requirement for a second story came after the Lowe’s donation, despite a clear preference that it not be granted.
    Mr. Blank was not a “mosque supporter” OR a denier. He voted against a resolution that failed to go through the proper procedural steps. The fact is that we cannot know how the mosque issue could have been resolved because this technically deficient maneuver caused a lawsuit–one which will be further complicated by having it become a campaign issue.
    You can make all the predictions you want about Mr. Rilling but you are attributing motives and intent that do not match what he has said on this issue.
    I will make one though. If Mr. Moccia somehow wins this election, protecting our neighborhoods will remain a condition of status quo and an endless parade of unwanted contentious zoning applications that do not serve the citizens of Norwalk. History tells us that this is what we can expect.

  18. Dennis DiManis

    Moccia gets my vote for standing up to the slanderous discrimination charges.
    Don’t vote for a candidate who would knuckle under to the Muslims’ BS, much less a candidate who favors building a large regional facility in a small-scale residential neighborhood.

  19. D(ysfunctional)TC

    I thought Harry supporting the brawl at city hall would be his undoing. Taking money from the Mosque? WTF is he thinking. He’s starting to make the Garfunkel campaign look competent.

  20. Broderick I. Sawyer

    Moccia took money from Norwalk developer Seligson, if it’s a problem for Harry it’s one for moccia too!
    Both parties can give the money back.

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