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Malloy’s Norwalk visit draws few

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Gov. Dannel Malloy faces a “tough” crowd that includes three Norwalk mayoral contenders, Norwalk’s mayor, Norwalk’s business and marketing director, at least four Common Council members, at least four Norwalk Board of Education members and at least nine members of the news media Tuesday at West Rocks Middle School.

Updated at 1:22 p.m. with comment from state Sen. Bob Duff.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk is so over Gov. Dannel Malloy, judging from the crowd at West Rocks Middle School Tuesday.

Or maybe Norwalk residents just didn’t think they were going to be able to ask a significant question, judging by the comments of a frustrated few after the get together.

One local politician had another take on the turnout.

“People know that the governor is working hard and that the state is headed in the right direction,” said Democratic state Sen. Bob Duff in an email.

Malloy’s latest drive-by showing of political theater – an hour to ask questions in a town hall-like setting – netted about 60 people, many of whom were politicians and some who were not from Norwalk at all.

John Mosby was one of three Norwalk activists who said they were unhappy about the way the meeting was run.

“What made me a little angry was, they said first come, first served,” he said, after the meeting. “We was here early, we signed up … what they do, they go in looking like they picked who they want to speak.”

Other Norwalkers had better luck. Topics that made it to the microphone manned by Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman included genetically modified foods and Common Core State Standards, a national program for common educational standards to which Connecticut has mandated a transition.

“There will be accommodations made for children with disabilities,” Malloy said to Dawn Llewellyn of Fairfield, who asked about the testing with Common Core.

Norwalker Yolanda Skinner asked about minority hiring in hospitals and fire departments, “from Stamford up to New Haven and New London.”

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Gov. Dannel Malloy listens attentively to a questioner Tuesday evening at West Rocks Middle School.

Malloy said he is sensitive to the issue. “I don’t think we had a minority complaint while I was mayor,” he said.

The issue is on the smind of some Norwalk residents, as retired firefighters have aired complaints about Norwalk Fire Department Chief Denis McCarthy, saying they are doing it on behalf of current members of the department.

Malloy said he supported a call by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) for better statistical reporting.

“All I can tell you is we will be as diligent as we can be,” Malloy said. “We will do the best to hold people accountable wherever appropriate. Every one of those cities that you mentioned has a policy. It is incumbent on those cities to follow those policies.”

Malloy told Tara Cook-Littman of Fairfield, director of GMO Free CT, that he is open to a discussion on genetically modified foods but has the needs of small farmers on his mind.

Judy Meikle asked what Malloy would do to reduce the prison population in Connecticut, which she said costs the state $929 million a year.

Crime in Connecticut is down more than 12 percent in spite of a bad economy, Malloy said. Recidivism programs are having an impact as well, he said.

“The best investment you can make in lowering the prison population is to keep people out of prison who have already proven their ability to get in prison,” he said. “A lot of our effort is around that particular area.”

Meikle told him the numbers were encouraging. After the meeting, she said, “What we need are politicians with brave and courageous vision for something really different if we are going to make significant changes and reduce the number of people in our prisons and reduce the amount that we are spending on corrections.”

Mosby lingered outside after the meeting, chatting with Angela Harrison and Larry Johnston, who both said they had arrived at about 6 p.m. A woman who showed up at 7 p.m. got to ask Malloy a question and they had not, they said.

While there is nothing in the publicity materials that said questions will be asked in a first come, first served manner, participants were advised to arrive early for the sign-up sheet.

“I don’t look normal,” Harrison said. “They picked the names that they recognize and now, they don’t know my name.”

She said she wanted to bring up about a situation at Rowayton Elementary School and “ask him to investigate it, what’s happening here in Norwalk.”

Johnston had another local issue on his mind. “I wanted to know why none of the elected officials have ever been in housing court,” he said. “They got landlords that are putting people out without going to housing court and that is against Connecticut statute.”

Mosby, a vocal critic of NEON (Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now), said he would ask about several Connecticut anti-poverty agencies that haven’t spent money appropriately, according to audits.

He said, “My question is very simple: ‘Mr. Governor, who are you holding accountable?’ …. Somebody should have some shackles on them. If I steal a turkey they would lock me up for larceny.”

Correction made, 2:21 p.m.

Comments

3 responses to “Malloy’s Norwalk visit draws few”

  1. Joe Espo

    The audience and the tailor-made questions were on social services, handouts, coddling criminals and racism; nothing about the budget, the deficit, taxes, borrowing to pay operating expenses, jobs, business. You go Danny boy: keep on giving away the store and the coming mass-exodus of businesses and people will soon have all of Connecticut looking like Detroit.

  2. Joe Espo

    Oh…wait! Now Danny boy got “gifted” $1000 by People Magazine for an all-expense paid star-studded jaunt to the White House Correspondent’s Dinner where he hung-out with the Hollywood and media glitterati and MSNBC. He says he was pitching Connecticut’s digital-media chops in-between caviar chomps, champagne gulps, fillet mignon bites and crème brûlée licks. And this while we have scores and scads of people on unemployment and a looming budget disaster. Nice job, Danny boy. You look mahvelous!

    http://www.ctcapitolreport.com/

    http://courantblogs.com/capitol-watch/mckinney-malloys-trip-to-washington-for-big-correspondents-dinner-violated-state-ethics-laws-because-people-magazine-paid-for-it/

    http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/politics/magazine-paid-for-malloy-to-attend-correspondents-dinner#.UYBj9is56YU

  3. BARIN

    Thank you to Yolanda Skinner for bringing minority hiring problems in Norwalk to the attention of Malloy.
    The larger the audience the better to help force change.

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