Mangiacopra reponds to DTC questions, Garfunkel stays mum

Vinny Mangiacopra Norwalk campaign 160-20130504
Norwalk Democratic mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra speaks at his recent campaign kickoff.

NORWALK, Conn. – Vinny Mangiacopra says he wants to improve Norwalk city government’s communication with its citizens and between departments and hints at changes in some key positions should he be elected mayor. He also was the only one of the four Democratic candidates who signed a statement agreeing to stay true to the party platform and ideals.

Andy Garfunkel took a pass.

You asked, and NancyOnNorwalk responded. When the Democratic Town Committee (DTC) asked Norwalk’s Democratic mayoral candidates to respond to a questionnaire, several readers expressed a desire to see their answers. We asked all the candidates to send us their responses. Matt Miklave beat us to the punch – his campaign sent his questionnaire before we sent our request. Harry Rilling’s campaign responded almost immediately. Vinny Mangiacopra came through late last week.

Andy Garfunkel responded with an email saying he refused the DTC’s request for the “pledge” and the questionnaire from the beginning, and that he would be happy to discuss it. Another request to answer the questions – with or without the questions pertaining to the DTC – sent May 14 went unanswered, as did a follow-up phone call Sunday.

Here are a few of the highlights from Mangiacopra’s questionnaire. The complete questionnaire is attached at the end of the article. To see responses from Miklave and Rilling, click here.

Mangiacopra has been campaigning on a platform that includes more transparency in government, and took it a step further in his responses.

“I will enhance the communication to our citizens immensely,” he said. “I want be a mayor who is in dialogue with his city constantly. We will enhance the television viewing so our citizens can listen to a quality meeting. We should consider broadcasting all public meetings live on the Internet. … We will also have active social media portals, e-newsletters, and Interactive online forums.”

The 31-year-old candidate, who would be the city’s youngest mayor ever, said new eyes and new blood is needed in City Hall, specifically mentioning the finance and public works departments.

He also said Mayor Richard Moccia “missed a major opportunity to invest in education this year.

“With the teachers accepting a freeze on their pay – something that this administration has been pushing their union to take for over three years – it would have been an opportune time to at the very least to put those savings back into our schools.”

To download the complete questionnaire, along with some additional items he sent us, click the link below.

Mangiacopra DTC responses


16 responses to “Mangiacopra reponds to DTC questions, Garfunkel stays mum”

  1. NorwalkLifer

    Andy’s strategy of do nothing an hope to win is an interesting one. Not sure if it is helping his campaign much.

  2. LWitherspoon

    What is the text of the pledge to “stay true to the party platform and ideals”? What is the party platform, and who determined it?
    Mr. Mangiacopra is the only one of the four candidates who signed the pledge. Does that mean Mr. Mangiacopra will get the DTC endorsement by default?

  3. Mark Chapman

    Mr. Mangiacopra responded to my question about that this morning with the following:

    “The pledge refers only to agreeing with ‘general party principles.’ My opponents are trying to play politics by characterizing it any differently and I think people are tired of these silly political debates. I’d prefer to have a discussion on policies that have impact on the residents of Norwalk.”

  4. Norwalk Dinosaur

    Good on Mr. Mangiacopra for joining Mr. Rilling and Miklave by putting forward his questionnaire. He actually has some interesting thoughts in there.

    I completely agree with @NorwalkLifer. It seems that Mr. Garfunkel is running a campaign that says nothing, stands for nothing, raises no money, and doesn’t respect the Democratic voters (and Republicans, for that matter) enough to explain his plans for our city and why he should be the D nominee.

    It would seem that he has spent the last two years doing nothing to prepare himself for the job or his next campaign.

  5. Peter I Berman

    The reason the Arbitration Award Panel granted the BOE and the City a $2.6 million saving via freeze was in recognition that our teacher’s salaries are the 5th highest in the state. Why then advocate spending more on education this year when the City is overspending on education by virtue of excessive salaries ? And those salaries will continue in future years. Those salaries came about because our BOE’s and BET’s looked the other way while a hostile teachers union loaded up the plate at public expense.

    A careful reading of the above discussion by the candidate suggests that Norwalk residents hoping for tax relief had better put out the “for sale” sign. Norwalk is clearly going “forward” with higher taxes and union contracts with ever higher salaries. Most long term residents will not find that such a program will increase property values.

    For the first time in many years the BOE has competent leadership with a solid core of capable members. Why tell the BOE how to do their job ? They don’t tell the Mayor what to do ?

  6. SB

    Vinny’s income mostly comes from his wife, a teacher, so of course the BOE must get more funding. Silly Young Dems-why don’t they support one of the candidates with experience and name recognition, who could actually defeat the incumbent?

  7. M. Murray

    Why is is so difficult to get someone to post the actual “pledge”. Is there something in there that theydon’t want the public to see? It seems that if they truly want “transparency”, this pledge would be public.

  8. LWitherspoon

    @Mark Chapman
    Thank you for the follow-up.
    @M. Murray
    Good question. Does “transparency” extend to everything except written pledges of loyalty to the DTC?
    There must be more to the pledge than just “agreeing with general party principles.” If the pledge were truly as innocuous as that, why did three out of the four Democratic candidates refuse to sign it?

  9. Tim T

    M. Murray
    The question that should be asked is what or whom has Moccia pledged too.Its certainly not the taxpayer. Why should he as his tax bill to the city of Norwalk was a BIG ZERO..

  10. SB

    There is no loyalty pledge for the Dems, at least not in the written questionnaire. The party platform refers to the extensive state platform which includes things like civil rights for all, supporting unions, traditional party ideals, etc. This started out as a good idea because some candidates haven’t actually bought into all of these, and other Dems like Mike Geake, Bruce Kimmel et all just used the party line to get elected.

  11. Wow, seems like the DTC is hiding something with the “pledge” not being released to the public…. why haven’t the candidates released their copies????

    Hmmmm….democrats aren’t for transparency like they say….

  12. LWitherspoon

    Clearly the pledge exists, because three out of four candidates refused to sign it. One candidate agreed to sign it. Surely you’re not asking us to believe that in spite of this, the pledge does not exist.
    You state that “This started out as a good idea”. I’m sure it did. Those words have been uttered by millions during the waning days of totalitarian regimes that now occupy the dustbin of history.
    Wouldn’t things be so much easier if everyone simply agreed in writing to do as told by the DTC? In fact, we could free up some evenings for the Common Council’s Democratic Caucus by simply letting the DTC vote on their behalf. DTC President Amanda Brown could replace Mssrs. Miklave, Watts, Duleep, Pena, and Igneri. The City could realize a savings by selling the surplus chairs created by such a move.
    In my opinion, party affiliation should be viewed more like religious affiliation. You can call yourself a Christian without accepting every tenet of that faith, which has many variants. No one would dare kick you out of church over such a deeply personal choice. Similarly, you can agree with the Democratic party on civil rights for all but disagree that municipal employee unions should get whatever they want from taxpayers pockets. Nobody should have the right to declare that you’re a bad Democrat simply because that’s what you happen to believe. Nobody should be forced to accept beliefs with which he disagrees simply for the privilege of calling himself a Democrat.
    Our elected officials answer to the electorate, not to one political party. I applaud those candidates who declined to sign the pledge.

  13. M. Murray

    Still seems pretty simple to me. Send Nancy a copy of what the DTC requested candidates to sign.

  14. SB

    Poltical parties were created upon the understanding of a platform built around basic principles. When you have an elected Council with a majority that adheres generally to these principles, there stands a better chance that they might accomplish something in the form of (hopefully) legislation for the common good. If you have a bunch of free agents elected, there will be much noise and confusion and litle progress. Sound familiar? And if you sign onto the party idea that government is bad and can’t do anything worthwhile, ths scenario may work out just fine for you.

  15. Tim T

    Irish Girl
    Like I said you publish enough anti Democrat propaganda and hope some fool believes it.

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