Mayor, DPW chief meet to ‘discuss some issues’

Department of Public Works Director Hal Alvord
Department of Public Works Director Hal Alvord.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling said Monday evening that he has met with Department of Public Works Director Hal Alvord to discuss recent events that have drawn complaints from some Common Council members, city volunteers and members of the general public.

“We met to discuss some issues,” Rilling confirmed, “and there will be follow-up.” Rilling would not reveal the content of the meeting, but the past few weeks have seen the relationship between some city officials and the DPW chief become strained.

Alvord raised some eyebrows when he announced he planned to spend nearly $300,000 on three new trash compactors from City Carting without seeking alternative bids. He then announced a plan to give City Carting nearly $50,000 more to pick up bulk waste in the Fourth Taxing District.

Then came controversy over concrete-vs.-asphalt sidewalks and competing maps delineating urban and suburban zones. Topping it off was a complaint by Mike Mushak – member of the Zoning Commission speaking as a private citizen – about City Carting recycling trucks allowing debris to fall from the trucks and litter people’s yards. Councilman Bruce Kimmel backed him up on that, as did some NancyOnNorwalk commenters.

The concrete-vs.-asphalt sidewalk issue came to light due to complaints from Dry Hill Road resident Robert Celli, who was one of the few people on the stretch not to get a new sidewalk as part of the recent paving of the road. Celli said he wondered if DPW had targeted him for retribution as he called to complain repeatedly several years ago about trees he felt should be taken down.

Rilling said in a Monday afternoon email, “As far as the other issues regarding urban zoning, City Carting, and sidewalks, I have a meeting scheduled this afternoon and expect to get the answers I am seeking.  As far as retribution on the sidewalk repair issue, I do not believe there is a validity to that claim.  I will be looking into the entire sidewalk repair issue to determine what guidelines are in place to decide where sidewalks are repaired and where they are not.”

On Monday evening Rilling described the ensuing meeting with Alvord: “We came to some understandings. We discussed issues of concern, and we’re going to be doing some follow-up and make sure everybody has the information they need.”


15 responses to “Mayor, DPW chief meet to ‘discuss some issues’”

  1. Norewalk Lifer

    Good, left the “sausage making” between the Mayor and Mr. Alvord, I’ve had my own interactions with Mr. Alvord’s staff and found it “distasteful”.

    Let Harry straighten out this situation with Mr. Alvord, to the best interests of the people of Norwalk.

    No bid contracts are used in extreme cases, this is not one of them, there are no wars or lives at stake here,

    Norwalk Lifer

  2. John Hamlin

    We all know what needs to be done. Now let’s see if he does it.

  3. peter parker

    OK, Now lets see if the Mayor has what it takes to do what it takes? Talk is cheap and action speaks!

  4. One and Done.

    Here comes another task force.

  5. Been there done that

    Are you kidding? A $300,000 No-Bid contract for trash compactors. What’s the emergency? Followed up by a $50,000 bulk waste contract. Who granted Alvord the authority to do any of this? And why do you see City Carting garbage trucks fueling up at Norwalk DPW gas pumps every morning. Don’t be surprised when the Feds show up to start a Galante style investigation into Norwalk “waste management”.

  6. Oldtimer

    City Carting trucks fueling at DPW pumps ? If that is true, the reason is pretty simple, It is probably part of the agreement between City Carting Co., a privately owned for-profit company, and the City of Norwalk, which buys fuel w/o paying the taxes which are a big item in CT. Assuming City Carting pays the City for the fuel (a BIG assumption), this is a tax avoidance scheme that saves City Carting Co a bunch of money and is probably ILLEGAL. Is the City paying for fuel for Alvord’s commuting ?
    A no-bid contract to buy THREE compactors through City Carting Co for $273,000 which we now know will result in buying only TWO at this time and we may never know if they are NEW or REBUILT (approx. 1/2 the NEW price) Somebody should be watching this deal and reading invoices from the compactor company and finding out exactly how every nickel of tax money is being spent. Fixing the existing compactors may or may not be a good idea but should not be ruled out too quickly without proper evaluation by experts, readily available from the manufacturer.

  7. Tim D

    @Oldtimer Are you for real? It’s a well known secret that the DPW guys are biased towards the City Carting guys -with reason. Do you really think after filling up there for quite some time now they wouldn’t have ratted them out already? Give Alvord more credit than that. The man has an accomplished resume. The comment reads like a cheap crime novel filled with reach in the dark conspiracies.

  8. Oldtimer

    Tim D
    Feel free to disagree and/or come up with your own theories. In answer to your first question, yes, I am for real. Are you in a position to correct me, or are you just a true believer, offended by my comment ? Sometimes, I get too close to sensitive spots with my comments. In my opinion, it is past time for Alvord to decide to retire again.

  9. Suzanne

    If City Carting is filling up at DPW, then an investigation should be launched and it should be stopped unless this is a part of their contract. As for Mr. Alvord, I wish he would use that accomplished resume to get some infrastructure supported in a way that makes sense – like making sidewalks uniform and correctly to code and the Urban Core (whatever that is), for example.

  10. John Hamlin

    Suzanne — Right on.

  11. Dennis DiManis

    The sleaze runs deeper and deeper.

  12. LWitherspoon

    Candidate Rilling promised during his campaign that as Mayor he would closely review the contract with City Carting to verify that the savings from outsourcing were real. When will Mayor Rilling be announcing the results of the review?

  13. LWitherspoon, what’s the rush?? At the three month mark – nothing.
    Now its the six month mark and Rilling STILL hasn’t shown any spine –
    Rilling is wimpering in the corner – didn’t think the public would remember or hold to his promises.

  14. Oldtimer

    Mayor Rilling may be doing a lot of things, but “wimpering in a corner” would be completely out of character. He is working within a budget set before he was elected and making changes requires support from both sides of the political aisle. It all takes time.

  15. p.o.taxpayer

    city carting is fueling up at the city fuel pumps and if you want to see for yourself go there at 7am recycling trucks or when the garbage trucks are done at around 1230pm and you will see for yourself. yes hal gets paid for for using his own car.

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