NORWALK, Conn. — A Friday invitation from one Norwalk mayoral candidate to his three opponents for an informal outdoor mayoral forum Monday has garnered a tepid response.
Mayor Harry Rilling and Lisa Brinton Thomson have both declined the offer from State Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140), made in response to Brinton Thomson’s Thursday press release announcing mutual admiration between her and two Republican Common Council candidates. Republican candidate Andy Conroy said he wasn’t sure he could make it to Morris’ event, based on his schedule.
Morris in his press release praised Brinton Thomson’s Thursday statement, “Brinton, Suda and Bonenfant Promote Putting Norwalk Resident’s Interest First.”
“This is just amazing …. I am speechless to see that there are a variety of voices on the same page as I am…. It just lightens my heart to know that people from different sides of the aisle… in this day and age — with all the hatred and negativity that’s going on in our country…. I am simply elated that we can rise above the name calling and divisive partisan politics that is so commonplace today. Frankly, at this point in the race — it appears that Lisa and I have more in common than the 2 major party candidates???” Morris said in his statement.
“I’m so moved by this because it’s exactly what I’ve worked on for my entire career. Building coalitions, Building bridges…..” Morris wrote. “I wholeheartedly agree that now is the time to elevate the conversation around putting Norwalk First. Kudos to Lisa who has adopted the slogan first championed by ‘yours truly – the Morris Is For Us Campaign.’”
“With all due respect to the League of Women Voters and Chamber of Commerce, I would love to have an open forum ASAP. I invite my opponents to meet me on the Steps of City Hall, Monday, October 16, 2017 at 12:00 noon. Why are we waiting until the final week of the election to have these important discussions? The time for engaging critical dialogue is NOW not LATER!
“I am hoping that my opponents will join me. Please join me…. let’s have this discussion.
“This is a major election of change — why are we giving the people that are voting for change just a week to decide? I don’t think that’s fair to the public. I hear what’s being said… I agree with it, so why don’t we get together NOW?
“Come out Monday, October 16, 2017 at 12:00 noon (to the steps of City Hall, 125 East Av). and let’s share our ideas with the voters. Let’s bring our voice to the PEOPLE and let’s do it NOW!!!”
Rilling, asked for a response, in an email replied, “We have a number of planned public forums over the next month. They will be run by neutral organizations whose only agenda will be a fair and balanced discussion on the issues. We look forward to seeing Bruce there. We have prior obligations that day, but urge Rep. Morris to use Monday as a day to help pass a state budget, which this city badly needs.”
Conroy replied, “Not sure our schedule on Monday provides us the time to participate; may not be able to do more than briefly drop by.”
“While I appreciate Bruce’s enthusiasm, I think it’s best to let the independent organizations handle logistics for this type of event,” Brinton Thomson said in an email. “I am reluctant to reschedule prior engagements on such short notice, but I share Bruce’s sentiment for more, open mayoral forums with voters and look forward to the two scheduled next week.”
She continued, “I also want to thank Bruce for acknowledging my long standing record of putting Norwalk residents first, particularly in the areas of education, planning and zoning and charter revision. I will continue to do so during this campaign season, and after election day.”
Scheduled candidate events
- There is a “Meet the Candidates event” scheduled by East Norwalk Association, The East Norwalk Business Association and the Eastern Norwalk Neighborhood Association for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Marvin Senior Housing site, located at 60 Gregory Boulevard.
- On Thursday, a mayoral forum is planned at the South Norwalk Community Center, according to Brinton Thomson’s website. (NancyOnNorwalk has not received a press release.)
- The West Norwalk Association is hosting a candidate forum at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Dolce Conference Center, located at 32 Weed Ave.
- The League of Women Voters has a mayoral forum scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 30, in Concert Hall.
- The Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce Mayoral Forum is at 8 a.m. Nov. 1 in the Norwalk Inn.