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NEON adds four board members

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Common Councilman Michael Geake (D-District B) attends Wednesday night’s Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) board meeting.

NORWALK, Conn. – The depleted board of South Norwalk’s embattled anti-poverty agency was replenished Wednesday night with the addition of four new board members.

Common Councilman Michael Geake (D-District B), Paola Ochoa, Nick Tarzia and Samuel Delgado were voted onto the board in a quick meeting. Most board members voted over the telephone.

This follows a mass exodus of board members – in early October five board members resigned, following the resignation of Chairman William Westcott on Sept. 23. Most cited poor financial record keeping.

New Board Chairman Michael Berkhoff, who was not physically present at Wednesday’s meeting, was quoted recently as saying new board members would be “like minded.”

“I’m not like minded to anybody,” said Geake, who was present for the meeting. “NEON performs a vital function. I’m committed to preserving NEON. That’s as far as I am committed – whatever it takes to preserve NEON and its services. So anybody who thinks I’m like minded voted wrong.”

Like Geake, Ochoa lives in Norwalk. She is currently a Long Island University graduate student and teaches Spanish at Dolan Middle School in Stamford, according to a press release. She runs a Rosetta Stone program after school. She has been a teacher mentor for College for Every Student and a translator for the Parent Faculty Organization.

Tarzia is a Stamford resident and the owner of Stamford Toys. Delgado, a Stamford resident, is First Niagara Bank’s Summer Street branch manager.

Five of NEON’s board members voted by phone. Only Robin Peterson was there in person.

Also present was a new face among the members of the public watching the proceedings. Norwalk businessman Tommy Larosa took home paperwork to apply to be a board member.

“I think NEON needs a big change from the top down,” he said. “You have to start from scratch.”

Comments

5 responses to “NEON adds four board members”

  1. Just Wondering

    Why wouldn’t the remaining board members be present to conduct the vote as opposed to by phone? Why must Mike Geake come across as Tommy tough nuts at this point in time? And Why doesn’t this quote “So anybody who thinks I’m like minded voted wrong.” raise any red flags. Voted wrong?

  2. STAFF

    WELL CONGRATULATIONS TO CHIQUITAS FRIENDS,,,,NOW WHEN IS THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT GOING TO UNLOCK THE DOORS AND ANSWER THE PHONES SO WE CAN COME GET OUR CHECKS THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT DOORS ARE LOCKED AND NO ONE IS PICKING UP THEIR PHONES…LET ME GUESS WE ARE NOT GETTING PAID TODAY AGAIN NO MONEY FOR PAYROLL… AND THEY WILL WAIT TILL 5 TO LET STAFF NO !!! SO PROFESSIONAL.

  3. Piberman

    What an ongoing saga ! Voting new Board members by telephone. No need to have formal meetings. Or pay salaries or issue financial reports. Or answer telephones. Oops time to give the interim CEO a bonus. Nobody could possibly imagine such a debacle. How embarrassing to be a NEON Director. How unfortunate to be a needy client. How sad for the community. Imagine paying the interim CEO $160k a year. From public monies, too.
    Where are our State Legislators ? Hiding ? Here’s a suggestion. Find a CEO with a track record of real accomplishment.

    1. Mark Chapman

      @PiBerman

      Once more, the interim CEO is making $135,000, not $160,000. Just for the sake of accuracy. Because facts count.

  4. Norwalk Lifer

    I am not impressed, Michael Geake? and three from Stamford? here we go again!

    Regards
    Norwalk Lifer

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