NEON hosting South Norwalk mayoral forum

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s Democratic mayoral candidates are expected to answer questions from the public at a South Norwalk meeting Wednesday evening.

Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) has invited all the mayoral candidates to their Community Town Hall, to be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Nathaniel Ely School, located at 11 Ingalls Ave.  Light refreshments will be served from 6 to 7 p.m.

Mayor Richard Moccia has declined to attend, after being advised by his campaign committee not to engage a Democratic challenger until one is selected in a primary, he said in an email. None of the Democrats have replied to a early Tuesday afternoon email asking if they’ll be there, but former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling answered his cell phone while out collecting signatures on petitions. He said he plans to be there. He also said he expects District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra and Common Councilman Matt Miklave to attend.

The town hall will resemble a forum, NEON Director of Communications Scott Harris said.

“Each mayoral candidate who attends will have the opportunity to make a five- to 10 minute presentation about their platform, followed by audience Q&A,” he said in an email.

NEON is hoping topics will include the quality of education at Norwalk’s public schools, affordable housing, access to health care, reigning in neighborhood crime and violence, police-community relations and the availability and access to local social service programs, he said.

“We’re looking forward to having time for a wide ranging discussion between the community and candidates, which will allow everyone to get to know each other better — and become better acquainted with the issues of most concern to area residents,” he said.

The press release for the event quotes Pat Wilson Pheanious, the agency’s interim CEO/President. “Understanding each candidate’s position is critical to good decision making. Following through with a vote is critical to getting your voice heard,” she said. “here are important issues and very important differences among the candidates.  NEON wants to provide a forum where our community can see and hear the candidates speak for themselves.”


4 responses to “NEON hosting South Norwalk mayoral forum”

  1. loveforthecity

    This is getting better. NEON just get in trouble for mismanaging money they paid lobbiest. NEON has become a disgrace to the Norwalk Community. The state asked them to pay back over 300,000 and now they want to host a political event. This agency should concentrate on managing their money right. This Pat Wilson Pheanious person was the worst thing Norwalk could have gotten from the state. She has run this place down along with her # 2, Stephenson woman. These people should leave Norwalk immediately.

  2. Don’t Panic

    Is the Mayor concerned about facing his rivals or about facing NEON’s audience?

    Either way, the public will be reminded of the Mayor’s lackluster record and what another two years under his administration would bring.

  3. oldtimer

    The mayor is not eager to debate anybody. He really does not like to be questioned. Four opponents and the audience he expects could be a fatal combination for his campaign. If he shows his famous temper, and his performance is reported here and in other media outlets, it could sink his campaign. If he has a couple of drinks to calm his nerves ahead of time, he could look really foolish, and end up as his worst enemy, and Sciallaba knows it. When a debate against a single opponent is unavoidable, Sciallaba will want questions submitted days in advance, maybe weeks.

  4. Robert Paulsen

    How can people possibly be surprised or indignant at the prospect of Mayor Moccia not attending the NEON forum? There is literally nothing to be gained, from his perspective, from participating in a debate in which he would be be facing four hostile candidates, three of whom will be completely irrelevant come September 10th. That’s not even to mention the rampant corruption and nepotism evident within the ranks of NEON, contemptible practices that should dissuade any candidate, whether Republican or Democrat, from participating in one of their events until their leadership is changed from top to bottom.

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