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.”