NEON programs to reopen Wednesday

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An employee of Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON), right, gets her delayed paycheck Tuesday. She complained that some employees got their checks Monday but she was denied that. NEON interim CEO and President Chiquita Stephenson said that only employees who were working Monday were eligible to receive paychecks that day.

Updated 3:14 a.m. Wednesday

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) will reopen all programs in Norwalk and Stamford Wednesday, including Head Start, according to a press release sent by NEON at 7:50 p.m. Tuesday.

“After a two day closure of most (NEON) programs, the agency will re-open tomorrow, Wednesday, October 9th — and all NEON staff have been instructed to report for their normal work schedules,” the release read.  “All NEON programs in Norwalk and Stamford, including the agency’s childcare programs, will be open during their regular operating hours.”

Most programs had shut down Monday and Tuesday after NEON was unable to make payroll Friday. Most employees were told to stay home. Some employees were paid Monday, but the majority received their pay Tuesday.

The shutdown came a week after new NEON Board of Directors Chairman Michael Berkoff took office as six board members resigned in an 11-day period.

The agency cut $683,000 from its budget between May and Sept. 11, CEO and President Chiquita Stephenson said Tuesday. A proposed $2.5 million in cuts will be presented to board members Wednesday evening, she said.

“We are not by any means taking our financial situation and sitting on it,” she said. “We’re taking our financial situation and we’re saying to the communities that we serve, that we have to restructure, and we have to restructure in order to save, rebuild and revitalize the significant programs being offered by NEON.”

NEON has laid off or furloughed employees in its Information Technology Department, client family services and reception, she said.

New board members will be installed at Wednesday evening’s board meeting, she said. More are on the way after that, she said.


4 responses to “NEON programs to reopen Wednesday”

  1. NEON Grand Opening

    Guess the check cleared.

  2. Henry J.

    Or someone slipped Ms. Stepehnson, John D. Arnold’s cell.
    10 million is allot of cash, goes a long way.
    Don’t normally do this, ever, for hedge boys
    but John Arnold did good, so hat tip goes out
    to billonaire boy wonder Johnnie A. for stepping up
    and helping thousands of kids return to head start.

    (Editor’s note: Not sure if that is where Norwalk’s money came from, but here’s a link to a news story about Arnold’s donation: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57606473/laura-and-john-arnold-donate-$10-million-to-help-head-start-amid-government-shutdown/)

  3. inquiring minds, inspiring hearts

    So where did the money come from anyway?
    Was it DSS? And how long is that projected to last?
    And what are the possible unemployment liabilities for NEON if/when layoffs are issued and the administration does not seek bankruptcy relief? Can we upack this a bit, rewind the tape for those just tuning in? The mission was/is to help folks find a ladder to climb out of poverty, right? Anyone seen that mission statement lately? Must be laying around somewhere. It’s not on the walls anywhere. Did the checks get printed on the mission chartee paper? Nah, has to be somewhere, right? Well, right NOW the NEON folks need more than a ladder themselves right now. Isn’t anyone going to throw them a life preserver? Or is everyone going to just stand around pointing fingers, gawking and gossiping? Oh yeah, right, forgot, that is some folks, plan – agenda, ignore the poverty sticken, ignore the blight, ignore the homeless and hopeless and eventually they will all dissappear either move somewhere else, get incarcerated or forgotten in potters field and magically, poof, just like that,Norwalk will become NorOZ. That strategy works like a charm, doesnt it? Just like that fabulous “Trickle Down” project.
    That worked so well, made the rich, filthy stinking really really rich and the middle class all but dissappear.
    Oh wait, it did work, that was the whole plan all along.
    Trickle. Get it? Trick-le. We can be so naive at timse cant we? Shame on us, all of us, if we allow NEON to falter
    and fail its mission. That means we failed, we,
    collectively, as in all of us, failed on our watch. Are we going to let that happen? Let all that hard work and progress just evaporate? Or are we going to rebrand redefine,, reorganize, reestablish and reopen and improve on the foundations we have labored so hard, wih blood, sweat and tears to lay and build a better, more sustainable, focused like a lazer NEON, to service the people that our government leaves behind? Mission statemnet says nothing about serving political interests. Serve the people, not politicians agendas. Well? What are we going to do? Yes, and YOU and you and you and you, reading this. What are you going to do? Now’s the time, lets see some teamwork Norwalk and yes, you too Stamford. They dont call us the gold coaster’s for nothing. Can we see some shine on that gold out there? Make it work and make it count, its our watch. Failure is not an option. Calling all angels. Calling all angels.

  4. Don’t Panic

    Inquiring minds, inspiring hearts….channeling Chiquita.

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