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New fire, police commissioners say they’re ready

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling 112213 041
Fran Collier-Clemmons signs paperwork after being sworn in as a traffic and police commissioner.

NORWALK, Conn. – Traffic is a concern for one new Norwalk commissioner, while another said it is exciting to be overseeing the Norwalk Fire Department. Meanwhile, Mayor Harry Rilling said he is looking to change the regular meeting time of an important commission to make it more accessible to the public.

Fran Collier-Clemmons and the Rev. Oscar Destruge were among the people appointed last week by Rilling in his drive to make Norwalk’s boards more diverse. Destruge will serve on the Fire Commission while Collier-Clemmons, a police and traffic commissioner under former Mayor Alex Knopp, is returning to her former duties.

“Times have changed, and things have changed,” Collier-Clemmons said. “I’m just glad I did a good enough job that they would want me back again and I am excited to serve.”

The Traffic Authority was on her mind minutes after being sworn in by Assistant City Clerk Erin Herring.

“I see a lot of challenges with the new buildings that are going in, with the traffic patterns, the increase in traffic,” she said. “We have quite a few things to look at.”

Harry Rilling inaugural 111913 234
The Rev. Oscar Destruge.

Destruge, who works to help Latino day laborers, said he had been reviewing past Fire Commission agendas and minutes to understand the issues.

“I am very excited about having this opportunity to work closely with the mayor and Chief (Denis) McCarthy,” he said. “My parishioners feel blessed by the fire department. One of them had a fire in her house seven weeks ago. They were treated with the best courtesy, very helpful, they were given vouchers put in a hotel. They are very grateful that the city has the quality of fire assistance that they experienced.”

While some black firefighters have alleged racism in the department, Destruge had no complaints.

“I have not heard any such comments from the people in my community,” he said.

Rilling said he was looking to move Traffic Authority/Police Commission meetings from 4 p.m. to around 6 or 6:30, to accommodate the public.

“It’s just something that I thought,” he said. “The Police Commission is an important commission. People want to come to the Police Commission.”

Comments

10 responses to “New fire, police commissioners say they’re ready”

  1. EveT

    Definitely a good idea to “move Traffic Authority/Police Commission meetings from 4 p.m. to around 6 or 6:30, to accommodate the public.” Working people should be able to attend public meetings and see and hear what appointed officials are doing.

  2. Oldtimer

    Commission meetings at 4PM were convenient for the former mayor and day-shift city employees, but almost impossible for the public. Mayor Rilling obviously is more concerned the public will have the opportunity to attend these meetings. This highlights a big difference between the former mayor and mayor Rilling.

  3. M Allen

    What time were police commission meetings historically? Did they change to happy hour or were they always at that time?

  4. The Deal

    ……history, shmistory…….it’s what time they are NOW that matters.

  5. Diane C2

    Wonderful news that new folks have been appointed, and especially that the meeting time has been changed to accommodate residents/taxpayers. Shine the light…

  6. Casey Smith

    I seem to remember that the meetings were at 4 p.m. when Mayor Knopp was in office.

  7. M Allen

    But when Knopp was mayor, the interweb was still young and the ability to make hay over transparency was less. Seems people had less to cry about a decade or two ago. Have we all become so soft? Oh wait no. We’re not softer, more whiny now. It was that dastardly Mayor Moccia. And George Bush. They made us this way.

  8. LWitherspoon

    Later meetings for these commissions are probably a good thing, but we won’t know for sure until we see whether or not more people start attending.
    .
    It would be interesting to know why these commissions met at 4pm as far back as Mayor Knopp’s administration.

  9. The Deal

    C’mon “L” it isn’t hard to figure out why the meetings were held at 4pm. And Mr. Allen I remember prior to the election you were very long winded about a number of topics. Some might have characterized YOU as being………………a whiner?

  10. M Allen

    I could be part of the whining class too. Though I do try and avoid doing it only because the shadow lurking behind every corner is from the other party.

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