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Norwalk Council begins anew with 2017-19 cast of characters

Mayor Harry Rilling, left, watches as Common Council member John Igneri (D-District E) hands a Council presidency plaque to Council member John Kydes (D-District C), Tuesday in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk’s Common Council leadership changed hands Tuesday evening, as new Council members were sworn in and Committee assignments announced.

John Kydes (D-District C) was unanimously voted in as Council president, while John Igneri (D-District E) was announced as majority leader. Doug Hempstead (R-At Large) was announced as “minority leader;” Kydes swiftly expressed hope that Hempstead, the only Republican, would continue in his role as a senior advisor to the Council, sharing what Kydes called his “vast knowledge.”

Kydes and Igneri essentially switched places, and Igneri has been Council president with Kydes as the majority leader.

Kydes was a great majority leader, Michael Corsello (D-At Large) said.

From left, Common Council members Beth Siegelbaum (D-District C) and Michael Corsello (D-At Large), as Corsello seconds the nomination of John Kydes (D-District C) to be Council president.

“We weren’t the easiest group but he would facilitate us reaching a consensus more times than not,” Corsello said. “It was nice to walk out to meetings and all be on the same page rather than have a public, contentious hearing. He’s a tireless worker. I mean, the city gets their $600 worth out of John. He makes sure that he is educated as to all the issues. More importantly for a leader, he makes sure that he sure that the rest of us educated as to the issues.”

“The minority caucus wholeheartedly supports the nomination of John Kydes,” Hempstead said. “…I totally know him to do his homework. If he doesn’t understand something he researches it. I think he will provide good leadership for the Council.”

“I plan to really push city staff and all of you to work to your full potential,” Kydes said. “Because I feel the harder we work the better Norwalk is for it. During the election, I heard a lot of what the priorities should be for this new administration. I thought that was kind of a lazy way to look at things. I feel that we can address every priority, with equal effort and with the support of the mayor and the staff I believe that there is nothing that we can’t accomplish.”

He also urged civility.

“I feel we should treat each other with respect and professionalism,” Kydes said. “I know there we be points where you will be saying ‘this $46 a month I am getting isn’t worth all the aggravation,’ but just remember that every decision you make affects every Norwalk resident, including your friends, your neighbors, your family, so I think if we treat each other with respect and civility I think we’ll be able to keep productive and keep Norwalk moving forward.”

Igneri said he had tough shoes to fill as majority leader, then announced the following Committee assignments:

Finance Committee

  • Greg Burnett, chair
  • Faye Bowman
  • Doug Hempstead
  • John Igneri
  • John Kydes
  • Nick Sacchinelli
  • Travis Simms

 

Land Use and Building Management

  • Tom Livingston, chair
  • Greg Burnett
  • Doug Hempstead
  • Nick Sacchinelli
  • Barbara Smyth
  • Beth Siegelbaum
  • Chris Yerinides

 

Personnel Committee

  • Faye Bowman, chair
  • Greg Burnett
  • Doug Hempstead
  • Barbara Smyth
  • Nick Sacchinelli
  • Beth Siegelbaum
  • Doug Stern

 

Public Works

  • John Igneri, chair
  • Michael Corsello
  • Doug Hempstead
  • Tom Livingston
  • Eloisa Melendez
  • Travis Simms
  • George Tsiranides

 

Health, Welfare and Public Safety

  • Nick Sacchinelli, chair
  • Doug Hempstead
  • Eloisa Melendez
  • Barbara Smyth
  • Doug Stern
  • George Tsiranides
  • Chris Yerinides

Ordinance

  • Eloisa Melendez, chair
  • Michael Corsello
  • Doug Hempstead
  • Tom Livingston
  • Beth Siegelbaum
  • Doug Stern
  • Chris Yerinides

 

Planning

  • John Kydes, chair
  • Faye Bowman
  • Doug Hempstead
  • John Igneri
  • Tom Livingston
  • Eloisa Melendez
  • George Tsiranides

 

Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs

  • Michael Corsello, chair
  • Doug Hempstead
  • John Kydes
  • Travis Simms
  • Barbara Smyth
  • George Tsiranides
  • Chris Yerinides

From left, Common Council members Travis Simms (D-District B), Doug Stern (D-At Large), Barbara Smyth (D-At Large) and Faye Bowman (D-District B), at Tuesday’s meeting in City Hall.

4 comments

Bruce Kimmel November 22, 2017 at 7:56 am

Congratulations to all the members of the new Common Council. I’m sure they will do a great job. Looking forward to working with all of you.

Debora Goldstein November 22, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Will each council member be getting a “norwalkct.org” email account? If not, we ask that council members make their email addresses available post-haste, so the public can communicate with the appropriate committees. Unfortunately, the city has a mixed performance history with keeping those contact emails up to date on the web site. This is a chance to be pro-actively transparent.

Adolph Neaderland November 23, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Debora’s point is well taken – communications with the stakeholders has never been a strong point:

short lead time notices of meetings and
agendas with skimpy content

Have been common and needs attention.

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