Norwalk council members tell Simms: You voted

NORWALK, Conn. – Four Norwalk council members say he did. Travis Simms said he didn’t.

A minor controversy followed the March 31 Planning Committee meeting: Did Minority Leader Travis Simms (D-District B) vote on an amendment to the draft Community Block Development Grant (CDBG) action plan that would include funding for the Travis Simms Foundation youth boxing program? On Thursday, the dispute came down to approving minutes written by Marilyn Knox of Telesco Services, the secretary at the meeting.

Council members Bruce Kimmel (D-At Large), Doug Hempstead (R-At Large), Shannon O’Toole Giandurco (R-District D) and Rich Bonenfant (R-At Large) voted to change the drafted minutes to read that Simms did vote on the first amendment proposed on March 31. Simms voted no.

“When it comes to the Travis Simms Foundation and requests for funding, I always abstain and I always recuse myself from those votes,” Simms said.  “I would like the records to reflect that because I certainly did not vote for anything to do with the Travis Simms Foundation.”

Simms said he voted for the overall budget, the last vote of the evening, which included the boxing program in the overall recommendation.

John Kydes (D-District C) abstained from Thursday’s vote, as did Sharon Stewart (D-At Large), who was not present at the meeting in question.

Knox was told to fix the minutes to show there were three votes on the topic. It was agreed that Simms did not vote on the second amendment.

Knox expressed confusion.

“Mr. Simms is disagreeing with, I am getting a sense, other committee members,” Hempstead said.

“I am saying I did not vote for any of the amendments,” Simms said.

The new version of the minutes, which are a legal record of what happened, will be voted on at the next meeting.

“I knew this was going to be a little messy,” Hempstead said.

Norwalk Planning Committee CDBG 050114 014
Minority Leader Travis Simms (D-District B) waits for a chance to speak as the question of the minutes taken by Marilyn Knox, right, comes up for a vote Thursday in City Hall.


One response to “Norwalk council members tell Simms: You voted”

  1. Bruce Kimmel

    Voting to abstain is voting; it is not the same as recusing.
    Anyway, I firmly believe Mr. Simms voted in the affirmative for two motions that had a positive impact on his foundation; and against one motion that had a negative impact on his foundation. There were three votes on the block grants; if he had in fact abstained, there would only have been two votes and the recommendation from the Redevelopment Agency would have been approved last month.
    Interestingly, the draft of the minutes completely left out the second, and telling, vote. If it had been included in the draft of the minutes, it would have been obvious that Mr. Simms had to have voted — if he hadn’t, there would not have been the third vote.

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