Norwalk council’s togetherness to be stoked Saturday

NORWALK, Conn. – The effort to keep Norwalk’s Common Council from devolving into the circus-like dysfunction that marked the last two years of the previous administration continues next week with a marathon meeting Saturday morning, Feb. 8.

The 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. goal-setting meeting in City Hall was the idea of Council President Doug Hempstead, Majority Leader Jerry Petrini said. All council members are invited to discuss what their priorities are and how their goals might be accomplished.

“Hopefully this is a way that all 15 of us can be on the same page and bring a better working together environment to the council, which has been absent from the previous council,” Petrini said in an email.

While the meeting is public, there will be no public participation, no opportunity to speak or ask questions, Petrini said.

“There will be plenty of other venues that will be held to get the public’s input,” Petrini said.


2 responses to “Norwalk council’s togetherness to be stoked Saturday”

  1. Oldtimer

    Can they do that ? Hold a council meeting and exclude any public participation ? Doesn’t the FOI law require, notice, agenda, and an opportunity for public participation at all public meetings ?

  2. dlauricella

    Good to see Council attempting to get its house in order and review its charter-given responsibilities…I hope there will be great discussion about training, holding departments to account and achieving consistent due diligence before spending taxpayer dollars.

    My read of FOIA requires a public notice of a Special Meeting, but does not require that public can speak…that is at the discretion of the Council…note that public can ask their council people to speak, but save an ordinance or written Council rules policy, there is no legal requirement. Also, we all can weigh in by calling or emailing Council about what we would like them to know…email all at once at [email protected]

    After years of advocacy for more public input at Council Committee meetings and open government, I am pleased the Council rules were recently changed to have each Council Committee allow a public comment period at the beginning of the meetings, although I hope we can “institutionalize” this in an Ordinance (prior years, some Council Chairs would rarely let public speak except when there was an official, legal public hearing…thereby squandering a chance for public to have a real dialog).

    Also note: the public needs to show up or send written comments at important meetings like this Weds. Capital Budget public hearing at 7pm at City Hall Community Room. More often than not, in politics silence of the public due to frustration is instead interpreted as tacit approval! Democracy is not a Spectator Sport!

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