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Norwalk Dems: Help social services agencies with more hands on deck

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s social service agencies need help, Democratic Norwalk mayoral candidates agree.

At least three do. We haven’t heard from Andy Garfunkel.

Matt Miklave, Harry Rilling and Vinny Mangiacopra spoke on the topic at the recent NEON-NAACP Community Town Hall.

The candidates were asked, “What will be different if you are mayor, regarding social services?”

Miklave said social service agencies need to have volunteer help arranged through the mayor’s office.

“I think we need to have technical assistance to these not for profits, so they have the experts that are devoting their time pro bono,” he said. “The lawyers, the accountants, the financial people, the people who know how to raise money, that can provide technical expertise. Because the fact now is, if the public doesn’t have the support for what I call blocking and tackling of social service agencies, how do you run your books?”

Rilling said the problem with Norwalk’s social service agencies is the same problem he sees elsewhere.

“Just like every other part of government – nobody’s talking to each other,” he said. “I envision a housing and health commission that will bring all the parties together, that will allow people to have access to social services.”

It’s important to reach out to people in need, he said.

“Right now, a lot of people don’t have a clue as to where they can find social services,” he said. “That’s where we fail, where other communities thrive. They inform their community. They educate their community. That’s what we need here.”

Mangiacopra said more government is in order, as well.

“It comes down to mission statements of what the social services agency really is,” he said. “That’s what we need to support. … All our entities that are clustered here in this city, we need to make sure they have support from the mayor’s office, from the city. Other municipalities, when you research, they have a department of social services as part of city government. We don’t have that here. We don’t have that kind of resource center.”

Garfunkel did not return an email giving him a chance to opine on the topic.

Comments

8 responses to “Norwalk Dems: Help social services agencies with more hands on deck”

  1. Piberman

    One can only wonder why the candidates so far have refrained about what assists the City might give long floundering NEON. Maybe they agree with our Mayor’s policies of letting NEON fend for itself.

  2. EveT

    Harry Rilling is the only candidate who, as mayor, will have the ability to organize and motivate all stakeholders to work together. People may agree that we need better coordination, transparency, and public information, but only one candidate has the experience and widespread respect to make it happen.

  3. spanner

    Nice try Rilling never stood up to Moccia and now we are faced with another good ole boy woking the system and not the job.What did Harry say about the voilence 50 yards from his meet the candidate yesterday?Did he even know what went on?No one in the area was even invited to his day in South Norwalk on Quintard ave why was that?Knocking on some doors would of been nice I’m sure those who know the situation could of enlighted those who have drank the Kool-Aid.His record may look great but has anyone read The Hours archive on his decisions,and crime fighting talents?

    Be nice if he had spoke about the power plant at the end of the street,it was sold to whom for what reason?The street is full of cancer victims and so far not a word on the Environment any reason for that?If crime doesn’t effect you living in Norwalk maybe the things left in the ground will.I’m not sure he is prepared to lead the city out of the hole he helped dig.

  4. Norwalk Dinosaur

    The say nothing candidate, Andy Garfunkel continues his reign of silence.

  5. LWitherspoon

    More comments from the four candidates that consist of generalities. When will they provide us specifics regarding exactly how they would raise and spend tax dollars in their first year in office, and how it differs from the current administration’s most recent plan? Very disappointing.

  6. Tim T

    What a joke.. They talk about volunteering and what has
    Young Vinny from Bridgeport ever done for Norwalk as a volunteer? NOTHING
    What has good old boy Harry ever done for Norwalk as a volunteer? NOTHING
    The only one that seems to actually care about Norwalk and volunteers in Norwalk is Andy. The one that is not Grandstanding here with a bunch of B/S as the others.

  7. Asa H.M.

    LWitherspoon: Performance Based Budgeting. If you would take the time to reveiw Matt Miklave’s website and read his information, listen to him speak…he gives you the exact specifics. Tim T: Not sure what other candidates do or not with volunteering. Mr. Miklave has volunteered for Norwalk River Rowing, United Way, Stepping Stones Museum for Children, and let’s face it, for what his is paid as a common council member and all those committee meetings, that is basically a full-time volunteer commitment in itself.

  8. LWitherspoon

    @Asa H.M.
    There are ZERO by way of specifics from Mr. Miklave about what spending he would reduce and what additional spending he would add to the most recent budget, and how he would pay for it.
    .
    Miklave’s support of PBB is hardly revolutionary, in fact it’s not even a plan – it’s merely a fancy way to say “let’s go through the budget and cut programs that don’t work.” Yet Mr. Miklave has been on the Common Council for ten years and has voted on just as many budgets. Can he point to any specific cuts he has proposed during that time? He must be familiar with the budget that passed this year, since he voted on it. In fact I believe he voted FOR it. Exactly what line items would be different in that budget in a Miklave administration? What cuts would he make, what additional spending would he add, where would he apply the savings from any cuts, and how would he pay for any additional spending?
    .
    My bet is that Mr. Miklave won’t answer these questions because he and the other three candidates want to continue promising all things to all people, rather than giving us honest answers about their budgetary priorities. Norwalk deserves better.

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