By Andy Garfunkel, former town clerk and Democratic mayoral hopeful
NORWALK, Conn. – While our national leaders may have barely avoided the fiscal cliff and are still embroiled in national debt and other critical issues, Norwalk is at a crossroads of its own.
At the start of last night’s Common Council meeting, speakers were encouraged to refrain from personal attacks during the public comment period. Unfortunately, those of us attending last night’s meeting witnessed anything but restraint.
In fact, the very first speaker mocked Councilman David Watts for his and Councilwoman Anna Duleep’s resolution to examine whether the corporation counsel violated the city code with regard to potential conflicts of interest in his relationship to the mayor. The speaker was reined in only after Councilman Warren Peña intervened.
Also, while reasonable people may disagree on the merits of many council resolutions, personally attacking council members offering resolutions is wrong. Likewise, when Norwalk’s elected officials stir up members of their political parties to attend meetings to give them a partisan cheering section, that’s wrong too.
Such discord only detracts attention from more important issues that require a thoughtful and thorough examination by our elected officials.
Norwalk deserves leadership that is transparent, respectful, courteous and encourages residents to attend city meetings for nonpartisan reasons – to voice their opinions, to learn more about issues facing our community and maybe even to want to serve as appointed or elected officials themselves.
Norwalk is facing serious challenges. Neighboring cities and towns are attracting businesses that should be locating here. Citywide development is stalled. Our YMCA has closed. Many residents are still suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and Norwalk needs a new superintendent for its schools. Let’s start working together so Norwalk may achieve its full potential.
Leave a Reply
You must Register or Login to post a comment.