NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk District E Common Council candidates introduced themselves to the West Norwalk Association on Thursday.
Each was given three minutes to speak. NancyOnNorwalk has video to share of the event.
Peter Bondi, Republican
Peter Bondi said that as a lifelong resident and the son of a 26-year Common Council member, he knows the city.
“I actually own a real estate company. And unfortunately, our property values are going down at the moment. Which is, which is sad to see, because we’re getting an influx of young people coming into Norwalk,” Bondi said.
“Our school system, we get a bad rap,” he said. “I know our school system is top notch. I know that because my kids went there, I went there and my grandkids go, but we need better PR,” because young people want to live here and the property values should be going up.
Tom Livingston, Democratic incumbent
Tom Livingston recounted his credentials in the legal profession and as a volunteer, and his busy schedule as Council President, Land Use and Building Management Chairman, representative to the Historical Commission, and member of the Manresa Island Steering Committee.
“Over my four years, I’ve learned a lot about the operation of the city and I feel I’ve been able to help it deal constructively with issues that have come up,” he said, touting the “on track, on schedule” $180 million school building program and other infrastructure improvements.
“I think 23 streets have been paved in West Norwalk the last two plus here. So that money’s coming back here,” he said, also asserting that the administration has “never lost sight of the need to keep property taxes level.”
Ron Palladino, Republican
Ron Palladino said he’s a lifelong Norwalker who wants his grandchildren to have a future in Norwalk.
“Our city is heading down the path of what I believe is over development, overcrowding, and heavy traffic, all affecting our quality of life,” he said.
He’s a former West Norwalk Association vice president, a former West Norwalk Association Board member, was on the Long Island Task Force and a member of the City of Norwalk’s Clean and Green, he said, describing himself as experienced in finances and business.
“Norwalk is becoming a big city with ugly fortress buildings, dense apartment buildings, a mall, all lacking character and charm that attracted many of us to buy homes and live in Norwalk,” he said. “Norwalk is becoming a transit city where a place where people come and rent to figure out where they want to buy a home and live.”
Norwalk in my opinion has poor zoning laws that do not protect our neighborhood or the character of our neighborhoods. We have poor enforcement of our laws that are supposed to protect our neighborhoods.
Lisa Shanahan, Democrat
Lisa Shanahan said she grew up in Norwalk and then had a legal career in Chicago. She dropped that to raise a child and eventually an “uber volunteer,” before moving back home to immerse herself in volunteer activities here, with Shakespeare on the Sound, the Rowayton Library, the Rowayton Gardeners, the Norwalk Land Trust and the Conservation Commission.
“I do think that we are living in a time of growth in Norwalk but I think that that growth is welcome and exciting,” she said. “There’s certainly challenges that come with that growth and some of those things I would address as a city council member by thinking about how to retain and attract young families … by having a great school system… That will help stabilize all of our property values.”
“The most important job is budgeting in a fiscally responsible way,” Shanahan said. “We don’t want our fees and taxes to rise unduly. We don’t want to lose the young people we’re trying to attract or our old residents who have contributed so much to Norwalk.”