Norwalk Housing Authority has what it needs for HUD grant application

NORWALK, Conn. – A plan to turn over city-owned property to the Norwalk Housing Authority was approved at Tuesday evening’s Common Council meeting, moving ahead an application to get a $30 million federal grant in an effort to transform South Norwalk.

Councilwoman Anna Duleep (D-At Large) was the only person to vote against the proposal to grant NHA the sole right to buy the city-owned properties at 19 and 20 Day Streets for $1. The move gives the authority “site control,” a requirement of the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Choice Neighborhoods grant, which the authority hopes will fund a development to replace the aging Washington Village.

Planning Committee Chairman Nick Kydes (R-District C) said, “I have seen no one from South Norwalk say anything against this.”

Only Duleep and three members of the public opposed the option. Duleep grilled Norwalk Redevelopment Agency Director Tim Sheehan, trying to get her points across, but the measure passed 13 to 1.

Mayor Richard Moccia promptly told Sheehan, “Have the papers on my desk in the morning.”

In other council news, a new ordinance employee pay scale was approved. That included a substantial raise for the mayor.

Moccia was careful to point out that the person who wins the fall election will be eligible for the higher payscale.


8 responses to “Norwalk Housing Authority has what it needs for HUD grant application”

  1. LWitherspoon

    Exactly how much is a “substantial raise for the Mayor”?

  2. Dave McCarthy

    There is no raise for Mayor Moccia. We approved a new scale that establishes what the new mayor might be paid. It will not go into effect until after the next election. Details are online at norwalkct.org

  3. Mayor’s salary will be $138,486, the midpoint of the finance director’s salary. That is effective Jan. 1, 2013. As noted in a previous story, Mayor Richard Moccia is listed as making in $113,963 in 2012, a significant jump from the $99,616 he was listed as making in 2010. Council members feel the higher salary will attract better candidates for the job and note that it is awkward when the department heads are making more money than the person supervising them.

  4. Bruce Kimmel

    Nancy, interesting journalism protocol, and one found too frequently in today’s media: lead with or place very high up in a story the only dissenting vote. I used to joke with a colleague on the Common Council about ten years ago that he always received great coverage in the local papers because he was often the lone dissenting vote on many issues. His views reflected a tiny minority of the city’s residents,but they often received the most intense coverage.

  5. LWitherspoon

    There are valid arguments for and against the mayoral pay hike. Current Norwalk mayoral compensation is lower than Bridgeport ($132k) and Stamford ($150k). But Ms. Duleep is also right, it’s hard to support raising mayoral pay in a difficult economy when the City’s finances are so tight. It’s interesting that every single member of Council who voted, Democrat and Republican, supported the pay hike except for Ms. Duleep.

    There is a lot of talk about accountability and performance pay for teachers, and much of that is good. Would it be possible to have the same for the Mayor and department heads? As is done in the private sector, set benchmarks and award significant bonuses if they are met. One benchmark could be the City’s retention of a AAA bond rating. Another could be the Mayor’s success at controlling spending. No bonus if taxes go up more than 1% per year. I don’t think taxpayers would begrudge a $50k bonus for the Mayor if instead of a $250 yearly tax hike, our taxes only went up $50 or less.

  6. Bruce,

    Given that the vote was 13 to one I thought it would be much better for the reader to name the one person who voted against it rather than list the 13 names of the people who voted for it. Then everyone knows who voted for it without wading through a cumbersome list.

    What I neglected to do was say that one councilman, Fred Bondi, wasn’t there and thus was not part of the vote total.

    The fact that one council member was against it was also a significant part of the drama of the discussion.

  7. Tim T

    Amazing we are getting a tax increase and the mayor is a raise. Maybe it’s time that Norwalk does aways with having a mayor and hire a city manager. This way we could actually hire someone with the correct education for the position. We could still elect a mayor to cut ribbons as a non paid position.

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