We Norwalkers are very lucky to have had Mayor Rilling at the helm during the pandemic. Mayor Rilling declared a civil preparedness emergency early on to keep both residents and businesses safe. Because it was not clear how COVID 19 was transmitted and there was concern about reusable bags, he suspended the carryout bag ordinance and all associated fees. When businesses remained crowded, he ordered that businesses limit visits to one person per family. Mayor Rilling, together with Senator Bob Duff, met with executives of Costco, Walmart, Home Depot and other big box stores and these conversations helped steer national policy such as the one-person-per-family rule. Mayor Rilling also issued an executive order which limited nonresidential access to beaches and parks and dedicated public safety and health staff to respond to public health violations, which was particularly important after reopening started last summer. All these actions saved lives and kept us safe.
Throughout the entire pandemic, Mayor Rilling communicated regularly and openly with Norwalk residents. Daily COVID-19 updates were issued from March 2020 to March 2021, seven days per week. Norwalk was the only community issuing daily updates. Even the state took weekends off. He and his dedicated staff posted crucial resources on the City website, issued Code Red Calls to reach residents and used social media and cable access to share messages and keep us informed. In a confusing time, I was thankful for this continual communication from our Mayor.
All of us in Norwalk should be grateful for Mayor Riling’s competent, steady leadership during an exceptional and dangerous time. Mayor Rilling deserves another term in office. We need him there.