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Norwalk photos: Swearing in ceremony

Town Clerk Rick McQuaid shakes hands with Doug Stern, Judge of Probate, after Stern swore him in for a sixth two-year term.

NORWALK, Conn. — Enjoy these photos from Tuesday’s swearing in ceremony at City Hall.

The Rev. Lindsay Curtis, right, leads Tuesday’s swearing in ceremony outside City Hall.

The Rev. Elizabeth Abel, pastor of Cornerstone Community Church, delivers the invocation. “Gracious God, let this term of office challenge the status quo so that all people in this city may know your truth,” she said. “Merciful God bless the people of this city and let them be a beacon of light for this county, this state and the entire country, motivate us to be united as one people created by you for you.”

Watching the ceremony are Norwalk’s State Representatives.

Town Clerk Rick McQuaid greets a friend.

The Rev. Dr. Richard W. Clarke, pastor of Bethel AME Church, delivers the benediction at Tuesday’s swearing in ceremony at City Hall.

Council member Diana Révolus (D-District B) gets a hug after being sworn in. She was appointed to the Council in September 2020 and ran unopposed this year.

Three of the “Norwalk Nine,” the women who form a gender majority on the Council. From left, Council members Nora Niedzielski-Eichner (D-At Large), Barbara Smyth (D-At Large) and Heidi Alterman (D-District D) are sworn in, Tuesday at City Hall.

Council members Jenn McMurrer (D-District C) and Dominique Johnson (D-At Large) celebrate with State Rep. Stephanie Thomas (D-143) after the ceremony.

The assembled crowd.

Chief Master Sergeant Jeff DeWitt, U.S. Air Force retired, and others stand at attention for the National Anthem, after he led the pledge of allegiance.

From left, Norwalk Communications Director Josh Morgan, Norwalk Chief of Economic and Community Development Jessica Vonashek and Norwalk Chief of Staff Laoise King enjoy camaraderie after the ceremony.

From left, Lucia Rilling, Mayor Harry Rilling, Town Clerk Rick McQuaid and State Rep. Stephanie Thomas (D-143).

Council members gather to sign their oaths.

Council members needed to sign their oaths after the ceremony.

Council members John Kydes (D-District C), middle, and Diana Révolus (D-District B), right, after the ceremony.

Jonathan Peters sings God Bless America.

Council members David Heuvelman (D-District A) and Lisa Shanahan (D-District E) are sworn in, Tuesday at City Hall.

Mayor Harry Rilling is sworn in by Doug Stern, Judge of Probate.

Town Clerk Rick McQuaid enjoys Tuesday’s ceremony at City Hall.

12 comments

Tysen Canevari November 17, 2021 at 4:17 pm

Maybe Harry can create a Norwalk Chief Of Haircuts! We have lots of chiefs now but no indians and they all make 6 figures! Its sad that in a city of over 100,000 people that 9,000 votes wins an election.😏 2 more years of good old boys club

Mack November 18, 2021 at 9:41 am

Tyson C………..good one on Chief of Haircuts. But on a more serious note (with an attempt to put party lines aside) what is the rationale that supports “bigger” government bureaucracy, which is primarily the way of the Democratic Party, as opposed to the Republicans view for smaller and less controlling. It would be interesting to hear from both sides on this so some of us middle of the roaders could better evaluate the pros & cons of each and make a more realistic decision. I think in the past that we called this process an open public debate.

piberman November 18, 2021 at 12:03 pm

Nice photos. Mayor Rilling is the last of our long serving public officials from a time when Norwalk had 3 vigorous political parties, strong cadre of local store owners, vigorous local interest in governance and a well recognized public school system that attracted many new homeowners to settle in Norwalk.

What did we do so we’re now becoming a ever more transient City of Renters, with just one well functioning political Party, public schools where most students fail to meet CT’s Dept of Education standards for graduation, virtual absence of local shopkeepers and where relative few long time residents retire here ?

Was it due to take over of our once proud local newspaper that mostly ignores local affairs ? Or is Norwalk simply suffering CT’s decade long stagnant economy ? Or that volunteering for public service no longer is viewed important ?

I can remember when hundreds and hundreds attended City Hall swearing in ceremonies. It was our City and collectively we were proud of CT’s only integrated City. When we had dozens and dozens of active Clubs whose goings on actively were reported daily.

Norwalk we hardly know thee anymore.

Rick McQuaid November 18, 2021 at 2:21 pm

I swore Councilman Keegan in later in the day due to a prior commitment he had.
Thank you everyone for believing in me to be your Town Clerk, I couldn’t have done it without my amazing staff.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, count our blessing and appreciate each other…peace

Tom Keegan November 18, 2021 at 3:22 pm

Coach Stenz I was working at the time of the swearing in. I was sworn in later in the day by Town Clerk Rick McQuaid in his office. What an honor it was to be sworn in by Rick!

Tysen Canevari November 18, 2021 at 4:03 pm

@Piberman Its sad Scooby Doo could run in Norwalk as a democrat in Norwalk and win. People just pull the tab across the line no matter what. We have people with no knowledge of the city or the people in this town winning seats at the table. Its no coincidence we are overrun with apartments all over the place in Norwalk. Look at Harry’s contributors. 90% were out of town developers. Now Norwalk has the highest apartment rental cost in Fairfield county. We dont seemed alarmed when Diageo moves out or GE Capital but people get pissed if free lunch isnt all over town or free food at all the schools. We have a superindentent that makes $300,000 plus a year. Highest paid in the state of CT. IS that based on results? NO But Colin Hosten said she deserved a raise. Poor middle school kids cant have sports but she can make all that dough ray me!
The mayor has a “Chief of staff” that makes 6 figures No mayor in the history of Norwalk had one. Maybe the mayor should split his money with her. What exactly is his job then? CHief of Economic this Chief of that CHief chief chief. All from out of town No one knows anything about Norwalk nor do they care. I saw the superindents car in her spot the other day. It had NJ plates on it. Doesnt sound like she is here for the long haul does it? One can only hope that people can put national politics aside in 2 years and vote with the issues in mind on the local front. Hopefully, more than 15,000 will vote as well!

Erica November 20, 2021 at 5:09 pm

Yes, Keegan won for district D, the only R on Common Council. The council is dominated by D and contrary to Mr. O’Reilly’s comment, diversity inspires creativity and drives innovation. Change brings about evolution and forward motion instead of stagnation. There are about 88.5 thousand Norwalk residents, minus those in the NPS system (ie not old enough to vote) that leaves about 77,000 people— the vast majority of whom never vote in these local elections and often are unaware of the majority rule within the council. Most residents are also unaware of how many decisions, affecting all of us, are made by this group of council members. Norwalk has about 9,300 active R voters and 22,000 active D voters. Based on that ratio, the Common Council should have 5 R to 10 D at best.

Erica November 20, 2021 at 5:15 pm

And just to follow up on Mr. Canevari’s post regarding money– is everyone aware that the rainbow crosswalk that was painted outside Matthew’s Park cost the city $37,000???? If the goal was the promote awareness for the LGBT community, there are many more productive ways a fraction of that could have been spent. And FYI: the decision to spend that money on paint was approved by the common council in September 2019 (delayed b/c of COVID).

Tysen Canevari November 21, 2021 at 6:45 am

Great point Erica. The LGBT community is vibrant here in Norwalk. I bet they would have painted it for free! Maybe Harry should get out more and meet his constituents. BTW, I noticed none of his family was at the swearing in. mmmmmmm

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