NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s what we have for you in political notes this Tuesday:
- Kassimis running – for Council
- GGP’s Chicago headquarters being redeveloped…
- Goldstein’s public comment stuck in transit
- BoE blamed for Ely fire
- Malloy assigns resources to New Haven line
- A McQuaid in government – someone new
Kassimis running again
Board of Education member Artie Kassimis’ term ends this year, but he’s not running for re-election, he’s looking to join the Common Council.
Kassimis, a Republican, will run to represent District C on the Council, he said recently.
Asked who else might be running, Kassimis said, “There are a few newcomers that are considering. No one else has committed.”
GGP’s latest national news blurbs
If that address sounds familiar it’s because it’s currently headquarters for GGP, the company seeking to build a Class A mall, The SoNo Collection, in Norwalk.
A GGP spokesperson said GGP has not finalized relocation plans, the website reported, continuing on to say, “Read into this what you will” given that GGP CEO Sandeep Mathrani last week refused to rule out selling the company.
Mathrani’s comments came in a conference call to explain GGP’s first quarterly report.
An ‘outright sale” of the company is the most likely outcome of that report, Alexander Goldfarb, managing director for Sandler O’Neill + Partners, said, according to a May 4 story on CoStar.com.
NY Stock News reports a bearish attitude on GGP stock, with a negative outlook, in a story posted Monday.
Sheehan apologizes for ‘confusion’
East Norwalker Deb Goldstein has been outspoken in her opposition to the deal with GGP that the city is currently considering, but on April 26 was frustrated to learn that her letter to the Redevelopment Agency had not been delivered.
Goldstein, addressing RDA as a public speaker at its meeting, asked Commissioners if they had received her written comments. The answer was no.
“That’s a concern,” Goldstein said.
The comments were not relative to the topic of the meeting, Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan said.
“With all due respect, when the public sends comments to the agency with the intention that it be read by the Commissioners, it’s not up to anybody’s judgment as to whether they are appropriate or not,” Goldstein replied.
The comments were relative to a public hearing, which would come later, Sheehan said.
The plan for a public hearing had already been mentioned publicly.
“There is no sense of screening the information,” Sheehan said. “The issue ultimately, I think there was confusion as to if you were sending it in relative to the public hearing requirement or if you were sending it in relative to this meeting. But we are happy to forward all of the comments… I apologize if there was confusion on that.”
Dumas’ inflammatory comment
“It’s bothering me,” South Norwalk activist Ernie Dumas said at last week’s District B Democrats meeting, explaining why he felt he had to speak up about an incident.
On April 15, there was a fire set behind the tennis courts at Nathaniel Ely school, he said.
The Board of Education is seeking to build a new school behind Nathaniel Ely; that had been a topic earlier in the meeting, with comments made about South Norwalk losing open space.
Dumas reported that on April 15 John Mosby called 911 and one truck came, with no police vehicle and no fire inspector. Mosby chased children off the tennis court and the fire had been burning for some time, he said.
“I think it all points to the Board of Ed. If those woods were to burn down they would have a free shot to all that land over there,” Dumas said.
BoE officials declined to comment.
An email sent Thursday to the Norwalk Fire Department did not get a reply.
State studying New Haven line
A trio of consultants will develop a strategy to improve rail service on the New Haven line, Railway Age reported Friday.
The initial planning phase for improvements is funded with $3 million allocated by the Connecticut State Bond Commission as part of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s 30-year transportation plan, “Let’s Go CT!”, the website reported. Recommendations are expected in 2018.
McQuaid appointed to Transit District
Attorney Alice McQuaid, wife to Town Clerk Rick McQuaid, was appointed recently to the Norwalk Transit District.
Rick McQuaid has been active in city government for decades but this is the first time Alice McQuaid has taken on one of Norwalk’s volunteer roles on a time consuming Board.
McQuaid said she was honored to accept the appointment.