NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk info for you:
- Morris, NPS, heading for mediation
- NHS architect tapped; LAZ parks contract approved
- No, we’re not in a drought
Morris lawsuit to be settled out of court?
The lawsuit filed by former Norwalk Public Schools Human Relations Officer Bruce Morris, accusing NPS of discrimination against him in the elimination of his position, had been expected to go to trial this month. Instead, it’s going to mediation next month.
The trial was recently rescheduled to May. On Jan. 9, the defendants requested that “judicial alternative dispute resolution” be conducted in early February. Morris has agreed, according to the document.
Morris alleges that a written reprimand issued to him in late 2015 and the subsequent elimination of his job in the 2016-17 school year budget were motivated by his race, color and status as a State Representative, in violation of the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act. He also alleges that he was retaliated against due to his previous opposition to discrimination. NPS states that his job was eliminated due to budgetary concerns.
A document filed in December estimated 10-12 days of jury selection and a 10-14-day trial. Judge Robert Genuario issued a continuance on Dec. 23, rescheduling the trial to May 13.
Council advances NHS design
The proposal to build a new Norwalk High School came as a surprise in early December, with Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski explaining it as a “once in a decade” opportunity and State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) calling for “out of the box thinking.”
The proposal advanced Tuesday as the Common Council greenlighted JCJ Architecture to provide conceptual design services for the new school at a maximum cost of $50,000.
JCJ Architecture is an 84-year-old firm with offices in seven U.S. cities including Hartford, New York and Boston. The Council unanimously approved use of funds from Norwalk High School’s existing capital budget to pay for the design.
Norwalk Building/Facility Manager Alan Lo noted that subsequent construction cost estimates will be rendered by a different vendor yet to be determined, and will require an additional $10,000.
Council also approved LAZ
Also in Tuesday’s meeting, the Council unanimously approved LAZ Parking’s four-year contract for Calf Pasture Beach, Shady Beach, Cranbury Park, Veterans Park, and Taylor Farm. The approval synchronizes Recreation & Parks’ LAZ contract with that of the Parking Authority, with both pacts set to expire at the end of 2023.
At the start of the meeting, Mayor Harry Rilling administered the oath of office to newly-appointed Council member Dominique Johnson (D-At Large).
‘That is an old thing’
“Despite all of the rain this year, our reservoirs are extremely low right now,” former Board of Education member Bryan Meek wrote in a Jan. 8 comment on NancyOnNorwalk.
A state document indicated that might be the case, but First Taxing District General Manager Dominick DiGangi said everything is fine.
Go to the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s website, click on “monthly reservoir status summary” and you’ll find a September reservoir status summary that shows the First Taxing District to be in a drought alert – the only utility in the state with the designation.
Again, that’s the most recent information available on the State’s website.
“We are not in the drought the reservoirs are actually completely full and that is an old thing,” DiGangi wrote last week. “I think we might’ve been in the first stage of a drought which is sort of like a watch and I think it might’ve only been for a few weeks way back in late August/early September. But that is well over with now.”
First Taxing District Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Elsa Peterson Obuchowski on Jan. 11 wrote, “First District reservoirs (as reported at the December 11 meeting of the board of commissioners) were in the range of 85-100% full in December.”