Norwalk political notes: RTC resignations; Duff; McCarthy


Norwalk Police Officer Mark Suda staffs last year’s Memorial Day Parade. Suda has resigned from the Republican Town Committee.

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk political notes for you:

  • Two veteran RTC members resign: Suda out, four months after becoming District D chairman
  • Duff advertises forum with State delegation, including Republican newbie
  • Former Council member, now in Florida, misses mark in website criticism

Suda, O’Toole Giandurco exit

In September, former Republican Town Committee Chairman Mark Suda said he had agreed to lead RTC’s District D because his dying friend, then-District D Chairman John Romano, had asked him to.

District D members unanimously elected Suda to replace Romano, according to RTC Chairman Fred Wilms. But now, just four months later, Suda is out.

Suda resigned from the RTC altogether Jan. 10, according to Wilms. Suda did not reply to an email or a phone call, giving him a chance to comment.

Another longtime District D stalwart has also resigned. Shannon O’Toole Giandurco served on the Oak Hills Park Authority before being elected as a District D Common Council member in 2013, a post she held four years. O’Toole Giandurco is now a member of the Commission on the Status of Women.

She resigned from the RTC on Jan. 23, Wilms said.

O’Toole Giandurco explained:

“My daughter is still so young and I am taking time to focus on her, my family and career. I joined the Board of Trustees at Lockwood Mathews Mansion in 2020 and currently serve as the Treasurer as well as being on several committees for the Mansion. Additionally I serve on the Commission on the Status of Women.

“There are so many new interested members in District D and I wanted to move aside for the time being and allow them to be part of the membership. No question I will stay involved and always look for ways to be active in my community and Norwalk as a whole.”


O’Toole Giandurco’s daughter was born in 2016. O’Toole Giandurco ran for reelection the following year.

D has long been the RTC’s strongest district. NoN asked Wilms how replacements are made and how many new members there are.

Wilms said:

“Shannon had been planning to step down for awhile based on family and other commitments. She however is still engaged with the RTC – she participated in our meeting last week.

“The five districts in the RTC elect their own members. District D has been at their full 20-member allocation for some time. There are a number of interested Republicans looking to join, so I expect this trend to continue. Also it is not unusual for RTC members to step down and then rejoin at a future date.”

Legislative forum

The Norwalk State Legislative Delegation is offering a 2023 legislative session preview tonight, Feb. 1., at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall. Every member of the delegation, Democrat and Republican, is expected to be there for the one-hour session.

State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) has often held a similar event as a legislative session begins, usually only with Democratic members. This time around there are three freshmen Representatives, including one Republican.

Expected are:

  • State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25)
  • State Rep. Lucy Dathan (D-142)
  • State Rep. Dominique Johnson (D-143)
  • State Rep. Tracy Marra (R-141)
  • State Rep. Kadeem Roberts (D-137)
  • State Rep. Travis Simms (D-140)


The event will be in the Community Room. City Hall is located at 125 East Ave.

City’s website was quietly updated

The Board of Estimate and Taxation page on the City website. While the new look is cleaner and less clunky, it’s also a challenge to navigate back to the homepage.

Former Common Council member David McCarthy moved to Florida years ago but has kept up with Norwalk doings, as evidenced in fairly regular comments on NancyOnNorwalk.

On Jan. 11, McCarthy wrote, “I find it interesting that the city is obscuring membership in boards….there is no web page for the BET,” referring to the Board of Estimate and Taxation.

McCarthy alleged that Democratic stalwart Ed Camacho had served too long on the BET, “so hide that fact.”

Stephen Keogh replied with a link to the very active BET page, as did Claire Schoen (a Chapman Hyperlocal Media Board member).

Keough also presented evidence that Camacho had not served longer than permitted. Bryan Meek, the Council’s only Republican member, said he had evidence to show otherwise.

Camacho was appointed to the Common Council on Jan. 9.

On Friday, McCarthy again alleged that there’s no BET page on the City’s website.

“With 1 party rule, apparently no one cares about the web site. The BET (and other pages are still missing,” McCarthy wrote in a comment which was not approved.

In mid-November, NoN had trouble finding Boards and Commission Meeting Notices. Turned out, the website had been updated and the bookmarked link no longer functioned.

Norwalk Director of Communications Michelle Woods Matthews said Monday that the actual date of the changes was Nov. 8. All the website’s Boards and Commissions pages were upgraded.

Go to the top of the homepage, hover your mouse over City Government, on the right of the list, and a drop down menu will appear. Click on Boards and Commissions and then scroll down, you’ll find the BET listing.

Reminder: NancyOnNorwalk requires full names from commenters. For more information, go here.


David McCarthy February 1, 2023 at 8:51 am

I don’t generally go back to review people’s comments after my own, but I did see that the comment in question was in moderation long after others made subsequently were approved. I assumed it was never approved.

At this moment, if there is a website for the BET that can be navigated to, that’s nice. If one tries to Google it, as 99.9% of normal people would, they are taken to a dead link, that I provided twice, and which is still the case.

It seems odd to me to come back several weeks later and report on a comment if it was so thoroughly disproven immediately thereafter, but, oh, I get it…

Drew Todd February 1, 2023 at 8:59 am

Wasn’t Bobby Boy so nice to include Newly elected Marra in his little sideshow just usually reserved for Democrats. And yet he calls it Norwalk Delegation. He should preference it it’s only the part of the delegation he wants. Let’s not forget it’s always about Bobby Boy and no one else.

Thank You Mark & Shannon for your leadership and dedication to the RTC over many years. It’s a pleasure calling you both my friends! You will be missed!

Nora Niedzielski-Eichner February 1, 2023 at 9:22 am

I want to draw attention to an additional feature of the new boards and commissions website. You can now see a list of all vacancies for Norwalk’s boards and commissions and apply online. https://apps.norwalkct.org/meetingboard/vacant

Tremendous thanks to our IT department, our communications staff, and particularly the Commission on the Status of Women for their efforts to make it easier for the City to draw on the tremendous knowledge and love for Norwalk among our diverse residents of all backgrounds. Please take a look and consider applying today.

It is important to note that we are required by law to have a balance of political party affiliations on many of the commissions, and the Mayor also makes appointments with an eye to balancing the members’ skill sets and expertise. So even if you are not the right fit at that time for the first position you apply for, openings occur all the time, and we encourage you to continue expressing interest until you find the right volunteer role.

Mimi Chang February 8, 2023 at 10:40 am

Nancy… How’d you miss it? Residents know Bob Duff didn’t originally include Tracy Marra as a panelist at the delegation legislative forum. They saw the original flyer posted to the “City of Norwalk, CT” and “State Rep Lucy Dathan” FB pages with her photo/name missing, despite the flyer advertising an all-inclusive “Norwalk Delegation Legislative Forum”. Nonpartisan “League of Women Voters – Norwalk, CT” promoted the original flyer with Marra amiss on its FB page. Residents inquired/learned the Thursday before last that Tracy Marra was never even extended an invite by Bob Duff, Lucy Dathan or the other State Representatives, which isn’t a good look on Norwalk’s Democratic delegation, but unsurprising when perusing Bob Duff’s steady stream of hyperpartisan snubs and jabs directed at Republicans on his social media pages, where he broadly shames and sometimes partakes in name-calling them with his acolytes, devolving what could’ve been healthy bipartisan discourse into divisive drivel. I’m not a Republican and find his polarizing content offensive and indigestible. Bob’s baloney is something to behold.

Informed Norwalk residents got Tracy Marra the invite owed her, insisting on the city’s post with the original link that she be invited and the flyer revised/reposted. Good thing, as she got face time with those of us in attendance who learned of some great proposals for legislation she’s working on, where we wouldn’t have if left to our Dem delegates. A flurry of comments removed on the city page’s original post posed great questions, one which perhaps the Norwalk Charter Revision Commission could ponder when revamping public meeting guidelines. That question was, would it have been ethical, had it been permissible, for Bob Duff to have excluded an Independent Party endorsed, Republican Norwalk delegate from participating in a Norwalk delegation legislative forum on the premises of Norwalk City Hall, the building of the people, D,R,U,I and otherwise, as doing so would’ve yielded a partisan political event? Is “One-party rule is okay when it’s us” really okay here? Another interesting question was, as many of our local elected officials focus heavily on equity for all in their messaging and campaigning, did Tracy Marra’s fellow delegates not find snubbing her as glaringly inequitable as their outspoken constituents did, or is snubbing Republican delegates the exception to equity for all? The hypocrisy is stunning.

Perhaps NoN’s coverage should be edited to shine a light on the real deal above, as it currently reads like it’s covering for Bob Duff to many readers who know the backstory. Often, the Norwalk community gets the scoop on Bob’s baloney where NoN somehow doesn’t, like for example that time when our Senator took to Twitter to accuse a Darien Republican BoE member whom he took a screenshot of in live time of flashing a white supremacy symbol during his candidate debate, when in fact, the man was pinching the fabric of his jacket sleeve. Duff deleted his libelous nonsense after being called out on political pages, but the screenshot sent ‘round the internet lives in infamy. Bob Duff’s immature actions and dismissiveness toward that other major party, which puzzlingly seeks to divide rather than to unify, is what’s wrong with today’s politics, and is why he and other politicians who conduct themselves similarly should be held accountable. Bob Duff should be asked and answer what his reason was for initially excluding Tracy Marra and for excluding her predecessor Terrie Wood at past delegation legislative forums. Why not hold our Senator accountable for NoN’s unvarnished story?

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