NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk political notes for you:
- Keegan leading women’s Commission, which hasn’t met since November
- DiMeglio, longtime P&Z stalwart, is out of the game
- Schulman, Mushak and Wells
- Former NPS COO Costanzo now at Teach For America
- Former Finance Department honcho lands at Yale
‘Starting in March’
Mayor Harry Rilling revived the Commission on the Status of Women, a long-forgotten City body that’s been inactive for at least 25 years, in late September. Since then, there’s been one meeting.
Commission members elected Anna Keegan as their Chairwoman and Claudia Werman Connor as Vice Chairwoman in November. They also formed a bylaws committee. Since then, every meeting has been cancelled.
“The fact that the Commission has not yet met is just a case of bad timing,” Keegan said in an email. “In November we agreed to meet on the third Monday of the month as our regular time, and we will be meeting then, starting in March. Appointed in November, we cancelled the December meeting due to the holidays. The January and February meetings conflicted with federal holidays (Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day), both days on which City Hall is closed. Everyone is eager and excited to get going with the work of the Commission, and we will have a full agenda in March. In the meantime, the bylaws sub-committee is meeting to keep the administrative side of things moving forward.”
Commission members decided in November to continue holding meetings on Zoom. Shannon O’Toole Giandurco commented that there was “housekeeping stuff to really get things together” and “bylaws are not the exciting part to dig into. But once we have them, you know, we can then go forward. So I would say definitely zoom for now.” It would take “the next couple months to really get going on” the bylaws.
In September, Rilling said the Commission will have “various tasks and responsibilities to explore the situation of women in Norwalk relative to equal opportunities, comparable worth and other kinds of things that we know that sometimes women are a little bit behind, and don’t have the same opportunities as others.”
The Commission on the Status of Women became part of the City’s code in 1987, under then-Mayor Bill Collins, but disbanded after participation wanned, a City news release said. It can have 11 members. Rilling appointed 10 women but said, “We’re looking for men who may be interested in serving as well.”
Keegan is Norwalk Housing Authority Director of Housing Operations, and previously worked as Norwalk’s Fair Rent Officer.
DiMeglio calls it quits
Just a month after the Planning and Zoning Commissions merged, longtime Planning Commission Chairwoman Frances DiMeglio has bowed out from serving on the combined body.
The Common Council accepted her resignation Tuesday.
“Some things have recently popped up that need more of my time and attention and I could not dedicate the time to Planning and Zoning that it deserves. It has been an honor to serve the Great City of Norwalk as a Planning Commissioner for 20 years. If I may, I would like to thank Mayor Knopp for his trust in first appointing me. I did not know Mayor Knopp, I just expressed interest in serving on any board. Thank you to Mayor Moccia for his support and reappointments; and much appreciation and gratitude to Mayor Rilling for his reappointments to the Planning Commission and continued confidence in being named to the combined Planning and Zoning Commission. I thank my past and present colleagues on the PC and past and present members of the Planning and Zoning staff. Thank you to the Department Heads and staff – I have many fond memories of our many interactions. It hasn’t always been easy and the hours have been long. Capital budget reviews went to 2:00am. For all the critics of Planning and Zoning, I urge you to serve or become a partner in the process and not just continuously attack and point out the flaws. Challenge to do better; get involved in a positive way. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve.
“I wish everyone well.”
DiMeglio did not attend any meetings of the new Planning and Zoning Commission.
The Council also accepted the resignation of Sheri McCready Brown from the Board of Estimate and Taxation, as she has been elected to the Board of Education.
“They were invaluable assets to the city of Norwalk and worked very hard and put in a lot of hours,” Rilling said.
Schulman leads P&Z, Mushak is vice chairman
In January, the P&Z Commission kicked off its work by electing former Zoning Commission Chairman Lou Schulman as its chairman. Mike Mushak, who served on the Zoning Commission before he became Planning Commissioner, was elected vice chairman. Galen Wells was elected secretary.
Schulman appointed Steven Ferguson to chair the capital budget committee.
Another resignation accepted recently: Frank Costanzo, who served at a high height under former Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski but was demoted under current Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella, left NPS as of Jan. 7, according to the Feb. 15 Board of Education meeting packet.
Costanzo became NPS Chief of School Operations in September 2015 and later came under fire when he and the New Haven Board of Education were sued due to an allegation that he sexually harassed an employee. New Haven settled the lawsuit for $150,000 in early 2019.
In July, Estrella reassigned Costanzo to work at Norwalk High School, as part of a restructuring of Central Office. The recent agenda states that he was NHA Associate Education Administrator for SBIS.
Costanzo earned $211,842 in 2020 as COO, according to City documents. In 2021, he earned $149,917.
He’s gone to work for Teach For America as the Senior Managing Director of Programs and Innovation for the region, Connecticut TFA states in a press release.
“An adjunct professor and graduate student coach at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Costanzo will oversee the entire participant journey from recruitment to incoming corps members, teachers in more than 10 different subjects from Pre-K through Grade 12 that join TFA, through the two-year corps member experience through alumni status,” the news release says.
Fogel went to Yale
In October, NancyOnNorwalk learned that Norwalk Director of Management and Budgets Angela Fogel had left the city. Details were not available.
Fogel’s resignation was effective Sept. 1, according to her resignation letter, provided by Director of Personnel and Labor Relations Ray Burney on Oct. 14.
“I have genuinely enjoyed my time with the city,” she wrote in the letter.
Fogel went to work as Associate Director of Finance & Administration for Yale University in January, according to her LinkedIn Page.
She’s working for Yale Library, the Yale website states.
Fogel did not reply to an email from NancyOnNorwalk.