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Norwalk political notes: Wilms a question mark; NAACP and POKO

NORWALK, Conn. – Emily Wilson and Andy Garfunkel are united: “Absolutely” was their word of choice when asked if they are committed to serving the 142nd District on a long-term basis should they win election as a state representative.

Fred Wilms was more circumspect.

Wilson, the endorsed Republican candidate to replace 22-year state Rep. Larry Cafero (R-142), Garfunkel, the Democratic-endorsed candidate, and Wilms, who is expected to challenge Wilson in an Aug. 12 Republican Party primary for the nomination, all answered this question: “Is being state representative a long-term commitment for you? If you’re elected, do you see yourself sticking with it beyond two years?”

“Absolutely,” Wilson said in an email. “Representing Norwalk and New Canaan well is my goal, and I believe that takes a longer commitment than a single term.”

“Absolutely,” Garfunkel said in an email. “I am very committed to the needs of this community. The work that needs to be done will far exceed two years. Accomplishing any long-term goals takes time and commitment and the patience to follow through.”

Said Wilms, “I believe in crossing bridges when I come to them. The bridge that I am focused on is Aug. 12.”

Elsewhere in politics:

• National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Norwalk branch President Darnell Crosland said last week he would seek sanctions against First Vice President Andre Williams that might result in Williams being removed from office after Williams gave NancyOnNorwalk a letter with an NAACP letterhead calling for Fire Chief Denis McCarthy’s resignation.

Asked in a Tuesday email how that went, Crosland replied, “All issues have been resolved via a confidential executive board meeting where the state president of the NAACP was present.”

Later he filled in branch members on the details in a more definitive manner. Williams will stay, he said.

• The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency and the Common Council Planning Committee are holding a joint meeting Thursday in the Norwalk Public Library main branch auditorium to consider granting an extension to allow POKO Partners time to build the long-delayed Wall Street Place, now that POKO principal Ken Olson is reporting that he has the financing in place to build Phase I.

Olson is seeking an extension to September 2016 for Phase I, and an extension to 2022 for the entire project. Councilman Bruce Kimmel (D-At Large) said Olson’s likely to win conditional approval from council members.

“There is undoubtedly a lot of frustration regarding the POKO proposal because of the amount of time that’s passed since the Land Disposition Agreement went into effect,” Kimmel wrote in an email. “However, the consequences of removing POKO from the scene are severe, especially since they already own most of the properties.  My guess is that the majority of the Council will continue working with POKO but under strict time constraints. Personally, I’m becoming more optimistic about the project; the economy is improving and financing will probably become easier to obtain. I do have questions about the type of garage they are planning to build and hope the city can work with them to modify that part of the plan.”

6 comments

Fred Wilms June 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Nancy, I am committed to serving multiple terms. Whether it is working to spur new job creation, fixing the state budget problems or bringing more ECS money back to Norwalk – these will all take time. I look forward to serving the citizens of Norwalk and New Canaan as their state representative for the long run.

Carlos_S June 4, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Mr. Wilms, did you find the bridge in this short a time? Haha, just joking.

But given your initial hesitance and the number of rumors that surround you right now, will you make a commitment to the voters that you will not seek any other office while you are elected to this position? If another office is your goal as others are saying, isn’t it a better idea to sit this primary out and focus on that?

Pete Repeat June 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm

With all Flip Wilms’ self-professed support among the GOP elite, I’m shocked none of them told him to stop consulting the Wiley E. Coyote/Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz campaign manual. Obviously, he hasn’t learned not to include a “self-destruct” button on his campaign machine.
Of course, as long as Flip has lips, he’ll have a self-destruct button that is primed and ready to blow up another failed attempt at elective office.

piberman June 5, 2014 at 1:32 am

We already have long serving Democratic legislators who always vote the party line on taxes and spending. We just need much better legislators who understand finance, not just politics and photo ops.

Hobbes.the.Calvinist June 5, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Thank you to Fred “Flip” Wilms for proving Robert Browning to be a political pundit and poet. For Flip, his political reach clearly exceeds his limited grasp of what voters want and need.

Peter Torrano June 8, 2014 at 6:53 pm

Unfortunate that those opposed to Fred Wilms and his campaign have chosen not to address issues, as he and the nominee he is going to primary, Emily Wilson, have chosen to do. Disagree with Mr. Wilms or any other candidate for that matter, but at least do it with facts and not silly name calling. That should be below anyone wishing to be taken seriously. Not person will not vote for Fred just because of a witty comment (witty at least in the mind of the person making the comment). Bring out the facts so that people will know why you think, rightly or wrongly, why you are opposed to Fred. then tell us what you would do differently.

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