NORWALK, Conn. – There’s been some buzz about defibrillators in the schools.
A week ago, it was suggested at the Mayor’s Night Out that Norwalk Public Schools should all be equipped with defibrillators. The next day, Mayor Harry Rilling said he had spoken with a possible corporate sponsor who might provide the life-saving equipment. Then Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons said the shocking machinery was already in the 2014-15 school budget.
That piece of news sent some readers scrambling to try to find the budget line item.
Well, turns out Mike Lyons was wrong – automated external defibrillators (AED’s) are not in the 2014-15 proposed budget. They have been put on the shopping list for, well, now.
According to Lyons, the funding for the equipment has become available in this year’s budget. The misinformation was the result of a “communications hiccup” between Lyons and Superintendent Manny Rivera.
And there’s more. Lyons said the price is coming down.
“Manny said we got a new proposal in today that would let us do the AEDs for about $49,000 (rather than the original estimate of $80,000),” he said.
Rivera “made plans to reallocate savings into the AED’s after receiving a proposal from the head of our nursing group, Grace Vetter, to place them in all of our schools,” Lyons wrote Tuesday in an email. “There are considerable savings in the 2013-2014 superintendents’ budget because the start date of the HR chief will not begin until March 1 at the earliest. In addition, we will not hire a chief business officer until July 1 (which will be covered in the 2014/15 operating budget).”
Lyons said the mayor might get corporate funding for some or all of the AED expense in meetings scheduled later this week.
“If that is the case, then we will not need to make a transfer of our own operating budget funds to cover this cost,” Lyons said.
Meet the developer
A would-be commenter who tried to find a new way to use the language to get a sex organ reference onto the site – are we really in middle school here? – managed to call our attention to something of interest recently. So, with a nod to Mr. Shun…
The developer who wants to put a BJ’s Wholesale Club on Main Avenue – and who suggested that, should he be denied, perhaps he would opt for a strip club – apparently has quite a history in New York, both as a developer and an attorney. We spent a few minutes searching the Internet and came up with the following links:
The BJ’s proposal may be on its way back to the Zoning Commission. Fasten your seat belts, it could be a bumpy ride.
So, just what DOES he do?
There has been much angst on the part of some people over the source of David Watts’s income. This seems odd to Watts, who says he has not heard similar questions about any of the other Common Council members, all of whom are basically volunteers (they get a $50 monthly stipend, which Watts says he dos not take).
Watts said he derives his income from his work as a freelance political campaign consultant for out-of-town campaigns. His most recent gig was helping to get Toni Harp elected mayor of New Haven, he said. Harp is the city’s first female mayor, and is an African-American. He said he does not charge Norwalk Democrats when he works on their campaigns, because he feels it could be a conflict of interest.
Watts has called himself “the poorest member of the Common Council.” His wife is a teacher at Porter & Chester Institute in Stratford.
In the interest of full disclosure, we researched the rest of the council online:
Doug Hempstead, VP Stew Leonard’s
Glen Iannacone, retired fire marshal
Bruce Kimmel, retired NYC teacher, NCC teacher
Sharon Stewart, social worker
Richard Bonenfant, professional photographer
John Igneri, former president of Dreyfus Investment Advisors
David McCarthy, worked for GE Capital and IBM
Faye Bowman, data analyst, Horizons National Student Enrichment Program
Michelle Maggio, owner, Mike’s Deli
John Kydes, construction and building management
Jerry Petrini, owner, My Three Sons
Shannon O’Toole Giandurco, executive assistant, Tengram Capital
Travis Simms, retired two-time World Boxing Association junior middleweight champion
Eloisa Melendez, student, NCC
He said it in The Times
A story about Farm Creek in Tuesday’s New York Times Real Estate section brought up The Great Divide between Rowayton and The Rest of Norwalk, a situation acknowledged in the story by Mike Barbis.
“There are many people that would love for us to secede from the city of Norwalk,” said Michael Barbis, a taxing district commissioner and real estate agent. “There’s this perception that the city is taking advantage of us. But under the state constitution, secession is really not an option.”
Barbis did throw a bouquet of sorts to Rowayton’s Norwalk connection, touting diversity in the schools, especially at Rowayton Elementary, which draws some children from South Norwalk. “Your kids go to school in Darien and it’s all kids of upper-class, white-collar professionals,” said Mr. Barbis, who is also on the Board of Education. “In Rowayton, you get the best of both worlds.”
IMF to host 2-day MLK celebration
The Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship of Norwalk and Vicinity (IMF) will host its annual two-day Celebration of the life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday and Monday, Jan. 19-20, with a citywide memorial program. The events are free and open to the public. All are welcome to attend.
Sunday’s kick-off service will be held at 7 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church, 21 Concord St., with the Rev. Carl McCluster from Shiloh Baptist Church in Bridgeport as guest speaker. Music will be provided by Basic featuring Hughie Askew. Offerings collected during the service will go toward supporting the IMF Scholarship Fund.
Monday’s program will be held at 7 p.m. in City Hall’s Concert Hall, 125 East Ave., with guest speaker the Rev. Dr. Robert W. Perry from Union Baptist Church in Stamford. Music will be provided by the IMF/MLK Concert Choir.
The Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship of Norwalk and Vicinity is a network of religious leaders seeking to provide not only spiritual benefits but also social and educational benefits to the community.
And speaking of MLK Day…
There will be regular garbage and recycling pick-up in the Monday collection areas of the 4th Taxing District on Jan. 20.
The transfer station at 61 Crescent St. will be open for regular business hours, as will the yard waste site at 15 S. Smith St.