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Opinion: Predictions for 2023

Chapman Hyperlocal Media Inc. Board President John Levin. (Contributed)

OMG – is time speeding up?  What happened to 2022?  It feels like only a few months have gone by since I made predictions for it: 2022 Predictions. I realize now that some of these predictions simply need more time – one year is not enough – for bold predictions to play out.  Nonetheless, I will claim a better success rate for 2022, three or possibly four, out of ten, than I mustered for the previous year (two of ten).  Here are the wins I claim from last year:

#2: Mayor Rilling appoints a replacement to fill the Police Commission seat vacated when Kelly Straniti moved away from Norwalk last summer.  This happened: In March Tony Lopez was appointed to the Police Commission, seven months after the seat was vacated.

#3: Snowfall in Norwalk does not exceed 14 inches for the entire year.  It did not.  At least it didn’t where I live.  There are no official measures of snowfall in Norwalk, but this site offers measures from government sources for Stamford (zero inches in all of 2022) and Bridgeport (over 30 inches).  Does anyone think Norwalk got more than 14 inches of snow last year?  Ask any snowplow driver in town.

#6: Options for the Equity And Justice For All Commission, originally announced by Mayor Rilling in June of 2020, will be studied further by city officials.  Still nothing, but the City has assured us that it remains “100% committed” and the project is not dead.

This one remains undetermined: #5 Norwalk developer Jason Milligan and the city’s Redevelopment Agency agree on something.  It’s hard because Jason claims there was agreement on certain things, but I could not get anyone from the RDA to call me back to confirm.  They even may disagree on what they agreed on.

Sadly: #10: Regulations will be modified by City authorities to allow dogs on a leash into Irving Freese Park on Main Street—currently dogs are not allowed. . . failed and this sign remains in place:

(John Levin)

Ruth and Snowflake. (John Levin)

. . . much to the disappointment of park neighbors Ruth and Snowflake.

So, here are 10 predictions for 2023 for our town:

  1. At least one street in Norwalk will experience a renaming.
  2. Norwalk’s Republicans will get a surprise candidate.
  3. A Norwalk Charter Revision is proposed for the November ballot AND is approved by voters.
  4. A provision of the Charter Revision increases the size of the Police Commission beyond its current membership of only three.
  5. Oak Hills gets a new restaurant manager.
  6. James Walsh is appointed Norwalk Police Chief.
  7.  84 Wall St. remains vacant for yet another year.
  8. At least one Norwalk artist receives national recognition.
  9. Construction of The Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji Foundation Sikh religious center on Richards Avenue will begin and the new Cranbury Elementary School building on Knowalot Lane will be completed. (Are we allowed to recycle predictions from prior years?)
  10. At least three cannabis retail dispensary applications are submitted under Norwalk’s new zoning regulations, but no more than one opens before Dec. 31.

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