Rilling adapts to new routine

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling 112213 050-001
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling conducts city business via the telephone on his third day in the mayor’s office.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s long-time police chief was still getting used to the title “mayor” as he sat in his new office recently expressing thoughts between phone calls.

“There’s a lot to do up front,” Mayor Harry Rilling said on his third day occupying a mostly undecorated room on the second floor of City Hall. “It’s very, very interesting, all of the things that need to get done.”

Two posters made by children at West Rocks Middle School sat on the sofa; a collage made by his grandchildren sat on the top of a filing cabinet. Other than that there were no decorations. The bookcase shelves were empty.

“Understanding this is Day 3, the thing that is most surprising to me is the number of people that want to see me right away and the things that you have to do which kind of consume an inordinate amount of time,” he said. “You have to cut down on meetings, impromptu meetings; you have to cut down on those unless there’s an urgent need. If somebody comes into the office to meet with me, I may not have the time to do that and we have to set up a meeting for them. But if there’s an urgent need, obviously we have to take care of it right away and adjust my schedule.”

Rilling said he was planning to work evenings.

“I’ll be attending some committee meetings and commissions, going and getting up to speed on some of those things, getting up to speed on where they are and what their issues are, what they’re working on, what they’re confronted with,” he said.

Three days later he attended the Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) board meeting. NEON and Head Start were consuming a lot of his time right up until Thanksgiving, he said, as he worked behind the scenes with local, state and federal officials to try to help get those trouble programs back on track.

Rilling said he had a ribbon cutting that afternoon, his second foray with the big scissors. A ribbon cutting reflects something positive, he said, mentioning that was a phrase used by former Mayor Richard Moccia. But he said he was planning to delegate.

“I would like to share the ribbon cutting duties with members of the Common Council and other elected officials. We can all participate in it,” he said. “It doesn’t always have to be the mayor out front. I can go to them and have the council president, or council minority leader, assist with cutting the ribbon, so that everybody gets exposure rather than just having the mayor out there.”


14 responses to “Rilling adapts to new routine”

  1. Don’t Panic

    How come everything being done to help NEON is “behind the scenes”? This is baffling, given that NEON’S behind the scenes activity is what got it into trouble in the first place. Shouldn’t the public be informed?

  2. Oldtimer

    Some of us remember when it was a part-time job. Knowing Harry, he will manage, and put in a lot of hours.

  3. Broderick I. Sawyer

    The inclusion has begun!

  4. Tim T

    Looks like Harry got more than he bargained for. I guess he figured he could show up like when he was police consultant. Hey he could always resign if the job is to much.

    “Understanding this is Day 3, the thing that is most surprising to me is the number of people that want to see me right away”
    those pesky taxpayers

    Bets on how long the Rilling political operatives wait to replyy to my post.

  5. TG

    Ah Tim T, but I’m guessing lots of us were just taking bets on how long it would be before you commented on any article with “Rilling” in the headline. I actually looked just because its actually pretty entertaining. I haven’t even read the article yet, just jumped right to the comments! Going to do that now…

  6. Tim T

    Thank you TG for being the first political operative reply.

  7. Suzanne

    An ordinary article about someone beginning a challenging position and, you, Tim T, seeking attention and the ever present negative invective, must make exactly that with an unmerited comment and endless negativity. Let the mayor do his job and it would be such a relief to have you leave your fingers checked at the keyboard. Read a book, watch television, go for a walk. Unless it is something substantive, stop.

  8. Tim T

    I am very sorry the truth bothers you.

  9. Suzanne

    What is true and what is diatribe from you, Tim T, are very different. You, as have I, have been writing on these threads for quite some time now. I just wish you would take the time to consider the content of what you contribute instead of trying to incite a reaction to your invective all of the time. You seem quite the narcissist, I guess that works for you, and I guess even narcissists with overwrought, emotional opinions and negative attitudes get to voice their opinions. I just wish I didn’t have to find yours here all of the time: self-serving and untrue,completely emotional, all about you and without a thread of content. Most have given up on you, now how does THAT feel?, will not engage and I will do the same.

  10. M Allen

    Tribal council? 😛

  11. TG

    Is Tim T being voted off the island?

  12. Tim T

    Its amazing me how NON allows me to be attacked by the Rilling supporters for my views yet when I post a rebuttal Mark doesn’t allow the post. I guess its the non-bias stance of NON.
    It would seem to me that M Allen, Suzanne and TG should all be put on moderation, but that will never happen.

    • This is something every child in the U.S. is being taught: Do not insult, bully, threaten or harass the writers or your fellow commenters. Comments referring to other commenters as “idiots,” “retards,” or the like will be edited or not published. Keep the back-and-forth with commenters on topic (this phrase was added 10/14/13

    1. Mark Chapman


      You have consistently harassed, bullied and insulted other commenters. Your repetitious diatribes against Rilling and, previously, Richard Moccia, and the Norwalk Police Department, were always posted. But you continue to engage in attempting to shout down anyone who disagrees with you and then whine when people respond in kind. We, like many of our readers, have grown tired of this. Thus, we are taking the rare action of saying good-bye to you.

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