Norwalk Dems agree to disagree on mayoral candidate

Norwalk Democratic convention 071613 175
Four Norwalk Democrats vying to be mayor are presented to the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Tuesday. From left are Andy Garfunkel, Vinny Mangiacopra, Matt Miklave and Harry Rilling.

NORWALK, Conn. – Nothing has changed, Norwalk – the choice of a Democrat to take on Republican Mayor Richard Moccia this fall is still in the hands of the people who turn out for the Democratic primary in September.

After eight rounds of voting – the latter ones seemed like deja vu all over again – the Norwalk Democratic Town Committee voted to adjourn its nominating convention Monday without endorsing a mayoral candidate.

Former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling led each time, but not with enough votes to walk out the door with the endorsement. District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra came in a strong second, closing the gap to stay one behind Rilling on each of the later votes.

Votes from half the DTC members present, plus one, were needed. That meant 18 votes, as every one of the 35 members were there, either in person or by proxy.

The first ballot resulted in 14 votes for Rilling, 10 votes for Mangiacopra, seven votes for Matt Miklave and four for Andy Garfunkel. On the second vote, Miklave voters Steve Serasis, Mike Barbis, Sam Disraelly and John Igneri went for Mangiacopra. Miklave voter Susan Wallerstein went for Rilling. The tally? Rilling 15, Mangiacopra 14, Miklave two and Garfunkel two.

Third vote, Ernie Dumas switched from Mangiacopra to Miklave. Garfunkel voter Joe Tanburri went to Rilling. Rilling 16, Mangiacopra 14, Miklave three and Garfunkel two.

Time for a break – Brown called a “five minute recess.” In the half hour that followed, Mangiacopra schmoozed Tamburri and Rilling talked to Barbis for a while.

Next vote? Rilling 16, Mangiacopra 15, Miklave two, Garfunkel two.

And that is where it stayed.

Travis Simms, right, talks with Scott Kimmich late in the evening. Kimmich unwaveringly voted for Miklave, prompting a groan on the seventh vote.
Travis Simms, right, talks with Scott Kimmich late in the evening. Kimmich unwaveringly voted for Miklave, prompting a groan on the seventh vote.

More play by play: After the fourth vote, Brown warned non-committee members that it might take a while – it might be a good time to go home.

The rules do not allow for the lowest vote-getters to be dropped. After another vote with the same results she called a recess.

“We have to figure out what to do so you’re not here all night,” she said.

The meeting had begun at about 7:15 p.m.; it was 9:49 p.m.

Miklave sent out a Tweet: “Another ‘caucus’ as Insiders offer deals. If people think they can offer me something for vote, they just have not been paying attention.”

After two more votes another recess was called. The four candidates, Brown, NDTC Treasurer Peter Thor and state central representative Nora King  met in a side room and closed the door.

When the convention resumed, Democrats joked that the Republicans must have turned off the air conditioning in the City Hall community room, where everyone was suffering. Brown announced that she was calling the calvary – the secretary of state.

After another half an hour, pizza and speculation that the meeting might be adjourned without an endorsement, Brown called another vote. For the fifth time, the results were Rilling 16, Mangiacopra 15, Miklave two, Garfunkel two.

Former Mayor Alex Knopp, a Rilling supporter, made a motion to adjourn. Mangiacopra supporters objected, but Knopp said it was non-debatable.

Brown asked Knopp to withdraw the motion. He would not.

“This meeting will become a farce if it goes on much longer,” he said. “I move to adjourn.”

All of Mangiacopra’s supporters voted against adjourning. Everyone else voted for it.

Mangiacopra said he was disappointed by the outcome.

“We felt that we have momentum going into later ballots,” he said, in spite of the last five identical votes. “We were really excited about the amount of support we had here today. I feel that if we were to go multiple ballots we were assured of getting the nomination. It looked like it was a strategy amongst the three other candidates in the race to have a no vote and pretty much go to an open primary.”

He later released a statement saying that he had gained the most votes during the evening.

Rilling said he was a little disappointed given that he had led all the ballots.

“But it was obvious that we were deadlocked,” he said. “We’ve been here 4½ hours. And the outcome is going to be the same. All four of us are going to primary. There’s no difference to the outcome. We could have stayed here all night long and nothing would have changed.”

He denied that there had been a strategy amongst him, Miklave and Garfunkel.

“I think we came in here expecting to have a clear winner,” he said. “I think everybody wanted to come out with a clear winner.”

Miklave pointed out that he had come in third on the first ballot.

“I’m actually very pleased with the result because I think this showed a maturity of the Democratic Party,” he said. “We decided as a party that we’re not going to let party insiders pick the Democratic nominee, we’re going to allow the people to pick the Democratic nominee. We decided that we’re all going to be equal, no one’s going to have the advantage over the other. We’ll all have to petition on and have a vigorous contest. I think that’s what my candidacy has been about, is to change my party, and tonight is the first example of how we’re bringing reform to Norwalk.”

Garfunkel said something similar.

“This is a small universe of 35 people that choose a candidate to run for mayor, to represent the 14,000 to 15,000 registered Democrats throughout the city and it’s been my contention all along when we got to this many candidates that we should leave it to the voters, not the general public but the Democratic voters, to choose the candidate when it became such a crowded field,” he said.

Miklave said his volunteers would be out at 9 a.m. Wednesday gathering signatures on a petition so he would be in the Sept. 10 primary.

“At the end of the day, the leaders made a decision that rather than have some gamesmanship pick the nominee that we’re going to allow the people to decide who our nominee is,” he said. “We’re going to take this contest to the people. That’s what it should be. I don’t think we should be afraid of a primary. That’s the contest of ideas that I wanted to have and that’s the contest of ideas that we have right now.”

What happened during that little conference behind the closed door?

“My position inside with the town chair and the other candidates and our state central representative, our parliamentarian, was that we should continue voting until there’s a nominee,” Mangiacopra said. “As the Democratic chairman in our district and an executive member of the town committee, I felt it was important that our party, given all the things that have taken place in recent few weeks that we come forward with a nominee. Clearly that wasn’t in the cards for some other candidates to have that kind of strategy but regardless we’re excited about our prospects going into the September primary and ultimately offering the biggest contrast to Mayor Moccia in November.”

Rilling said he couldn’t discuss it because it was like an executive session kind of thing.

“We were talking about possible strategies that we could try to work out,” he said. “How we could move forward. It was decided that we would take one more vote. If anybody made a motion to adjourn at any point then the motion to adjourn is not debatable.”

All was calm and civil throughout the meeting, although David Watts directed some angry words at Rilling as the former police chief headed out the door.

“You cut off debate,” Watts said. “You’re no different from Moccia.”


64 responses to “Norwalk Dems agree to disagree on mayoral candidate”

  1. Michael Foley

    Milklave & Garrfunkel should pass there votes to Harry so we can all pull together in this election !!

  2. Harold

    Garfunkel and Miklave should both get out now. It’s been between Vinny and Harry since the beginning and while they are clearly way ahead in this race Andy and Matt are just going to throw monkey wrenches in the whole thing.

  3. Harold

    They should give those votes to Vinny. Sorry Harry we know how you ran one department for years and don’t think you can handle the whole city. As a lifelong dem can we finally get some unity here in Norwalk??

  4. NorwalkDinosaur

    I’m pulling for Mangiacopra at this point, but regardless of how this plays out, Miklave and Andy need to do some serious soul searching come tomorrow AM. Mangiacopra and Rilling have put together two viable campaigns that can compete with Moccia. Unless Miklave plans on “donating” $100K to his campaign over the next few months and Garfunkel wins the lottery and becomes organized overnight (not happening…ever) they need to get out of the way and allow a two person Primary to take place. The last 6-months have made it crystal clear that only Mangiacopra and Rilling are capable of competing come November.

  5. Lisa Thomson

    I can’t believe that the DTC didn’t nominate incumbent BOE member, Heidi Keyes until the second round????? She was the ONLY at Large Dem to win 4 years ago! Is the DTC trying to lose elections by this dysfunction?

  6. Tim T

    Garfunkel and Miklave should force a primary. In a primary Rilling and Mangiacopra don’t have a chance. The people will see them as the jokes that they are. Rilling was a nightmare as chief and Mangiacopra is just a child with ZERO experience. If Rilling or Mangiacopra on the ticket it will guarantee a Moccia win.

  7. Tim T

    Lisa Thomson
    You make a point
    Let us not forget Garfunkel only lost by 800 votes 2 years ago and that was before the disaster of the last 2 years of Moccia. Garfunkel has both Democratic and Republican appeal however the idiots of the DTC cant see that Of cause these are the same people who don’t see the need to get rid of Brown after her horrid behavior.

  8. NorwalkDinosaur

    @Tim T, you are truly delusional. Miklave and Garfunkel are finished.

    Huge block of Rilling by Mangiacopra and his team. This guy continues to impress: fundraising, endorsements and now stopping the inevitability machine of Harry Rilling. Keep calling him a “child” all you want @Tim T, but mark my words, you’ll be calling him “Mr.Mayor” come November.

  9. Tim T

    Delusional I suggest you look up the meaning of the word then look in the Mirror. Come election day the people will not be fooled by the child Vinny.
    I have asked you several times yet you have failed to answer. What are the child Viiny’s qualifications to be mayor.
    What has he accomplished in his life that qualifies him to be mayor? What jobs has the child Vinny had that qualifies him to be mayor?
    What are young Vinny’s life experiences that qualifies him to be mayor?
    Please tell us something that qualifies him to be Mayor.
    Tell us

  10. Joe Espo

    The Top Five List from the home office in Dingbats, Vermont:
    Number 5: A council member quits the common council to run for Sheriff
    Number 4: No incumbent Board of Ed member is nominated for re-election.
    Number 3: At least two nominees have have been in criminal court in the past three years.
    Number 2: AndyHarryVinnyMatt are all too ugly to be asked to dance.
    And the number one item on the top five list:
    The Krummels didn’t show up!

  11. @Joe
    Heidi Keyes is an incumbent BOE member. She was last person nominated for BOE.

  12. Tim T

    The primary is GREAT news this way the people can actually pick the candidate instead of the thugs of the DTC. The last thing Norwalk needs is good OLD BOY Harry or the child Vinny. We may as well just stay with Moccia instead or Rilling or Vinny at least with Moccia we know what degree of a disaster he is.

  13. Don’t Panic

    Mr. Miklave and Mr. Garfunkel have stood by their voters, as they will stand for the people of Norwalk. It is sad that so many of Mr. Rilling’s voters were voting to prevent Mr. Mangiacopra from getting the nod and vice versa.

    People should be voting FOR the best man for the job, not just for pole position.

    Now everyone is on equal footing. Good news, Mr. Kimmel! There’s still time for you to join the fray.

  14. Tim T

    Don’t Panic
    I agree with your post except the part about Kimmel. That was a joke???right??

  15. Don’t Panic

    Yes, Tim T. It was.

  16. Admo

    Miklave and Garfunkel should step aside.Harry has too much baggage .Age should have nothing to do with it.Norwalk needs new blood.The old boy network needs to go! Give him a chance

  17. Mr Norwalk Ct

    It’s not Vinny’s age that does not qualify him to be Mayor. However it is his complete and total lack of any meaningful experience that disqualifies him.

  18. notaffiliated

    and Ms Brown is sill the ring leader? Please!!!

  19. Tim T

    To All Young Vinny’s Political Operatives
    I have asked this question time and again but it seems his Operatives
    avoid it time and again..

    What are the child Viiny’s qualifications to be mayor?
    What has he accomplished in his life that qualifies him to be mayor? What jobs has the child Vinny had that qualifies him to be mayor?
    What are young Vinny’s life experiences that qualifies him to be mayor?
    Please tell us something that qualifies him to be Mayor.

  20. Tim T

    Admo Why should Miklave and Garfunkel should step aside?? We are going to a primary and the people will decide who they want.. Are you afraid that Miklave and Garfunkel may win. See the public doesn’t see YOUNG Vinny and good OLD boy Rilling the same way the CLOWNS of the DTC does.

  21. Suzanne

    The DTC has lost all credibility and this process is totally archaic. I do not believe they have the qualifications to adequately and without prejudice represent all Norwalk Democrats for a candidate for mayor. My District representative does not represent me in my evaluation and opinions of those running. The little dance by these people, though possibly well-intended, does not represent the best of the democratic process when the participants are willing to allow immature and volatile leadership to guide the process. I am glad there will be a primary where my vote is counted. Especially in Norwalk, where the political/governmental process is rife with dishonesty, behind the door deals, strong-arming of Committee members and general insanity (in spite of what one Council member paints as a rosy picture of governmental process and the great progress Norwalk is making, I do not see it), it seems that not only allowing voters, the constituency that is most affected by all of this ego-driven chaos, a primary vote but requiring it would be the best way to choose a Democratic opponent to “Mayor” Moccia.

  22. Daisy

    Harry is younger than Moccia. It isn’t his age. It’s the fact that he only flipped over to being a Dem a year ago so he could challenge his old buddy, and no matter what side of the fence you’re on, that’s slimy. He DOES have baggage, which would probably come out during a general election. Moccia, of course, does too.

  23. Tim T

    My reference to Rillings “old” is not about years on this earth. Its about the years he was and is part of the OLD boys club of Norwalk.

  24. Harold

    Great job by Watts telling Harry how it is. Rilling is another “strongarmer” Just like his old pal Dicky Boy.
    Rilling is Moccia
    Moccia is Rilling

  25. EveT

    @Daisy, Harry Rilling did not “flip” to being a Democrat. That is a false statement. While Rilling was serving as police chief, he had to be nonpartisan and quite properly so. If you look at his earlier history, you will see he was active in the Democratic party.

    @Harold, if you have a conversation with Harry, it will be clear he is not an “old pal” of Moccia. Cooperating and collaborating with a sitting mayor while you are chief of police is *NOT* the same thing as being pals.

  26. Harold

    I understand your point about not being pals but are they not cut from the same mold? They are the old guard that we desperately need to get away from. We cant afford another two, four, or six years of this same old good ole boy network. Now is the time for a change and frankly, Rilling is not the answer

  27. Kare Bear


  28. Don’t Panic

    So true. Mr. Miklave is the answer. The r

  29. Don’t Panic

    The reform everyone is craving is what Mr. Miklave has been calling for.

  30. Lisa Thomson

    So long as we have the horse trading between neighborhood politico chieftains last night, on the coat tails of the WWE fight a couple of weeks ago, both with no resolution, Norwalk will suffer. Are we just too inbred to figure this out because the infighting is costing residents and taxpayers millions. As an unaffiliated, who wants change – it is not being demonstrated by the DTC. I’m glad registered Dems will decide in a primary. But for someone who was looking at alternative leadership, it appears the DTC can’t run their own party. How will they ever run the city? Mayoral candidates will now have to take to the broader community to get on the primary ballot and that can only be a step in the right direction.

  31. Mr Norwalk Ct

    Eve T
    Please provide some evidence of Rillings history of involvement in the Democratic party as I see none

  32. rburnett

    Mr. Norwalk CT:

    Rilling’s affiliation with the Democratic Party has been widely reported in the news for several months now. Also, if you really need proof, check with the Registrar’s Office. I bet you won’t though becuase you will then know the truth and will not be able to spread your ignorant lies.

  33. spanner

    doesn’t do any good to bring up the past when talking about Rilling he did what he could to destroy Norwalk while collecting a paycheck.Those backing him have no clue, this old Mayor never looked back since he was out of office his stint as mayor was not a big deal he played the same game as Moccia.He too left the city in ruin.

    Now is the time to look into Norwalk and whats going on while this red herring is taking place,

    Strong suggestions show contamination coming from Seaport enough equipment suggests contamination not still determined while work starts on one tank and another not even tested.Norwalk river has enough problems with the Oyster park landfill now we see problems down the river near a Moccia appointment and contributor makes you wonder if all is under control.

    See a sheen or oil on the Norwalk river call federal spill hotline Norwalk has never been up front and honest when it comes to contamination.Help the local fishermen stand up for them.

    Those fishing and even clamming along the banks makes one wonder whats going on?

    When workers work Sunday also makes you wonder what is leaking and for how long?Even the truck had no lettering workers had no ID working in an enclosed space without any precautions is a OSHA issue so far.Norwalk fire dept may not be versed in such procedures and not on their screen.

    Whats this have to do with the election,nothing, just like the robbery 48 hours ago that went unreported news in Norwalk is calculated not news breaking.

  34. Tim T

    Kare Bear
    I find it comical that all the Vinny supporters /political Operatives never not even once are able to answer this simple question.
    What are the child Viiny’s qualifications to be mayor?
    What has he accomplished in his life that qualifies him to be mayor? What jobs has the child Vinny had that qualifies him to be mayor?
    What are young Vinny’s life experiences that qualifies him to be mayor?
    Please tell us something that qualifies him to be Mayor.
    If young Vinny was so qualified I would think his supporters /political Operatives would be jumping at the chance to list them off, But what do we have not a one.
    Thank you for proving my point that young Vinny has no qualifications to be mayor.

  35. M Allen

    You are unlikely to find much evidence of any former Chief of Police attached to one party or the other. Typically they don’t tend to openly advocate for one party or the other in order to avoid political bias in their job as well as to cover themselves when administrations change. Chief Rilling was promoted to Deputy Chief by Collins (D) but it was Esposito (R) who promoted him to Chief. So even there it is difficult to place him on any particular side. The fact is that he worked with multiple adminstrations over time and maybe that is the important thing people should be looking at. In our current environment, perhaps the skill to work with the opposition to get something (anything) done is more important than trying to find evidence that he is or is not a dyed in the wool Dem.

  36. Harold

    Several MONTHS… MONTHS is not a history of involvement

  37. Mr Norwalk Ct

    First let me say there is no need for your childish name calling . Please provide a link to one of those articles that are widely reported in the news for several months now as you say. Also please make sure it is not by Rilling or one of his supporters in the comments section stating this as that would be bias and not hold much credibility. I bet you never post the link as we all know it doesn’t exist. .

  38. rburnett

    @ Harold: Please read again: I did not say Rilling’s involvement with the Democratic party was only for several months. I said for several months there have been news reports of Rilling’s involvement with the democratic party many years ago.

    @ Mr. Norwalk Ct: I have to prove nothing to you. You are the one fabricating a lie. Do your own research which is what responsible people do before making statements they claim to be fact. Dig a little. they are very easy to find.

  39. Tim T

    It seems that young master Vinny has a sense of entitlement that many of his generation seem to have. He feels that he should start at the top just because he should. The way it works in the real world (no Vinny not the MTV Show real world) is people work up to the top. An example is Moccia didn’t start as Mayor. He was a councilmen and a fire commissioner and so on. Rilling didn’t start as police chief. He was a patrolman and a detective and so on. See young master Vinny needs to learn how he real world works. However that only comes with life experience which clearly he doesn’t have.
    So young mater Vinny get some experience become fire a commissioner and you can ride in the fire truck and ring the bell. Maybe you can become a police commissioner and the desk sergeant can give you ice cream and let you wear his hat. Then in 10 or 15 years come back and we will talk.

  40. Mr Norwalk Ct

    You say I am fabricating lies yet you fail to prove it. I did a search for these article that you say exist but they don’t seem to actually exist. Hummm could it be that you are the one fabricating a lie?? It seems so to me.. You have great day as I am off to the boat.

  41. rburnett

    Mr. Norwalk: You have a great day on the boat. and no, I am not fabricating lies. it is on record in the Registrar’s office.

  42. Tom

    Does Mr. Mangiacopra have a day job? I know he worked on campaigns but that is not a real 9-5 and getting fired from a Monroe bureaucracy job does not count either. Is he running just to have a job?

  43. Anna Duleep

    @Joe Espo: Having won nomination unanimously -and early in the evening- I am surprised to appear on your radar at all, much less make your list. While I choose to interpret “dingbat” as an homage to the late, very great Jean Stapleton, you nevertheless inspire the following:

    Top 6 Reasons I am Excited to Run for City Sheriff on the Norwalk Democratic Ticket:

    6) Norwalk’s current Republican City Sheriff is facing *federal drug trafficking charges* and continues to refuse to step down. I hear he plans to seek nomination for reelection from the RTC next week! I have yet to hear any indication that he has been fully exonerated from pending charges. Dismissing City Sheriff because the office has far less power than Common Council At-Large means a greater chance he’ll get back in under the radar.

    5) Running upticket from Council + downticket from Mayor = best opportunity to push my favorite mayoral candidate -“NOTMoccia”- over the finish line in Nov!

    4) Earning reelection for my ONE At-Large seat <<<< Helping replace myself with FOUR strong new colleagues for Warren Pena

    3) I just closed my tutoring business to join Summit Educational Group in New Canaan. A typical session runs 90 minutes on a weeknight. Not running for reelection to the Common Council means I can accept more students and devote more time to my chosen craft, teaching.

    2) Once Duleep for Sheriff Headquarters opens (29 Wall Street, in the Rogers & Stevens building, formerly Platinum Cafe) the entire Democratic underticket will have a place to work together, regardless of any flux affecting our eventual mayoral candidate and/or DTC leadership.

    1) Serving Norwalk as City Sheriff presents a remarkable -and underutilized- opportunity to advocate for Norwalk on a variety of public safety issues. Stay tuned for more detail as I unveil my platform in the coming weeks!

  44. Kare Bear


  45. D(ysfunctional)TC

    15 out of 35 DTC members voted for a person with zero experience who thinks he is entitled to start out on top. His only connection to Norwalk is that he married into a family with money.

    That explains why they would tolerate a leader who should be facing felony assault charges and don’t even bother to nominate their most popular Democrat in the city in Bruce. What a circus.

  46. Tim T

    Kare Bear
    I never said young master Vinny was fired from Monroe.
    You say that I seem like a very angry person as you post your reply in all caps. With that said you still have not provided what qualification young master Vinny has to be Mayor.

  47. Ray J

    Matt speaks to the issues with an informed, and intelligent, approach. This he does with a great deal of energy and commitment to good governance. He has also spent a long time in working for the city. I like ‘im.

  48. LWitherspoon

    Perhaps calling the Guardian Angels would have helped.
    It’s looking like each candidate’s chances of winning the DTC’s endorsement directly influenced whether or not he called for Amanda Brown to step down after the brawl at City Hall.
    Mssrs. Mangiacopra and Rilling must have had a good idea by early July who would be supporting whom and they knew that the vote would be close. So each avoided calling for Ms. Brown’s resignation because it would have lost votes and tipped the endorsement to his opponent.
    Mssrs. Miklave and Garfunkel, on the other hand, must have known from the response they were getting that they had close to no chance at the endorsement. So there was no political cost for these two also-rans to call on Amanda Brown to step down. In fact, now they can claim that the DTC didn’t support them because of their principled stand, when in reality they had no chance anyway.
    So Rilling and Mangiacopra, who will no doubt be talking later in the campaign about how they want to be tough on crime, embarrassed themselves by failing to demand consequences for violent behavior by Amanda Brown and the Krummels. And in the end the coveted endorsement went to… drumroll please… NOBODY!

  49. NorwalkDinosaur

    @Tim T, if Norwalk has survived 8 years with Moccia as Mayor, than a trained monkey can do the job. Mangiacopra is a smart man who can work with people (Dems and Repubs). If he can hire competent department heads and work with the BOE and superintendant in a positive way (70% of our budget is tied up in schools) than we will be vastly better off than we are now. Your “child” attack is pathetic and it is clear that you have a personal vendetta with the guy. You have lost all credibility in what is clearly a personal issue that you have. My guess is that Mangiacopra pulls it off, but Rilling has put together a solid campaign too. Garfunkel (No ideas No $), and Miklave (No $ No support) are finished.

  50. Tim T

    What are the child Viiny’s qualifications to be mayor?
    What has he accomplished in his life that qualifies him to be mayor? What jobs has the child Vinny had that qualifies him to be mayor?
    What are young Vinny’s life experiences that qualifies him to be mayor?
    Please tell us something that qualifies him to be Mayor.
    If young Vinny was so qualified I would think his supporters /political Operatives would be jumping at the chance to list them off, But what do we have not a one.

  51. Piberman

    The real question here is whether a sharply divided DTC can marshall resources to wage an effective campaign and if victorious are they in the position to assist guiding City governance. And if defeated again will the DTC self reform ? So far the evidence points to “no” on all 3 counts. Norwalk Democrats seem destined to remain dysfunctional for the foreseeable future – a peculiar anomaly in a Democrat state.

  52. Asa Magee

    Mr. Mangiacopra wants us all to stop saying he is “young” and “inexperienced”. Sorry, but his behavior at the DTC meeting last night just proves that he cannot handle a situation that does not fit into his world of “entitlement”. Anyone there witnessed his exit from the closed door session with smoke spewing from his ears (figuratively). Things were not going according to his plan with his DTC insiders, and he couldn’t handle it. Is this the type of leader we want for Norwalk? What happens when something of a critical nature occurs? For all those that say we should ignore his inexperience, his performance last night just proves we should definately NOT ignore this shortoming. Go serve our city in some other capacity and learn leadership and management, then come back in 15 years to seek this mayoral position. Leave the field to those that have knowledge,experience and integrety. It’s not your time to play with the ‘big’ boys yet. You have a lot of growing up to do.

  53. Bill

    Vinny couldn’t cut it in Monroe and he won’t cut it in Norwalk. Best to find a real job and get some experience before running for mayor.

  54. @Tom
    Vinny Mangiacopra’s job as Monroe economic and community development coordinator was eliminated in 2010. I spoke to a former commissioner, a Republican, who said Mangiacopra did a good job. Details here:

  55. M Allen

    Take this for what its worth: Its not an endorsement of Mr. Mangiacopra. Rather, it is an opinion/question regarding the comments surrounding Mr. Mangiacopra’s experience, or perceived lackthereof.

    Does Mr. Mangiacopra have less experience to be Mayor of Norwalk than did Barack Obama to be President of the United States? If Mangiacopra’s age and lack of “big boy politics” experience is such an issue, how do you judge the big boys already in elected office or appointed leadership positions who seem to have the experience levels you are looking for? What is causing their results to be so lackluster?

    Experience, age, knowledge, wisdom, whatever attribute you believe your candidate or big boy politician has, are all wonderful things. Unless you achieve nothing, maintain status quo mediocrity, or actually make things worse. So for those bashing young Mr. Mangiacopra, ask yourself this: how are your preferred “big boy” politicians stacking up?

  56. Tom

    @Nancy Chapman, positions are eliminated when they are not successful, I consider that the same thing as being fired.

    @M Allen, the difference between Barack Obama and Mangiacopra is that Obama actually held elected offices prior to being President, he was Illinois State Senator 1997-2004 and U.S. Senator 2004-2008, but please, continue to tell us more how Vinny is just like Obama

  57. M Allen

    @Tom, its not difficult to get the reference.

    Obama: State Sentator + half term US Senator then onto President. Of the entire United States of America.

    Mangiacopra: Political operative with an education in an advanced degree in public administration who wants to be Mayor of a small city.

    Neither one may have been “overqualified” for the job they were seeking, but after voting for Obama in 2008, some of those same people want to gripe about Mangiacopra’s age and experience. It’s almost laughable. Well, actually it is laughable.

  58. Tom

    @M Allen, Obama was head of Harvard law review prior to being state senator for 7 YEARS…please advise what Mangiacopra was once head of?

  59. M Allen

    State senator? Really. Strong prep there for leader of the free world. Look, there is no doubt Mr. Obama had more experience than Mr. Mangiacopra. But now compare the two jobs both were vying for. If it was OK to vote for the one for President, it should be OK to vote for the other for Mayor of Norwalk, CT. But nevermind. I really don’t mean to derail the broader conversation about the direction you’re choosing to take. Like I said, I was not trying to endorse Vinny. More pointing out the hypocritical stance voiced by the anti-Vinny crowd. And frankly, the Obama part was a minor detail compared to the key points targeting the more “experienced” players you are choosing to back. Vote for them – more of the same. But at least they are grown up and “more experienced.”

  60. Tom

    I am not supporting anyone yet, but I definitely don’t support Vinny. I can see right through his routine and there is nothing of substance said.

  61. Tim T

    M Allen
    Obama was a US senator and an ivy league educated attorney before becoming president. I think that qualifies as experience. Young master Vinny on the other hand was and is a political operative aka a used car salesman.

  62. M Allen

    He was educated, I get that. Education is a great box to tick on your resume when applying for a job. Yes, he was a US Senator for 2 years. During which time he was running for President, itself a full-time job, for half of that time. You know he was elected in 2006, right? Then became President in 2008? So are you really going to try and put his Senatorial experience on the line to be President? Of this country? Not county. Country.

    The fact is that some who are so critical of Mr. Mangiacopra have some seriously high standards for Mayor yet some historically low ones to be President of your country. The point is not to poke yesterday’s campaign holes in Obama here. It’s to point out the comparative similarities in background versus position. More experience to be President. Less experience, but only to be Mayor.

    And I promise, I won’t argue this point again. I’m moving on into agree to disagree land.

  63. M. Murray’s

    And look where Obama has gotten us!

  64. Suzanne

    And look where Congress/DTC has gotten us!

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