NORWALK, Conn. —A tag team of political optimists wished Norwalk good tidings Tuesday as Mayor Harry Rilling and Town Clerk Rick McQuaid were sworn in for another two years.
Gov. Dannel Malloy and Rilling both said things are looking good.
Video of ceremony at bottom of story
“I have to say that as an observer of 169 municipalities that Norwalk is uniquely situated to move forward to a very great degree,” Malloy said. “The early work that I have done these past two years, and even prior to that, has set the stage for an even greater Norwalk.”
The City Hall community room was crowded though not stuffed to the gills as it was two years ago for Rilling’s first inauguration. Only one outgoing Council member, Glenn Iannaccone, attended; after being sworn in, Rilling called new Council members to the front with him, calling them, “your team that is going to move Norwalk forward for the next two years.”
Rilling has been able to “bring the community together, get all factions looking to the future as opposed to the past,” Malloy said, calling that “really quite remarkable.”
“Working with your mayor over the last two years has been an absolute joy,” Malloy said. “His focus on moving Norwalk forward has been greatly appreciated and I very much appreciate his hard work in moving difficult projects forward for the good of this community, and his commitment to public education I also very much appreciate.”
“Norwalk has become a destination once again. We are a vibrant community,” Rilling said, adding that people are talking about Norwalk.
He then lined out challenges that he said are opportunities.
“We must continue to develop and increase the density of our urban core,” Rilling said. “We must continue to make our city more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. We must continue to focus on complete streets and streetscaping. There will be other challenges: our most recent school study analysis shows that our schools are at full capacity. Therefore, we will work diligently to improve our school facilities so that we can continue to provide a world class education for every single student in the city of Norwalk.”
Teachers need to be supported and Norwalk’s infrastructure must continue to be improved, he said.
“It is time to move charter revision forward and I hope that, with the support of this Council, that we can continue to do that. It is a priority of this administration to continue to keep future tax increases at a minimum. I will continue to work with my department heads in order to keep our operating and capital budgets as low as possible. We will work to expand tax relief for our senior citizens so that people who have made this investment in Norwalk, who have called Norwalk their home for their entire lives, can afford to stay in their homes, can continue to live with dignity,” Rilling said.
Finally, Rilling said, “During this past campaign I ran on my record, and what we have accomplished in the last two years. I am tremendously proud of those accomplishments. However, I am even more excited about the ambitious goals that we have set for the next two years. Together we will continue to move Norwalk forward together.”