Quantcast

Rilling, McQuaid, sworn in to top Norwalk roles

Updated, 5:25 p.m., full story.

NORWALK, Conn. – Harry Rilling began his term as Norwalk’s mayor Tuesday with promises to help make the city a shining star and laughs over words of warning from Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Norwalk citizens pack into the City Hall community room to watch Harry Rilling and Rick McQuaid get sworn in.

“Harry, you’re about to enter into one of the best jobs you can possibly have in politics,” said Malloy, the former mayor of Stamford said to Norwalk’s former police chief. “… It’s a little bit different than being the head of the police. Most people won’t salute you. They absolutely will not follow your orders.”

The ceremony in the packed City Hall community room also included the swearing in ceremony for Town Clerk Rick McQuaid, Rilling’s grandchildren and several thank yous to former Mayor Richard Moccia for his years of “good stewardship” of the city, including one solid round of applause.

Rilling’s first words to the public as mayor were ones he said are now his signature response for an event of such import.

“Wow, wow, wow,” he said, repeating something he said after winning election two weeks ago.

The Democrat promised not to disappoint Norwalk citizens and said he had already met with developers in an effort to grow the grand list and take the burden off of Norwalk taxpayers.

Rilling spent the morning touring Norwalk, having breakfast with Norwalk firefighters, visiting the North American headquarters of Diageo and some of Norwalk’s youngest citizens, in assemblies at West Rocks Middle School – which he attended as a child – and Fox Run Elementary School.

Harry Rilling is sworn in as Norwalk mayor by Gov. Dannel Malloy Tuesday in City Hall.

“The faces on the students at Fox Run and West Rocks show us the future,” he said. “We must focus on them each and every day. It is with this spirit that I join the efforts of our superintendent, Dr. Rivera, city educators and our Board of Education to make our schools the world class institutions they can be, where every child has the opportunity to learn and be a success.”

He held up his arm to show off a green band, saying he he had promised West Rocks students he would wear it.

The crowd included many members of the incoming Common Council, on which the Republican caucus holds an 8-7 majority.

“During the next two years we will be faced with many challenges, but with each challenge comes opportunity,” he said. “Opportunity to produce results and confirm that we are worthy of the positions to which we have been elected. … I look forward to working with both Democrats and Republicans on the council in a non-partisan relationship, keeping in mind our goal is to positively impact the lives of all of our citizens and others who want to make Norwalk their home as well.”

Some new faces in the crowd included Rilling campaign “super volunteer” Michael Campbell, who called the ceremony “very awesome.”

Ken Troy said he had come because he remembered Rilling’s 42 years of service in the police department.

“He should be a good mayor for the town,” he said.

Olive Hayward said she was attending her first inaugural because Rilling is her neighbor and she is thrilled to have a Democratic mayor.

“I think with his attitude, the fact that he’s been with the police force, the firefighters, and he has all the support to help him do things to make the city much more livable,” she said. “Because we moved from Westchester back in ’88 and Norwalk is one of our favorite cities. We do see a lot of progress taking place in Norwalk. Our kids got educated here in Norwalk and I just think it’s a beautiful place to live.”

Harry Rilling makes his first statements as Norwalk mayor after being sworn in by Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Norwalk is on solid footing, Rilling said, a home base to some of the best companies in the world, with proximity to New York City and beautiful beaches and parks.

“It’s now time to build on that,” he said. “With the right plans to responsibly develop our city for the 21st century and by embracing our natural beauty and geography, by working to improve our schools and keep our taxes in check – no applause on that one?”

The silent crowd erupted.

“I know that our best days are yet to come,” Rilling continued. “My recipe for getting us there will be by listening, working together and leading us forward so that once again people inside and outside Norwalk say, ‘You see that shining star over there on the hill, that’s Norwalk and isn’t it a beautiful place to work and live?”

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling is surrounded by family members after being sworn in by Gov. Dannel Malloy in the City Hall community room.

Original story:

NORWALK, Conn. – Harry Rilling was sworn in as Norwalk’s 26th mayor Tuesday by Gov. Dannel Malloy in a jam-packed City Hall community room in a ceremony led by Rilling’s former comrade, retired Norwalk Police Officer Carleton Giles.

Harry Rilling inaugural 111913 062
Norwalk citizens pack into the City Hall community room to watch Harry Rilling and Rick McQuaid get sworn in.

The ceremony also included the swearing in ceremony for Town Clerk Rick McQuaid, Rilling’s grandchildren and a thank you to former Mayor Richard Moccia for his years of “good stewardship” of the city.

“Wow, wow, wow,” said Rilling, calling that his signature response for an event of such import. “I take this job very seriously because the future of Norwalk is at stake.”

He promised not to disappoint Norwalk citizens and said he had already met with developers in an effort to grow the grand list and take the burden off of Norwalk taxpayers.

Malloy broke up the room when he warned Rilling that being a mayor is not like being a police chief, that not everyone would salute him now and that no one will be following his orders.

Harry Rilling makes his first statements as Norwalk mayor after being sworn in by Gov. Dannel Malloy.

Rilling spent the morning touring Norwalk, having breakfast with Norwalk firefighters, visiting the North American headquarters of Diageo and some of Norwalk’s youngest citizens, in assemblies at West Rocks Middle School – which he attended as a child – and Fox Run Elementary School.

“The faces on the students at Fox Run and West Rocks, they do represent the future,” he said.”We must focus on them each and every day. It is with this spirit that I join the efforts of our superintendent, Dr. Rivera, city educators and our Board of Education to make our schools the world class institutions they can be, for every child has the opportunity to learn and be a success, so people move to Norwalk to educate their children here.”

This story will be updated.

Harry Rilling inaugural 111913 211
Mayor Harry Rilling beams after being presented with a commemorative collage by his grandchildren following his inauguration Tuesday in City Hall.

Comments

47 responses to “Rilling, McQuaid, sworn in to top Norwalk roles”

  1. M Allen

    Congratulations Mr. Mayor and good luck to all of our elected officials.
    .
    I enjoy seeing this comment: “where every child has the opportunity to learn…”
    .
    It at least acknowledges there are no guarantees. We provide the best opportunity we can with the limited resources available.

  2. Break the Unions

    Today is a very sad day for Norwalk.. Let the hand outs begin.

  3. Oldtimer

    Break the Unions
    What a sad choice for a pen-name. Whoever you are, It is clear you know very little about what unions have done for you while working for their dues-paying members. If you are interested, and I’m pretty sure you aren’t, read up on the history of unions in this country. Then, if you have time, go a little further back and read about the craft guilds in Europe. We have long recognized the need for somebody to set standards for skilled trades to protect consumers. More recently we recognized the need for some regulation on how employers treated their employees. You, and others, resent what was accomplished and see only the abuses. You forget that people who were never union members benefited from union accomplishments. Most of the benefits won by unions were quickly adopted by employers voluntarily to keep valued employees, some were written into law. In a democracy, nobody pays union dues if there is confidence of fair play by the employer. Union membership has declined in recent years as many employers have made union membership apparently unnecessary. The employers who still refuse to even try to be fair, still deal with, and complain about unions. Some even adopt anti union pen-names.

  4. M Allen

    Oldtimer – regardless of his name, which is the only reason you brought it up, you can’t honestly continue to defend unions based on what they did 50-75 years ago. Unions did excellent work that paid off for all workers. They won the war, at least the unions of yesteryear did. They won so big that the government took over and now regulates work conditions. Their social purpose became redundant at that point. But today, the only thing unions do is collectively bargain for their personal wallets and help friendly political candidates get into office. In the case of municipal employee unions, that form of collective electioneering creates a lopsided outcome when combined with their collective bargaining efforts. So let’s stop using the canard that unions help protect weak workers from dastardly business leaders out to put their children in the coal mines for 16 hours a day. Most unions now are mere shadows of what they once were. I have no issue with private-sector unions, because they must act responsibly or risk destroying the entity they live off of. Muni unions? Not so much. There is always more tax dollars politicians can go after in order to keep that satisfied.

  5. You may want to check your facts

    That’s such a funny stance to take M Allen. Obviously places like Walmart and others like it have the right of it with how they treat their employees, because the government is looking out for them, right? I mean, it counts for nothing that the establishment of the middle class is credited in no small part to unions in this country and that as you have witnessed a decline in unions, you have also seen a decline in wages, benefits and working conditions, not to mention an ever widening gap in income disparity. It’s so funny how up in arms people get about unions, especially municple ones, but don’t bat an eye at how much money large cooperation a steal from your pockets daily and don’t return a single service for it.

  6. “but don’t bat an eye at how much money large cooperation a steal from your pockets daily and don’t return a single service for it.”
    *
    Wrong – large corporations provide services which you MAY or MAY NOT purchase – you have a CHOICE (i.e. shop at Wal-Mart or NOT shop at Wal-Mart, consumers choice).
    *
    WITH UNIONS — WE HAVE NO CHOICE (city services – NO CHOICE, teachers – NO CHOICE, firemen – NO CHOICE, policemen – NO CHOICE).

  7. Hey Nancy On Norwalk…
    Waiting to hear your spin – oops, “write up” about how “civil” Mosby was at the BoE inaugurals…
    *
    Yup, there’s the “hope and change” Norwalk was looking for….

  8. You may want to check your facts

    Haha. Tell me, how much in taxes did GE pay in the last few years? How much did you? How about those bailouts you paid for? Did you opt for that? Tell me, when was the last time the Police union threatened to bankrupt the city?

  9. Helen

    This guy gets it, I mean he really, gets it. Thank you Mayor Rilling for standing up to serve Norwalk, again. And thank you, Norwalkers for paying attention and voting for Norwalk’s bright future.Yes, indeed Harry is a Norwalker. Not bad for the first speech. Takes time to learn how to work the room. Did really well besides fumbling a couple lines out of nervous energy, overall, speech and delivery gets an A. Thanks for sticking around and lending a hand Harry. Yes you couldve left but you choose to remain and continue making a difference. Way cool. Better days are ahead. Dont usually respond to irrational negativity but will drop a reminder that Walmart workers are protesting on Black Friday. Please support Fair Wages For All. Avoid Walmart on November 29th.

  10. YMWTCYF:
    How much DID GE pay in taxes? Please provide link.
    How much SHOULD they have paid? Please provide link.
    *
    Do I get to CHOOSE GE products? YUP
    *
    Do I get to choose which police department?
    NOPE
    *

  11. Also,
    How much did these police earn in overtime ON MY TAXES OUT OF MY POCKET –
    ALOT MORE THAN WHAT “I may or may have NOT paid to GE.

  12. You may want to check your facts

    Tell me, how much came out of your pocket precisely that went to the Police Department?

    It’s also good to know that you picked and chose what portion of your federal taxes went where I have to learn how to do that.

  13. You may want to check your facts

    Also, why are you having a caps lock melt down?

  14. Tim T

    You may want to check your facts …You may want to actually try it

    *65.00 to look at a hole in the ground.

    *65.00 hours when a cop works for any other city department as in the beach, schools and so on.

    *The city issues a debit card to pay for health care deductible

    *Almost no cost sharing on benefits

    *Retirement benefits that are almost at full pay

    *Being paid out for unused sick and vacation time at retirement

    *Double dipping as in retiring and coming back to work for yet another paycheck and pension

    SOUNDS TO ME THE POLICE UNION HAS THREATED TO BANKRUPT THE CITY.

    Oh and by the way your reference to GE and Bailout has ZERO to do with this conversation.

    Also “You may want to check your facts” in the past you stated that the city does not pay the police for overtime and I ask you to provide proof for that and you failed to provide the requested proof. WHY IS THAT???

  15. You TELL me – If you can’t answer your own questions – why should I answer yours?
    *
    Why does it BOTHER you that I have my caps on? Meltdown? Nope. Talking to a brickwall? Yup.

  16. Tim T

    A few good reads on how the public sector unions are bankrupting America.
    I can all but guarantee the pro union type that have profited of this cash cow for years will dismiss these fact but that is to be expected.

    Public-sector unions bankrupting America
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/apr/23/public-sector-unions-bankrupting-america/

    Unions bankrupt America. With the following facts, how could anyone disagree
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110227093729AAJ6J4R

    In Case You Missed It: public-sector unions bankrupting America

    http://www.bankruptingamerica.org/in-case-you-missed-it-public-sector-unions-bankrupting-america/

  17. You may want to check your facts

    Lol where are you getting this debit card nonsense or lack of cost sharing? Seriously, where do you get your information from?

  18. You may want to check your facts

    And you still can’t show where the Police/Fire/Teacher unions have ever caused a financial calamity in Norwalk.

  19. And you still can’t show where the Police/Fire/Teacher unions have ever caused a financial calamity in Norwalk.
    *
    You must not pay taxes….

  20. You may want to check your facts

    I absolutely do. In Norwalk. And they are pretty reasonable, and have been for all the years I’ve here.

  21. YMWTCYF:
    Then good for you but not for the majority that have protested the hikes.
    *
    Oh, and WHEN you get your REVAL statement from the city….THEN get back to us…..

  22. bsmith

    YMWTCYF Your taxes are reasonable? Perhaps you would be willing to take some of mine then?

  23. You may want to check your facts

    Ok, and when it has nothing to do with the Police/Fire/teachers? What then? What will you complain about then?

  24. You may want to check your facts

    They are very reasonable when I look at towns like Wilton, Trumbull, Monroe, Stamford, etc.

  25. Tim T

    You may want to check your facts
    LIKE I said “I can all but guarantee the pro union type that have profited of this cash cow for years will dismiss these fact but that is to be expected”.
    Are you going to provide that link to show that city employees overtime aka police overtime is not being paid by the city???

  26. You may want to check your facts

    Why is having a discussion with you so difficult? You answer questions with questions. Where are you getting that anyone is getting issued debit cards or isn’t cost sharing benefits? Where is that information coming from.

  27. YMWTCYF:
    You first – you threw out the first questions – now you need to answer…

    How much DID GE pay in taxes? Please provide link.
    How much SHOULD they have paid? Please provide link.

  28. You may want to check your facts

    I don’t get it, I asked you the question and rather then figure it out, you want me to answer it for you? That’s really your sticking point in this discussion?

  29. bsmith

    YMWTCYF Check your facts. Norwalk pays more in taxes than Greenwich, Westport, Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Shelton and is on par with Wilton and Ridgefield

  30. You may want to check your facts

    Hey now, what does those towns have in common that Norwalk doesn’t?

  31. No, you just wanted to be snarky about it and think that I will waste my time –
    IF you have the answer – then prove it. OTHERWISE, move on.
    Because if you had the answer – you would have posted it like Tim T posted all his facts.
    You are just speculating….
    *
    Hey now, we all know what the difference is and that is everyone in those towns pay taxes where in Norwalk, about 1/4 (if not more) DO NOT…. AND the taxpayers have to subsidize all those kids and their upbringing.
    *So, you ARE admitting that Norwalk has HIGHER taxes and those are just SOME of the reasons why (and we will soon bring in the UNIONS of teachers, police and fire….CHA CHING!)

  32. You may want to check your facts

    GE paid an effective tax rate of around 7%, look it up, or don’t, I don’t care.

    Oh yeah, those “facts”, Tim T posted, all editorials.

    Enjoy wallowing in your negativity. Nancy does a pretty good job reporting on things in Norwalk, but a few of you just drive the discussions in the comments section into the toilet with all your negativity.

  33. TG

    Yikes, there are a dozen issues being bounced back and forth here. No, the police union is not bankrupting the city. The police union has been around forever and Norwalk has never been bankrupt, has it? In terms of overall budget and the most powerful unions on every level of government, education takes the cake. Make your own decision about how well you think education dollars are spent, that’s another discussion, but let’s not really believe that the police budget is just inflating tax bills like crazy. Tim T, you have a few decent points to make, but your venomous feelings about the police have resulted in a typical hyperbolic list of examples. Which is too bad, because a productive discussion based on real facts instead of argumentative opinions hardly ever happens here. I will address a few wrong examples. Yes, there is a mystery debit card. You are correct. It is the employees FSA, one hundred percent employee contributed. Let’s bury that now, shall we? The city issues no tax funded debit cards to cops. Next, why should cops not be paid overtime for patrolling the beach, school events, etc? Are you suggesting that it should just be covered by patrol? You need a designated officer for those posts. Is the PD supposed to volunteer cops to cover them? What is your solution for that? Almost no cost sharing for benefits? Since you ask for links and such, please tell me what percentage city employees pay, and is that way off from the percentage most private sector employees pay? Retirement benefits at almost full pay? Do you mean their pension? Firstly, I wouldn’t necessarily call 70 percent full pay. Second, employees contribute heavily to that pension. Your statement implies that an officer that retires at $75,000 receives $75,000 a year straight from taxpayers pockets, which is obviously inaccurate. Now, I do not have a link to prove where overtime pay for construction jobs comes from, but I do know that each company pays for cops to work their sites. Now whether they factor that cost into their final bill tobthe city, I don’t know. People have also brought up valid points on the idling of city cars during those jobs. But, using rational thought, do I actually believe a handful of idling cars is bankrupting me? No, I don’t. Do I think every construction job requires the presence if a uniformed officer? Probably not. I am sure there are some that are just “staring at a hole in the ground”, but even those, every single construction job, requires SOMEONE to have the job of directing traffic around and maintaining motorist and pedestrian safety. So even if we went from uniformed officers to another safety employee, it’s not as if the cost to the city goes from $65 down to $0, or $10, or even $20. Nobody is standing outside in 85 degrees in the middle of traffic for minimum wage. But the bigger point, I think, is that many of those jobs are not at all staring at a hole in the ground. The difference in traffic flow, safety for workers and motorists and pedestrians, can be very well evidenced if you’ve ever had to hang out in a badly monitored area, where those minding the store have no authority either. Norwalk is an urban area. How would the city pick and choose which jobs require police traffic control/job oversight and which do not? But still, how much impact do you think each taxpayer actually feels from police road jobs? End of the day, companies need cops to work for them- lots of private companies provide lots of overtime. At no cost to the taxpayer, those of you who shop on Black Friday will be treated to the presence of uniformed officers in Walmart making sure melee doesn’t erupt over a low cost tv. This kind of thing is overtime too, and their is no question it comes from Walmart’s pocket.

    I just think this whole police are costing the city a fortune (or bankrupting the city)has gotten way overblown. I agree that there are areas that could be managed more tightly, and I agree that there are police officers who may not work as hard for their dollars as others. But there are also many many fine officers, with integrity, who endeavor each day to do their job to the best of their ability that are all being swept up in this broad brush stroke that paints all cops as greedy leeches on taxpayer blood.

  34. Tim T

    TG
    Clearly you have a vested interest in the police overtime and insane benefits. I cannot see how anyone who was not profiting from this cash cow would ever support the millions of dollars of waste that is the result, all on the backs of the taxpayer. So tell us are you a current or retired cop? I know you will deny this but its very obvious. The municipal unions are only in it for what they can take and take and take and take. What we need is a Chris Christie type that will put the police and other unions in check.
    Also you may want to check your fact as they are to put it nicely simply not true.

  35. TG

    Tim T,

    Are you aware of what confirmation bias is? Any regular reader of this site recognizes that you are very anti-police, and should recognize that confirmation bias will color your receptiveness to any information given to you. Therefore, my post was not really written to change your mind, but rather for other readers who might be swayed by your presentation of facts. I believe it was a rational analysis of the situation. Where I know something for a fact, I state it as a fact, where I have a question or opinion, it is posed as a question or opinion. You are free to disagree with my opinions (for example, that uniformed officers are beneficial on many road jobs, or that designated officers at the beach and at school events are necessary), and I’m certain you will. But you are not free to dispute facts. There is no tax funded debit card, a full pension is 70 percent and 70 percent does not equal a hundred percent. Police officers do pay heavily into that pension. These are facts, you can check them, or not, but again, my response is really not for you, but for people who might have read your laundry list of expenditures and actually believe that taxpayers are paying for all that. I also believe my view of our police force was presented on a very balanced way. I have no confirmation bias here. I see fault where fault is, and give credit where credit is due. It is my sincere belief that, while opinionated, many NON readers are balanced thinkers who like to look at a story from many angles, and do not see it as black and white. People who don’t are just those who like to argue based on their particular limited viewpoint and have no effect on the way most of us think.

  36. TG

    By the way, for anyone reading who doesn’t have the time to check Tim’s linked sources- an article from 2010 which focuses on CA and a link to Yahoo answers are hardly appropriate sources to support what unions are or are not doing in Norwalk CT.

  37. Notaffiliated

    The local union manager drives a high series BMW on the weekends. Of course, during the week it’s a simpler car so the rank and file unionites see him as one of the guys. Your union dues at work

  38. You may want to check your facts

    Yeah? Which union is that?

  39. YMWTCYF:
    “drive the discussions in the comments section into the toilet with all your negativity.”
    *
    Kinda like the liberal lefties when Moccia was in office.
    *
    Can dish it out but can’t take it, eh?

  40. M Allen

    Not really sure we need to bash unions or relegate them to sainthood. Are they bankrupting the city? No. They are just a cost of doing business and like all costs of doing business, they need to be kept in check. Which means we need elected officials who do not bow to pressure from organized labor when it comes time to negotiate on behalf of taxpayers.
    .
    And let’s please stop comparing public-employee and private-sector unions. The Teachers Union and efforts to organize at Walmart are entirely different in almost every way. Not all unions are created equally. While I could make a far better case for why unions should exist, and even be strengthened in the private sector, public-sector unions are a completely different beast. But this thread about the Mayor being sworn in has been derailed enough. What we should all recognize is that while there may be disagreements about the pros and cons of organized labor in the municipal employee ranks, it has nothing to do with the workers. Police, Fire, Teachers, and other city workers, are all good people and residents should value their contribution to our city. The unions themselves are a separate matter.

  41. You may want to check your facts

    Irishgirl, you honestly don’t know how to have a discussion. Best of luck to you. You still haven’t addressed anything brought up in this conversation.

  42. Break the Unions

    TG
    I find it comical how you attempt to undermine the other posters link because it is from, 2010. If anything the unions are picking the pocket worse now in 2013. All someone needs to do is google unions bankrupting American and you will get thousands of articles.

  43. You may want to check your facts

    Keep crying those crocodile tears and nothing to back up your claims.

  44. YMWTCYF:
    I don’t have to – everyone else has already posted info before I have.
    Thanks for the luck, but don’t need it ~ Everything is just ducky.
    *
    PS ~ GE is one of my all time favorite companies…why?
    The salary it pays….

  45. TG

    I agree with M. Allen that this thread has been derailed too much, so to tie it back together-
    .
    1.) I happen to be very uncomfortable with unions and politicians mixing. I am also uncomfortable with corporations and politicians mixing. Conflict of interest can arise.

    2.) That said, I still think everyone needs to sit back and see what our new mayor will do with his tenure. Stop the negative know-it-all ism. If out taxes rise considerably and you can irrefutably tie it to some huge payouts to unions, feel free to come back and type I Told You Sos all over the place. That is no more nor less effective than coming on NON and complaining in advance. But at least it will give the guy a chance.

    3.) And can we stick to Norwalk? Regarding Break the Unions comment towards me, I stand by my assertion that Tim T’s references are inappropriate for Norwalk. The article references CA on 2010, a state which effectively is bankrupt. Is our city bankrupt? Even after unions supported Moccia? Did they bankrupt the city? Are the examples in that article relevant to our cops? Our cops do not earn a pension of 90 percent of their salary, our cops pension is based only on base salary and not on overtime, and I double dipping is not some common occurrence here- our present mayor excepted, and I shared people’s concerns with that. Let’s stick with facts about our own city, let’s see what happens with this new administration before ripping it with accusations, and please, can we have more input from people like M.Allen who can give a thoughtful analysis as opposed to letting their black and white viewpoints and personal bias create such negative, even angry responses.

  46. You may want to check your facts

    Good to see Irishgirl is content getting a big fat salary at the expense if the American taxpayer. I guess it’s ok so long as she’s on the relieving end.

Leave a Reply


Recent Comments