Seen and Heard in Norwalk: No time for sergeants


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Norwalk Boy Scout Troop 19 handles the honors at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting. The boys stayed for a while and were testing later on what they observed.

NORWALK, Conn. – Here are some items of interest that were seen or heard recently in Norwalk:

New rules

There have been some issues recently about lengthy recesses at Common Council meetings, with complaints from Republicans over the amount of time Democrats take to return after asking for “10 minutes.”

So when Travis Simms (D-District B) asked for a recess Tuesday, Mayor Harry Rilling asked him if he wanted 5 or 10 minutes. Simms frowned, then said that 5 minutes would be fine, nodding as he turned down the 10.

Republicans kept themselves busy and, after 15 minutes, most of the Democrats had returned. Little parts of a conversation between Rilling, Doug Hempstead (R-At Large), Bruce Kimmel (D-At Large) and Corporation Counsel Mario Coppola leaked out over the microphone: Hempstead complained about “the longest 5-minute recess” and Coppola mentioned a Sergeant at Arms — an officer appointed by some groups (including legislative bodies)  to keep order at meetings and to make sure those who need to be in the room are, well, in the room.

Richard Rilling, left, and Harry Rilling chat during a recess at Tuesday's Common Council meeting. Richard Rilling "came first," meaning he is the mayor's older brother.
Richard Rilling, left, and Harry Rilling chat during a recess at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting. Richard Rilling “came first,” meaning he is the mayor’s older brother.

Seconds later, Rilling banged the gavel and resumed the meeting.

“We’re missing two people,” he said, as if noticing for the first time. Simms and John Kydes (D-District C) came out from the caucus chamber.

NoN asked Coppola in an email who might be Norwalk’s Sergeant at Arms.

Just a joke, Coppola replied.


Piña Coladas in the statehouse?

Emily Wilson won the endorsement of her Republican colleagues Wednesday night in her bid to become the next state representative for the 142nd District, replacing veteran Larry Cafero.

Early Thursday morning it was clear that her new website needed work.

Under the biography section, the website said, “This is an example page. It’s different from a blog post because it will stay in one place and will show up in your site navigation (in most themes). Most people start with an About page that introduces them to potential site visitors. It might say something like this:

“Hi there! I’m a bike messenger by day, aspiring actor by night, and this is my blog. I live in Los Angeles, have a great dog named Jack, and I like piña coladas. (And gettin’ caught in the rain.)

“…or something like this:

“The XYZ Doohickey Company was founded in 1971, and has been providing quality doohickeys to the public ever since. Located in Gotham City, XYZ employs over 2,000 people and does all kinds of awesome things for the Gotham community.”



Force of habit

Oak Hills Park Authority member Paul Cifatte was lauded Thursday by former member Art Goldblatt, who said he had joined his friend recently to help clean the tennis court bathrooms at the park.

Cifatte was on his hands and knees cleaning the bathroom, Goldblatt said. Some people came around looking to play tennis and were highly disappointed that the courts weren’t open, but Cifatte handled them like a pro, Goldblatt said.

Cifatte told authority members that the weather had been great and the tennis season looks like it will be similarly fantastic.

“It doesn’t mean that you should be in there cleaning the bathrooms,” OHPA member Pamela Block Works said.

“They had to be done that particular day. In my mind the courts were imminently ready to open,” Cifatte said. That not working, he said, “It’s what I do at home.”


Who has time?

Oak Hills Park Authority Ad Hoc Driving Range Committee Chairman Ernie Desrochers said people just don’t understand the recently crafted draft master plan – it’s about a lot more than a driving range, but that’s all people talk about, he said.

“Everybody talks about nobody has the time to play golf,” he said. “I guess nobody has the time to read 100 pages anymore.”


Something smelly in Rowayton

Here’s one you Norwalk veterans might already be in on: Roton Avenue.

It’s nice to have Google guide a newbie to Roton Avenue via an iPhone App, but a little startling when the iPhone says, “Turn left on Rotten Avenue.”
‘Nuff said.


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