NORWALK, Conn. – Here are some items of interest that were seen or heard recently in Norwalk:
Bullying at the Board of Ed
Forming a policy to prevent adult-on-student bullying was tricky, Board of Education members said Tuesday.
The policy needed to be written in such a way as to not undermine teacher authority, they said. Then there was the problem of athletic competitions.
“One of the things we had to consider coaches because coaches do in the moment get heated,” Artie Kassimis explained. “A lot of time their coaching is very Jack Chiarmonte-ish. It’s passionate.”
That prompted Jack Chiaramonte to ask, “Why am I being picked on?”
Chiaramonte laughed with everyone else.
Are you sure I can’t help?
One Norwalk citizen decided to ask a question of a state agency Thursday evening during a public hearing regarding efforts to clean up hazardous materials at five Meadow Street properties.
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Remediation Division official Peter Hill and DEEP environmental analyst Jeffrey Wilcox had been answering questions about explosions at Lajoies Auto Salvage when Ann Frimmet posed a larger question.
“Do you have enough people to really handle what you are being asked to do about keeping our health and safety in reasonable bounds?” she asked.
“Be honest,” two people said, as Wilcox offered sympathy to Hill with, “That’s why you get the big bucks, Peter.”
Hill looked Frimmet in the eye and said, “I believe so, yes,”
“OK,” Frimmet said. “Because if you said you didn’t, I’d be happy to advocate for doing something about it.”
Hill’s response was deadpan. He said, “We could always use more people.
‘Mean spirited’ tax sale necessary
The Board of Estimate and Taxation seemed to have words from a March 21 public hearing on their mind Monday night as Tax Collector Lisa Biagiarelli gave a report.
Diane Lauricella had criticized the annual auction of properties that have taxes due, calling the public nature of the sale “mean spirited.”
She was absent Monday, but Mayor Richard Moccia seemed to be answering her when he said, “While it is embarrassing for some people it is the most expeditious way for us to collect the back taxes that the people in the city who are paying their taxes are subsidizing.”
BET member Jim Clarke commented that the sale is done very professionally, and Biagiarelli mentioned the many notices that are put out in an effort to notify those whose properties are up for auction.
“We are required by law to very public about what we are doing for their own protection,” she said.
The interest on unpaid bills is 18 percent, she said; after five years the interest becomes more than the tax, she said.
“Having done these sales now every two years I can tell you, the lion’s share of the people in those sales, it’s the same people. It’s the same names,” she said. “I hate to say this, but they pay when their back is against the wall and they are forced into it. They’re paying the interest and they’re paying the tax sale fees, but that is the only time that they pay.”