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Seen and heard in Norwalk: Voices ignored, disrespected

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Councilman Nick Kydes (R-District C).

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

Scheduling conflicts

Three meetings in one evening caused consternation for Norwalk politicians and gadflies alike Wednesday at City Hall, prompting one citizen to reach out for an explanation:

Diane Cece to Planning Committee Chairman Nick Kydes, in an email:

“I noticed that you have moved the Thursday Feb. 7 Planning Committee meeting to Wednesday Feb. 6th, at the same time as the Planning Commission Capital Budget Public Hearing.  Is there a specific reason why your meeting was moved from the usual night?

Kydes response: “We couldn’t get a quorum on Thursday, also please note I will not set my committee’s schedule to meet your requirements.”

Who needs reporters?

Nancy Chapman to Kydes:

At Wednesday night’s meeting you said  letters about the Day Street property issue had been posted on the website. What website? Can you send me a link?

Kydes:

Search the ReDevelopment’s site.

Chapman: With all due respect, I looked at the RDA website and I could not find the letter to which you are referring. The website doesn’t seem to be organized in a manner that makes sense if you are looking for this particular topic. There isn’t a search bar to input a search term.

Putting it on a website that many people would find obscure might seem proactive when you are immersed in a topic on a day to day basis, but ordinary taxpayers don’t see things the same way.

I called Diane Cece, who told me that the letter is in the planning committee agenda. I can’t copy and paste that, though. It sure would be nice if I could find it in a form that would make life easier for me.

Is there a reason why you are not sending it out to the media for publication? Especially when the information pertains to a situation in which certain members of the public have shown great interest?

Kydes:

I sent my reply to Ms. Duleep’s letter to the Hour last week: I don’t know if they published it.

If you have problems navigating the website, I recommend you call the Redevelopment staff. I know trying to cut and paste PDF files could be difficult, but the staff is not there to make your job easier. I’m sure you understand why documents need to be in PDF and protected on the website.

Chapman:

I wasn’t asking for help copying and pasting. I was saying that if you’re really going to be “proactive” you should send these letters to the press. All the press. You are not the only person who doesn’t read The Hour.

And, no, I don’t see why the documents need to be protected on the website. I can copy the council agenda, why can’t I copy the document from the planning committee? I am not asking for help. I am saying you are making it much too difficult for the public to understand what is going on.

Kydes:

I don’t agree with your points. If the public wants to know what’s going on then the public can come to our “open public” meetings or they can surf the website. There is nothing difficult about it:  “search and thee shall find.”

My letter is on the website and so is all other public information that the press or the public wants to see.

Voices unheard at Board of Education?

The Board of Education listened for more than two hours as Margaret MacDonald, Ph. D., shared her many criticisms of the special education program Tuesday as she relayed the results of a six month study. Board member Rosa Murray said many residents had said similar things and been ignored.

“It keeps coming up, but it’s according to who’s delivering that information, how it’s delivered, and we continue to not really address it,” she said. “Now it comes to us, packaged in a different form, now it’s this great report and we’re now finding out what we’re doing wrong. We knew what we were doing wrong but we turned our heads when it come to certain student population. I think we need to have more dialogue with our special ed department, let’s start with our director. Let’s get down to the real bottom of this. … This is really truly about what’s going on in Norwalk, what’s going on in those buildings. I think that candid conversation needs to happen.”

Board Chairman Mike Lyons: “I agree.”

Should next superintendent be a throw back?

MacDonald said at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting that, as a special education teacher, she had once had a disagreement with her principal over the treatment of a child. Her superintendent backed her up in dispute, which she thought led to the right thing being done.

MacDonald: “You need a leader, a new superintendent, who has the ability and guts to say to the building principals, ‘No, you can’t do it that way, we have a process.’”

John Mosby: “I worked at the schools for 35 years. The problem is they don’t let the superintendent run the school. (Former superintendents) Dr. Sloan, Dr. Briggs, they tell the principal, you’re going to follow the rules. Now you’ve got the board interfering with everything. That’s why they leave, because they can’t move.”

 

Comments

4 responses to “Seen and heard in Norwalk: Voices ignored, disrespected”

  1. LWitherspoon

    The responses from Mr. Kydes do not reflect well on him. Perhaps he misunderstood what was being asked. In any event, he would be better served to at least pretend that he is trying to be helpful, rather than lecturing Nancy on how City Employees are not there to help.

  2. Suzanne

    What a refreshingly balanced comment.

  3. BARIN

    Ditto that Spoon, he was very NOT helpful in his lecture. What can you do?
    Hopefully he will clear it up with Nancy soon.
    I wonder if this happens often when a resident inquires about an issue?
    If anyone has experienced similar interaction with our elected officials they must let the rest of us know too; it would be much appreciated.

  4. Diane C2

    BARIN, more and more of us are speaking out. I agree we need to know the frequency and nature of these unacceptable responses (or lack of responses, as some cases may be).

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