South Norwalk faction protests early Rilling endorsement

NORWALK, Conn. – An email sent Saturday in support of former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling as an opponent of Mayor Richard Moccia in this fall’s election has prompted a response: A Better South Norwalk has other plans.

“I would like to address and make clear that all of District B has not committed to supporting Harry Rilling for mayor; as the Better South Norwalk Team has decided to keep our options open to determine the candidate that we feel will best serve and represent the best interest of the people of South Norwalk and that will earnestly focus on the concerns of the residents that resides in the district; as well, you may be aware that there are many residents who do not agree with you or your supporter’s that Harry Rilling is the best mayoral candidate in the race right now to champion South Norwalk and quite sure there are many around the city of Norwalk who shares the same outlook,” wrote Travis Simms of A Better South Norwalk to District B Chairman Bobby Burgess Wednesday.

Sono Alliance Chairwoman Corrine Weston sent an email Saturday on Burgess’ behalf, inviting District B residents to the Hilton Garden Inn at 2 p.m. Sunday to see Rilling announce that he is running for mayor.

“We need someone with the management and personal skills to lead the city while championing our South Norwalk issues,” the email said.

Sims, Ernie Dumas, Nabil Valencia, Sandra Stokes and Phaedrel “Faye” Bowman formed A Better South Norwalk nearly a year ago.

“I think the best position for District B and all South Norwalk residents is to consider all of the candidates and decide which candidate meets our collective needs during the upcoming campaign trail,” Simms wrote. “In addition, the Better South Norwalk Team will not be attending the upcoming event.”

Weston said Tuesday that Rilling has her support.

“There are three reasons I am supporting Harry for mayor,” she said in an email. “1.  We worked together when he was Police Chief and we agreed on most items for our city. 2.  He has supported all our efforts with Community Policing and finally, 3. He is committed to improving the South Norwalk Community.”


17 responses to “South Norwalk faction protests early Rilling endorsement”

  1. Tom

    Everyone knows Travis Simms is supporting Vinny Mangiacopra, just look on his website to see pics of the two together.

  2. Diane C2

    1)ding ding ding ding ….and in THIS corner we have….

  3. Original BARIN

    The goal for Norwalk Dems is to win the seat at the top in November.
    Too many cooks spoil the stew, Miklave, Vinny need to step out soon, with the blessing of their faithful endorsers.
    This is the time to the good of the party thing; common goal is win in November.
    Andy deserves to be in the race, but Harry has in my opinion, the best chance to win.
    If Dems aren’t all reading from the same playbook, they don’t stand a chance.
    It’s a tough choice.

  4. Tim T

    Rilling is Moccia
    Moccia is Rilling
    As in the same old same old
    Norwalk needs change not more of the same old same old.

  5. Ladybug26567

    Why should anyone care who Travis is endorsing?

  6. ScopeonNorwalk

    It makes since to wait. I mean the guy hasn’t even presented his platform. I don’t know how Burgess and Corrine can be endorsing him already. Doesn’t seem like a democratic process to me.

  7. ScopeonNorwalk

    I mean really, give a man an endorsement before he even presents a platform and don’t be surprised when he doesn’t do anything for you. He doesn’t have to after that mistake.

  8. Tim T

    Rilling is not the answer for Norwalk..I think his time as chief proves that.

  9. LWitherspoon

    Is there bad blood between Travis Simms and Harry Rilling because of the incident where Simms got tasered and arrested? What became of the claim that it was all unjust and Simms would likely sue the city?

  10. Tom

    Do you all see the irony here? They say they oppose the early endorsement and they claim they are keeping their options open until they hear from all the candidates yet…they will not attend the announcement on Sunday to hear what Rilling has to say. Don’t be fooled folks…They DO have their endorsement lined up..Just more smoke and mirrors.

  11. ScopeonNorwalk

    Lwitherspoon, I doubt it. Rilling wasn’t chief when that happened.

  12. Chrissy

    I’ve been sitting back reading newspaper articles, blog entries and listening to neighbors talk about the candidates for Mayor and from my perspective, folks are overlooking a great potential mayor in Matt Miklave. Mr. Miklave seems to be the only potential candidate who’s talking about real solutions to the problems facing Norwalk. Mr. Mangiacopra has zero experience at doing anything other than making cute little videos, rubbing elbows with party insiders and a curiously short stint as Monroe’s Economic Development Director. Chief Rilling’s association with Moccia just smells of insider conflicts and Mr. Garfunkel seems to be off to a bumpy start, given his recent snub to his fellow Democrats. What we’ll hopefully learn in the coming months is who has real solutions to the problems facing Norwalk and who has sound bites. So far, Matt Miklave seems to be the only candidate with substance.

  13. LWitherspoon

    What solutions have you heard Mr. Miklave mention to the problems facing Norwalk? All I have ever seen from Mr. Miklave during his time on council is partisan gamesmanship and preening windbaggery. Whenever anybody attempts to make a difficult decision and save money for the City, Miklave plays the situation for maximum political gain while never offering any real solutions of his own. A recent example relates to the outsourcing of trash hauling. Miklave voted against more than $1 million per year in savings for City taxpayers in order to protect eight Union guys from being re-assigned to less lucrative jobs. So with respect, I disagree. Although it’s certainly possible I missed something – I would love to hear what “real solutions” you heard from Mr. Miklave regarding any problem facing Norwalk.

  14. Joe Espo

    “…preening windbaggery” is right, LWitherspoon. He is the sole cause of 95/7 having been delayed for so many years because he kept on talking it down over and over and over and over again and sending it back to committee time and time and time and time and time and time again – over a number of years – and delayed it into 2008 when project financing capital dried up. And certainly as a mayor (God forbid), he’d make sure we’d be taxed to death so that his union supporters could line their pockets.

  15. LWitherspoon

    @Joe Espo
    I did not originate the term “preening windbaggery”, a different commenter used it to describe Mr. Miklave and it fit so perfectly that I have been using it ever since.
    I agree that Mr. Miklave is so beholden to Unions that should he ever become Mayor it would probably lead to a deal with municipal unions that will substantially raise our taxes and/or bankrupt the City. Mr. Miklave’s campaign treasurer is the head of the School Administrators Union, which only makes him more beholden to them if elected. The fact that Mr. Miklave makes his living as a lawyer who often represents Unions also raises questions, especially considered next to the fact that Mr. Miklave spends so much time on Council talking about how the City should be nicer to Unions.

  16. Tim T

    Why have we never heard you critique Moccia’s association with the police union??
    Also may not haves not originate the term “preening windbaggery”, but you sure did “partisan gamesmanship ” as you use it in regards to every democrat. I would think the term “partisan gamesmanship ” fits the mayor more than the dems.

  17. Original BARIN

    I recall the paper saying Miklave made an attempt to hold up the new firehouse, stating it was too costly after he voted FOR it.
    We dont need another flip flop knopp folks.

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