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Jack O’Dea

  • Seen and Heard in Norwalk: Early arrivals; mall freeloaders

    NORWALK, Conn. – Here are some items of interest that were seen or heard recently in Norwalk: No rent for the big boys Here’s a surprise for you: If a mall is built in Norwalk, it’s likely that the Lord & Taylor or the Macy’s or whatever-huge-department-store-comes-in-as-an-anchor won’t be paying rent. In fact, they’ll be…

  • Rilling intel: Expect NEON action within 2 to 3 weeks

    NORWALK, Conn. – It seems there are no easy answers when it comes to Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON), the South Norwalk-based anti-poverty agency that has been teetering on bankruptcy for months. Mayor Harry Rilling, who months ago began having every-other-day conversations with Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) transitional CEO and President the Rev. Tommie…

  • Stephenson defends self after aborted NEON board meeting

    NORWALK, Conn. – The infighting at Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now spilled out into a Stamford hallway Wednesday night as deposed CEO Chiquita Stephenson defended her record, said she wouldn’t be made a “escape goat” and that “little so-called meetings” of board factions would not help the situation or the families in dire straits. Stephenson, who…

  • NEON paychecks fall short for some

    NORWALK, Conn. – The glow of a “miracle” dimmed quickly for two Norwalk non-profit agency board members Friday when angry employees said that they weren’t being given paychecks, even though they had checks in hand. The checks being given to Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) workers were replacements for the paychecks that bounced 17 days…

  • NEON holding tight onto Head Start families

    (Updated 5:20 a.m. Oct. 28 with Facebook post;  12:09 a.m. Oct. 28 with press release announcing day care opening.) NORWALK, Conn. – The children who are enrolled in Norwalk’s Head Start program are heading back to Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) Monday morning, rather than to a Head Start program operated by the company called…

  • NEON in crisis: Most staff told to stay home Monday, Tuesday

    (Updated 1:16 p.m. with brief comments from the interim CEO and board chairman) NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) staff was told by email late Sunday night to stay home Monday and Tuesday. The email said, in part, “Most NEON programs will be closed on Monday, October 7th and Tuesday, October 8th —…

  • For NEON board members, it’s ‘one day at a time’

    NORWALK, Conn. – It’s one day at a time for board members of a South Norwalk-based anti-poverty agency that is under siege. “Challenges must be addressed, our financial house must be put in order and the needs of those we serve must be met,” said Susan Weinberger, the vice chairman of the Norwalk Economic Opportunity…

  • Moccia: NEON board member has it wrong

    NORWALK, Conn. – Mayor Richard Moccia said Thursday he has not reached out to Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON), despite assertions to the contrary made at Wednesday night’s NEON board meeting. “I don’t know what he’s smoking,” Moccia said, of comments made by Jack O’Dea at Wednesday night’s meeting held in Stamford.

  • Moccia may be reconsidering NEON grant money

    NORWALK, Conn. – It appears that Mayor Richard Moccia is now willing to negotiate with the cash-strapped South Norwalk anti-poverty agency that is attributing potential layoffs to a lack of funding from the city of Norwalk. Much of Wednesday night’s Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) board meeting was done in secret, but a few comments…

  • NEON board member reveals email Peña sent to Dems

    Updated, 4:31 a.m., comment from Pat Pheanious NORWALK, Conn. – An email sent to discourage Democratic Norwalk mayoral candidates from attending a town hall-like meeting Wednesday in South Norwalk has been obtained by a board member of the agency that organized the event. Common Councilman Warren Peña (D-At Large), who has been embroiled in an…

  • NEON holds 10-minute meeting, adjourns citing FOI violation

    NORWALK, Conn. – A plan to vote on a new interim director for South Norwalk’s embattled anti-poverty agency was put on hold Wednesday night by agency officials who cited a legal technicality, but one angry official implied a conspiracy theory was at work. The special meeting of Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) lasted 10 minutes.…