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Michael Berkoff

  • NEON out; SoNoCC and Curtis-led group bidding to take over

    NORWALK, Conn. – The door has finally slammed shut on 30-plus years of Norwalk history, as Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) has formally filed for its long-delayed Chapter 7 bankruptcy. There appears to be two groups already looking to gain the status NEON once had as the registered Community Action Program (CAP), also called a…

  • NEON employees await vital paperwork

    NORWALK, Conn. – Employees of a floundering South Norwalk anti-poverty agency say they have not yet gotten their W2 forms, although the federal deadline for sending out the earnings records was Jan. 31. Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) workers, still on the job as of Friday, said their W2 forms were mailed by a New…

  • NEON makes Norwalk grant request for fall program

    NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) has submitted an application for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to run an employment training program starting in September at the Ben Franklin Center on Flax Hill Road. The grant request comes despite talk of a possible bankruptcy filing and NEON’s loss of many of its…

  • NEON will only go bankrupt if someone else steps in, board chairman says

    Correction, 10:15 p.m., Dec. 22 – Community Action Program, not partnership. NORWALK, Conn. – A crumbling South Norwalk anti-poverty agency will continue to see that the needs of its clients are met even if it goes bankrupt, its board chairman said Friday. Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) Board Chairman Michael Berkoff indicated during Thursday evening’s…

  • NEON dismisses Stephenson

    NORWALK, Conn. – The former leader of an embattled South Norwalk anti-poverty agency, who was described as being on unpaid leave after paychecks bounced, was dismissed Monday night by the agency’s board of directors in a split vote. Four Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) board members voted in favor of dismissing former interim NEON CEO…

  • NEON board member lashes out at chairman

    NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) Board of Directors member is challenging the dismissal of former interim CEO and President Chiquita Stephenson and claiming that the embattled social service agency’s efforts to get back on its feet are being illegally conducted by two board members alone. Board secretary Dale Ferguson made those…

  • 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…

  • Opinion: NEON’s finally taking action to stop the bleeding

    NORWALK, Conn. – Just when you thought the only head start anyone in Norwalk would see this month would involve Christmas shopping, word has come that the federally funded Head Start program for Norwalk children may be back up and running by the first of next week. This is good news for hundreds of Norwalk…

  • NEON to re-issue paychecks Friday afternoon

    Updated 11:56 p.m. Thursday with comments from board Chaairman Michael Berkoff. NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) employees who were issued paychecks that failed to clear earlier this month will be given new checks Friday afternoon. Employees who received checks Nov. 2-5 that could not be cashed should go to NEON’s Norwalk office…

  • NEON board chairman: We’re already working on audit recommendations

    NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) Board of Directors Chairman Michael Berkoff acknowledged in an email press release Sunday night the contents of a draft audit released in September and said the agency has already taken steps to comply with recommendations in the final audit released Friday.

  • NEON taps the Rev. Tommie Jackson to lead agency

    (Updated 5 a.m. with complete rewrite; Clarifiation 10:49 a.m.: title is interim CEO) STAMFORD, Conn. — The Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) Board of Directors’ plan to name a new interim CEO Thursday night was nearly scuttled when board Chairman Michael Berkoff found out yet another board member had resigned, leaving the agency without a…

  • NEON adds four board members

    NORWALK, Conn. – The depleted board of South Norwalk’s embattled anti-poverty agency was replenished Wednesday night with the addition of four new board members. Common Councilman Michael Geake (D-District B), Paola Ochoa, Nick Tarzia and Samuel Delgado were voted onto the board in a quick meeting. Most board members voted over the telephone.

  • Moccia to NEON: Cooperate or we’ll call feds, state for investigation

    Updated, 5:50 p.m., ACF response – nothing from NEON; 4:52 p.m., CDI hotline message, short video; 1:11 p.m., comment from Moccia. NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia said Tuesday morning that the city is trying to facilitate a solution to the interruption of Head Start services for children by working with the two agencies…

  • Ex-NEON board member: Stephenson got 125 percent raise last year

    (Correction – The percentage of the raise is 125, not 103) NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) interim President and CEO Chiquita Stephenson received a 125 percent pay raise last year, well before before she assumed her current position, according to a former member of the Board of Directors. In addition, members of…

  • NEON, about $1.3 million in hole, will cut Norwalk programs according to local funding

    NORWALK, Conn. – More than $1 million remains outstanding to vendors of Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON), paperwork released by the agency Wednesday night shows. The agency was at a deficit of $1.3 million as of Aug. 30, according to the financial reporting distributed at Wednesday’s board meeting. The mood was low-key at the scantily…

  • NEON ‘working hard’ to fix problems, but questions about pay, programs remain unanswered

    Above: A video posted Oct. 1 on the NEON website of CEO and President Chiquita Stephenson discussing the agency.   NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) released a statement to the media late Monday night blaming the city of Norwalk and an ill-advised merger with Stamford’s CTE anti-poverty agency for its current plight…