NORWALK, Conn. – Mayor Richard Moccia looks a little more official sitting in the Norwalk Common Council chambers, thanks to an initiative started by Common Councilman David Watts (D-District A) and carried out by City Clerk Erin Herring.
Watts had noticed that government buildings in other cities and in the capital have official seals, he said. Norwalk did not. The result is something that might have seemed impossible a few months ago — Moccia thanking Watts in public.
“David mentioned to me last month that we’re one of the few cities, if you watch them, that doesn’t have the city seal somewhere in the council chamber,” Moccia said at Tuesday’s council meeting. “We are fortunate to have lovely murals and there’s not much place to put things, but Erin used her ingenuity and we finally have a city seal in our council chambers.”
Watts said the new seal is essentially a plaque with a thin layer of brass over it, at a cost of about $75.
“I don’t take a salary on the council,” he said, referring to the $50 stipend to which council members are entitled. “If the city hadn’t done it, I probably would have used those funds that were allocated toward my salary to buy one.”
The city seal is described in specific language in the city charter: “In a straight line across the center are the words ‘E Pluribus Unum,’ at the upper left is a bridge with water flowing thereunder, at the upper right is an old well, and underneath is a monument. Encircling the whole are the letters and figures following: ‘Seal of the City of Norwalk, Incorporated 1913.’”
Watts didn’t realize the significance of the timing of his efforts. This year — June 6, 2013 — marks the 100th anniversary of the consolidation of the city of Norwalk with South Norwalk and the East Norwalk fire district.
“I didn’t know that,” he said. “Wow, that’s awesome.”
The seal is a modest “step in the right direction,” he said, “just to get started.”
“This one here is definitely nice,” he said. “I like it a lot. It should be, it’s under where the mayor sits. If you look around most chambers, there is some kind of official seal in the legislation process. I think it’s time for us to have it in the Common Council chambers because we’re conducting city official business.”