Why would anyone serve Norwalk?

By Galen Wells

Democratic Town Committee member

NORWALK, Conn. – Republican Town Chairman Art Scialabba was correct to confirm in his recent letter that Harry Rilling collects only one pension. However his other comments concerning Mr. Rilling’s employment with the city were willfully inaccurate and misleading, and merit a response.

In 2001, the late Republican Mayor Frank Esposito saw fit to ask Harry Rilling to work past retirement and stay with the Police Department under a new contract. Rilling’s exemplary job performance and significant cost savings versus hiring a new chief were cited as reasons for his retention. Not only did the city realize those savings in every year of his employment contracts, but Mr. Rilling gave back 70 percent of his earned severance entitlements as part of his extension in 2001, something that is rarely mentioned.

In fact, Rilling’s contract was extended three times during Moccia’s tenure because the city continued to save money while benefiting from Rilling’s service. “We felt that we needed someone here with experience … so we extended Harry’s contract,” Moccia said in 2011. Mayor Moccia later appointed Harry to the Zoning Commission after his retirement.

It’s no wonder that morale is said to be low in many quarters of City Hall. After all, slamming a retired city employee after decades of distinguished service for having accepted a paycheck and benefits in exchange for doing a good job is no way to win hearts and minds at City Hall or with hard-working Norwalkers.

Galen Wells

Member, Democratic Town Committee and Rilling for Mayor

Former zoning commissioner and NDTC chairman


5 responses to “Why would anyone serve Norwalk?”

  1. Molly

    Thanks Bill Collins and Alex Knopp for writing another Rilling piece. Readers want to know what role Knopp and Collins will have in a Rilling administration.

  2. Vonnie M

    Wait a minute. He gavce back 70% of his “earned severance”? That means he took 30% of his severance on top of his retirement and his annual salary, so it means he took more money. Incredible.

  3. Tim T

    Only in Norwalk could you be what a consider a screw up in one position and want to seek yet a higher position.

  4. M. Murray

    Lets not forget that the DROP plan being discussed here saves the city money and is use throughout te country. The City is the one who proposed the plan and actually makes money off it. It locks in employee pension rates at an earlier/lower level. The deferred pension is held onto by the city during the DROP period. They charge the individual up to 15% for that “service”. They use that money for investment while paying the current Treasury Bill Rate to the employee as interest. They also save the cost of hiring a new employee with the added cost of benefits. If the city didn’t profit off the program, they wouldn’t do it.

  5. Mr Norwalk Ct

    Such a shame that the ones that defend everything police do not in the interest of full disclosure state that they are rretired or current N P D. Thus profiting off the system they defend.

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