We are fortunate to have Council members like Bruce Kimmel. I can understand your reaction in thinking that this might seem like a bit of a pat on the back. But if you consider it along with all of Bruce's other letters, it will quickly become clear that the primary purpose of his writings is to inform rather than self-congratulate. Kimmel actually shows up for Council and committee meetings, he does constituent service, AND he takes the time to explain the thinking behind his votes and policy positions via thoughtful and detailed letters to the editor. We could use more like him at all levels of government.
Let's contrast that with Matt Miklave, who wants the Democratic nomination for Mayor. Miklave recently wrote a letter to the editor encouraging us to submit feedback on an environmental proposal after the state DEEP's deadline for submitting feedback had already passed! Apparently Miklave waited until after the deadline because he wanted it to be Earth Day when he wrote about something he did for the environment. Now that's self-interested self-congratulation for you.
Also please remember, when you ask "isn't that your job?", that Common Council members don't receive any compensation apart from a stipend of $600 per year. Some Council members use that as an excuse to miss committee meetings and not return constituent phone calls. A rare few, like Bruce Kimmel, give us 110%. View Comment
Wow you're right!
That's mind-blowing. They take $100,000 in government benefits and their thanks to the American taxpayer is a terrorist attack plus a murdered cop.
Well said, Norwalk Native and Paige.
I urge the "team" to end the gamesmanship and start doing what they honestly, objectively believe is in Norwalk's best interest. If they honestly believe that high-paid unionized Police Captains are the key to reducing crime in Norwalk, then they should be prepared to run on that position. Let's see if we hear much about that issue during the election, or if it was just a clever and cynical gambit to try and drive a wedge between the Mayor and the Police Union.
Bottom line - vote your conscience, and then explain your thought process via a letter to the editor, the same way that Bruce Kimmel has done above. It will be pretty easy to see whether you're providing honest, independent representation or simply taking orders from a Town Committee that is controlled by some very narrow interests. View Comment
I truly believe that Miklave's fundraising success comes from favoring the interests of municipal employee unions over the interests of ordinary taxpayers. This would explain why School Administrator's Union Head Tony Ditrio is Miklave's campaign treasurer.
Whenever the City tries to save money in a way that the Unions don't like, Miklave is always the first to bloviate against the money-saving proposal in question. Yet Miklave now expects us to believe his claims that he's the candidate of fiscal responsibility. How dumb does he think we are? Several weeks back I challenged any Miklave supporter to point to any Miklave proposal or accomplishment during his eight years on council that saved money for Norwalk taxpayers. I'm still waiting. View Comment
Perhaps the rationale is that they don't want cities to have a monetary incentive to write lots of tickets to raise revenue. That would be reasonable, except that the main reason of course is that they want the money for themselves. View Comment
Revenue from fines for speeding and other driving infractions goes entirely to the State of CT. The Norwalk PD and the City of Norwalk have zero economic benefit from writing tickets for vehicular infractions.
Also, it does cost money to write tickets for non-DUI vehicular infractions, since there is the time required for the officer to write up each ticket.
If there are limited resources and there has to be a choice between the two, I would prefer that the PD pull drunk drivers off the road. Speeding is irresponsible and undesirable, but the drunks have seriously impaired driving ability and are far more likely to hurt someone. View Comment
As usual, Kimmel is one of the more independent and honest members of the Common Council. We are lucky to have an elected representative who takes positions that are dictated by his convictions rather than by the Republican or Democrat political machines. We are luckier still that he takes the time to explain in writing the reasoning behind most key votes on Council - very helpful for those of us who can't attend every Council meeting. Kimmel's diligence is in stark contrast to others on Council who view the post as a platform from which to grandstand and bloviate as part of a campaign for higher office. I wish Councilman Kimmel would run for Mayor.
Pena and Duleep did explain their no votes later by saying they would not vote for a budget that did not fully fund education. Link: http://www.nancyonnorwalk.com/2013/03/duleep-pena-norwalk-budget-cap-process-left-them-out/
Interestingly, Pena and Duleep gave zero by way of specifics regarding how they would have funded education. They should both be asked what tax hike or specific spending reductions they would make in order to give the Board of Ed their full request. Otherwise one might reasonably conclude that they are trying to have it both ways - voting to fully fund education, but refusing to say how they would do it because they don't want to say something that's politically unpopular. View Comment
As regards your comment that "Most unions want no part of defending people who get fired for crimes committed against the employer."
Polselli's Union Head, Tony Ditrio, was quoted in the Norwalk Hour defending what Polselli did, claiming that it wasn't wrong because Polselli didn't try to hide it. Article here:
It's worth noting that when Ditrio isn't defending union members who try to use taxpayer funds to buy equipment for their personal aircraft, he serves as the finance chief of Matt Miklave's mayoral campaign.
I agree - it's troubling, but it sounds like this was the least bad of several lousy choices. The BoE did postpone voting at a prior meeting so they could better inform themselves and evaluate options, and they must have concluded that this was the only option. You will note that the vote was unanimous.
It was also troubling to read Union leader Tony Ditrio's comments claiming to the Norwalk Hour that Mr. Polselli had done nothing wrong because he didn't try to hide his illegal spending. That's the same Tony Ditrio who serves as the finance chief of Matt Miklave's mayoral campaign. View Comment