It would seem that South Norwalk is the generator of most news these days. And despite the the seemingly endless stream of problems that are discussed, voter turnout in South Norwalk is the lowest in the city. Which then leads me to note, that I’m not all that surprised that news story number one has the headline; No point person so far for Guardian Angels chapter in Norwalk.
So what do make of the issue? Much ado about politics. Because at the end of the day, it was the political flunkies guised as District B Dems driving the issue, and not the people of South Norwalk. And once you understand that most of District B is completely uninterested in the political machinations of the District B Dems then you understand why not a single person stepped up to organize a Guardian Angel chapter. Let’s look at the excuses, reported by the Hour, from last night’s meeting:
Among those asked to serve as point person was Vito Bochicchio, owner of Eveready Transportation. He, however, cited his “battles” with the city over the relocation of taxi services at the South Norwalk Train Station, and with the state Department of Transportation — he’s seeking permission to operate additional taxis — as reasons not to get too heavily involved.
“Although I do feel (the Guardian Angels) is a wonderful cause that I’m going to be involved in, I am stretched too thin. I have 75 cabs at five locations,” Bochicchio said afterward. “I am going to get involved in this thing (the Guardian Angels) as much as I can with the spare time that I have because it’s a great cause.”
Martha Dumas, a South Norwalk resident who last month spoke in favor of bringing the Guardian Angels to Norwalk, said she would “get involved but not as a point person.”
Lacking a volunteer to spearhead the effort, District B Democrats unanimously passed a resolution reiterating their support for bringing the Guardian Angels to Norwalk.
Interestingly, Vito Bochicchio, owner of Eveready Taxis, all of 5 taxis operate in Norwalk, has his hands full on another South Norwalk issue. The infamous Taxi cab queue at the South Norwalk train station. From The Hour:
On Friday, Mayor Richard A. Moccia met with taxi company owners and Bobby Burgess, District B Democratic chairman, to discuss cabbies’ complaints about the city’s new taxi station on the westbound side.
On May 12, the city mandated that cabbies vacate the parking lot on the eastbound side of the station and queue up in designated spaces along State Street on the westbound side. Taxi company owners and others say the changeover has hurt commuters and forced cabbies to drive about aimlessly awaiting fares.
Now, a dispatching area, in a location near the station, could be in the works.
“We have identified a tentative solution that will satisfy the city and satisfy the taxi owners,” Burgess said. “We came up with a site near the train station, where the taxi owners were satisfied and the mayor was satisfied, on the west side, and it won’t interfere with existing traffic. I’m 90 percent sure it can be a workable solution.”
Burgess labeled Friday’s talks as “fruitful.” Moccia described them as “productive.”
Without disclosing its location, they said an area near the train station is under consideration as an area where the extra taxis might be able to wait for fares.
“I’d rather not say right now, because we just want to make sure everything is kosher,” said Moccia, referring to the location. “I think by the end of the week we should know.”
Burgess said Friday’s talks also addressed accommodating handi-capped taxi riders and giving taxis space on the eastbound side of the train station, if and when the station is rebuilt.
Lloyd Mellad, owner of Lloyd’s Taxi of Darien/Norwalk Yellow Cab and Vito Bochicchio, owner of Eveready Transportation, were among those attending the meeting, according to Burgess.
Public works officials and the Parking Authority deemed cabbies’ use of the parking lot outside the eastbound side of the station as unsafe and disorderly. As a part of the changeover to the westbound side, the authority assigned a “starter” to work outside the train station to direct commuters to the taxis.
Cabbies and taxi company owners labeled the May 12 changeover as counter intuitive, as train riders returning from Manhattan in the afternoon now must cross through the tunnel inside the train station to catch a taxi.
Looking forward, Moccia said taxi company owners will have a say in the future of the train station. The city recently launched a $250,000 intermodal transportation study aimed at upgrading the train station to better link train, auto, taxi, bus, shuttle, rail, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
Might taxis someday be able to queue up on the eastbound side of the station?
“That’s a possibility because we may have a larger area over there, and we may be able to accommodate more cabs,” Moccia said. But “we’re still talking seven or eight years away. In the meantime, we want to make what we have work. We want to help (taxi) businesses succeed and provide a service to people who do want the cabs.”
According to Moccia, that will entail posting information on the Parking Authority Web site.
“If we could put information on our Web site, for the Parking Authority, (such as) here are the cab companies, here are their numbers, you can get picked up on the (eastbound) side, if you call in advance, things of that nature,” Moccia said.
Burgess said taxi company owners and city officials will meet again to discuss the potential dispatching area and other issues as details emerge. From there, the solutions will go to the public hearing, he said.
Last I looked Bobby Burgess wasn’t elected to any office that could call a public hearing. But in the absence of other voices from SoNo, the likes of Burgess keep focusing on the same old tactics, at the expense of actually contributing towards making SoNo a better place. There’s an old Texan expression to cover that, all hat and no cattle. Or maybe its talking through your hat. In any case, SoNo needs new leadership.
source: The Hour, No point person so far for Guardian Angels chapter in Norwalk, By ROBERT KOCH, June 3, 2008
source: The Hour, Cab dispatch area considered near train station, By ROBERT KOCH, June 3, 2008