What can we glean from the Hour article on Thursday’s announcement at the Norwalk Inn? A few things– the Democrats don’t have anyone ready to run– don’t you just hate how the article has to be balanced by representing the other side? Okay, we’ll play along.
We did learn though that Bruce Morris is looking for a third job, Amanda Brown is staying under the radar, Michael Coffey is weighing options, Mike Geake is under the radar and Galen Wells doesn’t know that there’s already a transfer station on Meadow Street. Back to the Republicans.
Moccia is keeping his plans under wraps till Thursday.
The Hour reports:
Mayor Richard A. Moccia appears poised to seek a third two-year term at the city’s helm.
Republican Town Committee Chairman Art Scialabba said Monday that Moccia will announce Thursday “his intentions regarding this year’s 2009 municipal elections.”
A press statement from Scialabba on Monday focused on the timing of Moccia’s announcement, and indicated that Moccia, if he does seek a third term, will have an ample head start on campaigning.
“I am pleased that Mayor Moccia will be announcing his intentions sooner rather than later. This early announcement helps our party prepare for the implications of his decisions,” Scialabba wrote. “At all costs — our party must maintain the mayor’s office, with an incumbent or a rising star.”
Moccia’s announcement is set for Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at The Norwalk Inn & Conference Center at 99 East Ave. Moccia would not divulge his decision Monday but said it will be “final.”
“There’s not going to be me going there and saying, ‘I need a couple of months,’” Moccia said. “It will be a final decision that I will announce that night.”
In the city’s 2007 municipal elections, Moccia formed a campaign exploratory committee in early February and announced his candidacy in April. As of Monday, neither Moccia nor any other potential mayoral candidate had filed paperwork with the Town Clerk’s Office regarding the formation of an exploratory committee.
Moccia, a former councilman, Republican Town Committee chairman, Charter Revision Commission chairman, and fire commissioner, narrowly defeated two-term Democrat Alex Knopp in November 2005. He handily won re-election against Democrat Walter O. Briggs in 2007.
Several Norwalk Republicans told The Hour that they hope Moccia will seek a third term, but added that he had not shared his intentions with them as of Monday.
“I think he’s done a phenomenal job so far and would continue to do so if re-elected,” said Kathryn A. Martino, Republican Town Committee vice chairwoman. “He’s done a really done a good job bringing the parties of the Common Council together to work well and get a lot done.”
John Federici, former town committee chairman, said Moccia is doing “an absolutely fantastic job.” Moccia is up-to-speed on issues facing the city and is a “great listener,” according to Federici.
Scialabba said redevelopment has advanced in Norwalk under Moccia. For residential neighborhoods, money has been invested in flood abatement, he said.
“(During) his last two terms, a lot of great stuff has been happening in Norwalk, and things that were stagnant before have begun moving,” Scialabba said.
Galen Wells, former Norwalk Democratic Town Committee chairwoman, said Democrats assume that Moccia will run for a third term. “I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t,” Wells said.
On Moccia’s record, however, Well said the Republican mayor hasn’t developed any initiatives of his own other than the municipal trash-hauling contract, which she said would have been a “disaster” for South Norwalk.
“It showed insensitivity to the minority community,” Wells said.
On the Democratic side, party leaders have spoken with several people who’ve expressed interest in a mayoral bid, but “nobody has really made any definitive plans that I’m aware of, Well said.
A number of names have circulated as possible Democratic mayoral candidates.
State Rep. Bruce V. Morris, D-140, said he’s been asked by several people to run.
“I’m honored that I would be considered,” Morris said.
Michael W. Coffey, former councilman and now a city fire commissioner, said people have called him and encouraged him to run for office. “I’m weighing all my options at this time,” Coffey said.
The 2009 municipal elections approach as Norwalk suffers from the economic recession, which has put the city’s operating budget at an estimated $2.6-million shortfall. The state faces a nearly $992-million budget deficit.
Scialabba said he believes that “people are smart enough and realize that it is not the Norwalk mayor that has caused our economy to sink as it has. He’s reacted to the situation as best as he can.”
source: The Hour, Norwalk mayor to announce re-election plans Thursday, By ROBERT KOCH, 01/26/2009