Minutes of the West Norwalk Association
July 12, 2010
Those Board Members present were: Joel Zaremby, Galen Wells, Linda Forcellina, Margaret Karl, Ron Brown, Chris Potts, Ron Paladino, Bob Wagman and Candide Valadares. Andy Conroy and Gay Mac Leod were guests.
The President, Joel Zaremby, called the meeting to order at 7:35. Joel welcomed the Board and visitors to the meeting and introduced Andy Conroy, Common Council representative from District E.
Andy Conroy said he was the Chair of the DPW Committee on the Common Council. He said he works well with Hal Alvord and that Hal and the department were striving to double up road paving despite budget cuts. Many of the roads to be paved are in West Norwalk. A paving schedule is available if you call customer service at City Hall. Andy said that everyone should call him or email if we see any issues in West Norwalk that need to be addressed. His email isAndy@andyconroy.name.
Linda Forcellina asked if there would be a street cleaning machine in the area soon. Andy said that the department is proceeding with street cleaning and this area should be cleaned soon.
Galen Wells brought up the silting in of Baker’s Pond on the Five Mile River. Bob Wagman said that many ponds up and down the river were silted in. The depth of the river had been drastically reduced which exacerbated flooding. The river functions as a storm drain and the City had acknowledged that it was the City’s responsibility to clean out the silt from the roads and other debris deposited in the river. Bob said that there had been some dumping in the river by someone on Libby Lane but that issue had been addressed.
Ron Brown brought up the dangerous narrow two-way bridge on West Cedar Street. Two cars can barely fit on the bridge at the same time. It also acts as a dam during storms catching debris floating down the river. Norwalk Community College will be opening a new nursing school right over the bridge increasing traffic. The bridge needs to be widened or replaced. The question was raised that since the school is being built with state funds, can the state help widen or replace the bridge?
The issue of the proposed Mosque was considered. Andy said that he believes that religious freedom is an important tenant of the American system. If people can have Churches and Synagogues, they should also be able to have Mosques. Ron Paladino raised the issues of parking and traffic. Andy said that those are legitimate issues that would be dealt with by the Planning and Zoning Commissions.
Ron Paladino brought up the issue of the Dolce rezoning. He said that Larry Cafero was not apposed to the rezoning when he found out that you must be a guest to eat or drink at a hotel. The issue of traffic and the constant requests to expand the use of the property are very important to people in the area and he was disappointed not to have support from our elected officials.
The Board and guests thanked Andy Conroy for coming to the meeting and making himself available to us for questions.
Joel announced that the Annual Meeting would be September 26th at Dolce and would be in the same space as the last Annual Meeting. He said he would speak at the meeting and asked other Board members to volunteer to speak at the meeting as well. Bob agreed to speak about the SWRPA study of waterways and flooding in the area and Chris Potts agreed to talk about the need for new Board members. Joel will ask the fire chief if he wants to appear and report on his progress with new hoses to serve residents far from hydrants.
A discussion ensued about how to increase participation in the organization from all of the neighborhoods in West Norwalk. The concept of ambassadors was introduced. Linda read a piece she wrote describing the roll they could play in the organization by representing small segments of the area covered by the West Norwalk Association. All agreed that it was a good statement of intent.
Candide Valadares suggested that we should send out notices of Board meetings to all 200 of the people on our email a list. Candide also suggested a facebook page for the West Norwalk Association and a place on our web site where you can opt in to get our newsletter. He also suggested that we get a sticker that we can put on cars that says WENO in a circle for West Norwalk.
Joel next raised the issue of the newsletter. He will write the Presidents Report and Linda has written an article on Fillow Street. Bob will do a short piece on the river and Candide will do an article on how to take care of your plants in the heat.
Ron Brown agreed to act as a nominating committee to see if officers wish to continue in their current rolls on the Board and make recommendations for any necessary replacements. Ron will discuss his roll with Joel prior to the next meeting. Chris agreed to meet with Joel to look at a map and explore the possibility of expanding the footprint of the West Norwalk Association.
Gay Mac Leod showed the board a booklet entitled The True life Story of a Country Boy. It is about Ernest Johnson’s experiences growing up in West Norwalk. We can pass them out at the annual meeting and other events. Gay said that it would cost $87.00 to print 50 copies. A motion was made by Bob Wagman and seconded by Galen Wells to print 100 copies. The motion was passed unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned 8:55. The next meeting will be held at Meeting House on Monday, August 2nd.
Respectfully Submitted, Galen Wells, Secretary