NORWALK – Norwalk City council fielded concerns from residents on Tuesday evening during the city’s second planned community forum meeting.
The community forum format offers a more direct line of contact between council members and their constituents than what is usually available during the regularly scheduled twice-monthly meetings.
“At these events people are around, they’re neighbors, they’re in their own neighborhood,” said Councilmember Tony Ayala. “You’re much more open to an open dialogue…when you’re out here, we can answer questions and go back and forth in dialogue.”
Tuesday’s meeting was held at Sanchez Elementary School, and drew a modest crowd of residents.
Concerns that were brought to the council covered a broad range of topics, including parking enforcement, affordable housing, road / alley quality and construction, park safety and upgrades, new businesses, public safety, and homelessness.
City staff was also on hand to help council answer questions.
After the meeting concluded, it seemed as though that the topics of road construction and public safety struck a chord with Mayor Luigi Vernola, who said that “there needs to be more involvement with the people, more communications.”
However, Vernola also seemed at a bit of a loss on the topic of homeless.
“The homelessness, it’s going to be here for a long time unfortunately,” said Vernola. “We’ll never, ever stop it. We can put a dent in it and help people, but that’s about as far as it goes.”
Councilwoman Jennifer Perez hinted that many of the issues brought up during the evening have been mentioned before in other locations.
“It’s not neighborhood specific,” said Perez. “It’s just a matter of taking them [public concerns] and targeting them throughout the entire city. People have the same issues everywhere.”