NORWALK, Conn. Republican Mayor Richard Moccia promised to run a positive campaign as he runs for re-election this fall but couldn't resist a few zingers as he accepted his party's nomination Thursday night at the Norwalk Inn.
"It takes more than a bright tie and showing up when you're not invited to be mayor of this city," he said, a reference to presumptive Democratic mayoral candidate Andy Garfunkel . "It is not an entitlement; it is something that you have to earn."
Liz Lyons sang Moccia's praises as she made the motion to nominate him in the carefully orchestrated town committee meeting. She said Moccia had kept a "steady hand on the tiller guiding Norwalk through stormy seas."
"Other mayors have had the luxury of governing in economic boom times. ... It is easy to be a mayor in times like that," she said. "Dick Moccia by contrast has had to govern Norwalk during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression."
Peter Nolan seconded the motion. "He listens," Nolan said. "Norwalk is a very diverse place. We have a mayor that goes into every single corner of this town. He works for every community. He goes everywhere, he stays, he listens, and the people of this town know that and they respect it, and they're going to vote overwhelmingly for him again because they know he is a man who represents all of us."
State Rep. Larry Cafero said Moccia works hard, shows compassion and knows what it is to fall on hard times.
Moccia responded to some recent comments made by Garfunkel and Norwalk Democrats. "I don't know what city they're living in, but let me describe something to them when they talk about infrastructure," he said. "Those big trucks out there, with the rollers, and the black stuff coming out, that's called paving . ... Maybe their eyes are closed or they're in shock because of what their Democratic governor has done to this state over the last three months."
Moccia also touted the effectiveness of the Norwalk Fire Department and the Norwalk Police Department. "When you're an elected official there are many things that you go to sleep at night worrying about. I will tell you that there is one thing I do not worry about, and that's the public safety in this city."
There was also one preemptive strike, referring to Tanya McDowell, who attracted nationwide attention and an Internet petition on her behalf when she was arrested for allegedly enrolling her son illegally in an out-of-district school, without mentioning her name. He said, "Ninety-nine percent of the people eho live in this city work hard, obey the law, pay their taxes, work hard evey day, try to make life better for themselves, their family, their loved ones. Those are the people who elected me. Those are the people I represent. I was not elected by nor do I represent 19,000 signatures of people who do not live in this city. I will continue to stand up for the people in this city, I am not a politically correct mayor.
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