NORWALK, Conn. — The Norwalk Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Letters may be e-mailed to email@example.com.
To the Editor,
At the Oct. 9 council meeting, the five undersigned council Democrats introduced a nonbinding resolution. If adopted, the resolution called for the Norwalk Police Commission to reverse a ban halting the rank advancement of police officers who successfully met the requirements for promotion to captain. We believe there are very sound reasons to reverse the current ban. We admit men and women may hold different views. But given the wave of violent crime striking our city, we believe having a serious, open discussion about public safety makes sense.
So it was with great distress to watch the administration of Mayor Richard Moccia use parliamentary "gamesmanship" to stop any discussion from taking place.
In a premeditated scheme to prevent debate, the mayor and two Republican council members immediately moved to "table" the resolution, a nondebatable motion, which effectively terminated any opportunity for an open, transparent discussion.
We do not understand what the Moccia administration fears.
Debates matter. The honest, forthright and passionate exchange of views is not just "hot air" or a "waste of time." Debate is at the heart of our democratic, representational government. Sometimes that debate fails to change anyone's views. Sometimes people see things in a different way. (Ask President Barack Obama if debates matter.)
It may be that those who fear debate do so because they know that their ideas cannot stand up when challenged. It may be that those who voted to avoid debate over this issue did so because they had "better things" to do with their time. However, the council folks whose names were affixed to the resolution thought of our city's well-being and the type of nonpolitical leadership within the ranks of the police department to be of great importance. This is a vital part of improving Norwalk's public safety and the morale of the staff. The remaining councilmen's vote to stop debate, to "hide the issue" from public view, was another sad mark in the life of this administration.
Because we believe that it is time to have a real debate over public safety issues in our city, we will reintroduce the resolution at the next council meeting. The Moccia administration may again use procedural tactics to halt debate. We hope not. But just because the Moccia administration has the votes to stop debate at the council does not mean that the Moccia administration can stop Norwalkers from asking these same questions. It is time we started to talk honestly about public safety.
Anna Duleep (D, At-Large, Minority Leader)
Warren Pena (D, At-Large)
Matt Miklave (D, District A)
David Watts (D, District A)
John Igneri (D, District E)