NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s voters will have three chances to hear Mayor Richard Moccia and Democratic challenger Harry Rilling debate the issues this month, including twice on the same day.
The two major-party candidates for Norwalk’s highest office have agreed to three debates: one on Oct. 16, and two more on Oct. 29, Moccia’s campaign confirmed Thursday.
The earliest debate will be held at the South Norwalk Community Center, and will focus on issues affecting the Latino community. Rilling already went through a similar debate before the Democratic primary. You can see some of his responses here.
The first debate on Oct. 29, scheduled for 7 a.m. at the Norwalk Inn, will be sponsored by the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce. The League of Women Voters will run the third and final debate, on the evening of Oct. 29 at City Hall.
With Election Day less than a month away, both candidates are working to get their messages out to voters. Rilling, for example, held a news conference Wednesday to roll out a plan for Norwalk’s streets and sidewalks.
Rilling argued that the city’s infrastructure was “in disrepair,” with residents having to wait to long for repairs to potholes and sidewalks. He held the conference on Strawberry Hill Avenue, which he also pointed to as an example of a “confusing, poorly planned, and extremely dangerous” bike lane.
“Children, families, and senior citizens cannot count on reliable sidewalks to travel to school, neighbors, or local businesses,” Rilling said. “The City of Norwalk has neglected to maintain them.”
Republican responded Thursday with a news release questioning Rilling’s attendance on the Zoning Commission, where he has served since August 2012.
Republican Town Committee Chair Art Scialabba, who is also Moccia’s campaign manager, notes in the release that Rilling had missed five of the 13 Zoning Commission meetings from September 2012 to August 2013, and was late for another five. Rilling’s name is absent from the meeting minutes of those five sessions.
“If you or I didn’t show up for our job almost half the time, we’d be fired on the spot.” Scialabba said. “But Harry Rilling thinks his attendance record – which includes ten missed meetings and five tardy arrivals, is deserving of a promotion.”