–So, if you would please rise for the Pledge of Allegiance I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands one nation under God indivisible with liberty and justice for all, –if you’ll please remain standing and we’ll have a moment of silence for the victims of the Parkland school shooting in Florida Thank you, Clerk if you please call the roll and read the prepared announcement –February 27, please be advised this meeting is being taped for audio and video broadcast, the meeting will be closed captioned, so it’s important that everyone speak clearly into the microphones and only one person speak at a time. Assisted listening devices are available. Thank you. Greg Burnett –Present, –Mr. Corsello –Here, —Mr Sacchinelli Ms. Smyth –Here, –Mr. Stern –Here Ms. Melendez –Here, Mr.Yerinides —Here, Ms Bowman Mr Simms, Mr. Kydes –Present, Ms. Siegelbaum –Here Mr. Hempstead –Here, Mr.Tsiranides –Here, Mr. Igneri –Here Mr. Livingston –Here, –13 present, we have aquorum, next item on the agenda is the acceptance of the minutes from the regular meeting of February 13, 2018 Do I have a motion? –so moved, Mr. Igneri moves, any deletions, additions? Corrections? Seeing none, all in favor, motion carries somebody leaned on the light we’re not trying to kick you out. Now, the next item on the agenda is public participation. Now normally the council rules while the council rules call for a three minute limitation and in the past because we don’t always have a full house we allow for some latitude but tonight we’re because there are so many people that want to speak, we’re going to have to ask that you keep your comments to three minutes. The city clerk will be keeping the timing when you have 30 seconds left she’ll raise her hand and ask that you wrap up your comments. I know a lot of you will have the same comments so if you can keep that in mind that there are other people behind you who want to speak as well, so City Clerk, –Yes Michael Baris. –Good evening to all nps stakeholders I’m Mike Baris, I’m the chairman of the Board of Ed. I’m here representing our nine board members, we are elected city representatives were elected to oversee the running at a school. We’ve got 11,550 students close to 800 teachers and other 500 employees. We represent all of Norwalk’s 85,000 residents who benefit from our schools our facilities and our reputation. We consume about 60% of the city’s budget, this year 184 million dollars. We’re not a foreign entity we are not a rival to the city but we are part of the city. This is not North Korea versus South Korea, This is Norwalk. Too frequently we hear these comments about them our their budget, their staff, their central office. I’ve been elected for seven years now and I regularly heard this us-versus-them attitude. I would love to know why we’re being punished by the city when we are part of the city, why are we being attacked trying to build the best school system possible for Norwalk. One day, somebody on the city side will

explain that to me. That brings me down of the budget, despite our recent track record of improvement where we have shown the first results from the implementation of our strategic plan, the city’s Common Council Finance Committee only approved a five and a half million dollar increase this year for next year which would only cover our contractual improvements or contextual costs and only one of our seven goals of our strategic operating plan. At a bare minimum we need seven million dollars to make progress without drastic cuts, so I’m asking the Common Council to add an additional million and a half dollars so that we can hit that 7 million dollar figure. We cannot hit all the goals of our plan all of our initiatives with just a 1/5 and there will still be major cuts and we will have to delay the implementation of parts of our plans but we can at least continue to make some progress, next year because of this we’ll have to ask for more money than we planned we had thought maybe three and a half percent but it’s going to be definitely five percent. We’ll be just kicking the can down the road I know it’s not the Board of Ed call about using the rainy day fund but if one tapped it slightly you could keep that tax increase to the three point seven target you talked about, these are taxpayer dollars that have been collected that are sitting in the city’s books and there would still be plenty in the rainy day fund for next year for state cuts or issues connected to next year’s revaluation. The strategic operating plan our initiatives have produced all sorts of positive outcomes and those will only continue. The investment is paying off as you can see from our improvements with the state accountability indices, at this point we are only 3.6 percent from Wilton and we can close that gap with these investments. Norwalk is having a good year our economy’s in good shape the rainy day fund is in good shape everyone behind here has wrote about ran on a campaign of investing in education, I think you need to honor that commitment We are not North Korea, we shouldn’t be as such. The bottom line is you get what you pay for and we have proven ourselves and we deserve that extra 1.5 million dollars, thank you –Thank you very much, Mayor Rilling, council president Kydes, members of Common Council, we find ourselves in a bit of a distressing position tonight Norwalk city government has submitted a 2018-19 budget increased request of 5.2% the Board of Education has submitted a budget increase request to 5.4 percent The city increase has been fully funded by using a one-time pension fund savings of over 2 million and two million of fund balance also known as the rainy day fund. Board of Education funding has been left hanging dependent on a tax increase to fund its budget increase. This is a divisive strategy and one that imperils the continued progress and improvement of our schools. This is why we are here tonight, to appeal to you directly I’m sure different people will approach the issue of school funding from different perspectives tonight. I want to share with you the expenditures of surrounding school districts that we are competing with now as you and by the way all of our slides are in front of you this evening for reference as well as the results of our state accountability plan which I’m sure will be referenced tonight as well. As you know Stamford is the city that is most like Norwalk. It’s in our state reference group and the most similar to us in size and socio-economic factors. Stamford invests $1,600 more per student in its schools This comparison to Stamford is very meaningful to us since Norwalk students just surpassed Stamford students in student achievement as measured by the twelve factors of our state accountability plan I hope this suggests to you the funding you provide for education is being used effectively. The school districts that bordered Norwalk who we compete with families for invest almost $3,000 more per student students than Norwalk, while

we have 10 times the number of high needs students, 6 percent versus 60% There are some things that these districts offer that our students also need to thrive and further improve. These are in our strategic operating plan and reflected in our budget goals for 18-19 Their equity measures that our students all students deserve. The lack of these enabling conditions reflect the historic underfunding of education in Norwalk. For example, our students need and deserve a high school program of study of 26 credits to graduate the state and national standards instead of 20 and fewer study halls, similar to other communities in Fairfield County. Our students can even deserve music lessons on the fourth and fifth grades that students enjoy in our neighboring districts. Our students need and deserve a full measure of instruction that comes with a normal elementary school day similar in length to what students experience and surrounding school districts. The city is growing and thriving and we are the only growing school district in Connecticut. Growth is a good thing because it enables you to offer more and better services but growth have not managed properly can also adversely change a city. Everything that the Board of Education is doing in this in its strategic operating plan is designed to maintain our current level of diversity as the city grows. While millenials living in apartments will be an important economic element in our city’s future, we have to be able to attract and retain families with children, who buy homes and choose Norwalk schools to educate their children. Our definition of the best city school system in Connecticut is one in which every child regardless of race, ethnicity, first language or income, can get a first-class education go to college, simply because they grew up in Norwalk and attended effective schools that offered a competitive competitive educational opportunities Growth gives us the opportunity for Norwalk to be known for its quality of life defined by quality of education for all children and to be the best in the state a meeting diverse individual student needs. At the end of the day when our watch is over, it will be more important to future generations that the city be known for the quality of schools than the size of its fund balance. Thank you for your service and thoughtful decision-making in the best interest of our schools Before we go any further, there’s another sheet out there somewhere, can we have it? –And out of respect for Dr. Adamowski position we allowed him to go on via well beyond the three-minute limit but we are going to have to ask everybody else to stay within three minutes –Kristen Carson, –Good evening, can you hear me? –Yes –I’m Kristin Carson, I –You might want to pull the microphone down just a bit –I’m a little shorter, Kristin Carson, the Norwalk Public Schools budget finance director and I want everyone to look at the screen and follow along it’s some of the metrics and numbers I’m gonna refer to as I speak to you this evening, very recently the next generation accountability report was released by the state of Connecticut. It is a broad set of twelve indicators that helps tell the story of how well as school is preparing its students for success in college, career and life for 16-17, the school accountability index with seventy six point nine percent for Norwalk, as you can see on the screen, this equates to a growth increase of five point eight percent overall versus 15-16. When analyzing this increase we realize that it was directly correlated to the targeted spending areas in our strategic operating plan. Academic return on investment or educational productivity in simple terms is calculated as a learning increase. This is a way to view investment in terms of student learning which is also tied to higher graduation rates. In this example, the point increase of fifty six point six as you can see there, is related to school accountability points. This increase can then be multiplied by the number of students in your district eleven thousand little over eleven thousand and then divided by net investment dollars of approximately two and a half million, as you can see on the bottom, this equals a 26 percent academic return on investment overall. This measure equates to approximately eleven percent return on investment for every million dollars invested in the 16-17 school year. There’s only one other district in our DRG or district reference group that yeilds any type of ROI at all and the return is not even close to what we are seeing for

Norwalk. In addition, all other districts are showing a negative return within our DRG and 72% of districts statewide had a decline in the accountability index with Wilton specifically experiencing a 5.8 percent decline year-over-year, such a large increase from one year to the next is evidence based that we are realizing a dramatic return on the city’s investment which in turn, maximizes the potential for student growth we strongly believe that this well-thought-out strategic plan is indeed working. We only get one chance to improve the trajectory of our student learning we strongly believe that the continued partnership between the city and the school will yield equitable results with this requested level of spending. You will not just be throwing funding at our schools but rather investing in a plan that is a well-thought-out plan as seen by recent financial reporting that has come from our school business office we have goals and we are well governed and managed in our finances we have a strong handle on our school finances and are fiscally responsible with our citizens living Overall it is not just about spending more in total that we’re trying to do it’s about having and executing a strategic operating plan where we spend efficiently and effectively with measuring goals that we can can and did achieve. If we do not have sufficient funding above contractual increases we cannot continue with this momentum of increasing student achievement in a study I recently read when I was doing some budget findings, the findings showed that districts that perform well and achievement also share a number of values including creating measure goals, having strong community support and a willingness to make tough choices to better the community as a whole and give students what they really deserve –Adam Blank –Good evening everyone, I’m Adam blank, I’m a parent of a second grader at Columbus magnet and I’m the co-president of the PTA there at Columbus, first I just wanted to thank you all for what you’ve done over the last couple of years I think for the school districts and obviously the Board of Ed and Dr. Adamowski played an integral role but so have you and you’ve done quite a bit of capital improvement funding and helped us on the way with the strategic operating plan and and I’m grateful for that and I think that there’s a real sense of pride in the community now about the school system that I don’t think was there a few years ago and I don’t know exactly what the funding should be and what’s worthwhile and what’s not and I’m sure you’re gonna hear plenty about that from others tonight, but what I just wanted to raise with you and they’ve put up nicely for me, I put together a little spreadsheet that’s not perfect and and you could probably quibble about some of the numbers in there but the I took the average home values off of Zillow that Zillow lists for the average home price in any of the surrounding municipalities, I took the the current mill rates from the office of policy of management and you put those two numbers together and you get an average tax burden on the single family home in most of the towns in Fairfield County and what you’ll see is that Norwalk is darn near the lowest tax burden per family of of any of the towns in Fairfield County in fact we’re about thirty five hundred dollars less in taxes for a single-family house than the rest of the Fairfield County and if you actually compared us to the towns that above us the Darien , New Canaan Wilton, Westport ,our taxes are about half of what they pay, so again for the in the average single-family house, now obviously if you live in those communities your house is probably worth more so but but the taxes paid are going to be almost double in all of our communities for your average family so and I’ve seen so much in the press about people are being driven out and Norwalk because of the ownerĂ­s tax burden and and it’s it’s terrible, that’s it’s killing the city but that’s just not true nobody’s leaving Norwalk to go to another town in Fairfield County where property taxes are lower because they’re not, that’s not the case and in fact our mill rate is also under the average amongst our competitors and so I think that we can certainly withstand over the the next coming years to continue to increase the mill rate to fund the Board of Ed and thank you for your time –David Gogleman

–Members of the council -Thank You, Mayor thank you, I am a parent of a special needs child in the district and I’m a part of an organization called sped partners we drafted a letter which we sent to all of you earlier today and it outlines our concerns for this budget but I’m not going to speak about that letter in specific. I am going to speak to you as a parent of a child in the Norwalk school district, I’m going to speak to you as a parent of a special-needs child and I’m going to speak to you as a taxpayer in Norwalk. As a taxpayer, I am seeing value of the money being spent I’m seeing the improvements that you have funded translate to real gains, look at the state accountability numbers, this district is growing these are positives and we need more. By your commitment to funding these increases in the budget over the past years, we have a clear and solid strategic plan that is moving us forward. As a taxpayer seeing this value that you have helped create, I do not have a problem with the increases that translate to common gain and value to our city, please find a way to come closer to the nine point nine million dollar increase that was requested. The bottom line is five point five million dollars will translate to cuts in the growth and will cause us to retract from our games remember also, that the rainy day fund is tax dollars, my tax dollars please consider the proposal that we put forth and others have put forth of taking 1.5 million dollars of that fund to get us closer to a seven million dollar number, which will help us to stave off cuts that will dramatically decrease our educational system. This is the benefit for our future our children and lastly as a parent of a special-needs child I implore you to keep the commitment to appropriate 1.2 million dollars to the third year of the special education fund We are now seeing the beginning of the benefits of that money spent in the improvements to special education in the district. With your continued support to that agreed-upon appropriation we have the opportunity to bring more inclusive programming and training into our district and make Norwalk a special education model in Connecticut. I’m a consumer of education and I like where we’re going but let’s keep going there so thank you for your time –If I might, I truly appreciate the applause for these speakers but as your giving them that round of applause, its cutting into their time so I know it’s tempting if we could hold off a little bit and allow them their full three minutes thank you. –MJ Corona, –Good evening, my name is MJ Corona and I’ve resided at 21 Geneva Road over the past 22 years. My daughters have attended the Norwalk Public Schools for the past 20 years and currently two of my daughter’s a ten Ponus ridge middle school. A couple of weeks ago I sent a letter asking you to approve of the Board of Ed 194 million dollar request and I’m here tonight to ask you to fully fund the nine point nine million increase for the Board of Education. First, I’d like to thank you for approving the five point five million increased last Thursday and now I would actually like to tell you why the Common Council and the Mayor and the board of estimate taxation need to allocate 4.4 million from the rainy day fund towards the Board of Ed request. As I stated in my letter, the investment in our school district and our children is critical for our city and our future generation of leaders. We finally have an Norwalk public school strategic operating plan that is producing positive results and at all school levels. We need to continue to invest in our money into school goals and objectives that are transforming our school district into the best city school system in Connecticut and as a parent for the past

25 years with kids in the school district for 20 years, I have seen in the past five years amazing, amazing work done by the city so I’m going to share a story with you about why we should allocate the 4.4 million difference Thirty years ago and help my father, Michael McKinnon start a small business called independent bond and investment consultants, it actually is IB IC and is still in existence Recently, my father sold his business and retired, however, he still has the wealth of knowledge since he worked with municipalities for over 30 years on financing municipal bonds. Over the years that I’ve lived in Norwalk, my dad and I have had heated discussions during budget season about why we can or cannot take money out of our rainy day fund and he’s actually worked with many cities and telling them how much they need to have him their rainy day fund so right now he’s retired and he’s no longer a consultant but he has been my consultant over the past for my whole lifetime so he would tell me the triple-a rating is very important, ten percent of total expenditures for the RDF the rainy day fund, is a good target for Norwalk but if you get below 10%, it could impact the triple-a rating. Do not reduce the fund balance to less than 10 percent, so even though he’s retired I asked him about Norwalk’s financial situation, I actually called him yesterday and he was having lunch with Jack Miller, who used to be our director finance so they had a good laugh when I was I sent him all the numbers I think he thinks Norwalk is a very good financial shape he also told me the city of Norwalk has worked hard to get where it is financially over the last 30 years ,so don’t blow it now is what he said and he said that every year however, this time our rainy day fund is grown so the balance is way above the ten percent of total city expenditures and the city is in a great place financially your time is up so this is why I believe we should draw down 4.4 million for the Board of Education, thank you –I’m gonna murder this one, Tiffany Kerikides — And yeah the next person after that is Jennifer Jeffries, so Tiffany –Good Evening common council ,my name is Tiffany Kerikides. I’m gonna keep this short simple and sweet I’m a mom, I am a mom of three daughters that Tracey elementary school. I am here speaking on behalf of Tracy and the entire city of Norwalk and I also said on the governance council on Tracey and I wanted to make a few points on behalf of our school. Tracey is one of the six schools who are slotted to have the additional 30 minutes added to our day our students have had who have many diverse new needs really need this extra time to make a significant excuse me I’m nervous, to make significant gains. At Tracey, those 30 minutes will be used to increase reading instruction in grades K through 2 allowing teachers to have time to do meaningful read Aloud’s and build connections through text. In grades three to five, students will have the opportunity to have experiential science labs where they can learn the new standards and build models. This will also provide Tracey with an additional special area teacher that will work to incorporate more of our character education curriculum. We have now built some momentum as a district and we need to continue the progress schools like Tracy have made under the strategic plan We have moved to category two school. We have worked so hard, our kids have been working so hard we’ve managed to close our gaps, we have a great momentum, our kids are ready and excited to go to school they good, they feel proud, they feel excited we have to keep this going, this flow this movement. I’m sure I speak on behalf of all the parents in Norwalk, all the schools have made great things. As a taxpayer I want my money to go to supporting our children and the future of Norwalk these are future leaders. We need to support this budget please take our money from the rainy day fund and put it towards our children, that’s all we ask –Jennifer Jeffries followed by Medard Thomas and it seems to be a co speaker

Sandra Faioes, –Oh good evening, I’m Jennifer Jeffries I reside in on muscle Street. My son is a second grader at Marvin elementary school and my daughter will be a kindergartner there next year I’m the co-chair of our school governance council and an active member of our PTA Executive Board. I spoke recently at the public meeting in regards to the 2018-2019 school budget and I am speaking again this evening to read I rate the plea that I made at the meeting on Thursday evening. We need you to fully fund our budget as a taxpayer in Norwalk since 2011, I respect and appreciate your efforts to keep the mill rate at 3.7 percent however with fifteen million dollars in the rainy day fund it appears that both the schools and the taxpayers could benefit from the decisions that you make here this evening, As a taxpayer I implore you to think about not just keeping our tax rates low but also in investing our schools in order to it to attracts financially stable families who are interested in buying property and staying in norwalk to raise their families. we cannot expect that families will choose to live in Norwalk without a strong school system for them to rely on currently our schools are in the midst of the strategic operating plan which is working our schools are showing progress across the board and the schools need the funds to continue in this direction without full funding our schools will face drastic cuts such as the elimination of kindergarten Aides, the continuation of high school students sitting in multiple study halls and an inability to extend the school day to six and a half hours for elementary schools. The increase in the budget that was requested last year and is being requested this year is really what is needed to catch Norwalk up to schools that are in the surrounding towns and the past Norwalk has spent less money per pupil than most surrounding towns and our children have actually been in school for less time than neighboring districts. Finally, our city and our schools are poised to right these wrongs and to move forward in a positive trajectory. This is the time to invest in our schools and our children. How can we possibly sit on fifty million dollars in the rainy day fund and invest none of that money in our children I ask you once again should to re consider your position and fully fund our schools for the 2018-2019 school year, thank you. –Good evening, following this duo we have Erik Nederer Erik Nederer –Okay good evening, let me begin since I know that we are short on time I will begin by saying how moved I am to see so many of my parents here Brookside is a wonderful place because Brookside I think is a microcosm of what Norwalk is we are an incredibly diverse school that represents everybody that you will see within your community. when I came to Norwalk three years ago Dr Adamowski and his team were first on the scene and I will tell you what I found out Brookside was a wonderful place much like our elementary schools but there just were no systems, the growth had become stagnant and it took a strategic plan it took scheduling, block scheduling training teachers, training our paraprofessionals. It took resources to get us out of that stagnant state that we were in. For the last three years, we have increased every single year surpassing the state’s growth rate and we share that story with many of the other elementary schools and I just wanted to say that to invest in our schools is really an investment in our city. If we look to our neighbors in the north that’s what they have done and that’s why those states have their values that they have for their homes, so investing in our schools and investing in our children truly is an investment in our future –Good evening, last year when I spoke to the Common Council to consider fully funding the schools, I opened with a one-liner that drew lots of laughter, “I’m moving to Norwalk because of the school’s” said no parent ever. It was a good one-liner but as I reflected upon it I realized elements of truth in my statement. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m the principal of an amazing school in town I have the privilege and honor of working with dedicated individuals who do what they do because they swear their efforts are contributing to the proper formation of little people who will grow to be important responsible decision making big people in a few years. We pay special attention to a theory called multiple intelligences. We all have strengths in in order to get the best of us out of

our kids we need to help them realize that untapped potential we want to nurture it grow it and I want my little babies to drop on these smarts interpersonal, linguistic, interpersonal musical, logical, mathematic, naturalistic spatial intelligence, bodily kinesthetic These are theories that are put into action to help create the well-rounded and balanced child. Educating the whole child is not cheap, it costs. Professional development and materials cost but if it’s a priority for children in Wilton Westport, New Canaan and Darien that I humbly ask you to support I humbly ask for your support and understanding so that I can continue making the education of the whole child a priority for our children in Norwalk. I know that we’re asking for a lot but I’m the proud principal not only am I the proud principal I’m also a dad of three little nutcases at home and I believe that my children are worth every penny we’re asking to make them just as competitive and well-rounded as their friends who live in Wilton, Darien Weston, Westport and Wilton. We are on the precipice of greatness, the pieces are in we place, we posses the will, I need you to invest in our children and educators for the skill. I’m convinced very soon we will be hearing “I’m moving to Norwalk because of the schools.” In closing please stop making me beg for something that should be a given, investing in our children. One last statement while I have everyone here, there’s no place for gun-toting educators in any school that debate has to be shut down –Excuse me, after Eric, we have Kareem Switzer and Joe Giandurco. –Thank you, my name is Eric Nederer, I’m co-chair of the school governance council at Fox Run where I have two children one here and one over there a bigger guy I’m also the co-chair sped partners I’m a taxpayer I’m a lifelong Norwalk resident second-generation I’ve got my third generation right here with my wife who’s also second generation Norwalker. I went through all the public schools for those that don’t know me and I got to tell you I was gonna go in a little different direction when I was going to speak today, I was gonna try and convince everybody as a taxpayer, as a voter and I vote in every single election including the municipal elections, that you should look at the economics and that it makes economic sense for any naysayers that we should not fully fund the Board of Education budget but I realized, I don’t need to do that I don’t need to do it as a taxpayer a lifelong norick resident because I think everyone in this room has a mandate by your constituents. These people here all you have to do is listen to the clapping and the cheering for every speaker that’s come up. All of these people I heard at last week’s meeting that there wasn’t a lot of people and that there was concern that they that the taxpayers who was not concerned about public education maybe the louder voice. My children are here on a school night and you’re gonna have to go to bed soon and I’m here racing down, not racing from from from New Haven to speak to all of you like all of these parents, all these families, all these individuals, administrators people in the Board of Education, people that are not involved in the Board of Education, to let you know that we do care we are watching we are listening and that we are at a critical right now to fully fund the Board of Education there are great plans in Norwalk but it needs the funding. I can tell you being a lifelong second-generation norwalker public education the budget has been that cans been kicked time and time again. We are at a unique position in history in Norwalk and we need the funding to facilitate the vision that’s been set forth and I have to tell you I will talk about economics because the one thing that always frustrates me is when people skimp a penny and they lose a dollar later and that’s what’s occurred in Norwalk. We need to fund this now so it doesn’t cost more money and that the

programs that are being developed don’t fall apart. Thank you *Applause* -Hi I’m Karen Switzer of 25 flicker Lane and I’m the mother of three girls ages 10 to 16, who all started their academic careers at Rowayton school. I’m here today to ask that the normal public school budget be fully funded by the city. For full disclosure, I pulled my two older daughters out of the Norwalk school system in elementary school for a few reasons but most importantly because I didn’t have faith in the Norwalk public school system. When my oldest daughter started kindergarten, Sal Corda was the superintendent of public schools and during these past eleven years I have lived through three superintendents and numerous interim superintendents. Without leadership in place, I didn’t have the confidence that our city was going to be making our school system a priority until Dr. Adamowski came on board. I am finally seeing a public school system that is now being taken seriously because of things like better transparent, budgeting processes, improved test scores and testing procedures, the closing of the achievement gap, increased offerings at all levels including the IB program in high school, Project Lead the way, medical and computer science and the list goes on and I think in you know with all these improvements in turn, we see Norwalk becoming a better community to live in to work in and to own property in and to be a part of. We made some great strides most notably in the last year. How can we stop now? in our final year in our final year stretch to implement the strategic plan set forth by Dr. Adamowski it would be beyond catastrophic to halt now It would destroy the morale of the education community and the parents and the children who are in it. My youngest daughter is in the public school system today a Rowayton because this is her community and because I see some great progress being made under Dr. Adamowski direction. She’ll be my first to attend middle school Norwalk and is on the path to go to Brian McMahon high school.I’m illustrating my story because I’m not the only one like me out there. I understand that the gap can be closed by dipping into the rainy day fund if this is not a good reason to dip into the rainy day fund then I don’t know what is Pease have the long-term vision in mind when you’re making your decision regarding the Board of Ed budgets. We have worked so hard for so long to overcome major challenges to turn the school system around. We understand that these are hard decisions but please please don’t put all our hard work that we have been that has been expended by leadership teachers administrators and parents to waste now. Thank you. –After Joe speaks we have Megan Douglas Warren and Mike Byrne. –Joe Giandurco, 163 Chestnut Hill Road, good evening members of the Common Council, I stand before you tonight in support of the students and the dedicated teachers and staff that I represent. As the entities first vice-president I’m here to advocate for my students and more importantly my fellow teachers. As a city employee and taxpayer, I’m well aware of the balance that must be struck excuse me struck between the growing Beuys budget requests the ability of the taxpayer to fund this request. Over the past few years changes come to our district and this change has come with an even greater financial cost Dr. Adamowski plans have increased the BOE budget request a year after year I simply ask that you consider the needs of the school system as you take this vote tonight, Thank you *Applause* —Thank you all for your time tonight, you can see I’ve got hives because I don’t like speaking so I apologize. My name is Megan Douglas Warren and I’m a 40 year resident and proud graduate of the Norwalk Public Schools. I now have two boys in Rowayton elementary school, my alma mater and I’m co-chair of our governance council. I feel as though I spent my adolescent years defending our schools and I chose a profession that requires me to do so continually. I’ve been selling real estate here in Norwalk for 18 years and I’m sure you all know the most common objection I hear is but the schools every day I can’t tell you how many families I have assisted with moves out of the city for this one reason and it’s really saddening I came into this meeting tonight very last minute so I’m trusting my counterparts to hear to share some more detailed value reporting but you’ve already seen the evidence is astounding Our success as a city depends on our real estate values and our real estate

values are a direct commentary on the value of our school district and what it offers to incoming residents. The district finally has a superintendent who seems committed to our long term success. We are on the heels of one of our high schools earning an IP designation and now an elementary school has been awarded as a school of distinction. We are moving in such a positive direction it is completely short-sighted to put the brakes on now We have an opportunity to be the best of the best in Fairfield County, something I’ve been hoping to see now for four decades, thank you —After Mike Byrnes, we have Ed Abrams and Lisa Henderson –Major Rilling, members of the Common Council, my name is Mike Byrnes. I am the proud father of a sixth-grade West Rock’s middle school student and the president of the PTL Council of Norwalk. I was not able to attend the finance meeting on Thursday evening but I did send written remarks that were read by one of our representatives so I will endeavor to be brief this evening. I’ve been involved in our school since the day my son walked through the front door of Silvermine elementary school. Over that time I have seen five superintendents take the reins Optimistic when they started, most look the lead hurt after just months on the job and none had a very long or impactful tenure here in Norwalk There was no inspirational leadership Motivation was low. Most decisions were reactionary and a pervasive sense of mediocrity hung over our schools. Over the past two and a half years, everything has changed Under the current leadership our schools have turned around. There is a palpable pride in our buildings as students achieve like never before. You have been our partners in this journey, working with the Board of Education to address special education concerns, to build new schools and to give our children the resources they need to succeed. We are entering the final year of our transformative strategic operating plan and the final year of extraordinary funding for special education Curiously however, mere feet from the finish line, we feel abandoned by our partners on the council. The budget recommendation put forward by the Finance Committee last week will arrest all progress in our schools. The offered five point five million dollars is barely enough meet increasing contractual obligations For all intents and purposes the the Board of Education will be flat funded in the final and most crucial year of the strategic operating plan. Just as the state tells us our schools are outperforming every other city in the state, you are pulling our funding. Just as we begin to close the achievement gap you are halting our progress and just as we begin to meet the moral and legal obligations of our special education commitment, you are withdrawing resources -You have 30 seconds.— This is wrong. The Board of Education is offering a fair and reasonable compromise keep the tax rate increase the 3.7 percent take five hundred thousand dollars from the board’s insurance surplus and take an additional 1.5 million from the fund balance in order to meet the most critical needs of our strategic operating plan. A further 1.2 million from the fund balance is to be drawn down for the final year of special education funding.– your time is up — Right this still leaves a rather large surplus in our rainy day fund and I urge you to accept this compromise, thank you –Good evening, my name is Ed Abrams, I reside at 20 Morgan Avenue here in Norwalk, I am also the president of the Norwalk high school marching band Parent Association. I am NOT here to talk to you about band tonight, so relax. What I am here to talk to you about is the fact that the strategic plan is working and I will use the students I know, the hundred and eighty families I represent to demonstrate this to you. In the last two and a half years we have seen a full grade point average increase in students associated with the music program based on the strategic operating plan. We now have eighty percent of the students

involved in this program receiving honors or better. In the last year, we saw 95 percent of the graduating class move into four-year college education. This is all due to the fact that we have a strategic plan, a plan that is funded a plan that is supported by the people in this room now the sad thing for me as a professional as I look around at the council and I know the easy thing to do at this juncture would be to stare at your shoes and say “the plans baked we don’t know where the money is going to come from we can’t just make it fall from the sky” The reality in this case is that the Board of Education has brought forward to the council a compromise that makes financial sense, that continues to allow us to move down the path of improving education in this community and that enables us to remain educationally competitive and provide a cost effective solution to our our constituents, to everyone in this city. I urge you not to be those people that stare at your shoes, I urge you to be the people who rethink the decision. Consider the compromise that’s brown brought before you and accept it as an intelligent way to move forward, thank you.—After Lisa, we have Cheryl McGuire and Missy Conrad –Thank you, good evening, I’m Lisa Pisano Henderson, I reside on Apple Tree Lane in Norwalk. I am a lifelong resident of Norwalk. I attended Norwalk Public Schools. We own a small business in Norwalk and we own multiple properties in Norwalk. My four children attended Norwalk Public Schools and are now finishing up their college years. We are invested in Norwalk and we continue to support the Norwalk schools and the strategic operating plan, which to me is a comprehensive road map to the continued success of the school system and especially its students. It’s no different than the new sidewalks that are built or the bike lanes, they all lead to somewhere. The strategic operating plan leads to a brighter future for our students. We want our city to provide our city’s children with the best education. They are the future leaders of this city, our state and our country. Failing to fully fund the Board of Education budget, sends a clear message to us that it just doesn’t matter enough, thank you —Hi my name is Cheryl McGuire and this is Emily, she’s a first grader at Brookside let me start by saying I moved to know what ten years ago, I didn’t have Emily and honestly saw two dog parks and thought oh my god I love this town Six years ago Emily was born and I started looking at the schools and panicking a little bit. My Ex in laws pushed for private school for Emily. I fought for her to stay in the Norwalk Public schools, I’m a big believer in diversity I’m a big believer the money should not dictate what your education is and I really hope and pray that Emily spends the next eleven years in the Norwalk Public Schools, however ,the way things are going, I’m kind of on the fence. I don’t want to move to Trumbull, I don’t want to move to somewhere like that I want to stay in Norwalk, I love Norwalk. I teach in Norwalk Community College, I’m very involved in the community, so I implore you to please look at this face and do the right thing by her. It makes me distraught that it’s I don’t know 9 o’clock on a school night and I have to bring her to a meeting like this to plead our case, it’s not right. Kids are the future, take care of the future, Thank you –After Missy. speak, we have Megan Hopkins and Michelle Robinson –Good evening, my name is Missy Conrad and I live at 37th stonecrop Road north in Norwalk. We moved

here my husband and I he was in publishing and he Doubleday we were in a group publishers against the war walking through New York City and the construction guys were yelling at us love it or leave it and so one of the co-workers of my husband said if you ever come to Connecticut, there’s a Quaker meeting there and we moved to Norwalk because it was diverse and our son David went through Brian McMahon, he was co-captain of the track and he’s doing very well he’s now in Sandy Hook promise. He couldn’t afford a house in Norwalk so they moved to Newtown. Our daughter Grace she was a tricky one. She the wheels bus started the same year she was in 9th grade and she would cut Norwalk high and it was a perfect example of not enough resources, she fell through the cracks. My husband took her to the private schools they did not want her the only one that took her was st Luke’s 10th, 11th, 12th She lost a wonderful art at Norwalk High She had won a prize and she they said we should really leave you back and now she says I am gaps in my learning and she’s going to be 50 next year, so anyway I’m actually here because I’m I’m turning 75 and I tired and I hope. I have further common council, you know Mayor Rillings has been a good sport. We keep asking him we Quaker since 2016 to join Mayor’s for peace Norwalk is a member of the US Conference of Mayors This is no you know, I’m considered sort of great people what are they you know odd the Quakers but I don’t wear gray but anyway here’s the annual meeting the resolution of 2017 to ask the President Trump more didn’t bring my glasses about nuclear weapons redirect the spending. If you do not speak up all of you, artists –thirty Seconds –The militarism has taken, Faye wrote and she didn’t say militarism we need artists and parents and schools, we need the money from the nuclear weapons. I hope you, I have for you information and I’ve been Martin Luther King’s what turned me on to pacifism, so please do speak out the US Congress is giving more to military, thank you —Good evening Mr. Mayor, members of the Common Counci,l my name is Megan Hopkins I live at one McAllister Avenue I’m a co-president of the wrote in Middle School PTA and a member of the Columbus magnet school Governance Committee every year I’ve spoken to the BOE in the Common Council because we do this every year I’ve told you the story of how my husband and I plan to move out of Norwalk and around the 2005 to 2010 range because we heard about the reputation of the schools but then 2008 happened and we couldn’t sell our house for what we paid for it and all of a sudden we had a kindergartner, so we started at Columbus magnet school and we absolutely loved it. We found that there’s a lot to love about normal public schools and that our children can be successful here so today we have a 4th grader at Columbus and a 6th grader at Roton. We’ve renovated our house and as my husband says we’re leaving the house feet first, so we’re here in Norwalk for the long run last week when I address the Finance Committee I asked you consider funding the boa buzz budget as an investment in the future of Norwalk Public Schools and as an investment in Norwalk Public Schools would be a benefit to the entire city having a strong school system will result in higher property values for all taxpayers and an improved reputation for Norwalk. Today I did a little research on the effective school of strong school systems and property values, a 2016 article for Realtor.com stated that half the home-buying population is willing to pay more than their budget to get the right school district and that more than half would give up other amenities for strong schools. According to 2015 Washington Post Post article, in the twenty thirty five to forty nine age demographic which I sit very comfortably the fourth most important criteria for home buying is the school system. To bring this argument a little closer to home I looked at two homes on realtor.com this morning, one is my friend Megan Douglas Warren’s listing on weed Avenue in Norwalk, It’s a four bedroom two and a half bath home

with 3,500 square feet for seven hundred and thirty nine thousand dollars, 4 miles up the road sitting practically on the Merritt Parkway, in New Canaan there is a house that is just like that house listed for nine hundred and seventy nine thousand dollars, that’s a two hundred and forty thousand dollar difference, so what does New Canaan have over Norwalk? well they don’t have the beach or an ice rink They don’t have Stew Leonard’s as my nine-year-old told me, they don’t have an aquarium or a fancy new mall. They have a high-performing school district that is funded and supported each year without parents begging. Just today, my former neighbor texted me today on this topic because she’s been watching from her comfy house in New Canaan on the Norwalk parents for education site and she said “I loved Brookside school, I was excited about Roton and I was excited about McMahon but we needed more space and we were decided we’re gonna stay in Norwalk or what are you going to go to another town” and they went to New Canaan because they knew they wouldn’t have to fight for education anymore. Education is a priority in New Canaan and Wilton and Westport and everywhere around us and the investment made results in a strong reputation for their schools Norwalk can be a school district that people want to get into but it will take an investment today ask that you fund the BL a request to tap into the rainy day fund and help us to keep normal public schools at its current trajectory –Are you Michelle –Yes –After Michelle, we have Donna Smirniotopolous and Susan Wallerstein —My name is Michelle Robinson and I’m here today to speak to you not only as a tax payer for the city of Norwalk but as a concerned parent, president of the Kendall School PTA and parent leader of the Kendall school governance council. I would like to say that I’m surprised that I need to be here to ask for support for our children in our schools, as this should be something that is on the foremost list of budgetary items for the city but yet I’m not. You see the parents that are here this evening, there are so many more that aren’t and this is not because they don’t care, it’s because we are all hard-working parents that shouldn’t have to be here, we shouldn’t have to take more time out of our day, time from our children to come and fight for what is due to them to Norwalk’s future. When we voted in the elections so many spoke of the importance for education for our children. We voted you in and now it seems you’re turning your backs on us on our children. I shouldn’t need to stand here and beg and fight for the moneys for our schools. This is the decision that should be crystal clear, our schools our children need that funding to keep closing that achievement gap and making Norwalk a city that parents want to move to to raise their children and educate them here but Norwalk has turned their back on our children in schools far too many years, many of the buildings needing way overdue repairs and renovations to them, black mold on the outsides for not being washing decades, cutting budgets and taking aids from our teachers pulling from ELL, which is a must for many of our students Our school doesn’t even have a full-time social worker with the budget that you give us. Does this seem right? With all that is going on in this world, a school has to work with a part-time social worker because a social worker who is here two times a week can really get to know five hundred students Where do you my taxes go? I’m not sure I can even begin to guess, would it be for the paving that takes a whole summer to complete for one parking lot or the roads that get paved and it’s left up to the community to tell you that the work hasn’t been finished. My taxes should be going towards my children’s education in our schools, so I’m asking you, begging you if need be, we need you to go back and increase this budget for something more than to just cover increases in contracts. It needs to go back to the schools to increase our school day so those children get that extra 30 minutes of education they deserve, to bring in more high school teachers so our kids can graduate with enough credits and not sit in numerous study halls. We need that money for that and all the other unimportant things that you would like us to take from them, so I say to you, if there was ever a rainy day to use those funds it’s today because it’s a sad day when the city takes from their children instead of from elsewhere —Good evening, I’m not going to repeat most of what I wrote in the email that I sent to members of the Finance Committee last week, I would like to have my captain Quinn moment from Jaws where he says “you all know me you all know what I do”. I’m here to support the budget and support it in full hopefully you all had

a chance to read through the looking-glass when you were students in school. There’s a wonderful scene called the Queens race and Alice and the Red Queen are running as fast as they can and they’re not getting anywhere and Alice asks the Red Queen she says” well in our country you generally get to somewhere else if you run very fast for very long time as we’ve been doing” and the Queen says” a slow sort of country now here you see it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place if you want to get somewhere else you must run at least twice as fast as that” I know it sounds counterintuitive but given the requirements of collective bargaining bargaining, funding our schools to get someplace requires twice as much as you think you can give it’s that simple and the Board of Ed has removed the guesswork by having a strategic operating plan to begin with I’d like to talk about a few other things while I’m here, I brought these up last week. I compared Norwalk to our surrounding towns which you’ve heard a lot about Westport and Greenwich, when you live in those towns, you know who works for you The people ,the public servants in those towns work for you, they work for the taxpayers, they work for the parents. I don’t get that feeling in Norwalk all the time, I honestly don’t and it is troubling to me. I want to feel that the public servants see their work I realize that the pay is terrible that you were volunteers and I wish I could pay you and one reason I wish I could pay is that then you would know who you work for, you work for all of these people These people dragged themselves from their homes tonight to come here and make a difference and I hope for the love of God that you didn’t all make up your minds before you walked in the door today. I know it’s happened before, I’ve come into meetings where I’ve spoken and people glazed over and I knew what they were going to say and they voted exactly as I predicted, please prove me wrong –After Susan we have Nate Sheldon, Emma Aponte –Thank you ,my name is Susan Wallerstein, I’m on one of your other agenda items this evening because appointments and resignations and thank you for the queue up about volunteers, appointments and resignations that you have to consider tonight are sometimes one of the best occasions for us to acknowledge and thank volunteers who serve in these roles, so I would like to use this opportunity as chair of the Arts Commission to recognize Becky Kristofferson, who is involved in the arts locally with her business tests who often performs everywhere she’s also active in the Norwalk Symphony in the sono celebration, she’s resigning because after 12 years with the Norwalk Arts Commission, she’s going to be assuming more responsibilities with the Norwalk Symphony. Secondly because we probably will choose to leave after these remarks, I’d like the public and the members of the council to meet Melissa Matuschka How lucky are we to have people who arrive and buy their homes in our community, who start attending as volunteers boards and Commission meetings and are willing to step up with these credentials and serve as a member of the Arts Commission. I’d also like to thank Mr. Hempstead for designating Emerson’s Trinity product of Norwalk Public Schools to serve in his role on the North Arts Commission and big thanks to Mr. Yerinides, who in addition to all your other responsibilities again proud product of Newark Public Schools, to add on one more thing besides all your committees to serve on the Arts Commission, thank you very much –Hi, I’m Nate Sheldon, parent of a kindergartner at Marvin elementary I’m in the SGC, member of the PTA I made some statements on a Thursday, I’m gonna try to take a little different approach tonight While I respect your decision to add to the coming year school budget and I thank you for that, I feel the operating budget we intend to follow as is fall short both in size and how I’ll be funded. Using the city’s rainy day funds, avoids additional taxpayer burden and increases the scope of the budgeting process. Hearing from other parents and community members at last Thursday’s hearing, sparked my interest to learn more about the city’s financials. What I conclude is that we’re in great shape, our revenues are strong and diversified more than compensating our expenses as seen in the growing rainy day fund. Based on all the data

that I can find over the last few days, our rainy day fund is by far the largest in the state, dwarfing all of our neighboring towns Our leverage ratios are low while liquidity ratios are high with a majority of debt non current and uniformly distributed, resulting in low debt service, so there’s very little stress on our net position. In a nutshell we have a lot of fiscal flexibility These criteria criteria are important to defend our triple-a rating. We’re not at risk of losing our credit status. Does having a rainy day fund help this argument? sure, it doesn’t hurt but is entirely necessary and at what level is it appropriate. If the rainy day fund is growing it tells me taxpayers are overpaying so why not give these revenues back to them and the other argument against using the rainy day fund is is the reduced salt deduction. I think we might be missing the point here, the Loess salt deduction takes money out of the pocket of people who live in high-yield high tax areas like Norwalk, but the bigger issue however is, what if people start to relocate slower tax areas and no rockstars to lose tax payers. We need to invest in our city in order to retain these taxpayers and keep our revenue stronger. I personally is a New York City commuter who lives in Norwalk I have this flexibility, so keep me here, so I’m asking all of you please invest in my daughter’s schools, invest in all of our children’s schools. This is the single most important thing that will keep my family here. This all is a snowball effect too, if residents start leaving, then businesses will start leaving because either it’ll be less people to purchase their products or there’ll be an inadequate workforce to employ, so please keep these residents here. If the federal tax code and the state’s fiscal woes start to make Norwalk a less attractive place to live it becomes the city’s job to fight on us on its residents behalf. We have the ability to do this today so why leave our city at risk should the state begin reducing Norwalk’s grants because of our stellar financial status to fund some of your responsible program elsewhere. I don’t think this is about rewarding bad behavior, I think the state may just be running out of options Let’s use our large fund balance to pay back Norwalk residents with the necessary programs they’ve essentially already paid for. We have this opportunity right now, despite these other is AA Janice factors to design the city and in ways to retain and even attract new residents –After Emma, we have and I’m going to this is a handwriting that’s hard to read Mrs. Nizihiyeth Judia and Lisa Thompson —-so I am Emma Aponte, fifth grader and I am I I’m from non-caring drives so first of all we need to fund schools to help next generation of kids and it in my opinion it’s crazy see not to not to offend anybody so we also needed fun special education more to help the kids who are having trouble, for example myself. I have I would have had more problems without special education but because a special Education, I do find there system fast- forward has helped me and I have done fine on my maths I even got recommended for the academically talented program for next year for sure I know how you read write and even new math but without this program I probably wouldn’t know what he knows most and most kids have a problem with something but normal teachers aren’t able to do anything about it because they don’t have enough help, such as my brother Jimmy no one knew for years he had problems now you probably think it’s just my family that but last year like six kids needed help with their math and my teacher rounded up a math group after school. My main point is, I think special education and ours and many other resources may need to be funded at school because it helps a child be the best they can be. Also, the people should help they should help more students sorry *Applause* –Emma –Anyway my name is Nizihiyeth Judia, I live at 16 Pride Street here in Norwalk Connecticut. I spoke last week, so I don’t want to be repetitive. Thank you

all for being here, everyone in the city for being here including all the people in the hall we wish you could have heard you in the hall. I just like to say that I’m just really impressed what they used to turn out, with all the really smart things that people are saying I’m not as knowledgeable as everyone else but I know that you know finding the schools is important My son has study hall every other school day but on top of that he has academic assistance over at Norwalk high school because he’s sped, so I think the need for more teachers is visible to me and it is important as well as funding BOE but I also know that we don’t want to fight for millions here and millions there and then put it on the property taxes. I think there’s probably a better way to budget and manage the city so that we don’t have to do that and that’s all I’d like to say thank you so much *Applause* –Alisa Brenton Thompson, 24 Highland Avenue, Mr. Mayor, Common council, thanks for the opportunity this evening. I’m the proud parent of two a recent Brian McMahon graduates. One is at Virginia Tech, courtesy of the Project Lead the Way program at Brian McMahon found his passion in engineering My other son that was a graduate of the CGS is majoring in Chinese and economics and went to that school with 18 AP credits and will be graduating a semester early saving his mother and father a lot of money, that’s courtesy of our school system. Last year, Mr. Mayor you campaigned on city growth in supporting education, as we all know they’re directly linked because property values both residential and commercial, fund the majority of our city budget. We had a mere half percent of 1% growth in our grand list despite all the development. I think it’s time the city reexamined is planning and zoning strategies and reduces the land use lawsuits and at a minimum has a strategic plan that is linked to our board of education, otherwise we’re all going to be back here again next year The school district who worked very hard over the years and with Dr. Adamowski leadership is delivering the results. As Mayor and the leader of this city, shouldn’t you be considering touting our successes nationally to corporations and foundations rather than comparing ourselves to neighboring towns to bring additional revenues to the city, that’s what Mayors of other successful cities have done and with all due respect that’s what I would have done, thank you very much *applause* —The next three speakers are Ben Sarrow, Diane Lauricella and Drew Patrick –Hi, Good evening, my name is Ben Sarrow and I’m the father of two children at Jefferson school and Norwalk. I’m not gonna repeat what’s been said here tonight but the one thing that strikes me about things like this budget sheet that make me nauseous to look at is, everyone loves schools, everyone loves children, everyone talks about the future no one thinks that school shouldn’t be funded, so why is this an issue, why are we here because I assume more than half of the people who live in Norwalk, don’t have children or don’t have children in this school, so you have this trade-off, I don’t want my tax dollars to go up and I don’t want my tax dollars to go to the school because I don’t need the school but that is a false equivalency because we can’t pick and choose the things that we want to pay our taxes to. I don’t use X so I don’t want to pay for it that’s not the way it works. I think we all agree that the schools are doing improvement over what they were and I would lastly like to say that history is made by people that show up and who I don’t see here tonight are the majority of the families and the children that go to my son’s school where they’re English as a Second Language they’re single parents everyone works, everyone works two jobs, they can’t be here, so if I’m not being too presumptuous I would like to speak on their behalf which is they understood these issues and they understood what’s at stake. I guarantee you they’d be here but the reality is they can’t and lastly I think we all watch the news and we can’t go a minute without seeing how horrible things are happening in the world and we can’t control a lot of it and Mayor Rilling can’t control the nuclear weapons despite what has been said tonight. I think the important thing is what can we control which is that we can do better we can strive and set our goals really high and I think we can meet them and I thank you for your ongoing

consideration and I truly hope that you focus on this issue so that again we do not have to do this every single year, thank you *Applause* –Sorry, Good evening for the record my name is Diane Lauricella, 21 Blue Mountain Ridge Road. I’m here tonight I wasn’t gonna come out in fact quite frankly I now kind of don’t regret losing the election for City Council at large but the thing is I actually would love to be up there with you so we could make these choices together and I’m here to try to assist you. There are many hard choices that you have to make so I know that doing your due diligence after tonight will be so important and it’s not an easy job so I wish you well. We want to congratulate all of us the parents, the staff, the council and the taxpayers on a job well done as we’re seeking achievements in the school system but I want to say tonight that I don’t support that we fully fund which is the catch word the Board of Ed budget, but we instead still look for strategic cuts in the entire city budget revenues and added and savings, they are there. It is not that hard to find them if you look. Please still find more ways for that and one thing is a shout out one way to add more revenues in the future ,so these parents and others won’t have to come in beg every year is come out, all of you to the plan of conservation and development meetings there are nine of them, make your voices heard, I call it monetizing the plan of conservation and development, decide where certain kinds of land use goes because it gives us more tax revenue so that you don’t have to keep coming out and begging, show up, that’s what we have to do mention the school system in one of nine these if not at least send in your plans because the mayor and Steve klepon and others would like to hear from you let’s make them hear from us after tonight. I want to say that we need a strategic operating plan for land use, for zoning enforcement, for making sure we have enough clean water to drink that’s what we’re going to talk about in the plan of conservation and development. Another thing you have to look at though people, is beyond the Board of Ed budget is things like reappointments. I want to suggest that we don’t really the same people to the Board of Assessment Appeals, we’ve had lots of Appeals, we’ve lost millions of dollars, the time has come for some new blood Lastly, I’m here tonight because I want this council to go back to the drawing board and I’m opposed to the grand coordinator and Communications Manager as written. I know there needs to be good communications and messaging we have the staff already but what we do need again people please help me with this we need a full-time grant writer to bring in millions more dollars so that we don’t need to come up here and beg and I and I’ll finally the question is, did anyone look at other cities and how they handle especially Bridgeport and Stamford, they’re special grant writers that are full-time and very professional? if not, why not? Thank you —After Drew Patrick, we have Mary Yordon, Mark Bonasara and Nora King –Good evening, thank you, my name is Drew Patrick, a Cricklewood Lane and here in Norwalk. I have two daughters at Columbus magnet and listening to my neighbors tonight I realize I’m a relative newcomer as an 18 year resident here in Norwalk I live in two school communities I get up in the morning in Norwalk and my kids go to Norwalk public schools and then I get in my car and I drive to my job, where I’m a school district administrator in Scarsdale Public Schools in Westchester County New York and a curious thing happens to me there every day I’m involved in conversations with parents and teachers and staff and some students high school students in particular and every once in a while, the conversation turns to so where do you live what’s your life like and I talk about my life here in Norwalk and people asked so are you gonna send your kids to Scarsdale that’s a benefit of

working there you can send your your kids there and I very easily say no and they ask why not and the list is long but some of the reasons lately that I’ve there is Columbus magnet school. It’s a hot school, choice, school choice that parents have in Norwalk. The governance structure, the IB program, the Early College High School program, we’ve heard about Project Lead the Way a couple times tonight more recently, my fifth-grade daughter has started in the teach to 1 math program none of these exist where I go to work Scarsdale pretty well-known school district in the country and I get interesting looks I get funny looks These opportunities, these options ,these pieces of this strategic operating plan that have made these things happen, aren’t available in that community a very affluent community. It’s really exciting to be able to say that and it seems to me as the years have gone on in the last several years as the strategic operating plan has moved forward that I’ve been able to say more and more more and more reasons that I want to stay here, more and more reasons I want my children to go through the schools, more and more reasons to be to be proud. I understand that you’ve heard a lot about the support in this room for the strategic operating plan, it’s sensible, it’s rigorous, it’s it’s forward-looking, it’s it’s working, it’s working. Please fund it *Applause* —Good evening to the Mayor, common council members, distinguished city officials, thank you very much for this opportunity to speak and for your continued work on behalf of our wonderful city. I am Mary Yordon, the Norwalk Federation of Teachers president. I wish to start off by restating and supporting what Mr. Kimmel stated in a recent piece in the Norwalk hour and I quote “we are a diverse community with common interests and a common future and that future depends on the quality of the schools” and I believe that our schools have made good progress with the generous funding the city approved last year that you approved last year, priority areas identified for attention in the coming year include as you know, high school staffing, science instruction, k12 special education, English language learners and many more very important initiatives. Of course there have been disagreements about how to achieve the desired results but nonetheless I am here tonight in hopes speaking that on behalf of the members of the Norwalk Federation of Teachers and their colleagues that they will be supported to do the work that they are committed to doing every day what they have devoted their careers to doing guiding all of our children to high school graduation, having fulfilled their academic potential with the proper attention to their social and emotional development despite any individual student challenges. We are grateful for your continued support for our schools our children and our community will be stronger as a result, Good evening *Applause* —Good evening, My name is Mark Bonasara, I’m a Norwalk resident 7 button wall trail. Father of two children at Columbus magnet school and west rocks middle school and a former Norwalk school administrator and a current elementary school principal in Stamford. I’m here to request that the BOE proposed a budget be fully funded. In order to continue to move our school system and city forward your support of this budget is needed to meet the important goals of the strategic operating plan including a longer school day to bring us in line with other municipalities, an elimination of non effectual high school study halls and support for ESL students. Please do not put our school system in a position of having to make damaging cuts at this time such as to kindergarten aides and middle school sports. It’s time to tap into a portion of the rainy day fund and show support for our young people Thank you very much of your service and

your consideration *Applause* —After Nora King, we have Bryan Meek, Barbara Meyer Mitchell and Bruce Kimmel –Good evening I’m Nora King, I live at 17 Cove wood drive in Norwalk Connecticut. I understand that many of you have already decided not to fully fund the board of Ed, that’s a shame the Board of Ed in the city need to start getting along This is one team, team Norwalk. The city’s job is to ensure that there is enough revenue to fund the strategic initiatives of the Board of Ed. They are reeling unfortunately inherited a mess when he took office. He followed Dick Moccia, who didn’t do one thing for the Board of Ed. Most of Harry’s administration has been trying to steer the ship in a new direction, not an easy task. The Board of Ed has been fairly funded the past few years but unfortunately they have had to fight for everything. This should not be the way the city in the past has been asking for accountability for the Board of Ed. The Board of Ed is showing accountability for their funds they’re closing the achievement gap a major, major accomplishment. We have a school of distinction Wow they are working on security cleaning up past pension obligations and they are leader in rolling out the Common Core in the nation. You asked for accomplishments and Wow, they have done it kudos. I am proud of our Board of Ed I adore Dr. Adamowski We finally have a superintendent who has a backbone and his cleaning house and putting us on the right path a long time coming. We still have a long way to go. We need major help in our school athletic programs, we have inferior ballparks for our children, all of these issues the Common Council on the Board of Ed are going to need to work together on. A few realities that perhaps no one else was the nerve to say but on to put myself out there, these are issues you are well aware of and they need to be fixed so that in the future we are not sitting here in this room fighting to educate our children. First, it is your job to ensure our valuations on commercial property are assessed correctly. I’ve provided many spreadsheets and examples where the city has undervalued commercial property and left it on taxed at the expense of residential property owners. This has to be fixed it is your job to do this. If this was done correctly our grand list would be growing at a faster rate than 0.5% and we could fund more board of that initiatives or how about more sidewalks or better yet ballparks or how about senior citizen tax relief. Second, development, I’m pro development. We give a developer on Waypoint when he goes and changes our plans midstream four million dollars for infrastructure and for tax to payments. We don’t want to fund the Board of Ed but we want to give the developers money? and how about the last one zoning enforcement. How about as an appraiser I see it all I could fill a coffee book with all the weird sad stuff I see I go into a house that the landlords are using as boarding houses that they will take a five room apartment and rent out four of those rooms to individual families with children all sharing a common kitchen, guess who’s in all those rooms? children, that are taxing our Board of Ed system If we were enforcing zoning, we wouldn’t have overcrowding in our schools. It’s the board of jobs Ed’s job to educate those students and if you’re allowing these zoning violations to occur in these illegal structures, you shouldn’t penalize the Board of Ed to have educate those families. Do the right thing this year. Use the rainy day fund, stop blaming the Board of Ed and then fix these problems I mentioned so that we’re not having the same discussion this next year. I’m tired every year *applause* –The clock is running.–Thanks, Good evening members of the Common Council, President Kydes, Major Rilling, What you have in front of you is an Hour article from late September of 2017, in it, it says this is about the budget fiasco with the state Malloy’s revised resource allocation plan reduces statutory grant funding to Norwalk by 5.7 million and according to our finance director Oh there’s no cause for alarm. This reduction will not impact the city’s

triple-a bond rating, so let me get this straight We could get 5.7 million dollars – Dan Malloy but we don’t give a cent to our schools? Come on really? 5.7 billion dollars to plug the state’s holes in their finances and zero dollars for the schools let that sink in, so I have numbers drawn up here from our annual reports going back 18 years, looking at the these magical numbers that we always can’t seem to get our hands around and you know what, we have maintained triple A bond rating each and every year over the last 18 years including an eight and a half million dollar drawdown over three years when we had half as much money in it okay and again in 2006 to 2008 another six million dollar drawdown When we had half the money we have sitting in the rainy day fund right now, you know so so this whole triple-a excuse at risk, it’s a smokescreen. Don’t buy it, don’t fall for it. We’re at over 15 percent of our reserves right now and I know mr. Barron comes up with this thirteen point seven number, well of course he can come up with that he’s adding in forty million dollars of teacher retirement payments that never hit our checking account. It’s a pro-forma number it’s required by Gatsby but that money never comes in or goes out of the city okay, so that’s a smokescreen. I’m gonna talk in real cash and real numbers here okay.We’re at 15% of our operating expenses in our reserves, you got to use this money, you got to invest it back in the schools and don’t stop at the schools, do the sidewalks, do senior tax relief, have it all. The city can be great use our resources, thank you *applause* —Thank you, my name is Julie Corbet, 18 Roosevelt Street. For some of you may not know me. I am one of the newest members of the Board of Education this year. This evening I’m not speaking to you just as a member of the Board of Education but from a number of perspectives. First of all, as the mother of a 17 month old toddler the decision, the adults make today tonight in this room, profoundly impact my child’s future. As a taxpayer and a resident of Norwalk for the last three years, of course I don’t want to see my taxes increase without a clear plan for effectively and efficiently using them across the entire city. When my husband and I were house-hunting three years ago house after house clearly had kids that were either about to go to elementary school or about to go to middle school. I don’t know where all of those families were going but they clearly weren’t staying in Norwalk Our schools and our city services including all city services, must be strong to attract families to come here and to stay here. For families that have the means the option is often to stay in Norwalk and pay for private school or to move to another surrounding town and pay a higher mortgage and higher taxes. As the president of a national education consulting company and as a leader in the school and district improvement world across the country, I firmly believed that Norwalk Public Schools are on the right path, needs were assessed a direction was determined, goals were set and the strategies to meet those needs are being implemented now the work is being monitored and mid-course Corrections are being made. This is the exact continuous improvement cycle that I advocate for professionally and hope to see across the country and very rarely do. In the school and district improvement world it often takes three years to see real improvements in student performance and five years to really turn around the trajectory of a school and a district. Five years of concerted effort and concentrated resources including people time money and program are necessary to sustain and continue improvements over time. Not fully funding the BOE request or at a minimum not fully funding the proposal presented this e-excuse me this evening puts Norwalk in a precarious position Student performance could set stagnate and may even decline. I’ve seen schools and districts across the country improved temporarily and then decline when systems and structures are not in place to put in place to sustain those efforts. In a dish in addition attracting top talent to the central offices of utmost importance strong leadership is one of the most important components for improving schools and districts. The decisions you make tonight impact not only the students sitting in classrooms tomorrow but the few future talent that we must attract to keep the district moving on the strong and positive trajectory the gains seen in the last few years have

been monumental and yet there is still a great deal of work to be done Norwalk schools have been underfunded for decades and we are finally getting to a place where operations are becoming more efficient and student achievement is improving. Norwalk schools are part of the city and the quality of the schools impacts the desirability to attract and to retain residents. Please, I implore you to reconsider funding the proposal that Chairman Barba’s and Dr. Adamowski presented to you tonight, Thank you *applause* –Following Ms Mitchell Myer Mitchell, is Bruce Kimmel and Jackson Dino– There’s hardly anything left to say, I want to start by saying, please remember Emma when you’re considering the special ed turnaround fund She’s what it’s all about. Everyone here wants our schools to be excellent, you included and the issue is how do we afford that. Budgeting always requires compromises particularly in a vibrant diverse and growing city like ours with so many stakeholders. The Board of Education has come before you tonight with a compromise that we feel could work for all of us. I have stood here several times over the seven years that my children have been in the Norwalk public schools, to share that Norwalk is my American dream. Norwalk is a great place to live. We have the beaches, we have cranberry Park, easy access to transportation to the city and shopping and the kindest community you could ever hope for. Our weakest link historically, in terms of attracting and retaining residents, is our school system. It has been our Achilles heel but that is changing, We have steadily improved our scores on the state accountability index scoring seventy six point nine percent and landing us at the top of our district resource group reference group Norwalk’s growth exceeds that of the state overall and represents the highest gain of any of the state’s 21 cities we should be proud of that Neighboring Wilton is only 3.6 percent ahead of us and they are spending 20,000 per student as opposed to our 17 practically 17. We were able to close the achievement gap by third last year, by finally in implementing tier two and three interventions. Rowayton school, was named a school of distinction, a notable achievement given 45 percent of their students are high needs. Several other schools in the district are approaching category one, that’s huge. The Board of Education feels confident that by adding instructional time at our most vulnerable elementary schools and investing in supports for english-language learners, we can continue to close the achievement gap and give all of our students a bright future. These improvements achieved in such a short time have convinced me that my dream of excellent schools on a lean budget can be a reality for Norwalk. We have a finite period of time to take advantage of Dr Adamowski his experience and leadership given that he will only be in New York Norwalk for five years. While I do everything right, while I promised to do everything in my power to ensure that our next superintendent is as effective, this is the moment to take advantage of his prodigious talents if we defer implementing the strategic operating plan we have less time to work with him to ensure that it is successful. I can tell you that the cuts that would be needed to be made in order to achieve the strategic operon clip operating plan with the money you have proposed would be painful. As we emerge from the recession we have already been cut to the bone as has the city and we are only just now rebuilding is up. I implore you to increase your proposed funding to the Board of Education operating budget by 1.5 million dollars this year. I know you have many factors to balance as you make your decisions and I know a compromise as necessary. I respectfully ask that you consider this compromise so that we can continue the excellent progress that we’ve made together. Norwalk is my American dream and I represent a large group of parent taxpayers in this city who feel the same way, thank you *applause* –Good evening, Bruce Kimmel, 912 Wilson Avenue and a member of the Board of Education. Until the last couple of years I believe it’s fair to say the city of Norwalk was in denial when it comes to education .We fail to appreciate the consequences of the unfair and punitive education course year in formula. We downplayed the devastate in Cambridge report in 2008. We virtually ignored a series of correct reports. Fortunately, two years ago the board took major steps forward in the long overdue effort to reform our

schools with help from the city we adopted a three-year turnaround plan for special education, which for years had been a major financial drain on the city but more importantly, deprived hundreds of our special-needs students the services they needed and deserved. We are already seeing the fruits of that initiative as we move into its third year. The board also adopted a three year strategic operating plan we are already seeing the positive results of the plan As Norwalk can now boast as being the number one urban district in the state not to mention being number one in our DRG reference roof. Last year the city funded year 1 of the strategic plan and the results have been inspiring now is the time to make a difficult decision and continue the funding. We are midstream catching up quickly, beginning to provide our students the long overdue programs their predecessors sadly did not have. Slowing down the implementation of these much-needed reforms, is the equivalent of denying an entire cohort of students the education they need to compete in our ever more complex and competitive world. There’s been much talk lately of the minimum budget requirement and the city’s undesignated fund balance but let’s look at the problem this way The programs in the strategic plan have to be and will be implemented. Federal and state law won’t allow districts to do otherwise in the long run, it does not matter whether we draw down the fund balance now or later, nor does it truly matter what next year’s MBR is. As long as the board and the city agree on the level of future requests. The world of education has changed drastically since the implementation of No Child Left Behind in 2003 and updated in 2015, with every student succeed on. The stakes are now higher mediocrity is no longer an option. The achievement gap must be closed and the consequences of short changing schools can be severe. Until 2008, many officials in Norwalk believe that our school system was pretty good and then the Cambridge and correct reports painted an embarrassing picture, yet it still took another few years to realize what had happened. Now is not the time to turn back the clock. Just this one last point, I’ve had the good fortune I had the good fortune of serving on the city’s Audit Committee for eight years Two years ago, I remember clearly listening to some of the folks from McGladrey McGladrey speaking about our reserve accounts and they talked about having too much funds in our reserve accounts and use the word because they said it was taxpayers money and it was some ethical issues involved and they recommended us recommended that we withdraw we make sure that those accounts are drawn down properly. I’m not talking about the fund balance but it’s an ethical issue if it’s an ethical issue from the city’s perspective to the Board of Ed, it’s an ethical issue from the Board of Ed perspective to the city but most important of all, it’s an ethical issue for people in our city, both taxpayers, parents who are the same they are the same people, the folks here I guess I would guess are all taxpayers and all taxpayers have an interest in what goes on in our schools. We can’t deny that, so the difference between twelve point seven and eleven point seven in a fund balance or 10.7 compared to a quality education for hundreds and hundreds of children, to me that’s a no-brainer Thank you. I think is a courtesy to the folks here, if when you do get to your get into the meeting, if you can move the cap resolution up to the front so people don’t have to sit through the other business I think that would be a good idea, Thank you.— Hello fellow citizens and elected officials, my name is Jackson Dino, I am 15 years old and I am a student at Brian McMahon high school and I am also the vice president of the class of 2020 at my school and tonight I don’t have any statement prepared to bring you in fact this morning when I woke up I didn’t even have any idea I would be making a speech tonight, so everything I’m about to say comes directly from my heart and I hope that I can speak on behalf of my fellow students since there has barely been any students who have spoken today it’s mostly been adults. When us students look around the room, we usually see a bunch of adults and we think oh they’re

the ones making the decision but I think it’s nice for students to have some input as well especially when the matter directly involves us as as in the school budget and I like everyone else before me tonight believe that it is crucial and critical that we fund our schools to their full potential. Now I’ve heard people mention on the issue of study halls and I can speak from experience tomorrow morning I have a study hall for an hour and a half, before that there was a scheduling conflicts in which I actually had a study hall for two consecutive periods in a row, which meant that I would have had study halls for three hours out of my six hour school day Fortunately, that conflict was quickly resolved once I went to the guidance office but the fact that the potential to have that conflict even exists is outrageous and I hope that the Common Council and Mayor Rilling will take steps to further fund our schools and prevent scenarios like that from happening in the future because I really, really want to have the best education I can possibly get and Brian McMahon high school once a senator, always a senator by the way, Brian McMahon high school is a pretty good school, like any school it has some faults but it’s still a very good school but it can get better as can every other school in this district, so once again I’d like to reiterate, please fund our schools, thank you *Applause* –We can take a recess in a few minutes –The back of the sheet has all these names on the back –understanding is to open to people that wanted to sign up that they were here —Well yeah there are 44 names on the back We are more than happy to let everyone come up and speak, which is about a hundred and thirty two minutes. We will have to I believe Mr. Hempstead you’re the expert here, we would probably if we’re gonna go past midnight have to have a vote on that,–thats correct— So we would have to have a vote on that so they’re the 44 names on the back are there people within this group that are still interested in speaking, okay well, why don’t we do this, we’re gonna read off the 44 names and everybody who wishes to speak, when your name is called let us know okay, this way we’re not gonna shut anybody out. City clerk, you want to read the names? and if there’s anybody out in the hallway, call them in —Handwriting looks pretty good on this list Rob Shoot, Jeff Dealio, Emma Healball, Mushtog Kapadwolla, Scott Peterson Raj Pandey, Blair Anderson, Konstantinos Eric Heidis, Mura Moreash, Michael Sebastian, Maria Montoya, Edison Montoya Scott Harriman, Olga Zargos drop, Jennifer Valencia, Albania Vallabha, Lynne Camellio, Sam Valencia, Ava Mayman, Mary Beth Marie, Havre Asaduddin, Sonya lateen Alfonso laten, please excuse me if I’m mispronouncing your name Jamie Booth, Angelina Murphy, Amy Sealer, Jonathan Creekup, Lindsay Creekup, Jessica Mouser, Matthew Luster Reginald I’m sorry I can’t read the last name, Linda Pete Kenza, Lori Keegan, Jusinia Roxbury, April Jevon, Eddie Vera, War Rumbouche Page Fawana, Erica Morasco, sorry it looks it’s three names last name is looks like cotton there’s three

four Cotton’s including Jamie, Karina and another name I can’t read and Benjamin Wesley okay –what why don’t we do this that we just got another sheet is there anybody right here right now that wishes to address the board of how the Common Council ? why don’t you come down and anybody else — These kids got to go to bed –And if somebody could check in the hallway to see if there’s anybody else out there that wishes to address the board or the council, okay so there’s nobody out there and nobody in here other than the people that have come to the podium that wish to offer comments, one more line up and if you could state your name and your address and your on.– Thank you, my name is Olga’s Zargos Trout –pull the mic down closer –My name is Olga’s Zargos Trout and I reside at 38 Devils Garden Road. My husband and I are tax Norwalk taxpayers have resided in Norwalk since 2004 and are the parents of three public school-aged children two of whom are with me today Our oldest attends Roten middle school and our two youngest attend Columbus magnet school. I bring my children here this evening despite it’s way past their bedtime so they could listen and observe how the actions of the adults in their communities, how they regard their education, how you as the adults in their community have the power to directly impact their education and future as I was waiting patiently to come up here, My son asked me “mommy can I come to more meetings in the future” and although I am proud of him saying that it kind of breaks my heart because I really hope that he does not have to beg and plead for his children’s education when he’s an adult, putting that aside we plead with you today to fully fund the compromised Board of Education budget as requested by Dr. Adamowski. As we all here to have heard over and over this will allow our superintendent and the Board of Education to fully implement the strategic operating plan for 2018 and 2019 which is vital to the ongoing and palpable progress of Norwalk Public Schools. We thank you for your vote last week of approving 5.5 million however that was not enough and falls short of fully funding the request. Your vote will unfortunately result in significant cuts to the Board of Education budget that will jeopardize a progress our school district has made in three short years Norwalk can no longer afford to go to steps can no longer afford to go two steps forward and five steps steps back We’ve moved beyond that. As we all know the strength and success of our public schools has a direct correlation to the taxes the livability the robustness of Norwalk and to Norwalk’s ability to retain families and attract contributing members of society who want to put down roots in Norwalk and support the continued boom that Norwalk is undergoing. As we are sensitive to the taxpayers interest of capping the milleri at three point seven percent increase during this reevaluation year, we ask you to draw the additional funds from Norwalk’s rainy day fund. Using the additional needed funds from the rainy day fund will not jeopardize Norwalk’s triple-a bond credit rating and will be used for the exact purpose of having a rainy day fund, money to be used in desperate times. We are in desperate times because we can no longer afford to go backwards but we need to keep the momentum going in the success of public schools going. As such, my children and I and husband ask you to fully fund the Board of Education budget as requested by Dr. Adamowski by dipping into Norwalk’s rainy day fund in order to continue the progress of Norwalk’s public schools to advance the interest of all taxpayers and to advance our children’s future. Thank you for your time *applause* –Good evening Mayor, Common Council, My name is Heather McCue, I live at 82

Newtown Avenue. As with the young man from Brian McMahon. When I woke up this morning I figured I would be fighting for budgetary concerns for the u.s Department of State which is what who I work for but today I find myself in a position of wanting to take responsibility to vocalize what I believe is a need for all parents. I have two children who are twins at cranberry elementary, who both got a very difficult start in life I had them 12 weeks early my son was in the hospital for two years Traed, vented, had a lot of medical complications and when I was in the birth to three program, we said “should we stay in Norwalk or should we move to another town that has a better educational system” I moved here in 2005 I was having this conversation in 2011 and the person that was our therapist at the time said no, give Norwalk a shot Norwalk is a great community, you’re going to love this community, you’re going to love these teachers, they care about students and I found that to be absolutely true when my two twins entered at 3 years old at cranberry and they spent a whole lot of time in pre-k they were held back, they had developmental delays. They worked with every single therapist and social worker in that school. They have autism spectrum disorder, they’ve had you know physical disabilities that they’ve overcome you would look at them now and say that nothing happened to them and I want to tell you that the reason that they are functioning as typical children is because of the love and support and care and skill that they received in the Norwalk school system and when people I work with asked me “what are you gonna do when your kids get to middle school? Are you gonna send them to All Saints? Are you gonna send them to Rogers? Where do you think your kids gonna go?” I say “no I’m gonna keep them in the public school system”. why? because I value diversity I want them to have the experience that resonates with the rest of the world Norwalk represents what what most communities in America are looking to achieve where people can work together in a community to seek a common goal to move those generations forward to do great things and I believe with this little bit of money and when you look at it the whole scheme of things and I work for the federal government so I know that bureaucracy is like walking a dinosaur. I get $10,000 a year for the passport agency to buy services that I need to support 70 employees, so when I when I tell you about creative budgeting, I understand what you’re facing but there is no better investment than in these teachers and Paras and social workers. Every single person in that school cares, they give more than they need to they need. Dry erase markers they go out to Staples and buy it out of their pocket, why? because they don’t have the money to get what they need for basic supplies, your parents are willing to pay for it, so I’m asking you if I can buy dry erase markers and tissues and wipes and Purell for these teachers you can give us a little more money to make the quality of life for these students better as they go for it in life and I really appreciate your time and I hope that you will give us some more consideration. Thank you *applause* –Kind of like this senator Brian McMahon kid that was here earlier, I wasn’t exactly planning on speaking today and I wasn’t really aware entirely of what they make she was today until I attended and came to hear for myself and I can’t speak to the monetary needs of our school because a lot of students –For the record, can we have your name? –Alexis Marley –Thank you –because we were left in the dark a lot in regards to monetary needs but I can’t speak from inside the school, as a 12-year Norwalk public school student. Going on senior year, I got to choose my courses, I got to take the electives I’ve been looking forward to and one of those was forensics. Looking into that class I took that class because the teacher who was intended to teach, was one who studied forensics, took special courses to teach forensics and was somebody who loved forensics. I walked in my first day to see somebody who was not that teacher The reason I didn’t have that teacher was because they didn’t want to pay her the extra money to teach an extra course, so I as a student and now missing out on a forensics course that I’m looking forward to taking it to college now, I

don’t get the special teaching, the special special education because we didn’t want to pay a teacher to teach an extra course. Same situation happened in my art class where 40 students were turned away because they didn’t want to pay a teacher to teach another course and from what I’m understanding now, is we have the money, we have the resources to now pay for this education that we’re all looking for. We have the resources to pay our teachers to get updated textbooks or to get the technology we need and you’re not providing it to us and I don’t see why not, so that’s all I have to say *applause* –So I guess that’s the list now and we appreciate everybody coming out We’re probably gonna take a five-minute recess in a few moments but I do want to tell everybody that we’ve heard what you had to say and know that this year like in the past, we are committed to working with the Board of Education to do everything we can. To give the funding that is necessary to continue the strategic plan and we support the street a strategic plan and we also know that Norwalk and by the way, this is a comment from the Common Council;” Norwalk needs and deserves a top tier school system. Last year the council and I acknowledged that the time has come to sacrifice and invest in our Board of Education. We approved a year-over-year increase of almost 8 million dollars, a 4.5% increase to the Board of Education. We’re also committed to spend over 130 million dollars over the next five years to improve the infrastructure to build two new schools and to improve all the other schools in the school system. We intend to continue that commitment this year. We must do so in the context obviously of uncertain state funding, a looming state deficit, a revalue on the Hara horizon and new federal tax law, which limits deductions for state and local taxes These challenges are of real and great concern to our citizens and elected officials” It’s not easy putting together a budget and having to consider not only making sure that we fund our Board of Education but also making sure that we don’t overtax the people perhaps living on a fixed income, who are struggling as well. “We know that we need to keep our eye on the goal but also in the context of current economic climate I want to acknowledge there’s been a lot of talk about the city’s fund balance or the rainy day fund what we call it and a request for the city to dig deeper into those reserves to fund the BOE budget I’ve heard these requests and we will recommend that the city will withdraw at least a 1.2 million from that fund for the purpose of paying for the final year of the special education fund. I am also in support of the Finance Committee’s recommendation for a 3.7 Mill rate increase. This will is quadruple the average increase over the past several years. What is before the council today, is a recommitment to a historic investment in our school system I know we’ve heard a lot of numbers but the city side of the budget after contractual mandates includes 0.9 percent increase, less than 1% funding for new initiatives including hiring additional,staff to enable better zoning compliance and replacement of outdated and expired policing equipment. The recommended increase on the city side is so low because I have instructed my staff that the city side needs to wait. We need to take the next four to five years to focus on improving our schools. We are recommending the highest increase of any surrounding town or major city in the state. It’s a testament to our commitment to the value of our school district. The district’s total request for 11.1 million dollars, that is 99 in operating and 1.2 for the special ed. We have identified the following to bring us as close as possible to that number, one point two million dollars extra from the rainy day fund, five point five million from taxpayers 1.1 million from the BOE insurance reserves. now the city had a six million dollar insurance reserve but because we are no longer self-insured we have drawn down that six million dollar reserve to zero and we would ask that the Board of Education consider it doing the same thing. Also, next year from the 18-19 fiscal year the Board of Education is scheduled to receive an extra three hundred and eighty-two thousand dollars in educational cost sharing, so that would bring us to about 8.2 million dollars seventy-four of seventy four percent of the BOE request and a four point five percent year-over-year increase the same increases last year.” Now having said that, contract or these kinds of discussions continue we know

that Dr. Adamowski and his staff and me and my staff, will continue to meet to determine how we can get closer to make sure that we do everything we can. In fact in the past four years, the four budgets that this council or most of this council has been responsible for. We have given increases totaling almost twenty two million dollars or over five million dollars a year, so I think we’ve shown a commitment to try to work with the Board of Education as much as we possibly can while still trying to hold down the the increase in cost to our taxpayers. “As you may know the city has no authority over to determine how the Board of Education funds are spent. Our only role is determining the dollars allocated to the Board of Education. We’ve heard from many of you tonight about the importance of different programs and initiatives and they how they should not become. I expect tonight for this 4.5% year over increase to be adopted it will then be up to the BOE to determine whether to apply these funds toward new initiatives or abstaining programs or we should continue the discussions because the board of estimate taxation does have the authority at some point, if we determine it appropriate to come back to the council and ask for an increase in the cap that’s set tonight, so having said that, I think that the we’ve probably Mr Kydes, all in favor of Mr. Kydes is call for a 10-minute recess, all in favor, thank you we’ll be back in ten minutes We understand our recess was a little bit more than ten minutes but we had some robust and healthy discussions. Next item on the agenda is resignations and appointments as you know we had a resignation of Becky Kristofferson from the Arts Commission, next item is an appointment of Melissa Matuska for the Arts Commission. Do I have a motion? so moved. Moved by Mr. IGNERI any comment or discussion? Seeing none All in favor? opposed? abstentions? motion carries unanimously. I know she was here earlier I don’t think she’s here now, is she? Tell her congratulations. Next item on the agenda is reappointments we can probably do them all together because it’s Assessment Appeals Board We have Kathleen Clement Assessment Appeals Board, Joe Duepree Assessment Appeals Board, Jane Reedy Assessment Appeals Board, Mary Ellen Barrelle Assessment Appeals Board, alternate Donald Overton Assessment Appeals Board alternate and Harriet Petrides Assessment Appeals Board alternate, Do I have a motion? A motion so moved by mr. IGNERI, any further discussion? All in favor? opposed? abstentions? Motion carries unanimously Mayor’s remarks right now. We as you know this Saturday March 3rd at 11:00 a.m there will be a gun control March or a against gun violence and rally will be again at st. Paul’s on the green with a walk towards Norwalk City Hall that speakers will be heard on the front steps of the concert hall. The public is invited and I think during these times that we want to make sure our schools are safe that it’s incumbent upon as many people to come out as possible and have your voices heard. On Thursday March 8th the Norwalk Police Department will have its annual awards ceremony at 6 p.m. in the concert hall, here in City Hall it’s an opportunity for the police department to recognize all the good work by the officers during the past year. If you come out and listen to some of the things that they’ve done I think you’d be rather impressed with how much they give each and every day that they’re on duty. Reminder that the third annual Norwalk St. Patrick’s Day is coming March to Saturday March 10th the parade steps off at 11:00 a.m. from Veterans Park. Mr. Kydes, —Thank You Mr. Mayor, a little bit of council business to get out of the way. What we need to appoint by ordinance the two members of the council and or their designee to the Arts Commission, so our minority representative has chosen Emerson Straniti, as his designee and I’m proud to announce one of our own Chris Yerinides, so all in favor of moving, I’ll move that as well in all in favor of Chris Yerinides and Emerson Straniti, please raise their hand if I’d signify yes, great! Now next up Mr. IGNERI will be reading consent calendar

this week and alphabetical order I will be at the next council meeting.— I’d like to make a motion to suspend the rules to add two items to the agenda, item number one would be corporate council. it reads to approve the settlement okay Miche claim is set forth in the letter from corporate councils Department item number two be added to health and welfare and read authorize the mayor Harry W Rilling to execute an agreement with firematic supply company for the purchase of one pierce enforcer pumper for the Norwalk Fire Department for total not to exceed five hundred and seventy six thousand dollars accounts duly noted. All in the favor of suspending the rules to add those to the agenda? I think its unanimous, with that I’m going to read the consent calendar looking at the faces and seeing everyone that was up here talking, I think you know that if you hear an item that you’re interested in on the consent calendar that means it’s going to be approved and that’s the way we’re going if you wanted to leave after, so, item 6a one Board of estimates and taxation resolve that is some not to exceed twenty thousand three hundred and fifty being the same is hereby transferred from the contingency to the code enforcement department to cover the purchase of a new Ford Escape for building inspections and other daily activities. Item next item, items 7a 1 I’m gonna do one two and three or just for information purposes only it’s to accept and approve the report claims of the committee for information purposes and a narrative on the tax collections, which are very good I’ll add see for information purposes only the month tax collectors report was delivered item 4, resolution approve a special capital appropriation in the amount of sixty six thousand to increase the available funds for the purchase of a new fire engine and related accessories the funds will be drawn from the balance and the capital fund. Item five on consent resolution prove the special capital appropriation in the amount of 167,080 to increase available funds for roof replacement at the fire station located at a hundred Fairfield Avenue. The funds will be drawn from the balance in the Capitol. Item six, resolution authorizing the Mayor Harry W Rilling to execute any and all documents to secure the repayment of the loan the amount of $300,000 from the city of Norwalk to the sixth taxing district for the purpose of paying capital expenses related to the renovation of the district’s Community Center for the fiscal year 17 and 18 Item 7, resolution approved special appropriation in the amount of thirteen thousand four hundred and sixty two dollars to increase the fire departments Ford Explorer emergency vehicle purchase the funds will be drawn from the balance and the capital accounts. Item 7b 1 authorize the purchasing agent to issue a purchase order to thermal scientific portable analytical instruments to Radcliffe Road Tewksbury Massachusetts for one first defender RM access 1 handheld chemical detection system for sum not to exceed 43,050 The city of Norwalk is acting as fiduciary for the regional hazardous materials team and will be reimbursed through the emergency management and prepare this grant previously approved. Item number two, just read authorize the Mayor Harry W Rilling to execute an agreement firematic supply the purchase of one pierce enforce a pumper for the normal fire department for total not to exceed five hundred and seventy six thousand dollars Item 7c, recreation parks number one

authorize of the Mayor Harry W Rilling to enter into an agreement with North YMCA Camp sunrise for their use of the silver mine school grounds for camp 2018 to be held Monday June 18, 2018 through Friday August 17, 2018 from 7:30 to 6 p.m. daily estimated attendance 150. Item two, authorize of the Mayor Harry W Rilling to enter into an agreement with Triangle community center for the use of Matthews Park for their pride in the park 2018 to be held Saturday June 9th 2018 from 12 noon to 8 p.m Set up to take place Thursday June 7th 2018 with tear down no later than 11 p.m. on Saturday June 9th estimated attendance 2,500. Item three, authorize of the Mayor Harry W Rilling to enter into an agreement with the project purple 5k for the use of calf pasture beach for the purple project 5k to be held on Saturday May 12 2018 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. set up to take place at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday May 12, 2018 with tear down no later than noon on Saturday Bay 12 2018 estimated attendance 250. Items C Authorize of Mayor Harry W Rilling to enter to an agreement of Norwalk Karting Association for the use of Calf Pasture beach for the spring and fall of 2018 season to be held at the following held on holidays from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m spring 2018 to March 2017 and 24th, April 1st, 7, 14th, 21st, 28th, May 6th and 19. Fall 2018 September 15th and 29th October 6 13, 20th, 27th November 3rd, 10th, and 17th On a rain day, Sunday may be available estimate estimated attendance 50-100. Item D ordinance, approving visions to paragraph 95 – 10 Snow and ice removal from sidewalks, Item E, land use and management, C Authorize the Mayor Harry W Rilling to execute an agreement with Silver Petrucelli and associates from architectural design services for the 2018 North High School improvements project for total not to exceed ninety seven thousand five hundred which includes those allowance twenty five thousand dollars for design services related to the preparation of the state grant application for 2019 reimbursable work. Accounts noted. Item G, Public Works approve a temporary right of entry for CT DOT and its agents to use property on science road construction easement is being negotiated, that is the consent calendar —Good, all in favor of the consent calendar as read, please raise your hand and signify yes, Mr. Corsello unanimous —Thank you very Major back to you —Thank You Mr. Kydes, next item that will be voted on is item 7a 8 Mr Burnett but prior to Mr. Burnett bringing that issue forth, we did have a conversation during our recess and we are going to be working closely, I’ll be contacting Dr. Adamowski and his finance staff, as well as working with me and my finance staff, to see how we can reconcile some of the difference between where we are now and where we need to be the board of estimate and Taxation does have the authority to come back and ask the Common Council for an increase in any cap that they set and we will be looking to see how we can work through this situation where we can come up with a solution and make no mistake about it that the Common Council members did hear you tonight and we have committed to

trying to work together to make that happen So, Mr. Burnett –Thank you Major As a result of the meeting of the Finance Committee we’d like to bring forward the following resolution, whereas section 1 – 289 for the Norwalk Charter requires that a majority of the Common Council vote to establish a specific spending limitation on locally funded expenditures during the process of establishing the next fiscal year’s operating budget now therefore be resolved by the Common Council to the city of Norwalk the maximum limit on total appropriations for the city of Norwalk for fiscal year beginning July 1st 2018 shall be no more than three hundred and thirty six million one hundred sixty seven thousand nine hundred and forty dollars. Let me repeat the number 336 million one hundred sixty eight thousand nine hundred and forty dollars. This appropriation cap represents total expenditures of three hundred and fifty three million, five hundred ninety five thousand, three hundred and sixty dollars less estimated into governmental grants of seventeen million, four hundred and twenty six thousand, four hundred and twenty dollars Being further resolved that the result of this vote and resolution together with the attached 2018-2019 budget guide, be forward by the clerk of the city of Norwalk to the board of estimate and Taxation.– Mr Burnett has moved that item Do you wish to comment on that Mr Burnett? Oh, the only comment I like to make that in a as you stated mayor earlier and also in your comments coming out of the the recess, is that in addition to this resolution which addressed directly relates to the the average mill rate increase, we will be looking the Finance Committee will be looking along with working with you and finance director, for a special appropriation in the budget year 2017- 2018 for 1.2 million dollars to address the sped funding, so that is something we would look to have take place in the present budget as well as to discussions necessary, additional drawdowns if necessary from the fund balance. Further discussion? Mr. Hempstead. First, I wanna I want to thank the Mayor and council majority leadership for he’s fighting in for a couple of discussions about this and understanding that even though it’s a measure a single person but you do have a voice and appreciate the conversations that were able to have and that because as in committee I supported this I know the discussion came out on the sped money coming out with the fund balance, which I totally agree with. I think we’re trying to make do the best we can because some parents don’t know some people will know the way because we’re an alliance district the way the law works that any funding that we give this city this year or next year we can never give them any less alright so if they ever hear a period of student population goes down or deal stop the program, the city is still charged with giving the same amount of money. It’s a penalty issue that’s the state school system. I appreciate the passion I was in here tonight. I’ve been through a lot of these and more then anybody I get, it would be very nice to take some of this passion and drive to our state House of Representatives and our state the Senate who continues after a dozen years of significantly underfunding our ECS funding. Some of those cities that went up there on that thing gets more money than we do. Danbury almost gets three times the amount of money, so they get three times per student the amount of money that Norwalk does and it’s time we take it to them. They had a chance to fix it before the courts got involved, the courts got involved, they overruled it and right now there’s not doing anything Norwalk should be getting about thirty five million dollars and not about twelve million dollars but it’s time they change the funding on how they treat the city of Norwalk because our citizens don’t have the incomes of those other towns around us, they do not And those towns up there have an average incomes of 250,000 per individual, so I just wanted to get my usual frustration out with how we get

funded by the state and nobody seems to complain that much when we get cut by the state, which we have been.Thank You Mr Mayor Further discussion? Seeing none, all in favor of the resolution, please signify opposed? abstentions? Motion carries Next item on the agenda is item 7F one Who from the Personnel Committee will be taking that? Mr. Stern –A second one clear out Mr. Major I like to make a motion for approval of revised grant coordinator Communications Manager position description and duties –Mr Stern has moved item 7f 1 do wish to comment on it Mr. Stern ? This is the this is the grants coordinator Communications Manager position that’s been back to the Personnel Committee a number of times and was voted on last week to come to a full vote. I think that it makes a sense with the department’s it is adding communications responsibilities to a current position and that is going to be done for less money, so I think all in all it makes sense and I am favor further discussion? Mr. Hempstead –surprised, no, I think my position on this has been pretty clear so I’m not gonna get into any of this I’m just going to suggest a an amendment to this job description. Go to page 2 on a qualifications profile Second sentence, two years of grant-writing. I’m looking to remove the word or equivalent experience is required period and remove the last sentence –And what is the last sentence can you read that for the record?— it says equivalent the combination of experience and/or training may be considered.— Mr. Livingston — I like to comment if you’re finished.— Yeah okay –I just want to say, I’m not gonna support the amendment. I understand why you’re making it I think that the position alreadying requires grant writing or equivalent experience, I mean I’m okay with that because to me the most important qualification for grant writer is the ability to communicate and write clearly and effectively, not that they’ve simply filled out a some sort of grant in the past, so to me it’s unnecessary. It reduces the the pool from which we can select appropriate and the best candidates so I’m not gonna support this Further discussion on the amendment? okay, Mr. Hempstead has moved for an amendment to the Job Description. All in favor of that amendment, raise your hand opposed? abstentions? abstentions? The amendment fails. Further discussion on item 7f 1 –Yeah –Mr. Livingston –yeah I just want to add just a couple comments I’m gonna support this position changed its first and foremost I think this is will result in a savings to the city from what I understand is the neighborhood of about $35,000. The position incorporates the duties and qualifications of a grant coordinator and the duties and qualifications of communications per person, so we get both and and there seems to be the notion out there that we need a full-time grant writer position in the Mayor’s office but the experience has shown that there wasn’t work support the position, so to me, this gives us a chance to rectify the situation and save some money in the process and I just want to acts I did a little looking into this for those who don’t think the city has adequate staff to support the grants. We currently have the equivalent of 3.5 full-time employees working on grants and in this fiscal year the city obtained over 3.1 million dollars in grant funding, so I think we citizen to prove this and move on. Further discussion? Mr. Burnett –Yes, I just like to comment Mayor that

moving this forward is a good thing We’re not adding additional headcount to the Mayor’s office because we’re combining the roles but we also have the flexibility of making change down the line as we see where the focus needs to be, so this is not a end-all be-all situation. We can make adjustments as we go on but if we don’t start at some point we’ll never know what changes we need to make, so this is a start –Good point thank you. First, any further discussion yes Ms Smyth –Yeah I just would like to point out that the the need the city has for communications director and I think what happened last week at Norwalk High school is a really, really good example of why we need a coordinator in communications. There were a lot of rumors falsely flying around that sent parents into a panic, really unnecessarily and I think if we had someone from the Mayor’s office on top of it right from the start to communicate that to the parents when the police are taking over and their job is really not to anyone’s feelings but to make sure the kids are safe and they’re not thinking about that, so I think that that’s a that’s good evidence why we really, really need a communications director. Further discussion? Seeing none. All in favor? Opposed? Abstentions? Motion carries Thank you, Mr. Igneri — I make a motion to adjourn All in favor? Adjourn

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