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Turn on the Light — next man up in Norwalk

By Joe Centers • Nov 12, 2019 at 12:00 PM

There will be a new face in Norwalk city hall starting in January.

Congratulations to Dave Light, who stepped up with a plan and played it to perfection. The retired police chief decided retirement wasn’t enough. He wanted more and he got it.

Light, a Democrat, ran against two-term mayor Rob Duncan. Light had nothing to lose and he threw everything he had into the election and won by an unofficial count of 2,121 to 1,501.

Those number say it all. For a newcomer to politics to defeat an eight-year sitting mayor by that kind of margin makes a statement.

As the days and months go by everybody will try to analyze those numbers.

But the thing I keep hearing the most is that, simply, it was time for a change. The same thing happened eight years ago when Duncan stepped into politics for the first time and defeated Sue Lesch, who, by the way, was a two-term sitting mayor.

The big talk when Duncan ran the first time was jobs, jobs, jobs.

This time, Light focused on the budget. He said in a debate at Norwalk High School when he takes office he will lock himself in a room for two days with finance director Michele Reeder and go over the budget line by line — just like all of us do at home with our own budgets.

Of course, that is easier said than done. Light has a big job ahead of him but he is willing to go all in.

Congratulations on winning and good luck.

But let’s not forget the eight years Duncan gave Norwalk. It’s not easy and a lot of the time you are in a no-win situation. Thanks for your service to the city.

As they say in the sports world, next man up. 

And Dave Light is the man.

Turnout numbers low

There were a number of races on the ballot — the race for mayor in Norwalk, New London and North Fairfield, a race for the Western Reserve school board and races in all of the townships — but it wasn’t enough to get even one out of three voters to the ballot.

The unofficial turnout was 32.95 percent — 10,498 out of the registered 31,861 voters turned in a ballot.

It will be different next year with a presidential election.

Key races

There were a number of big races around the area, including two more races for mayor:

One came in the village of North Fairfield where incumbent Joshua A. Radcliffe defeated Daniel Traxler 26-15 in the race for mayor. The unusual thing about this race was both were write-in candidates. 

Just last month a special meeting was held to discuss mayoral residency issues of Radcliffe.

Ultimately, council decided Radcliffe would remain mayor. 

“It has come to all of our attentions, not just mine, that the mayor, Josh Radcliffe, does not reside in the village and has not resided in the village since Sept. 21,” said Mary Millis, council president. “According to the auditor’s website, the house that he was renting from Mr. (Tom) Leto was sold.”

The mayor said he didn’t expect the process of moving into a new home to take as long as it has and didn’t think it necessary to inform the council.

Now the voters have spoken and Radcliffe is a winner again.

In New London, newcomer Robert Thomas defeated incumbent John W. Martin 305-192 in a battle that has been lighting up Facebook for the last year. This became personal and nasty. Hopefully, Thomas can step in and mend some fences.

Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at [email protected]


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