Mayor Harry Rilling on Special Events Permits
As Mayor, I receive comments, both good and bad, on a daily basis. It comes in the form of emails, calls, social media posts, letters, and face-to-face as I go around Norwalk. I enjoy hearing directly from residents as it helps me check the pulse of what is happening around the city. Recently, what I have heard time and time again is that the permitting process at City Hall is frustrating. The city had planned for a permit signing day, but due to miscommunication, it unfortunately did not happen, and for that, I apologize. I hear and understand the concerns raised by wonderful volunteers who give their time, energy and talent into planning events for our community to enjoy.
I am committed to revising and refreshing the permitting process in Norwalk and am pleased to announce that we have begun developing a new online permitting system. When the system goes live, obtaining a special event permit will be a streamlined process that is easy to understand and use. This will lessen the time volunteers spend chasing signatures around the city.
In the interim, at my request, city staff is making themselves available for monthly special permit signing days. This will be a one-stop shop for those who need permits signed by city departments. These events will initially be limited to Norwalk PTOs and PTAs to help accommodate the multiple events planned throughout the end of the year. The first event will be on October 23 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. The second event will be held November 8 from 4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Both will be held in Room 231 at City Hall. We will continue to schedule permit signing events at varying times and days each month to accommodate residents.
I am mindful of the time commitment it takes not only to plan an event but to ensure it is safe for attendees. The permitting process needs to be as easy as possible and should not be the one thing holding-up an event. I know when we launch online permitting that residents will enjoy its simplicity and ease of use. Please understand this will be a fluid process, and we will continue to revise the online permitting system based on your feedback.
It is important to remember that special events held at a school or on city property require different permits and signatures. If there are any questions or concerns about your event, please reach out to me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (203) 854-7701 so we may answer your questions quickly and efficiently. I look forward to continuing to work together to improve the permitting process.