Coffee with the mayor of Norwalk

Norwalk+community+members+were+invited+to+join+the+mayor+at+Panera+Bread+for+an+open%2C+public+forum+session+on+Wednesday.+

Clarissa Arceo

Norwalk community members were invited to join the mayor at Panera Bread for an open, public forum session on Wednesday.

Clarissa Arceo, Community Editor

Mayor Rick Ramirez invited Norwalk residents to join him for coffee and pastries at Panera Bread on Feb. 9 at 3 p.m.

The planned event lasted for two hours where about 70 people gathered to sip coffee and address their concerns to the mayor.

At the start of the event, Ramirez acknowledged other important guests attending the event with a round of applause.

This includes members from Norwalk’s chamber of commerce and officers from the police department.

Ramirez’s introduction was followed by an open mic/forum for community members to voice their inquiry.

The main concerns for participating residents centered around the vacant plots of land throughout the city as well as unfinished infrastructure projects.

The mayor of Norwalk said that 15-20 infrastructure projects are currently underway.

“We are actively pursuing new tenants and building on vacant sites for businesses Norwalk wants and needs,” Ramirez said, “the city council is committed to continue working on our community.”

A second Chick-fil-A location is said to be in the process of potentially being built in the Southern side of Norwalk in place of an abandoned OfficeMax.

An automated car wash service is said to be looking into being constructed along Imperial Hwy.

The city will also be moving forward with plans to redevelop the civic center in Norwalk and expand Norwalk’s entertainment district.

Multiple buildings will be constructed for residential and commercial use including shops, restaurants, a public plaza and more.

“We have an opportunity to raise the city’s economic vibrancy,” Mayor Ramirez said, “We will continue to push through the pandemic and revamp our city site to get Norwalk on the map.”

Mayor Ramirez emphasized public safety and mentioned that the Sheriff’s Department was held accountable at the last city council meeting.

Ramirez said, “public safety is number one in our community. We’ve invested a lot of time, energy and money into our police department and will make sure to stay proactive on public safety issues.”

The event concluded with a thank you speech from the mayor along with an invitation to spread the word on an upcoming job fair being held on Feb. 14 at the Norwalk Arts and Sports Complex.

Mayor Ramirez said he plans on hosting future events at a variety of locations throughout the city of Norwalk to continue interacting with residents and supporting local businesses on a personal level.

“We appreciate everyone who came out to this event, it means a lot to hear directly from the community,” Ramirez said, “I will continue to make myself accessible to the people of Norwalk, just shoot me a call.”