Recently Mayoral candidate Vinny Mangiacopra has had much to say about business development in Norwalk while sighting his economic achievements in Monroe. As a resident of Monroe, I would like to set the record straight. In Monroe, Mangiacopra accomplished absolutely nothing. In fact during his brief tenure as economic development coordinator, Monroe lost far more business than it acquired. Those losses included large companies such as Vitramon/Vishay, Stevenson Lumber Co., Robohand Inc. and others that cost citizens thousands of dollars in lost tax revenues.
Mangiacopra was hired by the Town of Monroe in 2006 but the story of how and why he was hired begins long before that. Although the newly created position of economic development coordinator called for candidates to have experience in both business and grants writing, the then twenty-something Mangiacopra had neither. His background was purely political, working for Bridgeport Mayor Fabrizi who was later documented in Federal Court of cocaine abuse and then Bridgeport Probate Judge Paul Ganim who is the brother of convicted felon and former Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim. I believe that it is very important for Norwalk voters to take note that these same names Fabrizi and Ganim are now reappearing as large donors to the Mangiacopra campaign.
Although many in Monroe were suspect and opposed to his hiring, Monroe’s then First Selectman Andrew Nunn was adamant that Mangiacopra be hired. So Mangiacopra left Bridgeport for Monroe and just a short time later Nunn would leave Monroe for Bridgeport to become its Chief Administrative Officer at nearly double the salary he earned as First Selectman. Many viewed this move as a quid pro quo arrangement and a political sellout of Monroe citizens.
After a while Mangiacopra’s lack of experience, performance and ties to big city politics caught up with him and Monroe had had enough. A new first selectman would ease him out first by cutting his hours and then by eliminating his position entirely.