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November 17, 2019

Politics

Norwalk's new plastic bag ban is in effect.
Gov. Ned Lamont has overhauled his communications staff.
Chris Setaro's campaign for Danbury mayor has raised more than $129,000.
An advertising campaign, including these city bus placards, promotes Norwalk's new plastic bag ban.

Around The Towns: Norwalk Bag Ban, Lamont's New Message From Top, Danbury Mayor Race Ramps Up

Norwalk is the latest community to adopt a ban on plastic bags.

Effective July 8, the new city ordinance prohibits the use of plastic carryout bags and sets a 10-cent charge for paper carryout bags.

The ordinance applies to any person, business or nonprofit entity that sells or provides merchandise, goods, food and beverages, or materials in the City of Norwalk.

To remind residents that the ban is not just for groceries, the city hired TFI Envision as part of an advertising campaign to promote the new law.

A “Bring Your Own Bag” message, on posters and bus placards, is in both English and Spanish. To ensure that the message is distributed throughout the city, TFI Envision developed a series of materials that can be downloaded from the City of Norwalk website.

TFI Envision also designed bilingual banners for the exterior and interior of the Norwalk Transit Buses, carrying the “Bring Your Own Bag” messaging daily throughout the city.

Gov. Ned Lamont Overhauls Communications, Legislative Staffs

Jonathan Harris, who dropped out of the governor’s race in April 2018, will move from the Office of Policy and Management to Gov. Ned Lamont's office as senior advisor. Harris has had an extensive political career as mayor, state senator, deputy treasurer and former Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner. Harris was brought over to the Capitol late in the legislative session to help negotiate proposed bills and the state budget. Harris succeeds Colleen Flanagan Johnson, who will leave at the end of July to return to Cigna.

Maribel La Luz, Lamont’s communications director, will move to the Department of Economic and Community Development. 

Max Reiss, who joined NBC 30 as Connecticut’s chief political reporter in 2014 and hosted "Face the Facts," will become Lamont’s director of communications on July 22 -- coinciding the state legislature's expected return to adopt a bond package and consider overriding vetoes. 

“These personnel adjustments will allow us to leverage the experience and expertise of these individuals in a way that best supports my administration’s goals going forward,” Lamont said.

In other administration roles:

  • -- Rob Blanchard, who has been Lamont’s traveling press secretary since the campaign, will become the deputy communications director.
  • -- Paul Mounds will continue in his role as chief operating officer, and assume new responsibilities as deputy chief of staff.
  • -- Jonny Dach, who was deputy chief of staff, will continue in his role as director of policy.
  • -- Ryan Drajewicz remains chief of staff.
  • -- Bob Clark continues as general counsel.

“Following my first legislative session, I conducted a holistic review to evaluate my office structure and needs relative to my goals. Both Jonathan and Paul’s expertise and historical knowledge of state government are natural fits in these new roles," Lamont said.

Danbury Mayoral Candidate Raising Roof

Not only has he out-fundraised Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton -- an 18-year incumbent -- but Chris Setaro has raised more campaign money than any other candidate in Danbury, Democrat or Republican, during the past 20 years.  

Setaro, a Democrat, has raised $129,273 since the start of his campaign with more than 700 donations and $100,445 cash on hand.

“I’m thankful and humbled by the outpouring of support for our campaign," Setaro said in a press statement. “The amount of grassroots support we have received is overwhelming."