The What: This Week in Southwest Connecticut

The What is your look around southwest Connecticut for the week of March 20.

The What: This Week in Southwest Connecticut
Hope you have a great week! Photo by Kelly Prinz

Monday, March 20

Happy Monday!

This week, we’re diving deep into the Fairfield County Community Wellbeing Index 2023, from CT DataHaven, which aims to help measure the quality of life in the county, which “has been marked by some of the sharpest disparities in the country in terms of the well-being of its population.”

Courtesy of CT Data Haven

Highlights from the report’s findings include:

  • Overall, residents of Fairfield County have a higher quality of life than many across the state and country, but disparities exist based primarily on location, race, and income level. For example, the report’s community index (which includes data points on housing, education, economics, and more) was 881 for Greenwich, 707 for Stamford, 996 for Darien, 740 for Norwalk, 983 for Westport, and 952 for Fairfield.
  • The county is one of the fastest growing in Connecticut, particularly due to growth in Stamford. However, with housing prices and rents rising dramatically, finding affordable housing is a challenge for many families.
  • The report found that “Fairfield County now has the second-highest income inequality among all metropolitan areas in the country,” with the median income in the county’s six wealthiest communities (which include Darien and Westport) up 60% since 1980, while Bridgeport saw its median income only increase by 9%.
  • Achievement in schools is also very varied by race, school district, and if the student is in special education or a multilingual learner. For example, 85% of Westport students scored a passing rate on their English Language Arts Grade 3 test, compared to 71% of Fairfield and Greenwich students, 38% of Stamford students, and 34% of Norwalk students.
  • Health disparities exist across the region, often by race and location, particularly when it comes to environmental impacts. For example, “between 2018 and 2021, 3 percent of children in Bridgeport tested positive for elevated blood lead levels, compared to about 1 percent in Stamford and just one quarter of 1 percent in Greenwich.”

Check out our full story on the report.

Many communities are also in the heart of budget season, with important public hearings taking place this week in Norwalk and Fairfield. Check out our budget coverage so you know what’s happening in your community.

Let’s see what’s going on around the region.


There will be multiple public budget presentations this week including:

Learn more about Stamford’s budget proposal and how you can participate in the process.

Also this week, the Board of Representatives is holding a special meeting on Wednesday, March 22 at 8 p.m. to discuss and vote on a resolution “against white supremacy, bigotry, and racism” after white supremacist literature was placed on residents’ driveways in the Pepper Ridge-Springdale area of Stamford last week.

Other meeting this week include:


On Wednesday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m., the Board of Estimate and Taxation is hosting a public hearing on the proposed budget, which is your chance to weigh in. Take a look at Norwalk’s budget proposal ahead of time to be prepared. Ahead of the public hearing, on Monday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m., there will be a Board of Estimate & Taxation Budget Review which will allow for any discussion on open items.

Also on Wednesday, March 22, starting at 6 p.m., the Planning and Zoning Commission is continuing its public hearing on plans for 1 Cemetery Street. The proposal calls for a 77-unit mixed-use development within two (2) buildings, 98 parking spaces and other on-site and off-site improvements. We’ve been covering this story with NancyonNorwalk, where the vast majority of residents have spoken out against the proposal. Check out the previous coverage on round 1 and round 2 of the public hearing.

Other meetings this week include:


On Saturday, March 25 at 9:30 a.m., there will be a Board of Finance Public Budget Comment Session where residents can weigh in on the proposed budget. Learn more about the Fairfield proposed budget ahead of time.

There will be a Special Representative Town Meeting on Thursday, March 23 at 7 p.m. related to Penfield Pavilion. So far, the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance have approved a plan that keeps the building in place, but remediates the soil under the pavilion—which is a requirement of the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection after the contamination was found—and lowers the grade beams of the building to address a notice of violation from FEMA which was issued after the building was reconstructed not following the agency’s standard. The RTM approval of appropriating $10.6 million to address this issue is the last step in approving this plan.

Other meetings this week include:


There will be a Webinar Panel Discussion - Invasive Species: A growing problem for local biodiversity on Wednesday, March 22 at 7 p.m. The event will feature panelists discussing this topic including Greg Kramer, the Greenwich superintendent of parks and tree warden; Beth Evans, the town’s director of environmental affairs, and Will Kies, the executive director of the Greenwich Land Trust. The event will be moderated by Sarah Coccaro, assistant director of environmental affairs.

Other meetings this week include:


The Board of Finance will meet on Tuesday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m. to discuss the 2023-24 budgets, as well as potential funding for the purchase of Great Island. Learn more about the proposed Darien budget.

Other meetings this week include:


The Board of Education will meet on Monday, March 20 at 6 p.m. and review the findings of the capacity study on all of its school facilities.

Other meetings this week include:

Please note: All of these agendas and information here are current as of Sunday night. Meeting times and agendas may get adjusted throughout the week.

Thank you for reading!

If you are interested in being a part of our reporting or just want to share your thoughts, please reach out at

Have a great week,

Kelly Prinz

Founder, Reporter at Coastal Connecticut Times