It's 'a good day' as Hinchey takes over as Norwich mayor

Norwich - Mayor Deberey Hinchey didn't spend much time in her City Hall office during her first day on the job.

Good thing, too. She had no land line phone, no city cellphone, no computer, no secretary and no desk calendar. The walls are also bare.

The situation will change rapidly. Starting today, a temporary secretary will be on duty and equipment will be hooked up.

Hinchey met with Human Resources Director Brigid Marks Wednesday to set the schedule for hiring a permanent secretary. More than 100 people applied for the position - normally a political appointment, but Hinchey preferred to go through the formal selection process. Hinchey will interview finalists the week of Dec. 16.

After having her formal portrait taken Wednesday morning, Hinchey went from meeting to meeting Wednesday, ending at her stark office at 6:30 p.m.

"It was a good day," she said.

At the Norwich Community Development Corp. office Wednesday afternoon, Hinchey met with a group of city police, business owners and NCDC officials to start planning a new St. Patrick's Day parade for Norwich. The group, which includes Harp & Dragon Irish Pub co-owner Scott Capano and Miria Toth, NCDC office and marketing manager, hopes to hold the parade on March 9.

Hinchey embraced the idea as a great way to bring people downtown during a normally quiet time of year. The group is very well-organized, she said. Community Policing supervisor Sgt. Peter Camp is on the committee, along with Officer Ryan O'Connell.

"That's a pretty exciting plan," Hinchey said.

Today, Hinchey is meeting with officials from United Community and Family Services to discuss the agency's expansion of the Edward & Mary Lord Medical Center on Town Street, and she will attend City Manager Alan Bergren's weekly staff meeting with city department heads.

On Friday, Hinchey will trek to a Connecticut Conference of Municipalities forum for newly elected mayors and then will attend an award presentation by the American Planning Association for the city's Plan of Conservation and Development. Hinchey served on the POCD committee as an alderwoman.

Hinchey doesn't yet have an electronic calendar, but it's filling up for December. On her "short list" of plans is to meet with the Connecticut Tigers to discuss the minor league baseball team's activities and plans for the coming year.

She plans to attend the Leffingwell House Museum's Colonial Christmas program this Sunday, and the local chapter of the Young Marines invited her to their Sunday dinner that night.

"So far, I have been met with great enthusiasm," Hinchey said.

c.bessette@theday.com

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