Greenwich resident calls for mayor's removal

Man accuses mayor of nepotism; Etzler confident village is following protocal.
Heather Chapin-Fowler
Aug 30, 2013


A village resident wants Mayor Lowell Etzler removed from office for allegedly abusing his power by retaliating against his family.

Larry Risner is accusing the mayor of nepotism because Michael Etlzer's property was upgraded with a catch basin in 2010, the same year Etzler's 3 Center St. property flooded, but there was no catch basin installed on Risner's property.

Etzler had little to say publicly about the allegations, but appeared to be confident in his stance that the village is merely following protocal in its dealings with the Risner family.

A story about this issue was published in Friday's Norwalk Reflector.



This is going to be interesting.


Well that town has always been one that only time something gets done or accomplished is if you have the "name" well proven again that being a son of the mayor will get city work done "first & only" pathetic he needs to retire been there too long as it is, but there will just be another town "Etzler"
That steps up to the plate and will show favoritism .... That place will never change , oh and last article the cop said he has to watch what he does because that's the mayors son, WHO CARES as I have learned doesn't matter who your parents are (unless your the mayors son) if your child does wrong then they should be in trouble, cause I'm sure alot of us are law abiding taxpayers the same as mayor Etzler is so if our children aren't going to be given special treatment from the gpd why should his?


Etzler has the job because no one else wanted it! The previous mayor Gary "Whitey" Sprague gave up the job because of constant complaints from residents about drainage and sewage and other issues and could get nothing done because he had no backing... They always say... well... there is no money in the budget for that... and there may not be money for it... but There is that "Surcharge" on the electric bill that can never be explained... I do wish there was a solution to the problems in town... Could the resevoir/lagoon area be renovated and swimming allowed and other activities that they could posibly charge for so they could make money? You need resources to make money... why not try to utilize the resources this town has to make money...

whats up hometown

Larry Risner for mayor is all I have to say

hit the road jack

I thought it was illegal anywhere to have your runoff (water) go onto your neighbors property,it shouldn't be about being the mayors son.


I would like to thank all those following this story via my issues. I can honestly say I never imagined I would be reading my grievances in print here or anywhere else. I am simply a home owner who like most others will always protect their family and home and stand up for what is right. I want to thank the outpouring of support I've received thus far. I'm truly humbled and grateful.
The property issues/flooding I know for sure I tried to find an amicable solution at my expense but was never an option to Mike Etzler and using his words, his father the mayor never thought Mike should do anything for fear he would have flooding problems again himself. Appeared to me after 6 months I would be receiving no amicable solutions with my neighbor so chose to go to city council with this issue. Is interesting that once at council they all said I should have come to them first yet if one reads the city ordinance with regard to this issue it says clearly neighbors should first seek amicable solutions? Regardless I'm pleased to say that the city engineer met with me recently to try and look for solutions. I think he had some great ideas. I also made it clear to him that I didn't have him there just for me or that I had gone to council just for me but there were others on the street with similar problems and I wouldn't feel right if their concerns weren't addressed as well. He assured me he would be conferring with the city administrator and try to come up with a solution. He advised me in no uncertain words "DO NOT BUILD UP THE YARD TO TRY AND SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. That is for all those who simply say build your yard up and run the water onto someone else. Not an option simply creates a problem for someone else. I agree 100% with the engineer. I know that sounds like an easy fix but that is part of why I'm having my issues. I'm now left looking for a way to remove water from two houses from my yard. Enough of that for now as I'm confident we will find a solution..

I wonder if anyone besides me noticed that when Mayor Etzler was interviewed for this article and was asked about all my complaints: drains ran for his son, the police being asked by the mayor to start enforcing a parking ordinance on Center Street for the first time in years starting with my daughter(who just happened to find it unsafe that son Mike Etzler stood in the middle of the street and shot his bow in a residential neighborhood) all he could say is " There was an ordinance passed with regard to parking on Center St and he was confident that they are simply following protocol in dealing with my family? He apparently refused to address all other issues other than parking? Sometimes what you don't say ,says it all..
I've already addressed the drains and the bow incident so let me talk about what the mayor was willing to address:
Let me be clear we were told by police that the mayor himself suddenly after years of not enforcing this parking ordinance now wanted it ,starting with my daughter. This parking ordinance I refer to is one that was adopted in 2004 and involved four streets in Greenwich. The intent of the law according to former mayor Gary Sprague was that our street and the other 3 are considered truck routes where there are factories in the vicinity and they didn't want cars parking close to the street ,BUT in particular at intersections where large trucks must negotiate turns.On Center St. this isn't even a factor.. He also said though the intent of the ordinance was good it truly wasn't necessary on our street but was added anyway. As he said there are sometimes ordinances passed that have unintended problems or inconveniences and at times need to be amended. I can understand and even accept that. This is exactly the case on Center St and I have since spoken to most of the residents on the street and all so far had no problem with overturning this ordinance by petition and I will speak with the rest and approach village council soon to address this via the legislative process. Please keep in mind we have several parking ordinances in the village besides truck routes and most if not all go unaddressed by police. I myself have seen a boat on a trailer in one of the city lots for about 2 weeks. This boat is not only parked incorrectly it has expired license plates(2009) and according to ordinance cannot be parked there overnight? Now seems to me if the Police via the mayor were following protocol would they not have this boat towed? This is part and parcel why I am adamant my daughter is simply being harassed due to filing a complaint against the mayors son and of course the lets not forget it had never been enforced before my daughter filing a complaint against mayors son Mike. If they were really enforcing parking ordinances they would address this boat right down town in full view of everyone!

I want everyone to know especially this mayor, I'm not going away and there are many issues in our community that need addressed as I'm finding out by the many who are approaching me with their own issues. I have seen many myself and rather than view them as problems I prefer to view them in terms of searching for solutions and I'm looking forward to attending council meetings and doing my part to make the community better as a whole. I encourage all village residents to do the same. We none have to be on council or the mayor to make a difference. Sometimes best we're not.

I do agree with the premise of this article that in light of all the conflict of interest, potential "special treatment" and vindictiveness by this mayor it would be a good idea that Mayor Etzler steps down and let someone step up who will put community first and treat each and every tax paying citizen with respect and fairness. Enough of this kind of behavior in our small community. I've read even before my problems here of my hometown being ridiculed by outsiders. I can see why that's happened. I refuse to accept the status quo and say there are many fantastic people wanting to make a difference but when you have those who are willing to keep doing the same old, same old, everything, including a village becomes stagnant. I want to see good things for this town that has given me my proud Midwest beliefs and principles combined with a proud and close family, and lifelong friends. I truly want to see it become once again the vibrant, neighborly, and family oriented community I grew up in. Solutions...not problems will be my approach.
Thank you for reading,
Larry D. Risner


Like I had previously stated, this is going to be interesting. ;)


I Risner59, I'm not from Greenwich but I know a lot of people who have & still reside there..They too have complained about the unfairness of the mayor & how you hear more no we can't then yes we can..I wish you & the citizens best of luck in getting all of this resolved..As tadpole said, "this is going to be interesting."


Etlzer is not going to just resign. A petition of recall needs to be started.

Good Luck!




Not to be a prick or anything but Greenwich also has an ordinance against parking RV's in front of your house. You are required to park them in the backyard. Guess who this baby belongs to? BINGO = Mike Etzler! Appears not only does the city look the other way when he floods his neighbor, appears it's alright to disregard the RV ordinance and I've yet to see the GPD say a word???? Hmmm?
And the boat I posted? It has been in the city parking lot behind the bar for weeks. BTW the mayor stated in an interview he was following protocol with regard to my family and enforcing parking? What about this beauty of a boat that not only is illegally parked the trailer tags it sits on have been expired since 2009??Hmmm? So much for following protocol? Realize this is right down town in his face??
By what I understand it takes 15% of the voters of the most recent election to petition the mayor or any elected official to be removed from office. I'm kind of thinking I have that covered??
Oh, and I would be negligent if I didn't explain the GPD cruiser. You see that cruiser is parked in front of my house in the very spot we were threatened with a ticket by order of the Mayor for parking because babyboy Mike Etzler was cited for shooting a Bow at his house from the street. Granted the GPD was serving a subpoena to my daughter to testify against Mike in his upcoming trial in Norwalk Muni Court on September 11th. ( I encourage anyone bored to go watch this fiasco) but I surely see no emergency or if I might add I neither see the danger in him parking there? Listen anyone following this saga...The police and city has said we can park in our front yards instead of using these parallel parking areas designed for parking because trucks go down this street? There are poles closer to the street then we have ever parked? Point is under the direction of this mayor our village is being laughed at by most who read or hear about it.. If it's the last thing I do I will fight until things change and we get rid of the fools that are giving our once proud village a bad name. Larry