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Shamas Returns As Ganim’s Chief Of Staff

February 24th, 2017 · 10 Comments · Analysis and Comment, News and Events

Dan Shamas, who served as chief of staff for Joe Ganim from 1997-2000, will return to his former position for JG2. Ganim made this announcement Friday afternoon. Shamas will be paid $129,778.
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Challenging Ganim’s Extra Benefits

February 24th, 2017 · 3 Comments · News and Events

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

Joe Ganim’s office insisted the returned mayor received no special treatment when he was allowed to pick up where he left off with his accrued benefits after resigning in 2003 following a corruption conviction.

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Deputy Chief Honis-’Waiter At The Last Supper’-Retiring–’A Cop’s Cop’

February 24th, 2017 · 11 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Law Enforcement, News and Events

Jimmy Honis

Jimmy Honis during his police sabbatical circa 2012. No, he did not sire Kid Rock.

Deputy Chief Jimmy Honis, the legendary 47-year veteran of the city Police Department who took on bad guys with brain and brawn, battled police chiefs who didn’t want him and survived local and federal investigations, will reportedly retire next Friday, according to several city sources. And with it will come a city payout involving accumulated personal days, comp time, holiday and unused vacation that sources say will be at least $500,000, in addition to an annual pension of more than $100K. He’ll retire as deputy chief of patrol.
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City, Fire Union Reach Concession Agreement, Will Cops Step Up? Ganim Appoints Thode Fire Chief

February 24th, 2017 · 15 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Budget, Firefighters, Law Enforcement, News and Events

Ganim, fire officials

Ganim with fire officials.

UPDATE: Mayor named Thode fire chief today (Friday)

Mayor Joe Ganim on Wednesday was joined by local Fire Union President Robert Whitbread and acting Chief Richard Thode to announce the city and union have reached a wage agreement on a contract extension through 2020. Ganim says the agreement will save the city more than $1 million over 12 months. The first year calls for a zero wage increase.
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Ganim Wants Bridgeport To Be Regional Distribution Hub For Tesla

February 23rd, 2017 · 13 Comments · Development and Zoning, News and Events

Mayor Joe Ganim is trying to position the city as the regional distribution hub for automaker Tesla. On Wednesday the mayor submitted testimony to the state legislature’s Transportation Committee. “I told the Tesla executives when we met, I would strongly advocate for Bridgeport and our growing green-tech and clean energy industry sector to be the regional distribution hub for its electric vehicles.” Ganim supports legislation to make that happen.
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Himes Addresses Victims Of Trump’s Stockholm Syndrome Presidency

February 23rd, 2017 · 23 Comments · Analysis and Comment, National Politics, News and Events

Himes, city hall

Jammed City Council Chambers for Himes meeting. Photo courtesy of Steve Donen.

Is the bar so low for Donald Trump’s presidency that it’s caused a perverted form of Stockholm Syndrome for a majority of Americans? Will just a mundane act be perceived as an astonishing accomplishment? Wednesday night Congressman Jim Himes greeted a passionately friendly crowd in a packed City Council Chambers to address their fears about Trump’s presidency.
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Who Are Watchdogs On City Council?

February 23rd, 2017 · 11 Comments · City Budget, City Council, News and Events

Lee, Himes

John Lee addressed the City Council Tuesday night. Wednesday night, shown here, he addressed Jim Himes at the Congressman’s town hall meeting in Bridgeport. Photo courtesy Steve Krauchick, Doing It Local.

City fiscal examiner John Marshall Lee Tuesday night encouraged City Council members to step up their watchdog roles in the city budget process. From Lee:

Three weeks ago Kenneth Flatto, City Finance Director, sent out the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for FY 2016 as required along with his letter to us all before the 125 pages of financial statements and Notes. This annual audit is a document with much serious information that indicates trends important to taxpayers.

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City Reaches Tax Settlement With Trash-To-Energy Plant

February 22nd, 2017 · 7 Comments · City Budget, Development and Zoning, News and Events

Wheelabrator

File photo of Wheelabrator facility fronted by employees.

The city has resolved a 10-year assessment battle with Wheelabrator Bridgeport, the waste-to-energy facility in Bridgeport’s West End serving 25 municipalities in three Connecticut counties. The settlement ends a tax appeal lawsuit that made its way through various state courts in which Wheelabrator asserted a “grossly inflated valuation that the city simply fabricated.” For background see here. The issue dates back to the mayoral administration of John Fabrizi.
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