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2017 Key Year For City Council, School Board And Ganim

December 28th, 2016 · 63 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Budget, City Council, City Politics, Education

City Council 2015

The 2015 City Council class faces reelection.

Who says the off-cycle 2017 election season will be a yawner? We posed this question four years ago–the last municipal off-season campaign year–and it was a screamer. All endorsed Democrats for City Council and Board of Education were flamed in primaries, part of it electors’ disgust for the political establishment. What’s on tap come new year? Twenty City Council seats and six Board of Education positions.

In Bridgeport, the mayor has a four-year term. The City Council, two-year terms. The school board, four-year terms staggered.

Positioning has already begun for the 2017 election calendar. The school board, by virtue of citywide races, heads the ticket. The 2013 school board class has three incumbents, Democrat Howard Gardner, Republican Joe Larcheveque and Working Families Party Sauda Baraka. Democrats Dave Hennessey and Andre Baker were also elected in 2013, but resigned their seats. Hennessey resigned as a Republican and Mayor Joe Ganim filled his spot with Annette Segarra-Negron. Baker, who also is a member of the State House, was replaced by Rafael Fonseca.

So the big question is how many will seek reelection? Larcheveque would do so as chair of the maladjusted school board that has had four leaders in four years. With state-mandated minority party representation at play, Larcheveque’s biggest rival would come from the Working Families Party depending on the quality of the candidates.

One thing’s for sure, Maria Pereira, who was elected to a four-year term in 2015, will be in the thick of things both on the school board and City Council level. She is also Democratic leader of the 138th District, which leads us to the City Council where Upper East Side incumbents Anthony Paoletto and Nessah Smith face reelection without Pereira’s support. They’ve had a falling-out. Who will Pereira back for school board and City Council?

Several other questions also remain.

Will City Council President Tom McCarthy run again?

McCarthy, Bass Pro

City Council President Tom McCarthy, standing in front of Bass Pro Shops last year, ponders another plunge in 2017.

How about Jim Holloway, the council’s longest-serving member?

What will Black Rockers Scott Burns and Katie Bukovsky do? Burns, co-chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, endured a noisy fiscal session this year representing the city’s highest-taxed neighborhood. Will holding the line on taxes in 2017 amelioriate the tax angst for Burns’ reelection?

2017 is also a key year for Ganim after a challenging fiscal year. He needs to hold the line on taxes to create some neighborhood stability and confidence in the business community and potential investors, especially if he’s looking to position beyond Bridgeport in the 2018 statewide election cycle.

Far fetched? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s Joe. And with Joe, ya never know.

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63 Comments so far ↓

  • Maria Pereira

    Every City Council member needs to be challenged. Every one of them voted for the budget with five voting against the tax increase in the hopes of gaining some cover. The budget is based on the revenue, which included a 29% mil rate, therefore voters must be educated about these five members’ ploy.

    Based on what occurred in McCarthy’s challenge against Moore, I think he is vulnerable depending on the challengers. He easily lost Blackham School, which was surprising.

  • Jimfox

    The 130th is waiting with bated breath!

  • Maria Pereira

    Anthony Paoletto and Nessah Smith’s campaign literature claimed the following:
    - They were going to make sure that City Hall held the line on taxes, but then voted for the largest tax increase in Bridgeport’s history.

    - They were going to make sure our neighborhood and magnet schools get the support they needed, and then they voted to not give our schools one additional dollar.

    - They were going to ensure we had an increased police presence. We have had an outrageous spike in crime since August including murders, the largest mass shooting in Bridgeport’s history, a drug raid, a rape, break-ins, assaults, robberies, etc.

    - They both committed not to vote for Tom McCarthy for President. Anthony literally danced in my living room pumping his fist that McCarthy must go. At their first meeting they both voted for McCarthy as president. How did 19-year-old Anthony end up on budget and appropriations? That’s easy, he cut a deal with McCarthy that he would vote for him if he got appointed to B & A.

    Politicians get one chance to lie to me. They do not get a second.

  • Local Eyes

    So much for the second-chance society.
    Here’s why 2017 is a big year: OWNERSHIP is the best antidote for automation, which is becoming a big threat to the Bridgeport worker. I want Bridgeport to become the place where workers enjoy the fattest margins in the history of the internet! I want Bridgeport to be the place where workers always have a way to make money. The world is flooded with dollars but too few are here. If you’re an owner, you can’t be replaced. The factory is in your cell phone, all you need is a shipping dock:
    http://www.Door24.mobi

  • Lisa Parziale

    Lennie, you nailed it. Then why wouldn’t you, you’re the only one with the same knowledge and memories of years gone by. Of course other than me. LOL. Without giving too much away, the eyes and ears of potential challengers are on the CC 24/7. The budget will be the game-changer for those members living in higher-taxed areas. The tsunami that wiped out the council a few years ago was the direct result of actions on behalf of Finch. Ganim has no coattails, at least not in more than half the City, so the nomination may again be the kiss of death.

  • Robert Teixeira

    I came back just to address this post. I find it odd, well not odd just typical politics, crossing the bridges that suit their political lines, except for Andy. I hadn’t read a “negative” word for him. You are consistent. I didn’t want it to get lost, so I’m posting it here. It refers to “Merry Christmas! City to Maria.”

    Steve, it’s obvious you’re not a supporter of Maria. Like many others on this blog. You know who you are. I’m not one to say Maria is a Bill Clinton of politics. Yes you can say she burns bridges. But let’s not forget all those bridges you named benefited from Maria’s hard work, strong campaigning that helped them get elected. So you can say she burned the bridges she constructed. She went up against the status quo and lost by 41 votes, and carried Gomes over Bradley, whom she’s fighting against on the status quo of the BOE, right?

    Everyone on this blog seemed to have been in his (Gomes’) corner against Bradley, the status quo coming out of the Democrat machine in Bridgeport. I didn’t hear anyone thank Maria for helping Gomes in his victory or for that matter the burnt bridges she helped get elected including the Mayor. Steve, you know, the guy you seem to be praising now. But your opinion of him during the campaign was, well you know.

    Most likely she is going to beat Stallworth in the next election. These attacks on Maria are an attempt to discredit her, in my opinion. What happens when the appeal judges overturn the recent decision that Ganim did in fact overreach his authority by appointing BOE members? It’s a strong possibility, because it’s not about law. It’s about interpretation.

    As for the BPS system, everyone seems to agrees it’s “failing.” They could use more funding, better buildings, teaching methods, equipment etc., leadership that will bring meaningful changes needed to educate Bridgeport students. The dropout rate and the level of education coming out of the schools are horrible.

    Change doesn’t come easy and not without a fight from the status quo, I would think. On one hand you on this blog complain about the need for change in the BOE, Bridgeport’s council and DTC leadership, which you blame for the state of Bridgeport’s affairs, and on the other hand you complain about a person leading that fight for changes in these areas.

    Maria was not alone in the BOE fight; I believe there are three other members in this fight with her. Are the others members equally wrong as Maria is in regards to the actions she lead, like the lawsuit against Ganim’s appointees?

    I’m a simple person so I ask simple questions. Who fires themselves? Why would anyone run for the BOE and then vote for the state to take over? Why couldn’t the BOE do its job and vote for the replacement members?

    Maria is just one vote. If she was the sole anarchist on the BOE, Bradley would have an 8 to 1 on his agendas. So there would have been no reason for his boycott to remove her from the board, or the request to ask the state to take over, right?

    I’m not saying Maria’s actions are right or wrong. I’m not a judge or jury. I’m saying she was not alone in that BOE fight. But she is being singled out, and this tells me these attacks on her and the negative comments on this blog have nothing to do with her actions on the BOE or the DTC and what’s best for the city and its students or whom she’s currently in disagreement with. But these attacks are personal in nature. I know this because she is not alone in her actions in the BOE fight. Is she?

    If not, then the omitted BOE members demonstrates it’s just a personal attack on Maria and not about the BOE issues, because if Maria’s guilty so are the others members who are engaged in this fight with her, and her burning the bridges of those who fall in line with the status quo.

    It’s not a reflection on her but those who charge their comments against her even those who align with themselves and their position. It also demonstrates you are part of the status quo because you’re attacking the attacker of the status quo. PS who do you think would make a stronger advocate in Hartford and fight for Bridgeport, its BPS funding, and what racial group would benefit from it? Stallworth or Maria?

    Yes she’s a strong advocate against charter schools, not that I agree with her on it, but as a BOE elected member I would hope they all are, because if they aren’t then they are not doing their job.

    Isn’t she just doing what Steve is doing, just a 180? Steve attacks them during the campaign, but praises them if they are victorious. Maria praises during the campaign then attacks them if victorious. Or not. :)

    You seem to have a common feeling about the BOE is dysfunctional, the City Council is a rubber stamp, DTM is corrupt, and the mayor is Joe. Yet Maria’s singled out for burning (fighting against) those bridges.

    You voice no negative opinions on them. Yet you bash Maria for actually putting skin in the game and fighting against them, what most on the blog are bitching against. SMH.

    Since everybody likes to give Maria advice, I shall give her mine. Don’t burn the whole bridge, burn the line you don’t agree with. (Case in point, I don’t agree with you on your Charter Schools position. You try to convince me of your positions, if you can’t you block (burn) that line but keep the bridge open and the lines that are agreed upon. If you find a better bridge with more lines in common abandon that old bridge for the new one, don’t burn it. Let the new bridge benefit from you and what you have to offer. Maybe those old bridges will have to change some of the line your way.)

    Maria what you fail to understand in my opinion is Charter schools are public schools just the Republican version of how the state should spend taxpayers’ money on education, while the so-called Billionaires and Millionaires want to benefit from taxpayers’ money spent on education, so do the people who currently benefit from the TRILLIONS spent on Public educations in the US.

    As a BOE member you and others members have no say over charter schools expansion. True competition raises the education bar.

    As for those who say Ganim’s not doing anything for the blacks or minorities, what segment group was getting ripped off by paying higher property taxes than they should have because the property revaluation was being kicked down the road?

    • Steven Auerbach

      Robert Teixeira, You are correct, you are simple. It is so funny your posting in support of Maria. She burns bridges. After that nothing else matters. Her constituents are tired of her door knocking praising and destroying candidates. Thank you for visiting OIB again.

      You are correct, I am not a Pereira supporter, but I will not malign her when I feel she has done something positive. Thank you for singling me out on your post as though what I said were out of line. One thing for me Robert Teixeira. I was not on the receiving end for anything from Finch or Ganim. That being said, my loyalty is not a lifelong given as someone mentioned to me when I supported the takeover of the school board and they said really, Mary-Jane Foster doesn’t and I looked at them as in are you kidding me. I don’t care what she supports. I supported her for Mayor, she lost. What is that a lifetime commitment as though there is something in it for me?

      I am pleased you support Maria; that with Jim Fox is good. I would hate to think she was out there on her own though she is a strong woman and would do well on her own.

      Robert, there is nothing wrong with being simple. Those are the people Maria does well with. Didn’t Ganim throw you out of his headquarters and then you supported Finch? I was in Ganim headquarters many times during the campaign and I was a huge Finch supporter. They never threw me out of their headquarters. During campaigns people say things and afterwards they come together for the greater good of the city. I supported Tom McCarthy yet after the primary I stood alone wearing a bright red Marilyn Moore sweatshirt. It’s politics. I do and say what I do, and you say and do what you do. It’s all good.

      Donald Day–great analogy!

      • Robert Teixeira

        Yes, I’m simple. Of course no one throws you under a bus, because you stand for nothing. You talked about how constituents are tired of her door knocking and praising candidates and then destroying them. (The truth is they are afraid of Maria knocking on doors. When I say they I mean those whom Maria is against. Are you looking for some new shirts?) When you put on that bright red Marilyn Moore shirt after you tried to unseat her, do you think she really cared? Moreover if you say people say things during campaigns and afterwards they come together for the greater good of the city, then why is Bridgeport in such a mess? You didn’t put on the bright red Marilyn Moore shirt for the greater good of the city. You put it on for the greater good of Steve, just like you visited Ganim’s headquarters. Do you think Ganim was happy to see someone who was openly campaigning against him at his headquarters? He threw me out and I was trying to help him. When you visited Ganim campaign headquarters did you want him to win? I would bet 80% of the supporters at Ganim’s were just there because it was the only political game in town for them, and 15% were there to gain something. The remaining 5%, well that is a whole other level. I say 90% had been hoping Ganim would lose. I remember Ganim being abandoned alone shaking hands with people waiting to dump their garbage. Sometime it seemed the friend he had was the dog he adopted. (I guess the analogy is true, if you want a friend in politics get a dog.) Again why did you go to Ganim’s headquarters? I know it wasn’t to support him in his bid for Mayor. You supported Finch, right? As for Maria she didn’t go in to lose. I’m a simple man but Maria’s not, and that is why she is being attacked by you. In my simple opinion. PS My personal opinion, Maria really didn’t care for Joe, but unlike others in Ganim’s campaign headquarters, they really didn’t want him to win and they campaigned like it. I’ll bet it was not the case for Maria in Ganim’s campaign or any other person she aligned with and campaigned for, like Gomes. I don’t know if the constituents are tired of Maria knocking on doors like you said, but I do know the people she’s knocking on those doors for are pleased.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Yes Robert Teixeira, everything you said is correct. You were thrown out of Ganim’s headquarters because you were considered nuts. Maybe Maria was one who didn’t think so, though I am sure she did as she was a huge Ganim supporter at that time. I am sorry you do not like my politics, as though I care. Certainly you know I am not interested in yours. I think it is great you support Maria, it shows the caliber of her followers. Now enjoy your vacation and when you visit again, it will be a pleasure trying to figure you out.

          Thank you Mr. Teixeira for taking an otherwise dull post and making it interesting conversation. Good for Maria, Jim Fox and Robert Teixeira, three former Ganim sycophants. That Jim Fox is an ass kisser.

          You made my day. Thank You, R.T.!

          • Robert Teixeira

            Why was I considered nuts? I want down to Ganim’s headquarters several times. I waited patiently for someone to come up to me. It took several weeks before someone actually asked me how I can help the campaign. That showed me there was no real leadership there, just all self-serving. I would reconsider them thinking I was nuts, to thinking what a self-serving group I was with. Maybe that’s why it took so long for someone to actually ask me how my volunteering could help get Ganim elected. When you walked in Ganim’s campaign headquarters, everybody knew what camp you were with, me not so much. (I hope you were there to conspire with others for Finch or against Finch.) The only thing nuts in Ganim’s headquarter was me thinking everybody there was in support of Ganim’s bid for mayor, but then again I didn’t know you were a Finch supporter either. I have no problem with your type of politics, self-serving. (They are the most sought-after politicians, easy to control.) I can’t always say it served the city well, it would be up to their master, everybody has the own perception of things. Yes I am simple person. You want to hear something funny (nuts)? When the “black community” of OIB attacked Maria for using the term Uncle Tom I was wondering why they were attacking her for it. I had no I idea it was derogatory. I always thought the term was coined for the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin and referred to the character Tom. So I took the term as someone who would not be the white man cracker (punisher). Someone who was punished not for doing actual labor asked, but rather stood up to the master on moral grounds and was punished for it. And no matter how much he was punished he refused to be turned into their cracker. In case my cracker term is not the same as others, cracker was the one who would whip people. Then again I walked into Ganim’s campaign headquarter thinking everybody there wanted and was there to help him to win. I mean why else would they be there, STEVE. Bam I’m out. Enjoy, people.

          • Maria Pereira

            Steve, you are so sophomoric.

        • Steven Auerbach

          You go, Robert! You fight for Maria. You got spunk! You da man!

          • Robert Teixeira

            I fight for justice. Maria can defend herself. But I think I know whom you’re fighting for. It’s apparent Maria will knock on doors for the council seats in her district. I would assume you are trying to curb or marginalize her efforts with the statement about her constituents tired of her campaigning and destroying. HMMM! Who was that for? Personally I think she should lead a revolution-style campaign this coming up election season, not just for her district council seats but for the entire city, the candidates for all 20 council seats, six BOE seats and any other offices up for elections. A campaign to retake the city from what can only be described as decades of decay and failure that needs to change. The air is right for a revolution, and Maria has the skills to lead the charge. To quote Ron, “you are either with Maria or you are against her.” I heard she has a knack for raising funds, too. :)

          • Robert Teixeira

            Since I’m simple I’m not quite sure what seats are coming up in this next election cycle, but whatever it is, it’s R.E.V.O.L.U.T.I.O.N.

      • Jimfox

        I love Maria, She saved the 138th district from those housebound do-nothing agoraphobics! I will support her if and when she runs for Mayor!

        • Maria Pereira

          Jimfox, I honestly don’t believe there is another town committee like ours. We really are trying to create a culture of working together to help our community and neighbors.

          We have kept all our campaign promises, at least the majority of us have. The Fonsecas broke our campaign promise to not be beholden to Testa, Ganim, and the powers that be. The voters will be informed of this during campaign season.

          I have heard rumors that Dollie Fonseca and Gage Frank are teaming up to run for City Council. It is just a rumor, however they will clearly not be supported by us.

          I am already working on finding our two City Council candidates. We are developing a questionnaire for all candidates seeking our support, which they will be required to sign and date.

          • Maria Pereira

            After Hennessey, Baker, Ganim, Bradley. Smith and Paoletto, I have learned my lesson. You will place your position in writing, sign and date it BEFORE you gain our support.

            My father taught me your word had to mean something, however clearly many Bridgeport politicians do not share that philosophy.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Gage Frank and Dollie Fonseca running for council? That is awesome. You wouldn’t support them? They are running against Nessah and Anthony? That is very interesting. Do you always speak for your committee without running it by them? Do they not have an opinion? Mr. Aicea?

          • Eric Alicea

            I’m not supporting the incumbents, and the other two don’t look good either. I would like to state I was not bullied into this way of thinking.

          • Maria Pereira

            Steve, as if you would know what the members of the 138th TC and myself did or did not discuss.

            You know what they say about those who make assumptions.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Eric D. Alicea, you were not bullied. you do not like the candidates all four of them and when Maria P. wants your opinion she will give it to you or you are done!

            Gage Frank is awesome. Dollie is full of life and enthusiasm. Anthony and Nessa have a year under their belts. But I do know Maria did work her ass off to get them elected. I am not so sure Anthony and Nessa have the stamina to walk the entire 138th like Maria does. We will see.

            So we will have a three-way primary in the 138th?

            NICE!

          • Steven Auerbach

            Yes, I believe the saying is for those who assume, make an ass out of you and me! :-)

            Now back to my home of over a year ago.

  • Donald Day

    Robert, what’s your favorite meal? Maybe lobster and king crab legs, maybe prime rib and those little potatoes or maybe a great osso buco or whatever it is. Now I’m going to serve you your favorite meal by going out and taking a dirty filthy garbage can top and putting your favorite meal on the top. Not very appetizing, is it?

    That’s Maria, a great meal on a garbage can top.

  • Ron Mackey

    Robert Teixeira, really, you wrote all of that and you said nothing. Look, you’re either with Maria or you’re against her. I’ve voted for Maria each time she ran for the BBOE and I asked others to vote for her but those days are gone. Maria is a embarrassment to the Bridgeport Board of Education and I continue to ask, what has Maria done for the students of Bridgeport?

    • Ron Mackey

      Robert, I don’t recall Don or myself mentioning anything about race.

      Robert, this is from someone who likes Maria and this person is white. “You are just a person with a one-track mind. No outside interests. Your world is the BOE, which has become questionable to most of us. There is nothing else. You create dissension amongst groups. You may be right on certain issues but you are just a bad negotiator and you do not build bridges. Those who continue to support you have been bullied into doing so. Your neighbors on Nutmeg wish you’d stop knocking on their doors. You cannot ask them to vote for Ganim and then rip him apart. You cannot ask them to support Anthony and Nessa and then do character assassinations. You cannot ask the DTC to support Angel for DTC leader and then have a restraining order against him. You cannot pull a DTC ticket together and then absolutely destroy their character.” Maria is rude, disrespectful, bitter, a person who can’t take criticism and the only thing she talks about is about her. Robert, what has Maria done for the students of Bridgeport?

      • Robert Teixeira

        Ron, you’re saying the same thing Steve said, that’s why I made my original post. You said you supported and voted for Maria and asked others to vote for her too. But you no longer support her or would vote for her. So it’s okay for you to change your mind but not for Maria. Ron, you asked what has Maria done for the students of Bridgeport. Would you asked Howard or Sauda what they have done for the students? That’s the heart of my post. These attacks are personal in nature, right or wrong. They used her as a means for the state to get ride of all of them. I don’t know what she has done for the students but she didn’t let Bradley let the state take over the BOE. If Howard or Sauda does anything for the students it was because Maria saved them. I think. Just my opinion.

        • Ron Mackey

          Robert, I have no need to ask Sauda or Howard what they have done because they are NOT on OIB at any time but you can’t say the same about Maria. Maria is on OIB doing one of two things; first she’s telling us how great she is but with NO proof she’s done anything or she’s on OIB being Maria talking nasty about somebody instead of talking about the issues. Yes, that was a statement from Steve I posted because Steve has been in Maria’s corner but even he knows Maria has gone way too far with her comments about other people. You’re saying Maria saved Howard and Sauda, now you are crazy.

        • Robert Teixeira

          Yes, all BBOE members formed a state takeover. If you are really concerned about the BOE shouldn’t you ask Howard, Sauda and all the rest of the BOE members what they have done? I believe she’s very vocal about schools being underfunded. I spoke about her choice of words. To be fair, Maria doesn’t usually start it on OIB, and it is politics.

          • Maria Pereira

            Robert, I have never had a conversation with you, and I do appreciate your efforts, however I am going to ask of you the same thing I have asked of others.

            Please do not respond to Ron Mackey or Donald Day when it comes to me. They are not worthy of a response. Donald Day does not reside in Bridgeport, therefore his opinion is completely irrelevant. Ron Mackey only blogs and does not do any relevant work in our community. In other words, there is a lot of blogging, but little action.

            Please respect my request. :)

    • Jimfox

      Robert, don’t get between Heckle and Jeckle (Mackey and Day), the talking magpies, race-baiting extraordinaires!

  • Robert Teixeira

    Ron, Day, tell me where I’m wrong. I must have hit a nerve in the black community of OIB. I would bet it was because of the Stallworth question. If Maria were a black woman, and how these political games were being played against her Ron, you wouldn’t have said Maria was an embarrassment to the BBOE. You would have said it was racially motivated. Just like you said every white person who ran against a black person in the past election was racially motivated. If Maria were a black your view would be different. That is your lane. That’s the point. Everybody’s bridges has lanes. Some more then others. Quick question, is Newton an embarrassment based on his criminal past?

    • Ernie Newton

      ROBERT, IS Joe Ganim an embarrassment based on his Criminal? NO. The People of BRIDGEPORT Elected Him in a Landslide. You should stay in your LANE!

      • Robert Teixeira

        Why don’t you refer that question to Ron? I asked Ron the question. Newton, here’s a question for you. Is Maria an embarrassment for her crimes?

        • Robert Teixeira

          To answer you question, yes, some think Joe’s an embarrassment and they also think you are an embarrassment. Some will say no. Me, I’m a second-chance person. If he breaks the law and gets caught again, well I’d have to reassess my non-embarrassment position.

  • Robert Teixeira

    PS I asked some questions and made some observations. It was not in support of Maria just my opinion. Yet you felt the need to attack Maria. By calling her an embarrassment, garbage and a bully. No wait Bradley called her a bully. Just saying. Bam I’m out.

  • Jeff Kohut

    In my close circle of friends and relatives with Bridgeport roots [about 70% of whom now reside in the suburbs and out of state, about 50% now residing in Shelton, Seymour, Oxford and 50% Fairfield, Monroe, Newtown, Wilton, Darien and out of state (LA, Seattle, Denver, Tucson)], every single one has expressed disappointment and disbelief at the failure of Bridgeport to achieve a renaissance after so many years of political hype from City Hall, DC and Hartford about our prospects, potential, and overused examples of projects pointing in the right direction. When they visit, they become depressed and don’t want stay after they’ve seen UB, Seaside Park and what’s left of Beardsley Park.
    What has actually been achieved, while representing mighty efforts and actual bricks-and-mortar accomplishments by a couple of developers, albeit at a relatively modest level (in terms of Bridgeport grand-list needs, if not actual scale of development), has not necessarily been timely or appropriate to our municipal and socioeconomic needs. Lots and lots of housing requiring more (unfunded) city services, some box-store retail, but mostly obtrusive, taxbase devaluing, environmentally contraindicated regional waste storage/processing and waterfront power generation/transmission infrastructure, and of course, waterfront jails. All the development in Bridgeport during the past 60 years has been largely jobless and collectively tax-negative, draining more municipal tax dollars (required to support their operations) than they provide (and/or devaluing surrounding tax base).
    While our local leadership, City Hall and City Council, has been largely lacking in “bright lights” over the past 60 years, I don’t see Bridgeport’s salvation coming from City Hall or City Council turnover. Our problem lies in the regional, elitist/avaricious hegemony that directs tax-negative development to Bridgeport in order to maintain the municipal and lifestyle prerogatives of elitist Gold Coast/suburban, Southwest Connecticut. Our municipal political function, if not political structure, has been determined by hegemonic forces, based mostly in Stamford-Greenwich, that determine what happens regionally (SW CT, their main region of interest) per development and state/federal aid policy in Hartford and DC. Just take note of the home towns of our federal delegation, Governor, and other influential political entities in Connecticut.
    While a degree of change at the local level might be indicated, the thing that will really help Bridgeport is to create the necessary class consciousness and political restiveness required to mobilize the huge, potentially dominant Bridgeport electorate such that they become a self-advocating political force to be reckoned with in Hartford and DC.
    We can shift our low-turnout electorate toward a different local, political faction, but all we will be accomplishing is local political showmanship. Only by creating restive, political dissatisfaction in the Bridgeport populace can we properly influence any given political faction in power to effectively advocate on behalf of us (in Hartford and DC) and effectively mobilize us for self-advocacy with respect to Hartford and DC development and financial aid policy directed toward a Bridgeport renaissance.
    A low-voter-turnout effort directed toward a nominal change in the CC or state delegation will only produce chuckles and a new hegemonic approach in Hartford and DC. Bridgeport needs massive voter participation directed toward radical policy change in Hartford and DC. And we need candidates to support at the local, state and federal level willing to, and capable of, effectively delivering a message and demand for radical change concerning policy toward Bridgeport. We currently have no such local, state or federal level candidates presenting themselves to the Bridgeport electorate.
    If the reformers aren’t talking radical change and massive Bridgeport electorate mobilization directed toward radical change (well-defined, radical change, a real game plan for the city), then we are just whistling in the wind and wasting our energy. That’s all I see in the current “reform movements” at this time in Bridgeport. Low-level, poorly defined change.

    • Jennifer Buchanan

      Jeff, all good points, especially because the elected officials for the last 60 years took the easy way out to give the appearance of growth with federal and state funds and loaded the city with long-term liabilities for short-term development. While the surrounding wealthy communities offered, supported and encouraged this “help,” the elected officials absolutely participated in the process. And with the current O&G issue, it appears your elected officials still are.

  • Ernie Newton

    Preach, My Brother!

    • Robert Teixeira

      Newton, is Maria an embarrassment like Ron says she is?

      • Ernie Newton

        Robert, I think People who don’t stand up and fight and speak out about the conditions in which they live are embarrassments. Harvey I am SURE JOE, Maria and myself could care less what you think. Harvey, remember people said Dr. King was embarrassment he also went to jail. At least We are still fighting to make change in OUR CITY!

  • Harvey Weintraub

    I’ll go on record here. I think Joe, Ernie and Maria are all embarrassments to our city.

  • Steven Auerbach

    Just to change the subject: Downton Abbey is currently having a six-season marathon on PBS 13.

  • Robert Teixeira

    Councilwoman Mary McBride Lee & Steven Auerbach
    www .youtube.com/watch?v=RzWAAQjcTsw

    • Steven Auerbach

      Thank you Robert for even knowing how to look up old posts. I’ve looked yours up and you seem to need a rest, psychologically. However with this post in particular, I was commended from many whom I respect in the community. I was addressing a fact, Mary Mcbride was in fact supporting a former felon. (BTW, I did not adhere to the anyone but Ganim mentality.) She was not supporting him as a woman of the cloth, but as a politician. Yet with her attempt to malign Finch and Wood, who in fact were wrong, I believe she should have offered them the same forgiveness she offered Ganim. I had since walked Trumbull Gardens with Mary McBride that I would be thrilled to share from my Facebook page, while walking for Tom McCarthy and Charlie Stallworth. Bam! Bam Bam! Bam, pictures and dates do not lie. Bam! Bam!

      • Robert Teixeira

        So why were you attacking Maria? You’re doing the same thing with Mary. Do you think Mary McBride’s constituents are tired of you and what you’re doing? You know, the same thing you claimed Maria’s constituents are tired of, the praising and destroying? Yes, I could use a rest. Ganim asked forgiveness, did Finch or Woods ask her for forgiveness? Did they ask you to ask her forgiveness? Did you ask her for forgiveness for what you did? Just because someone asks for forgiveness doesn’t mean they deserve it. Are you sure pictures don’t lie? Good luck, people. Bam I’m out.

  • Maria Pereira

    Steve, you are an instigator who loves to post comments, not because they are relevant or factual, but simply to stir the pot, get a reaction, and create dissension.

    However, when you write these often outlandish comments, you expect those you target will just accept it. I for one will not.

    You have the nerve to write I don’t pay taxes and never have. The reality is I have paid real estate taxes. I don’t owe a dime in federal, state or municipal taxes. You wrote these comments knowing full well you lost your home months ago and quick-deeded it back to the bank. You have an outstanding car tax bill as well.

    Don’t you think it is pretty outrageous to write about other residents’ taxes when your personal finances are not in order?

    I ask that you just think about that, Steve.

    • Steven Auerbach

      Maria, is this your obsessive compulsive disorder kicking in again? Are we talking about the fact that you do not pay taxes in the city of Bridgeport again? Maria, it is sad isn’t it when someone loses a home? A shame really. You know people who lose a home because of an inability to keep up with payments and have to care for an elderly parent at the same time is rather sad. It does not however reflect on the fact you tried to set your boyfriend’s house on fire and are an obstructionist on the BBOE. It doesn’t reflect why you lost to Charlie Stallworth. You really thought you had a chance?

      Now, for the record, your character assassinations are going to catch up with you.

      Your comment about Dollie and Gage is a perfect example. You posted something on your 138th Facebook page that has been since deleted. It was a scathing character assassination on the Fonseca family that was horrid. What is worse, you had the absolute audacity to post it was Gage Frank who had you post it. I noticed you deleted it since Gage gave you a piece of his mind. It was copied and pasted for all to see.

      I would imagine Fran Rabinowitz and others will use that as a profile of your character. You do not have children in the school system and should resign from the BBOE.

      Ron Mackey is correct. Sauda Baraka does not post on this blog. You do and you are held responsible for your posts as we all are.

      Now was your attempt to publicly shame me for letting the bank take my home? I own properties in this city and still pay taxes. Please do not let my 200 dollar balance on a car bill throw you. I have contributed thousands to the city of Bridgeport. The city I am forever optimistic about. I patronize all the restaurants in this city. I think after the ’50s Diner your support of area businesses is limited. Paying $100 in car taxes does not make you a contributor to this city. The fact your partner pays for your political entertainment is simply a way to get you and your obsessive compulsive pit bull mentality out of his hair.

      You tell your neighbors and friends to not support a business in the 138th, the ’50s Diner and your own daughter is a regular there along with the elected officials of the 138th. Really Maria, are you really going to keep talking about my house, the one I no longer live in? I will let Andy talk about the house your partner rents. I have no problem with renters. I have had some of the best renters as well as the worst. You live and learn.

      And finally, yes, your neighbors are tired of your knocking on their doors and drooling when you talk about Ganim and Nessa and yes, you did a lovely thing for the neighbors at Nob Hill, they will remember a lovely tree lighting and their elected officials were there. This even as any event you are involved with is to make you memorable. In some instances it will be for good and others will not remember fondly. The ’50s Diner is doing rather well and the neighborhood would be shocked to think you were hoping he’d fail. Besides, he has two autographed pictures of Ann-Margret hanging there that I gave him so I hope he succeeds, besides his breakfasts are awesome especially the grits and eggs.

      BTW, like many my taxes went down on three properties and went up $30 on another. I can live with that and apparently so can my neighbors. The owner of the property you live in had a reduction in taxes. I hope the landlord passed that on to your partner.

      • Ron Mackey

        Steve, as I said earlier I supported Maria whenever she ran for the BBOE because she was first introduced to me by Judge Carmen Lopez who I think the world of and Maria was running with Sauda Baraka who is a truly gifted person of passion and intellect plus I worked with her husband for over 20 years. It was only because of these two women that I supported Maria. Steve, as everybody can see for themselves, Maria is nowhere near the type of women those other two are.

      • Zena Lu

        Diamonds are forever and so is the internet (screen shots don’t suck).

  • Harvey Weintraub

    Ernie, surely you are not comparing Joe and yourself to Dr. King, are you??? I never remember Dr. King stealing from people like you and Joe did. Please stop Ernie, you can’t win this argument.

    • Maria Pereira

      Under the Tax Assessor’s link to VISION, there are no other Bridgeport properties identified as owned by you. Just the vehicle with the 2015 arrearage.

      Just saying. You might want to check it yourself.

    • Ernie Newton

      Harvey, Never would I compare Joe or Myself to Dr. King. The point I was making is Dr. King was a Felon like Joe and myself. Dr. King didn’t allow that to stop him, neither will I Allow that to STOP ME! Have a Happy New Year’s everyone!

  • Maria Pereira

    Steve, you need help.

    I have never been accused and/or convicted of setting anyone’s house on fire. I hope you are aware accusing someone of a felony they do not have entitles the accused to compensatory damages in CT. Ask Megan DeSombre about it. My lawyer served her with notice that she had seven days to issue a retraction, issue an apology, and she had to send both to all the media outlets she sent her original story to.

    I have never directed anyone NOT to support ’50s Diner, and they are having financial difficulties. My daughter is not a “regular” at the ’50s Diner as she now resides in another town.

    One BOE member cannot obstruct the will of 8, 7, or even 6 BOE members.

    As far as Stallworth, he and the charter school knew he was losing, that’s why the charter school industry spent $32,000 on his campaign in the last 21 days. He was a three-term incumbent, president of the IMA, pastor of a large church with the power of the pulpit.

    I lost by 84 votes in a predominantly black district. If only 43 people had switched from Stallworth to me, I would have won.

    It was the largest campaign I have ever run, and I did it while doing everything in my power to help Senator Ed Gomes. I worked to help Charlie Coviello, but had to walk away because his campaign was such a disaster. I also spent time helping Marilyn Moore in Park City Magnet.

    Our post on our 138th page is still there and has not been deleted. Gage never asked us to post anything, and the post made no such claim. It was Gage who shared the circumstances surrounding the Fonsecas’ adult son/s arrest for murder, and it was Gage who sent me the link to the CT Post article detailing his arrest.

    My neighbors don’t communicate with you, Steve.

    These incessant rants, which are completely unfocused, are just that, incessant rants.

    You post just to see if things will stick, however you make up things as you go along, which simply hurts your credibility.

    You behave like an angry teenager who will post anything and everything to strike back.

    I can prove every single thing I posted here. I know you cannot.

  • Maria Pereira

    By the way, the taxes on this home were raised by $800.

    You don’t know my boyfriend, speak with him, or discuss politics with him. You do not know my daughter or communicate with her either, Steve.

    You are over the top with your rhetoric. Bringing in my family and loved ones into your posts leaves you open to the same, Steve.

    As I have repeatedly stated, I won’t start it, however I am happy to finish it.

    • Jimfox

      Stevie A, after reviewing this video, it proves unequivocally you are not bipolar!
      You maybe suffering from some other manic-depressive illness, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) but at this time we can rule out Bipolar Disorder. NOT!!!

      www .youtube.com/watch?v=RzWAAQjcTsw

    • Phocion

      I usually disagree with the focus of Ms. Pereira, but if you feel you need to bring in family members it usually means you are losing the debate. When she did it to Mr. Finch it wasn’t appropriate, and it isn’t right to do it to her either. By the way, renters do pay taxes. It is a component of the rent calculation. How do you think the landlord can afford to pay the taxes? Just because they don’t mail the check to the City does not mean they are not contributing to the City budget. They can choose to live elsewhere.

      Mr. Teixeira, why are you bringing up Ms. Baraka and Mr. Gardner? They are two of the most respectful people you will find. Please do not group them with Ms. Pereira. She is not talked about negatively because of her school policy, but rather her outspoken political activism.

      Steve Auerbach is one of the most optimistic, positive forces regularly posting on OIB. If he consistently had an issue with me I would be looking in the mirror to ascertain what I was doing to alienate others.

      Getting back to education, I agree that all Bridgeport students have the capability to do as well as suburban children. The gap has been documented to grow during the summer. In fact in some studies the achievement gap narrows during the school year. Would year ’round school help? I hope whoever is selected as the new Superintendent is willing to explore any options.

      • Jimfox

        Steve Auerbach is a great cheerleader for this city. I kid around with him and sometimes piss him off, but he keeps coming back and raising our city’s flag.
        His restaurant reviews are great! He pushed hard for Bill Finch and now for Joe Ganim, but all the time doing his part to bring this city back to greatness, and I take my hat off to him for that.
        Happy New Year, Stevie A!

      • Maria Pereira

        The fact Mayor Finch withdrew his children from the BPS to attend Capital Prep Harbor Charter School was relevant. For years he issued press releases touting his children attended the BPS.

        I didn’t use his children politically, Mayor Finch did. You can’t say it was fine for Mayor Finch to use his children’s enrollment in the BPS to support his position he supports our true BPS, and then in the same breath say it is inappropriate for the opposition to highlight Mayor Finch’s children were quietly enrolled in a charter school to counter his claim that he supported our true BPS.

        Phocion, I believe I have made it clear that those who post under handles are cowardly. I stand by that position.

        Most people in this world value the opinions of those they trust and respect. I seek advice from those who fit that category, not those who don’t.

        May I suggest you look in the mirror and ask yourself why you have not chosen to post your comments under your real name?

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