All this talk about land swaps between Bridgeport and Trumbull has me thinking (always a peculiar thing) back to the days of State Rep. Lee Samowitz. Twenty years ago or so Lee proposed the ultimate land swap. Divide Bridgeport into the suburbs. Before there was a Bridgeport there was a Stratfield. City proper as we know it today was controlled by Stratford to the east and Fairfield to the west. Bridgeport was incorporated as a town in 1821 and a city in 1836, 175 years ago. Damn Stratford left all the bridges to Bridgeport.
Just think of the possibilities if Bridgeport were carved up into suburban towns so reliant on the city’s regional services. I’m open to suggestions about the configuration. I spoke to former Black Rock City Councilman Pat Crossin about this and he said, “As long as Black Rock goes to Fairfield I don’t care what happens.” I’m sure State Rep. Auden Grogins, the blonde banshee from Black Rock, would also be fine with that. Let the annexation begin.
Okay, Fairfield gets Black Rock. But how far east do you go? How about all the way to Park Avenue? That way Fairfield absorbs P.T. Barnum Apartments, Captain’s Cove Seaport (Kaye Williams would be happy with that), the Aquaculture School and West End sewage treatment plant. But Fairfield would also get the regional garbage to energy plant in the West End that generates $10 million per year in taxes to the city. So that’s not such a bad deal. Big win for Fairfield. Except they get all the beered-up Sacred Heart University kids living and creating havoc in the North End. We would need to gerrymander the carve-up to make sure Fairfield gets the party students.
What about Trumbull which sends Bridgeport all of its poop? Since the West End sewage treatment plant is now in Fairfield proper, Trumbull can negotiate sludge fees with Fairfield. Trumbull absorbs its Bridgeport piece with a straight shot down Main Street taking in the North End all the way to UB and Seaside Park, and east to the Pequonnock River.
It will now be called the Trumbull Bluefish. Trumbull gets all of downtown, ballpark, arena, Housatonic Community College, all the courthouses too. Trumbull also snags City Hall and the annex which are up for sale. Instant revenue. By this configuration, Trumbull also inherits developer Sal DiNardo so he then can negotiate his tax deals with First Selectman Tim Herbst. Good luck to both of you! Sal’s sister Nancy, Democratic State Party Chair, lives in Trumbull. I assume she won’t mind her brother as a resident business. Oh, that’s right, Sal’s main office would be in Trumbull but he has properties all over the city so he would negotiate tax breaks with Trumbull, Fairfield and Stratford which inherits the old Remington plant. Former State Rep. Chris Caruso also becomes a resident of Trumbull so he can scream about corruption there.
Everything east of the Pequonnock River goes to Stratford which means they get Bearsdsley Park and zoo, Pleasure Beach, the airport, the East End sewage treatment plant and Bridgeport Hospital. Stratford also absorbs former State Senator Ernie Newton, City Councilman Bob Curwen and Democratic town committee member Andy Fardy. (That scream you just heard came from Andy for putting him in the same sentence with Curwen.) Bill Finch would also become a resident of Stratford. Bill can then challenge Stratford Republican Mayor John Harkins for the top job there.
What about the Bridgeport Board of Education? Hey, here’s a solution … abolish it. No one wants it. Let the towns take it over. No wait, here’s a better idea, let the state take it over. The Bridgeport BOE really doesn’t report to anyone. Certainly not to the mayor financially as the school system does in New Haven. It doesn’t work. Let the state have at it.
And here’s the best part of this land swap, Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa goes to Monroe! Isn’t he there anyway?