Vote totals were close, but absentee ballots made a difference in the 137th Democratic Town Committee primary.
Winners: Vidal Agosto, Manny Ayala, James Brown, Brigida Diaz, Brendaliz Fontanez, Edna Garcia, Gilberto Hernandez, Lydia Martinez and Maria Rivera. City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez is the queen of absentee ballots. She received twice as many absentee ballot votes (113 total) as anyone on the opposition slate led by Alberto Tito Ayala, former City Councilwoman Maria Valle and Christina Ayala, Tito’s daughter.
The opposition slate won a couple of seats on the paper ballots before absentee ballots were factored. So it goes. Overall vote totals for the top 9, according to election officials, ranged from Agosto’s 328 votes to Martinez’s 373. Roughly 30 percent of votes for the winning slate came via absentee ballots. Tito Ayala led the opposition slate with 285 votes. Each slate fielded 9 candidates and voters could choose among any 18 candidates to fill out 9 town committee spots in the East Side district.
State Of The City
Mayor Bill Finch today delivers his state of the city address to the Bridgeport business community at the Holiday Inn.
The mayor is just a month away from submitting his recommended budget to the City Council, his third and most important spending document since becoming mayor December of 2007. Everything he does this cycle will set up his reelection chances next year. The mayor’s feeling a little chirpy as a result of some small grand list growth, no doubt a topic he’ll touch on today. Mayor’s news release below (note the emphasis on exempt real estate) that includes the top 10 taxpayers.
Mayor Finch Announces Growth in 2009 Grand List
BRIDGEPORT, CT – (March 2, 2010) – Mayor Bill Finch today announced the completion of the 2009 Grand List, which shows an increase in net taxable property of $87.5 million, or approximately 1.24% from the 2008 Net Grand List.
By category, the increases are as follows: $33.7 million in net taxable real property; $49.9 million in net personal property; and $3.8 million in motor vehicles. The overall Gross Grand List (prior to deductions of all Exemptions and Exempt Property) grew by nearly $247 million, from $9.87 billion for 2008 to $10.12 billion in 2009. Exempt real estate now composes $2.9 Billion in assessed value, or approximately 33.15% of the Total Real Property component of $8.95 Billion.
“Despite the slowdown of the housing market, the City continues to buck the national trend, and is outpacing its neighboring towns and cities,” said Mayor Finch. A more than one-percent increase in the Grand List during a non-revaluation year is a positive sign.”
Acting Tax Assessor Elaine Carvalho, CCMA, said she was pleased with the growth in the 2009 Grand List noting that “Bridgeport’s real estate economy continues to hold its own.”
In accordance with Connecticut General Statutes, the 2009 Grand List reflects a 70% assessment ratio.
The Top Ten Taxpayers – Real Estate / Personal Property Combined for 2009 are as follows:
Rank | Owner | Assessment
1. Wheelabrator $288,528,884
2. United Illuminating $183,111,200
3. Southern Connecticut Gas $72,065,357
4. PSEG Power Connecticut LLC $58,963,326
5. Bridgeport Energy LLC $48,785,584
6. People’s United Bank $40,125,349
7. Watermark 3030 Park LLC $29,751,340
8. Success Village Apts. Inc. $25,549,880
9. AT&T Mobility $25,510,353
10. Connecticut Light and Power $25,370,096
Total $ 797,761,369
Himes’ Donation Trifecta
Ain’t politics great? In 2008, Jim Himes won three communities in Connecticut’s 17-town Fourth Congressional District. They were enough to overwhelm the suburban towns that went for Chris Shays. Campaign committees controlled by Charles Rangel, the powerful New York Congressman who’s on the ropes for a variety of ethics issues, donated $16,000 to Himes. Jimmy’s donating the majority of the dough received from his troubled pal to organizations that come from the three communities he won. What’s wrong with that? Nothing. I’d do the same thing. By the way what’s going on with all the cheapskate Himes supporters who aren’t supporting Jimmy’s Freezin’ For A Reason dive on behalf of Burroughs Community Center? Would have been nice if Jimmy had donated a few bucks for such a nice cause himself. News release from Himes:
Local Charities to Receive $16K in Contributions from Himes for Congress
NEON, ABCD, HDF, and CTE to receive $4K each
Bridgeport, CT–Rep. Jim Himes (CT-4), who announced last week he would donate the campaign contributions he has received from Rep. Charlie Rangel to charity, sent $4,000 checks today to ABCD, Inc. of Bridgeport, NEON of Norwalk, the Housing Development Fund serving Southwest Connecticut, and CTE of Stamford.
“While the circumstances surrounding these donations are sad, I’m pleased these organizations will be able to provide their valuable services to even more people,” said Himes. “I feel compelled to remove my own political ties to this money, but I’m pleased the money will go to good causes in the community.”
“We’re very pleased to have this support, which will help us advance our mission of providing housing assistance to families across Fairfield County,” said Joan Carty, President & CEO of HDF. “It means a lot to have the support of someone like Rep. Himes who appreciates our work and has done so much himself to promote affordable housing and help people stay in their homes.”
Himes received $2,000 in contributions toward his 2010 reelection bid, $1000 each from Rangel for Congress and from Rangel’s political action committee. In 2008, Himes received a total of $14,000 from both committees.
Don’t Miss This City Lights Event
CITY LIGHTS PRESENTS: FOOD AND FILM NIGHT, SUN. 3/7, 5:30-8:30
SHORT MOVIES AND PROJECTED ART INSPIRED BY BRIDGEPORT
FEATURING: FRANK BORRES, BRYAN KONEFSKY, LARRY LOCKE
5:30-6:30 CHILI BUFFET, (VEGETARIAN AND CARNIVORE STYLE)
MEET AND MINGLE
6:30-8:30 SCREENINGS AND DISCUSSION LED BY MICHEAL DALY, BRAD DURRELL AND LENNIE GRIMALDI
SUGGESTED DONATION: $10
RSVP Please: email@example.com
Scholarships! From the Fairfield County Community Foundation
Application deadline is Wednesday, March 31
NORWALK –March 2, 2010 — Graduating seniors from the towns of Bridgeport, Easton, Fairfield, Milford, Monroe, Shelton, Stratford, Trumbull and Westport planning to enroll in an accredited two- or four-year college or post-high school vocational or technical school are eligible to apply for scholarships from the Fairfield County Community Foundation.
The Foundation’s Greater Bridgeport Area (GBA) Scholarship Program is designed to provide financial support to students in pursuit of a post-high school education. The program offers multiple awards from the general GBA Scholarship Fund in addition to 34 separate scholarships funds within the program, giving students the opportunity to apply for up to four different scholarships. A separate application is required for each scholarship.
Last year, the Foundation and its donors awarded more than $500,000 in scholarship aid throughout Fairfield County.
Information and applications for the Greater Bridgeport Area Scholarship Program can be found online at www.fccfoundation.org under the “Scholarships” section. Students may also contact their high school guidance counselors to receive information on the scholarships and application forms.
All applications must be postmarked by Wednesday, March 31 and returned to: Fairfield County Community Foundation, GBA Scholarship Program, 383 Main Avenue, 4th Floor, Norwalk, CT 06851-1543.
For information or questions regarding the scholarship program, contact Madeleine Thal at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 203.750.3214.
In addition to scholarships in the Greater Bridgeport Area Scholarship Program, the Foundation and its donors offer scholarship opportunities to students throughout Fairfield County. Information on these scholarships is available through the guidance office at each high school.
The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish their own charitable funds or contribute to existing funds focused on specific areas of need or communities in Fairfield County. The Foundation also provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations’ national standards for community foundations. The Foundation has awarded over $110 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org.