Another Finch Union Endorsement

News release from the Finch campaign:

Today, the Fairfield County Labor Council (FCLC) announced that they are supporting Mayor Bill Finch’s re-election bid.

“Mayor Bill Finch received our unanimous endorsement because he fights for working families every day as the Mayor of Connecticut’s largest city,” said Tom Wilkinson, President of the FCLC. “He’s led the state in implementing an increase in the minimum wage, he’s always bargained in good faith with his employees, and he’s grown Bridgeport’s economy every year. He’s never ran away from being an ardent supporter of union jobs. We are always going to be grateful to mayor Finch for doing that. He deserves our gratitude and we’re happy to give it to him. I don’t remember any mayor in history who doesn’t wait for the labor unions to call, instead Mayor Finch calls us.”

The FCLC represents more than 12,000 total members in Bridgeport and across Fairfield County.

“Bridgeport is moving forward and the FCLC has been a big part of the progress that we have made,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “Together, we have been able to provide the city with the quality workmanship that it deserves. I want to thank all of my friends at the FCLC for their support and, more importantly, the good work they have done for the city of Bridgeport.”

The FCLC is an affiliate of the national AFL-CIO, which is the largest federation of unions in the nation representing more the 12.5 million workers nationwide.



  1. Congratulations to Mayor Finch. I realize this is just another unimportant endorsement, but it must be nice to know you are very respected in the community and outside this blog.

    Ronald Mackey, take note: there are people who really, really like Mayor Finch. Amazing, right? Can you dig it? I knew you could.

  2. The upcoming Democratic primary is going to winnow the electoral field only a little. There are 14, count ’em, fourteen candidates in the general election. Joe Ganim, the former mayor convicted of racketeering, is the most serious challenger to Bill Finch, the incumbent. There are pluses and minuses to voting for either of them. They both suffer from a common association with the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee. The members of the DTC have the rare luxury of two candidates to choose from. A vote for either Ganim or Finch will guarantee continued employment and free pasta nights at Testo’s on Madison Avenue. Of the other twelve candidates, Mary-Jane Foster and Rick Torres pose the most significant challenge to the status quo.

    So far, we’ve heard Bill Finch has beautified the city by building new parks and cleaning up old ones. He’s also renovated Theodore Roosevelt School. (Big wow: the Center for Children’s Advocacy recently filed a complaint with the appropriate state agencies accusing the Bridgeport public school system of failing to address the needs of special education students.) Ganim’s latest proposal is a public integrity office, a nice idea but one that will not take root. Most DTC-endorsed candidates for public office are immunized against integrity just before being sworn in.

    One topic that has remained untouched by the herd of contenders is tax reform. Bridgeport residents pay the highest taxes in the nation, with no relief in sight. It is desperately needed. Only 50% of the real estate in Bridgeport is taxable. More than a little of what is taxable is not yielding much in the way of revenue. For example, DuPont owns about 300 acres of land in Bridgeport; they haven’t had an industrial presence in the city for many years so the land is just lying fallow. Tax abatement allows DuPont to pay approximately $26.00 per acre in taxes. That works out to about $7800 a year. A friend of mine owns a house on Wilson Street, a saltbox colonial, on a quarter of an acre. Add in what he’s paying for two automobiles and his annual tax bill is more than $7000. Both he and his wife work to support three children. What’s wrong with this picture?

    The “boot and tow” program to collect delinquent automobile taxes is another institutionalized cruelty. At least a few members of the City Council recognize this program unfairly targets minority neighborhoods. The revenues generated certainly don’t justify confiscating the vehicles of tax debtors. Collection is a spotty issue as well. The “boot and tow” program does not bring in anywhere near what it should to justify the confiscation of automobiles. Most of the vehicles are owned by the working poor. According to Brian Lockhart’s June 25, 2015 Connecticut Post article,
    “City officials have since explained that most cars abandoned over late taxes, booting and towing fees are worth little and any profit from being auctioned or scrapped first goes to pay off the marshals and towing companies.
    “Finance Director Anne Kelly-Lenz … admitted her office relies on the word of the towing companies. ‘We get reports,’ she told the Ordinance Committee, adding, ‘Are we meant to police every vendor that we hire?’

    “John Ortiz, whose City Line Towing used to do business with the city, has quietly attended … the Ordinance Committee meetings.

    “Ortiz said recently in an interview, ‘Sure the money from selling the good cars (in the tow program) should have gone back to the city. But no one from the city asked for the money.'” (Mayor Finch, when confronted by a City Councilman about the obvious inequities of the “boot and tow” program, responded that “They should learn how to pay their taxes.” Such is the callousness of City Hall.)

    Another issue that has been conveniently overlooked by all the pretenders and contenders for the mayoral crown: contaminated and polluted properties. There are so many brownfields in Bridgeport it is disgusting. Why haven’t any of the previous administrations been successful in acquiring federal EPA and state DEEP funds to clean up these toxic sites? We live in a polluted city. There was a fire in an old thread company building a couple of years ago; it burned for days because of leftover chemicals and toxic waste.

    These are the important issues that need to be discussed, not pretty parks, not a public integrity office. Bridgeport is the “Park City.” Anyone driving in will know that from the fancy signs erected a few years ago. Public integrity? Never heard of it, not in this town. “Integrity” is anathema to the way things work in City Hall, in the Mayor’s Office, in the City Council chambers. Too many elected officials are more concerned with job security than doing what is right for the people of the city of Bridgeport.

    1. Okay Derek Brown, that was a good post. You have just surpassed John Marshall Lee for length and variety of topics. I believe Mayor Finch will be the Mayor to bring in developers that will not be abatement dependent, Steelpointe and Downtown will not be the only game in town, the new schools and playgrounds will improve morale if nothing else and it enhances the neighborhoods if nothing else, transportation, Pleasure Beach, New Train Station, market rate and affordable housing on the waterfront and Downtown. These are just a few plus reasons I am supporting Mayor Finch.

      Is there a candidate out there you believe should reinvent all these proposals? Are you willing to gamble away our future? These are the very questions the voters will be asking on election day. I expect the choice will be very clear on election day.

      Personally Kid, there is no excitement in this election. It is very quiet. People are being cordial to candidates and Wednesday September will come and go with very little fanfare.

      1. Even if Mayor Finch will be able to bring in developers that will not be abatement dependent, that will not solve the revenue issues facing the city. Previous long-term abatements have left the grand list woefully lacking. The sites of long-gone factories are still on the tax rolls but the abatements offered to the owners are woefully out of date. So many industrial properties are polluted with PCBs, arsenic, cyanide, lead, mercury and other toxic chemicals that it will take years if not decades to decontaminate. The owners of these properties are not doing the right thing; responsibility for the cleanup is being argued in the court system. The only people benefiting from these legal battles are the attorneys arguing them. “Steelpointe, Pleasure Beach, New Train Station, Market rate and affordable housing on the waterfront and Downtown” is all fine and good but the inequality of taxation and environmental issues will not go away because the current mayor managed some window dressing. A railroad station, a rebooted school house, a few new parks do not address any of the city’s long-standing problems. The tax code needs to be revised. Some previously granted abatements must be withdrawn. The city has issued so many, property owners have the false belief City Hall will issue a tax abatement to a prospective purchaser, resulting in an asking price that is grossly inflated over what the property is actually worth.

        New and affordable housing is all fine and good. Rehabilitate abandoned and blighted properties; that is a step in the right direction. But what’s the use if homebuyers cannot afford a mortgage and a monstrous tax bill?

        At this point I do not see a single candidate willing or able to take on these issues.

  3. Who cares about the endorsements? Finch is so busy behind the scenes trying to get endorsements, he does not talk to LOCAL BRIDGEPORT TAXPAYERS. He worries more about his own job, than bringing jobs to Bridgeport. He lied when he said he was going to bring down taxes. But when the community challenged Finch about Sal DiNardo who owes thousands of dollars in taxes, Finch ignored the issue. Why? Because Sal DiNardo gives Finch money on the side for his campaign. And guess who will own property at Steelpointe? Sal DiNardo, the same guy who owes thousands of dollars in taxes in Bridgeport while Bridgeport families get their car towed for owing $100.

    1. Right on BptPorter, does anyone impressed by these nickel and dime endorsements really think these unions will have any impact on how Bridgeport voters decide who they want to be Mayor? Window dressing, that’s all they are!

      1. Lisa Parziale–do you think the police union’s endorsement of Ganim is a nickel and dime endorsement also? I thought his supporters were elated over that.

          1. The police endorsement is critical to Joe’s campaign because it offers a significant level of credibility. As I knock on doors and share with voters only one police officer voted to endorse Mayor Finch, two voted for MJF, and every other police officer voted to endorse Joe Ganim, it clearly helps shift voters’ opinions who may have initially been reluctant to support Joe. I use this endorsement and that of the endorsement of the FBI agent who led the investigation that was instrumental in convicting Joe on every single door.

            Try using the endorsement of the carpenters and electricians union to accomplish the same thing for Finch.

  4. The city of Bridgeport hasn’t even been able to dredge the harbor, one of three deep-water ports in the state of Connecticut. It is going to be dredged, only after the state took over the port authority.

    And what about the Congress Street Bridge that once connected Downtown to the East Side? It stood rusting into memory for decades until someone in City Hall realized “That is one mother of an eyesore.” How about rebuilding the fucking thing? The folks living on the East Side like to patronize the downtown area, their money is as green as everyone else’s.

    The strip mall, the renovation of Roosevelt School, a few new parks? That’s all fine and good. Bridgeport’s infrastructure deficiencies, shortage of taxable property, apathy toward public health and other ills has not been addressed by this or the four previous administrations.

  5. The Carpetbaggers Union and Fairfield County Laissez-faire Council.

    The people of Bridgeport must be brought up to snuff on the parasitic relationship that Bridgeport has with these bought-off organizations and their down-county political bosses so we can all be properly energized and motivated to vote the Finch Gold Coast/union-puppet administration out of office.

    All these unions and organizations and their Gold Coast political bosses are afraid of Joe Ganim, because they know he will create and earmark Bridgeport-based jobs for Bridgeporters and derail the Fairfield County status quo.


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