Another week and still no realistic word on a state budget.
Gotta wonder how this is impacting municipal budgets that rely on the state dough to fund teacher salaries and a bunch of other departments. What say you? The fault of inflexible legislative Dems? A Republican governor who doesn’t want to soak her higher-income voter base with more taxes?
Sometime this week we’ll hear about additional candidates that qualify for City Council primaries in September. And more as well about two key issues debated on OIB the last few days: should the library system push for a citywide referendum that could provide more budget dollars? The other is the emerging guerrilla warfare between Mayor Bill Finch and city Personnel Director Ralph Jacobs for control of Civil Service hires. Lots of lawyers in that one are joining the fray. Finch, who says Jacobs plays by his own rules, wants to remove him for cause. He’ll need the majority support of the five-member Civil Service Commission: Leonor Guedes, Walter Plummer, Richard Rodgers, Rosa Correa, Willie McBride Jr.
Jacobs has hired former Mayor Tom Bucci, a specialist in labor law and employment discrimination, to represent him. I know some of the members including Bishop Plummer and Rosa. Bishop Plummer and Bucci have had a strong relationship going back to Bucci’s days as mayor. This is now a legal battle as much as control for power.
Here’s the link to the Civil Service page from the city’s website. You can find commission members, rules and regulations, etc.
Happy birthday to OIB friend Kathy Young who was shocked with a five-oh surprise party, thrown by hubby Bill (one of Fairfield’s finest) at the city-owned Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course Saturday night. Young Girl’s guests included former Mayor Lenny Paoletta who’s in fantastic shape. I introduced the former Republican mayor to my wife Mo as the fittest 75-year-old on the planet. “Not so fast Leonard,” he said, “Not quite there yet.” Lenny, who served from 1981 to 1985, will be 75 in a few months.
It was impossible for me not to vacate the party Saturday night every now and then for quick updates on the Yankee-Sox game in Vazzy’s grill room where I ran into a bunch of folks including former Mayor Johnny Fabs and son Michael. What do you talk about with a former mayor? Yeah, the usual stuff, but if I’m running into Fabs on a Saturday night we talk about the delight of San Marzano tomatoes and what to drop into the sauce. Ms. Mo was all ears as we discussed Fabs’ favorite drop-in item: pork fat (not to be confused with a city budget). Yeah, baby, drop a little of that into a sauce and blow away your friends.
Fabs was also looking fit (he’s dropped about 40 pounds) and relaxed. A number of folks at The Wheel were wondering if he’ll make a comeback. We’ll see.
While at The Wheel I also ran into my old fishin’ buddy Charlie Walsh, columnist extraordinaire for the Connecticut Post. I loved fishing with Charlie on his rowboat with that puny motor, but good gravy you’d take your life into your hands. One day a storm was brewing and I asked Charlie: “Okay, why are we going out as everyone else is coming in?” “No problem, it’ll blow over,” he said. Ten minutes later storm clouds that look like rattlesnakes blacken the Housy in Milford, and it’s like freaking Gilligan’s Island inside Charlie’s rowboat with that munchkin motor. Jesus, the water swept over the boat. Run Forest … run (except we were in a boat). We tried coming back in but it was a rowboat against a tsunami. No choice but to try to beach the boat. I never wanted to eat sand so desperately. I swear, had a diaper been on the boat, I’d have put it on.
We managed to reach shore. “Charlie, what is the matter with you!” Said Charlie: “I told you we’d be okay.” Yeah, right. I had no clue where we were. I looked around and saw a gun club. How’d we end up in Stratford! How about a beer? Charlie asked. The six-pack survived the storm. Priorities, priorities.
By the way, Charlie has found a new fishin’ buddy, but I’m sworn to secrecy until his column appears this week.
News release from Mayor Finch
City of Bridgeport Employee Outing
Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Credit Union
Event sponsored by Bridgeport City Employees Federal Credit Union and Beacon Financial Group; Mayor to recognize employees who have served City for 35 or more years
City of Bridgeport and Board of Education employees will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bridgeport City Employees Federal Credit Union during the annual Employee Outing to be held Wednesday, Aug. 12 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. at Beardsley Zoo.
The event is sponsored by the Bridgeport City Employees Federal Credit Union, Beacon Financial Group of Monroe and Luigi’s Pastry of Bridgeport. Mayor Finch will recognize a group of City employees who have served 35 or more years for their service during the event.
“The Credit Union provides a valuable service to its members, many of whom are current or past city employees and we are happy to help them celebrate this milestone,” said Mayor Bill Finch.
“We are grateful for the support of the Credit Union and Beacon Financial Group for their sponsorship of the event,” the Mayor added. “I want to say ‘thank-you’ to all of our City employees. They’ve worked hard and persevered through a very tough year. The generosity of our sponsors will allow us to show how much we appreciate all their hard work.”
The Bridgeport City Employees Federal Credit Union has 5,422 members and assets of $29 million and is a full-service banking institution. The credit union opened in 1959 and is located City Hall, 45 Lyon Terrace, and is open to members from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday.
Beacon Financial Group is an independent brokerage firm specializing in employee and retiree benefit planning and administration for small to large employers in the tri-state area. For more than a decade, retirees of the City of Bridgeport and Bridgeport BOE have had direct access to Beacon’s Retiree Service Center throughout the year for assistance with benefit questions, questions related to Medicare, enrollment assistance, claim problems and any other obstacle or issue that might arise with respect to their Retiree Medical and Prescription Drug program.
News from Burroughs Community Center
Golf claps all around.
Fourteen of our Summer Program members spent their Tuesday afternoons participating in The First Tee/GE Golf Buddies program at Fairchild Wheeler Golf Course. They learned the basics of golf from local professional golfers and the program culminated with their annual Golf Tournament. Competing along with other kids from the area, our members used the golf skills they learned over the past 6 weeks. Four of our members even won the championship!
At the Fairchild Wheeler First Tee in Bridgeport, young people are taught not only how to play the game of golf, but also to respect themselves, their peers, and their environment. Burroughs Community Center is proud to be able to offer this program to our members and we would like to thank GE, First Tee and Fairchild Wheeler for giving our members this opportunity. For more information about the Burroughs check out www.burroughscc.org