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Channeling Ganim’s Chutzpah

May 27th, 2017 · 10 Comments · News and Events, State Politics

Rosario, Ganim

State Rep. Chris Rosario chats with Ganim in state capitol. CT Post photo Neil Vigdor.

From Neil Vigdor, CT Post:

Heads turned as Joe Ganim, charismatic mayor of Connecticut’s largest city, patrolled the marble hallways of the state Capitol last week, schmoozing with an assortment of lawmakers and lobbyists.

Ganim was whipping votes for a bill to allow Bridgeport to bond its unfunded pension liabilities, which could save the city millions in debt service payments. But that was just the subplot.

There were bewildered whispers. Does Ganim–friend of Donald Trump, a Bill Clinton moderate Democrat and convicted felon–have the chutzpah to run for governor? The long and the short answer is, yes.

Full story here.

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10 Comments so far ↓

  • Lisa Parziale

    Looks like quite an intimate political conversation, body language and all!

  • Maria Pereira

    Maybe there is a “bromance” brewing. It is certainly possible with Ganim in the mix.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Why is Joe Ganim, who is kicking off a candidacy for STATEWIDE OFFICE with the title of JOE GANIM 2018 REALLY pushing the City of Bridgeport to take advantage of a special pension bonding approval by the State of CT??

    Do you believe that it is as simple as assumed interest returns of 8% must be earned on pension funds but since we can borrow at about 4% TODAY AND PAY THAT FOR 28 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE, a case can be made for saving 4% annually on $60-80 Million of pension obligations??

    Ganim, Fabrizi and Finch all experienced the flexibility of “going to Hartford” when things got rough and wheedled the legislature for deferral of dates for revaluations, for deferral and changes of schedule for pension contributions, etc. But bond schedules allow no such flexibility. They are a fixed obligation for a Mayor to deal with. Maybe Joe is so disinterested in being Mayor, he really cares less??

    So, why is this item so high on his TO-DO list? Is it because the pension funding shortfall almost entirely has to do with the movement of Police and Fire retirement plan coverage from City Plan B to CT MERS?? And wasn’t the big change for public safety retirees that their overtime plus base pay in their highest three earning years became the base for calculating their annual retirement benefit? And in that Union contract settled in 2015, the City was limited to requesting no additional funds from outside employers when getting paid for external overtime, thus leaving the TAXPAYER as the party responsible for retirement payments based on overtime that never benefited the TAXPAYER in the first place?

    Just asking, and no one is telling, or providing background info on this subject. Need more questions and questioners and City and State paperwork to objectively answer the question.

    What’s the real story about Joe, pension funding, external overtime? What will our next Mayor have to deal with? Time will tell.

  • Bob Halstead

    JML are you commenting on what was done with OT inclusion in pension obligations, that it is not good for the zcity what he is asking of bonding, or both?

    • John Marshall Lee

      Bob, You were on the Council for two years. What info did you get from the City about changes in pension funding and costs to the City? Once public safety went to the State plans and overtime earned during a career could be counted for retirement income purposes, weren’t you shown estimates of what that would do to City expenses? Did the CC blindly believe that we had kicked a City problem to the State for it to solve? Why do we have Overtime revenue of about $5 Million as part of our regular planning? How is this handled in “best practices” Cities? Is bonding a solution to be offered by the Mayor in his gubernatorial run? In the occasional year, when the State MERF earns more than the assumed rate of 8%, how will the State of CT repay Bridgeport for advancing all of its money at one time through a bonding in 2017 for the ability for the plan to earn more than the assumed rate for one year or multiple years? Isn’t that a fair question? Time will tell.

  • Joel Gonzalez

    I’m wondering if the legislators are seriously considering approving this experiment. If they do because they seriously believe it will save the city money, then why would they NOT do the same with state pension obligations?

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