City Council Summoned To Special Meeting On Sewer Authority Pitch

1 p.m. UPDATE: Officials in Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe have scheduled a gathering at 6 p.m. tonight to shoot the shit, in more ways than one.

City Council members have been summoned to a special meeting at Tashua Knolls in Trumbull to hear a presentation regarding the creation of a regional waste water authority similar to one approved by New Haven, Hamden and Woodbridge. A presentation will take place, followed by a question and answer session. The informational meeting is open to the public.

Council members were each presented with a summons to satisfy freedom of information regulations regarding the potential of a public quorum. Tonight is an important night for Mayor Bill Finch as representatives of the three towns come to together to start the process to create a regional authority in anticipation of a proposal to hook a sewage pipeline from Monroe to Trumbull that’s already connected to Bridgeport.

So what? It means new development opportunities for Monroe and new revenues for Finch who desperately wants the dough to plug into the new budget year that begins July 1. The mayor is up to his eyes in financial grief, and this is one of many steps to cut costs and raise revenues. No other deal is immediately available to the mayor to generate several million dollars.

Shelton-based developer Robert Scinto, raised in Bridgeport, wants to relocate the Jewish Home for the Elderly from Fairfield to a construction site he owns in Monroe. The property, Scinto says, isn’t large enough to accommodate a stand-alone sewage treatment facility so he has worked out an arrangement with officials in the three towns to share property taxes equally for the right to join the Trumbull line connected to Bridgeport.

Bridgeport stands to gain several million dollars as part of the deal. But many members of the Bridgeport City Council aren’t convinced what’s on the table is enough to offset the additional strain and upkeep of the city’s sewage treatment system.

The merits of the Scinto proposal will not be heard tonight. What council members will hear is the first step in the official process to create a regional authority made up of Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe.

Creation of the authority presumably would require sign-off from the respective legislative bodies of the three towns. As a result, Bridgeport City Attorney Mark Anastasi is expected to attend tonight’s meeting in Trumbull to advise on the legal niceties.

Governor Jodi Rell in her recent budget address encouraged communities to create regional authorities to save money and improve services. Rell stressed that communities to do so would be rewarded with state grants. Rell’s declaration could give Finch additional cover to sell this to the council: this is what the governor wants, we all make out.

Scinto says if he cannot do the deal in Monroe, he’ll relocate the Jewish Home to a  site available in Trumbull and then Bridgeport ends up with nothing. A little leverage?

Stay tuned.

Any of you watch Barack’s speech Tuesday night?

And what are you giving up? Fire away.

Book signing: this Saturday, 2 p.m. Borders Books, Post Road Fairfield center, for Bow Tie Banker, my biography of David Carson, retired chief executive of People’s Bank. Carson will join me.



  1. Does it ever stop?
    Scinto wants to make money–big money on the backs of the Bridgeport taxpayers.
    The local power boys see a quick fix and quick bucks.
    Timpanelli and Finch figure they will come out smelling like roses, but crap stinks!
    If this joke passes, I can see no reelection possible for those who vote for this.
    Timpanelli can drive that bus of fools off a cliff.
    I can see them being relegated to the roles of Ralph Kramden and Norton (the sewer man) although it may not be a bad idea if our Mayor had one of those hard hats with a light on it, to help him see his way through everything!
    Timpanelli has done wonders for Bridgeport, I just wonder what? (Does he get paid?)
    More crap in–crap out.

  2. Well here is the start of regionalization. The first meeting about regionalizing our sewer system takes place in Trumbull not Bridgeport. First damned meeting cannot even be in Bridgeport. Regionalization my ass.
    Our council people had subpoenas delivered to their homes by city sheriffs. I though the gestapo was disbanded after WW2.
    If this council had any guts they would all stay away, subpoena or not. What’s Finch going to do, have them arrested? Can’t you just picture McCarthy, Curwen, Paoletto, Blount, Valle and Santiago saying NO? Not a chance.
    What a disgrace a mayor would resort to this heavy-handed tactic. In my memory I don’t recall this ever being done.
    He is showing he is in the hip pocket of the large developers and in the back pocket of FLUSH Timpanelli.
    Black Rockin, Flush Timpanelli makes about $100K a year.
    BTW my sources tell me this meeting is NOT open to the public. I was told there will be a public meeting held after we surrender to the ‘burbs.

  3. Wondering
    Thanks for the info on Timpanelli’s $100,000.00 / year pay. WoW that sure is a lot of zeros for zero work accomplished.
    How do we dump Timpanelli?
    It’s funny that in this subject matter, “dump” just seems to be the right word, at the right place and the right sentiment.

  4. There are two issues that are colliding. First is the proposed project in Monroe that starts out at less than 100,000 square feet with the potential to grow to 900,000 square feet along Route 25.

    Second there is the Regional Water Pollution Control Authority, the development of a regional facilities plan, the cost of doing the infrastructure upgrades, and the method of spreading the cost of those upgrades over the larger population that will benefit. The three towns will benefit because their tax bases will be permitted to grow without throwing more pollution into Long Island Sound.

    The storm and sewer lines in Bridgeport must be separated in order for the region to grow. The region needs to help pay for it, just like what the Hartford region has been doing for decades. Regional solutions to infrastructure upgrades are the only answers for this area.

    These two issues need to be separated in my opinion. The Monroe deal needs to be put on hold until the Regional Authority is formed and the cost of separating the storm and sewers in the Bridgeport downtown is resolved. If the region decides that this should be the first priority for the new Stimulus money, then this would be soon and the issue would be over. Those designs are done and the project is ‘shovel ready’. Sure the downtown would be dug up and the businesses disturbed to get those pipes in. However it should have been done already. This region needs to solve this problem and stop sending crap into Long Island Sound.

    If tonight’s meeting, which IS open to the public, can separate these two issues and allow the Regional Authority to proceed on the fast track, it is in the best interests of the City. If however the three towns conclude that both issues can proceed in parallel it would be really unfortunate for Bridgeport.

  5. Countdown: What you envision is pie in the sky. Tell me one reason why Trumbull would want to be part of a regionalization plan that would cover the expansion of the present west side plant? Without the expansion of the west side plant this plan will kill Bridgeport. Why would Trumbull pay for the expansion when they don’t have to? They are getting their sewage treated at less cost than Bridgeport residents.
    Here we are the largest city in the state, we have the sewer system and the first attempt to regionalize is held in the ‘burbs.
    BTW there is only $300 million for infrastructure work in the monies sent to CT by Obama. That’s $300 Million for the whole state. Let me do the math for you 169 towns & cities. There are 6 large cities all democratic and 163 smaller towns many of which are Republican. Where do you think the money will go? Lest I remind you the Congress St bridge will cost $30 Million or 1/10 of the money sent to the state.

    Federal taxes are no longer due on April 15, you can wait until you are nominated to a cabinet position.
    Re: Bridgeport Taxes, change your last name to DiNardo.

  7. 2 Points:

    New Haven has a regional authority and cooperation with their sewage treatment.

    I believed Lennie meant that City Council members were strongly encouraged to go to the meeting, not “summoned” in the legal sense. I am on Monroe’s WPCA, I will be at that meeting. Why should the City Council or anyone not want to go to an informational meeting? If we only think the worst–we will get the worst. Please believe that many, many people in Monroe think that a healthy, thriving Bridgeport is wonderful thing for Monroe, Trumbull and Bridgeport.

    PS Wondering, if you have information, you don’t have to wonder anymore. 🙂

  8. MCAT: This is not meant to be nasty but you were painted by your opponent as pro-Bridgeport and she did nothing but bash Bridgeport and she won.
    I can tell you after talking to 2 council members this AM they received a summons to appear at the meeting tonight.
    MCAT the information I have is on point. This meeting has nothing to do with Scinto and his home for the elderly. This meeting and the attempts to tie into Bridgeport’s sewer system are nothing more than an effort to tie in the entire Rt25 corridor in Monroe to the sewer system so that development in Monroe can prosper. This way any future development in Bridgeport could end up in Monroe.
    Bridgeport will end up getting screwed by our well-intentioned suburban neighbors.

  9. Any ‘gathering’ where there is a majority of the city council present is considered an official meeting and therefore subject to any applicable laws such as Freedom Of Information. This includes information sessions.

    A special meeting of the body is one other than a regularly scheduled meeting and can be called by any two members. The mayor cannot call a special session.

    Per charter, a call to a “special” meeting of the council is typically officially noticed to a council member via a summons hand-delivered by a police officer.

    This method of serving notice for a special council meeting is very common and used to happen all the time.

    It is not the mayor resorting to heavy-handed tactics.

  10. This is just another sleazy move by a well-connected developer. Scinto has his elbow into Paul Timpanelli, who has HIS elbow into Bill Finch’s side, his former colleague at the Bridgeport Regional Business Council. Scinto, to quote Lennie, “wants to relocate the Jewish Home for the Elderly from Fairfield to a construction site he owns in Monroe. The property, Scinto says, isn’t large enough to accommodate a stand-alone sewage treatment facility so he has worked out an arrangement with officials in the three towns to share property taxes equally for the right to join the Trumbull line connected to Bridgeport.” This is just so much bullshit. Scinto has the land to construct a stand-alone treatment facility, as is documented elsewhere. He’s just another fast-buck artist that doesn’t want to pay out anything that would cut into his profit margin. This deal is not for the benefit of Monroe or Trumbull or Bridgeport; it is for the benefit of Bob Scinto’s bottom line. The only time the legislative bodies from the outer ‘burbs in the Greater Bridgeport area talk about regionalization is when they want something for nothing. According to all advance information this deal will result in a one-time payment to the Park City, which Mayor Finch wants to balance the municipal budget. If that’s the case then Mr. Bill needs to take a short course in urban economic policy. The city’s sewage treatment facilities are antiquated and in drastic need of upgrading–why are most of the rainwater lines running into the main sewage treatment facility? The EPA has already pointed out that Bridgeport discharges raw or partially treated sewage into Long Island Sound whenever there is an excess of precipitation. And Scinto, through his friends Paul Timpanelli and the elected officials from Monroe and Trumbull, thinks Bridgeport should just bend over and let his old folk’s home dump hundreds of thousands of gallons of shit, piss, geritol and prune juice into the city’s waste treatment system?

    Bill Finch ought to be punished for even considering this debacle. To repeat my suggestion yesterday: force him to to write “I’m a little fucking asshole” one hundred times on a blackboard while wearing a dunce cap at a City Council meeting.

  11. Pat when did it happen all the time? Under Ganim? BTW congrats on your upcoming appointment to the WPCA Board. In either case thanks for the clarification. I still want to know why this meeting is not being held in Bridgeport. Is it being held on the border of these 2 wonderful towns just to make it harder for Bridgeport residents to get there? Who has a bigger stake in this game than the citizens of Bridgeport?

    1. Well spoken, Wondering. The people of the city of Bridgeport have the biggest stake in this attempt at “regionalization.” If Paul Timpanelli and his cohorts at BRBC think this is such a great idea why is he trying to get around any forum where Bridgeport residents would have the opportunity to express their concerns? It is OUR sewer system. If it becomes overloaded with the geriatric sludge being piped in from the Jewish old folk’s home in Monroe, the backup occurs down here in Beepo. How ’bout Trumbull and Monroe selling a few municipal bonds and forking over the cash to the Bridgeport Water Pollution Control Authority to upgrade the system BEFORE it is deluged with prune juice, Geritol, Serutan, and Depends disposable adult undergarments? And how ’bout one of Bridgeport’s elected officials proposing that Trumbull and Monroe cough up quarterly usage fees to cover the increased costs? I’m sure at least a few of Bridgeport’s illustrious aldermen are reading this blog; a few of ’em may even take note of the opinions expressed here. Hizzoner is out to lunch, maybe getting fitted for his dunce cap. The Bridgeport BOE will supply the chalk.

  12. Busy Day, a fellow OIB contributor just called to say Paul Timpanelli actually makes $125,000.00, plus add-ons, a car and has been doing this for 20+ years.
    Who better to contribute to an overflow of crap to the Bridgeport taxpayer, our main Trumbull man P.T.
    Resign Timpanelli, you have done nothing ZERO like the 000’s that make up your pay.

  13. Bill Finch promised a $600.00 tax rebate to property owners in the city of Bridgeport. Did you get it? No. But he did raise taxes. Bill Finch promised to improve city services. Did he do it? Hell no–many services were cut due to budgetary constraints.

    And this motherfucker wants to be mayor of Party City for another term. Is he on glue or what?!

  14. Bill Finch’s re-election campaign stump speech:

    “Hi I’m Bill Finch, Mayor of Bridgeport. I was a State Senator before becoming Hizzoner, a job that I was quite happy with. But State Representative Chris Caruso, one-time chairman of the DTC ’til he was voted off the island, decided to throw his hat in the mayoral ring. A Caruso mayoralty scared a lot of people. Y’see, Mr. Caruso wasn’t well-liked by the rank-and-file members of the DTC, and the feeling was mutual; he didn’t like them much, either. They were afraid that Mr. Caruso, an angry, gluttonous chickenhawk, would fire all of their incompetent friends, relatives and neighbors employed by the city of Bridgeport. So John Stafstrom came knocking on my door, looking for a candidate that if elected would not upset the status quo. As an added bonus I would more than double my salary as a State Senator and get to eat at Joseph’s Steakhouse every day.

    “As mayor, I’ve laid off many of those same friends, relatives and neighbors whose jobs the DTC was trying to protect in the first place, partly accomplishing at least one of Mr. Caruso’s stated goals. I’ve also raised property taxes beyond all reason, cut city services to the bone, and ordered the minions to tow the car of anyone owing more than $50.00 in vehicle taxes. My good friend Paul Timpanelli of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council wants to screw the residents of Bridgeport by allowing Monroe and other suburban towns to hack into our city’s overworked sewage treatment system for a one-time fee. This deal wouldn’t benefit the city of Bridgeport, but who gives a damn? I’ll be long gone by the time the chickens come home to roost on that one.

    “I’m Bill Finch and I need your vote in the next Democratic primary.”

  15. Gee no response from MCAT or Pat Crossin. I am disappointed.
    I wonder if Flush Timpanelli is going to tell the residents of Trumbull that they should install flush-efficient toilets and urinals in their buildings so that there will be room at the sewer treatment plant for sewage from Monroe. I know he tried that line at the meeting held in Bridgeport.
    The one thing that everyone is forgetting about these guys is they are bottom-feeding opportunists that don’t give a shit (pardon the pun) about the people in Bridgeport or what ultimately happens here. They make big salaries, spew nothing but bullshit and never get anything of substance done. How does a guy last 20 years and produce squat? Anyone have an answer?

  16. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT ABOUT THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY OF BRIDGEPORT!!! No one at all. The city council is the most dysfunctional legislative body in Connecticut, second only to the state legislature. 52% of all taxable property within city limits is owned by the city. Why is that, you ask? Because the friends of the DTC had a bunch of land they couldn’t use, so they fobbed it off on the city.

  17. Wondering sorry it took so long but I have been working all day with my wind company, remember Joel’s MCAT has a job song? “The answer is blowing in the wind.”

    Anyway, I was incorrect regarding the summons, there was in fact one, but as I understand it, it served more as a notice and was done so as to not run afoul of FOI issues. Not really my issue so I am not commenting either way.

    WPCA in Monroe was formed years ago when the town was considering sewers and their treatment plant. I give up trying to defend against criticism, because no matter what I say, or show how earnest we are, you will not be convinced. I went away from this blog so as not to be in the political fray; I don’t want to be now either. Trust me on this, I am trying to help my community, and Bridgeport because I believe in regionalization. You may not have same beliefs as I do, but maybe we can still reach the same goal; I hope so. I guess it is true, no good deed goes unpunished; I must be a masochist.

  18. MCAT. I did not mean my response to be an attack on you, if you took it that way I am sorry. If I lived in Monroe I would probably be doing what you are doing. I do appreciate your response.
    I am not against true regionalization but this sewer deal is a one-sided attempt to get Monroe hooked up. Finch and Company had no intention of regionalizing anything until they realized the amount of opposition to the Monroe tie-in.
    True regionalization shares everything, good and bad. Buying trucks, equipment; sharing these assets can save everyone money. Regionalizing 911 call centers is a good idea. With regionalization there are also other responsibilities that right now are Bridgeport’s and Bridgeport’s alone. Drug Rehabs, Alcohol Rehabs, homeless shelters and such fall in this area.

  19. “True regionalization, Issues that are colliding.”

    Mystic Aquarium, The Norwalk Aquarium and the Connecticut Beardsley Zoo had agreed to join forces in order to more effectively argue their funding request as a united force. Just when the Beardsley Zoo thought they had a regional coalition, they got news that Mystic and Norwalk decide to exclude The Beardsley Zoo from their united front–they felt the inclusion of the Zoo within their force would weaken them, because they would have to deal and be associated with the Bridgeport delegation in Hartford.

  20. *** You know the Stratford legislation had the right idea by letting the voters decide in a referendum whether to sell their portion of Pleasure Beach or not. Bpt. should do the same on P/B & the sewage regionalization plan rather than taking this decision on the chin. Especially if things don’t turn out quite exactly as “assumed”? Put out all the information @ district meetings, newspapers, radio (WICC), local public TV & flyers; then let the voters decide come city elections time this fall. It’s a decision that may affect everyone in Bpt. @ one point or another! ***

  21. I wonder if the good folks of Monroe will be allowed to vote in a binding referendum as to whether or not they accept getting hooked up to the Bridgeport Sewer System. The sewage fee is after all another name for “Tax”. Monroe gets to vote on their Town’s Budget. A sewage fee or tax will have an impact on every town resident’s personal budget. Let the people of Monroe decide first what is good or bad for them.

  22. Michael Feeney is the chief financial officer for Bridgeport and chairman of the Water Pollution Control Authority.

    The mayor hasn’t made an effort to find an experienced and qualified Chairman for the WPCA and is obviously bent on keeping Feeney doing double duty in the midst of a financial crisis. Does anyone here agree that Michael Feeney should be fully concentrating on the city’s financial situation? If Feeney has the time and energy to perform a double function, why can’t anyone in the rest of the city’s administration find the time to select a Chairman for the WPCA? They had the time to find and appoint Pat Crossin and hold meetings outside of Bridgeport with Trumbull and Monroe to put together a so-called regional authority.

  23. Anybody want to watch our Legislature in action, turn on CTN; I am not sure what the channel is in Bridgeport.

    Whoever Sally is he is 100% wrong.

    The only thing I can contribute right now, is look at the big picture. There is not only strength in numbers, but as a group we get more and priority DEP funding and attention by the government. The Governor and the Legislature wants to give towns and cities incentive to do projects just like this, so more dollars there. I thought the meeting went well, seeing the civil discussion regarding this topic sort of gave me goose bumps. It felt like hope and progress and the “putting aside our petty differences.” A sense of being united for a greater purpose is very uplifting.


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