City Government Tries To Do More With Less

 From Mike Mayko and Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

Ganim has also offered an early retirement incentive–a year of health care and $15,000 cash–to try and weed out more employees. So far, more than 40 city workers have applied. Still, Ganim has also been criticized for finding jobs for some of his campaign loyalists …

John Ricci, Ganim’s head of public facilities, is a veteran city employee with decades of experience. Ricci said his budget cuts about $1 million in salaries and benefits.

“Most of it was middle management,” Ricci said. “So there’s been streamlining and consolidation. I can handle the same work load with a lot less people.”

But will taxpayers see a reduction in garbage pickup, street repair, snow removal and other city services?

“Not at all,” Ricci said. “Nope.”

Full story here.



  1. I would like to ask John Ricci this. After three Roadway Dept supervisors with over 90 years of experience retire, then you promote a laborer with one year on the job with no experience to a supervisory position because of the color of his skin. How is this good for taxpayers, work proficiency and morale? You sir, have left a City Dept. in shock. You have turned good employees WITH years of experience in the wrong direction. You sir have put a dark cloud over your leadership capabilities. Tell us why the new recycling foreman never had to be interviewed for the position. Could it stem from the fact he is Joe Tiago’s cousin? Yes it does. We all had faith in Joe Ganim and this new administration! Wanting change and to see sound leadership and integrity! You John Ricci have flushed those hopes down the drain with your lack of leadership. At least put employees in positions who deserve the position and have the experience. How hard is it to do the right thing? Wow, with all your years of experience, where are you coming from?

  2. Wingnut, this response is not a defense of John Ricci, it’s more of a clarification. John Ricci may hold a title, but he has no say in who is hired or let go. He does what he’s told to do, or he’ll find himself out the door. The decisions that have been made in the past five months come from the top–the very top. I hope the DPW can handle resident concerns and needs, as well as provide basic, necessary services we taxpayers so dearly pay for. Bravado is relevant only if it produces reality. So let’s see what the decisionmakers do in the coming months. While I no longer serve in an official capacity, I still provide my former constituents with the help they need, and that necessitates the cooperation of department heads. The first time that doesn’t happen, I will be their worst nightmare.

    1. Lisa Parziale, I’m not posting this to kiss up to my new boss. The last few weeks, I’ve been in contact with Ricci and others discussing way of doing more with less. One thing the city and THE BOE needs to do is do more with fewer lazy city employees. Joe Ganim has expectations and budget goals he wants Department heads and city employees to meet. Heck, I’ve been doing more with less the Bill Finch way for eight years and not once did anyone lend me their ears.

      1. Joel, I trust you and admire your insight. I hope you’re right. I’m not concluding any decision since it’s too early, but it’s good to know you’re involved because I trust you more than anyone I worked with in the G2 election.

  3. They seem to be starting off on the wrong foot. If you have to do more with less you need the experience and for moral to be high. Trust and Integrity help also. Not many will go the extra mile now. They will only do just enough to get by. Same old. Management creates the beast. Then look at employees like they did something wrong. Finch, Ganim, Fabrizi! All the same political bullshit!

  4. Little Napoleon will have his way, then. Bypass Civil Service. No posting of current positions. Back to management by intimidation and retaliation. When there is no knowledge and experience how else can you get the job done? Expected this administration to do better! LOL.

  5. Sounds like in some quarters Mayor Ganim is more than “offering” retirement to some. If word comes through the grapevine, is it an offer? If it has “or else” attached to it, is it a threat? And what are the routine evaluation mechanisms used by the City to evaluate whether you have a top-flight person in position or not? Who is responsible for that level of supervision? Where are the records kept? And what happens when grievances are filed? Anyone? Is this a Civil Service matter? Labor relations? Or what? Uncivil management wanting its own way? Why was there no chart posted for the City Council to see what employment table they were filling with budgeted positions? Even Mayor Finch had such a chart. So is Bridgeport administration less OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT and HONEST at this moment than the last administration? Time will tell.

    1. JML, I’ve spoken to some of the people taking the retirement. Some of them had been thinking of retiring anyway. Why not do it now and take the $15 grand and 1 year of full medical insurance coverage? This retirement process involves or “matters” all of the above-mentioned departments. As for the chart, maybe you should FOI it or simply go ask for it, maybe you’ll get it free and faster.

      On a different subject, ANYONE GET DENIED BY THE BOARD OF ASSESSMENT AND APPEALS? HOW IN HELL CAN A BURNED AND COMPLETELY GUTTED HOUSE BE WORTH THE SAME AS THE OCCUPIED AND SIMILAR IN SIZE HOUSE NEXT DOOR? Former mayoral candidate DeParle and perhaps Coviello should have recused themselves from the matter.

      1. Joel,
        Good to see you last night at the City Council delayed session. No question, if you have been thinking about retirement and receive an additional inducement from management, go for it.

        However, what if you qualify but know you have something to offer of value as a public servant and can use an extra year or two at full compensation to defer for some time nibbling at your pension and savings? Then you receive a ‘suggestion’ things may be more difficult if you do not retire soon. Well that is a horse of a different stripe, no?

        As to a chart, if I were to receive one, then I would stop lamenting the fact of not having one and the public might reasonably figure one was available. However, when there has been a one-page City organizational table in each budget book for years and then there is NONE, maybe there is a different reality. And when the talk is about CUTTING POSITIONS to cut costs but the new hires and the termination and fires, etc. are balanced since December 1, is it reasonable to guess there has been no COST CUTTING in this department? Joel, again it is about TRUST BUT VERIFY and when verification is impossible or difficult, what supports trust? Time will tell.

  6. So for eight years, most of you ranted and raved against Finch, Sherwood and Wood. Now we are finding out Ganim, Gomes and Flatto are not the greener grass on the other side of the fence. Be careful what you wish for.

  7. Frank, I’m only speaking for myself. When I made the decision to support G2 I believe I did it for what I thought was the right reason. No one persuaded me to do it, in fact I was the lone TC member in the 132nd who did so. I fulfilled my commitment, asked for nothing, and immediately after the election I went back to my personal life and business. We all make decisions for what we hope is the right reason and then cross our fingers. But I do agree with you, we can’t seem to break the cycle, no matter how hard we try. Once a candidate is elected all bets are off. I’m not quite there yet, I have to give this Mayor more time, but I know personally the Town Chair and some of his higher appointments are nowhere near breaking any prior cycles. As far as politics goes, unfortunately the grass is never greener on the other side.

  8. Lisa: We can’t “break the cycle” because it is the end result of an agenda that is promoted, anointed, and blessed by the down-county power brokers who depend upon a dysfunctional Bridgeport to retain their power and development ($) prerogatives. If all of a sudden Bridgeport were to become a strong, well-run municipality operating for its own best interests, the party would be over down-county. That is why the Greenwich Gang-of-Four came to the newly-elected Joe Ganim (and DTC chair Mario Testa) offering their “support” to his Administration. What really happened was they came and made it clear the aid Bridgeport has come to depend upon would be a big question mark until they were assured the things–and votes–down-county wants from Bridgeport would be forthcoming. (And for all the Hillary supporters, she was part of the stinky package demanded by down-county.)

    Joe Ganim has so far acceded to down-county’s overtures. I still have hope when he has secured a real foothold back in the Mayor’s Seat, he (and DTC chair Mario Testa) will move to secure Bridgeport’s rightful place and power in regional politics. (We can’t forget the repercussions that followed Bridgeport’s independent moves in supporting Lamont over Lieberman and DeStefano over Malloy. The $$$ boys from Greenwich play rough when Bridgeport doesn’t behave.)

    1. Jeff, as always I agree with you, you know throughout the many years we’ve known each other, my admiration of you never faltered. But there are some goings on you’re not aware of, and I would be premature to judge G2. Trust me please, Mario Testa is and has been a cancer to Bridgeport politics for a very long time, and I’m ashamed to say I enabled his last election. He is responsible for all the political turmoil to date, and he can’t be trusted by anyone. I hope G2 keeps him on a short leash or the $$$ boys will have a good time with our continued vulnerability because one little man couldn’t care less about the future of Bridgeport or its residents. I believe he holds the TC chair because it’s good for his business. He has no conscience or soul. Please believe me Jeff, you know me well enough to know I would never express feelings this strongly if I didn’t know for a fact how destructive he can be.

    2. And Bridgeport was rewarded with front and center seating yesterday at the State Democratic Convention, ahead of many towns in the 3rd district. The rest of us in the 4th Congressional District were off to the right seated alphabetically by town.

  9. Wow! Lisa! I have to believe I am in the dark about some big stuff. You would never react as you have if you weren’t aware of something big and nasty underneath the political turmoil in Bridgeport at this time. I’ve known and worked with you for a long time, and I know you don’t take strong, public positions about anything without real and good reasons. I respect you and regard you as a friend and take your comments in that context. We should talk, soon.

  10. Yes Marshall, they gave us some “feel good” seats for show, but when it really counts, we’re still told we have to sit in “the back of the bus.”

  11. Lisa, we had a conversation about this and more not too long ago, about Mario Testa and G2 and about the past and now. Lisa, I think G2 will not move in the direction you want. Time is passing Mario, the DTC and the City has more people of color than when he came into power. But here’s the problem, there is no DTC district leader who is black or Hispanic who will challenge or run against Mario so they empower him and their districts get nothing for their support of Mario.

    1. Ron, you point out a political problem with the Town Chair that has existed too long. Mario was knocked out for awhile and because the alternative was John Stafstrom, I admit to helping him get back. He was innocuous during the Finch days because he was kept at bay. This is the way I see it now, the candy store is locked; no access to Mario or for that matter G2; because of the goodies that were doled out in the past, individuals would sell their first born for the opportunity to get the freebies. With nothing to really offer he’s left politically impotent. He doesn’t realize it yet, but it will hit him sooner rather than later. Maybe, just maybe, the present DTC will see the light, and along with TC challenges in the near future, there will be enough members to replace this scourge on the Democratic Party. It’s only a beginning, but if we have smart, honest leadership, gradually there may be improvement. I’m hoping against hope G2 doesn’t regress and give his power to Mario.

      1. If my recollection serves me right, it was Testa’s maneuvering at the Democratic Mayoral Nomination Meeting that broke open the door to Ganim’s re-entry and the fact his candidacy should be taken seriously since Finch, despite being an eight-year incumbent, just barely won the nomination with a few votes to spare. Testa’s comments after the convention and during the primary made it clear he was ambivalent to say the least about Finch and furthered opened up the ruptures in the Democratic Party in Bridgeport. As such, Ganim and Testa will maintain some type of alliance as long as neither gets in each other’s way.

        1. In terms of Testa being irrelevant, many will say he was behind Dennis Bradley getting the job as President of the BOE. Getting rid of Marilyn Moore and even Ed Gomes would strengthen the traditional Democratic machine/establishment. Any campaigning by McCarthy against Ganim is just pure politics. It may play well in Black Rock and the North End for the primary and the general. If McCarthy wins, they would get rid of Marilyn Moore, making Testa feel happy and Ganim not really caring. And Ganim and McCarthy will scratch each other’s backs IF IF IF McCarthy wins the primary/general. If Moore and Gomes win, the Dem machine/establishment takes a hit.

  12. Frank, you’re very astute and your theory is a good one, but there are too many moving parts in Bridgeport politics. Let me clarify, since I was there, Mario Testo watched the progress G2 was making, and when he realized it was very probable G2 was going to win that primary, he suddenly injected himself as King Kong. He did nothing while we were working that primary, he stayed safe in the event Finch won. I was there every day, I don’t miss anything. I’m not saying he and Joe didn’t meet regularly, but Mario did nothing until the heavy lifting was done. On top of everything else, he’s a fraud. Right out of the gate, the first fire he started was with the Chairmanship of the BOE. You’re correct, he wants a State Senator he can call his own. That doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. If Bradley and McCarthy fall on their faces, what does Mario care? If he gets the slightest inkling things are falling apart for the administration, watch how quickly he gets out of Dodge. His business will either be sold or be changed to another use. I don’t know where G2 stands on any of this because I stay out of that circle. Sometimes I feel we’re dealing with Keystone Cops.

    1. Lisa, thanks for your viewpoint, which I truly believe. You have known Mario Testa from the time he got off the boat coming to America, there are very few people who have known him as long as you have. The Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee is a top-only run organization, there is NO sharing of power by anyone else except the chairman.

      Lisa, where does John Fabrizi fit in on all of this because Mario is tight with Fabs?

        1. And we have to keep in mind a couple of the intra-party state rep races. The makeup of the Bridgeport delegation after Election Day 2016 may provide us a glimpse into the future, and very specifically, the career of Mario Testa.

  13. It amazes me how the tables turn so frequently in the Bridgeport political scene. Lisa Parziale, you obviously are one very pissed-off lady when it comes to Mario Testa. What happened? I thought he was your paisano based on earlier posts you made awhile back. As far as Ganim, just my opinion based on my personal knowledge of him for many years, he’s a cut-throat and he doesn’t keep his word. Nobody, absolutely nobody should trust him. He’s in the game for his own gain and his overly inflated ego.

    1. I believe, more times than is necessary, I’ve known Mario Testa since he arrived in this country. There was a personal friendship between us for many years, then that friendship became political/personal. Mario has been off the grid for many years now, and as I watched his inappropriate behavior I hoped for the best. He is now a destructive force in local politics and that affects the City I served and lived in my entire life. So I guess it’s quite obvious enough is enough as far as I’m concerned. I hope you’re not suggesting I should continue to feel the way I felt about the foreigner who arrived here decades ago. He has morphed into a monster out of control, again I’m hoping G2 reins him in before any more damage is done. I accept your opinion of G2, you must have what you feel is a reason to state it. Not only do I have a reason to accept the little man is what I say he is, I witnessed it.

  14. Just curious here. Does anyone know if Ganim re-hired the guy Danny who owed the City back taxes after he paid them? The paper stated he paid them within a matter of days after he found out about them. Hopefully he did get reinstated, after all, Ganim’s the guy who’s all about second chances.

    1. Wingnut, the issue aside, this goes on all the time in Bridgeport, but to hear it actually said in an objective context makes me sick. It has always made me sick. When I entered the political arena, I could not be swayed by anyone. I did what I felt was the right thing to do, and no one ever influenced me. I don’t know who you are, but if you remember my time as an elected official you wouldn’t believe how hard some of those still around today tried to get rid of me or “get me.” I’ve lasted longer than most of them, and by the Grace of God, I may say goodbye to the rest.

  15. Sooo, therefore Second Chances are in the eyes of the beholder. Maybe Second Chances are BS after all. Once a human being crosses a line, IT’S OVER. They can cross that line over and over in all its various manifestations.


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