Council Sets Mil Rate, Plus: Caruso, Musto Opponents Drop Out, And Help From GOP Friends

The Bridgeport City Council set the mil rate Monday night. It has increased from 38.74 to 39.64. One mil represents nearly $7 million. What does this mean for the average homeowner? Depending on the assessment on average from $50 to $150 increase for the year. Oh, almost forgot to mention, no fistfight Monday night.

Primary Picture

The deadline has passed to submit petition signatures to wage respective party primaries. Two Democratic incumbents who’ll not have primaries are State Senator Anthony Musto and State Representative Chris Caruso.

Marilyn Moore, who waged a close primary against Musto two years ago, decided to abort her petition drive in the multi-community district that includes Trumbull and portions of Bridgeport and Monroe. Musto will face in November either endorsed Republican Elaine Hammers, a former state representative from Trumbull, or Trumbull Town Councilman David Pia who’s trying to qualify for an August primary.

East Side City Councilman Carlos Silva also decided to drop his bid against Caruso after meeting with the senior member of the city’s legislative delegation. Caruso is eyeing a mayoral run next year. Silva said he believes he secured enough valid signatures to qualify for a primary.

“Chris and I came to an agreement and it was a conversation that needed to be had,” said Silva who lost to Caruso in a primary two years ago. “It’s the right decision for me to back off. Based on those conversations I expect that we’ll be working together in the future. I could see myself supporting him for mayor. We got a lot of things off our chest. We both know what needs to be done for the city. People want new blood, they want change. My platform is jobs and bringing the city back up to respectability by advertising the city’s assets. Too many jobs are floating out. There’s so much we can do.”

In backing away from a primary Silva would be better positioned to receive Caruso’s support for his house seat should Caruso win the mayoralty next year.

Schiff’s Big If

Former Bridgeport GOP Town Chair Rick Torres hopes to secure enough signatures to wage a congressional primary against party-endorsed Dan Debicella. U.S. Senate candidate Peter Schiff hopes to do the same against GOP endorsed Linda McMahon. Well, why not help each other get there? The Torres campaign issued this e-blast Monday to help the Schiff campaign.

Tomorrow Peter Schiff will be needing to turn in his petitions.

He needs our help in Fairfield County.

Team Schiff will pay you by the hour to go to their campaign office, pick up a folder of petitions, drive to the registrar’s office indicated, and return to their HQ with a receipt.

If you’re interested please email me back ASAP so I can provide you with further information.

Thank you,


Eftychis John Gregos-Mourginakis

Campaign Manager

Rick Torres for Congress 2010

Promote And They Will Come

Jodi Rell abandoned state destination points, and now they’re paying a huge price. From Amanda Cuda, Connecticut Post:

Watching TV advertisements this time of year is like a big game of “What’s wrong with this picture?” said Nelson North, director of Fairfield operations for the Connecticut Audubon Society.

Flip on the TV, and you’ll likely see ads urging travelers to come to Massachusetts, New York or one of many other states, but you won’t see a tourism ad for Connecticut. That’s because the state’s tourism budget was cut considerably last year, with just $1 allocated for statewide promotions, leaving the state with little ability to advertise and lure travelers to local attractions.

The cuts have already made an impact, according to a study done for the Connecticut Commission Culture and Tourism by Witan Intelligence Strategies Inc.

According to the study, Connecticut’s lost tourism economic value for autumn 2009 was estimated at $300 million. The research also projects that lost tourism revenue for 2010 could be nearly $1 billion.

On a smaller scale, North said his organization has already been affected by the lost marketing dollars. Though traffic has been “pretty consistent” at the Audubon Society branch in Fairfield, North said he hasn’t seen as many out-of-state visitors as in past years, particularly from nearby states, such as New York. He said the drop in out-of-towners is almost certainly due to a lack of advertising.

“Clearly, people have decided, ‘Let’s go to Massachusetts,’ ” North said. “Because they advertise.”

I’m a broken record on this. Cities such as Bridgeport and states such as Connecticut must promote cultural attractions, destination points, parks, museums, art galleries, concert venues, restaurant districts, etc. Advertise your product and folks spend money. Ignore attractions as Rell has and you see what happens.



  1. Carlos Silva will not be in a primary against Chris Caruso.

    TC–Chris Caruso will not be on any Malloy line for the primary.

    “The prophet is unknown in his or her own country.”

    1. Lennie–Any word on that hotly contested Republican Registrar race? Did Linda Grace qualify for a primary against Teri Pavia, who seems to have fallen from grace?

      Where’s the Grin Reaper been???

  2. So the plot thickens. If Caruso takes a different approach, 2011 may finally be his year. He just needs to stop the corruption BS and come up with a real plan to get this city back on its feet again. Good luck Chris and smart move Carlos.

  3. I am happy to see Carlos Silva has decided not to primary Chris Caruso this year. Carlos is a good man and his time will come. I suggest that Carlos spend the next 2 years building his base in his legislative district.
    I do believe as it looks now Caruso will be the mayor in 2 years regardless of whether Lamont takes Finch and Company to Hartford or not.

  4. The council set the mil rate last night what a joke. How do you set the mil rate on a budget that at this point has a built-in deficit?
    The council is sitting there expecting the city unions to give back as many as 18 furlough days this year.
    It is my understanding the city is looking to get $2 million back from the Fire Department and in the area of 18 days from the other unions.
    Let’s look at the 18 days. This amount to 2 days shy of a month off without pay. How do you justify this from a person making $25K a year? These smart bastards have the employees taking this time in such a way they don’t even qualify for unemployment. How do those on the council sit there and justify this? How does a council sit there and vote for raises for all of Finch’s appointed cronies 4% or on average $4000 per person and then grab almost that much from the lower end of the city workforce?
    To the unions I say this as a taxpayer knowing it will cost me more money. Tell the mayor and the council to stick it where the sun don’t shine. Tell them enough is enough. Let them lay off, as many of the first to go will be the political jerks they have hired since Finch became mayor. That means the jobs given to Ford supporters and to Robles loyalists will be the first to go. Let Finch explain that to those two.
    This administration has made no valid attempt in the past year to curb spending. We just finished the dog and pony show known as the budget hearings and what got cut? What departments had their budget cut? What savings were found by the budget committee? Zilch, Nada, Bupkus Zip point shit. AKA NOTHING.

  5. When it comes to replacing lost advertising dollars Nelson North from Connecticut Audubon Society is devoid of ideas. He’s almost sure the lack of attendance is due to reduced advertising but clearly thinks people have decided to go elsewhere. I wonder if he’s aware of the pathetic ROI the state received from prior ad expenses and how fortunate he was to benefit from those earlier ads.

    I’m Johnny-One-Note on this: true success comes from the quality of your organization and not the size of your ad budget. But I’m sympathetic to Mr. North’s dilemma …

    I’ve always liked birds and I’m always anxious to help our bird-loving friends, so here’s my suggestion that’s low cost and provides a creative response to Connecticut’s fiscal problems. Local Eyes is surprised Mr. North didn’t already think of this:

    Carrier Pigeons! <–

  6. Tax hike again? Mil rate UP to 39.64! Partly due to voting in a 1 mil rate for public library funding? Where does the money go? Let’s expect Saturday opening for the Black Rock Branch, and East End branches improving.

    And let’s do something about this tax madness.

    Tonight on “Bridgeport Now” at 8pm channel 88 … Take a break from the Yankee game and watch something that can help reduce your taxes.

    Dr. Armand Fusco discusses tax issues, the Board of Ed, his book and plan of action. There is soon to be a Bridgeport independent citizens audit of the Board of Education.

    Many questions too. Is there any waste or mismanagement? What kind of oversight is there? Are there ghost employees at the Board of Ed? I never heard of any of this before. It’s new to me and I find it hard to believe, but I’m willing to listen. It’s not just a Bridgeport issue, but widespread at other boards.

    You can get involved. Tune in to find out how. By the way, the Board of Ed is not at fault for everything going wrong, some waste is just in the system itself.

    BTW, we thank the city for watching our program and for responding to issues in the city. For example, thank you for cleaning up the two-year-old debris at West and Liberty Street from the 3-family that burned down there.


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