Deficit Clock Ticks, Plus: When Foes Become Friends

What’s new on the municipal union layoff/concession front? Still a holding pattern nearly two months into the budget year.

City officials thought there was some progress brewing with concessions at hand as the city works to close an $8 million budget gap. Talks broke down and unions seem to be hanging tough. They feel they’ve given enough. Management says no concessions, layoffs must come. But the deeper the city goes without layoffs makes it more difficult to close the budget gap. Something’s got to give soon.

We’re Friends Now!

Oh, what a time Monday night, according to pols who attended the Dan Malloy for governor unity event downtown at Murphy’s Law on Fairfield Avenue. Yes, Malloy supporters including State Rep. Chris Caruso, former Dem party chair John Stafstrom and former City Council President Lisa “Honey” Parziale, and a bunch more, were joined by Ned Lamont supporters such as City Council President Tom McCarthy, City Councilman Bob “Troll” Walsh and State Senator Ed Gomes.

Yes, there must have been just a little cackling on the Malloy side and some tongue-biting on the Lamont side in the form of forced big toothy smiles. We’re all on the same team now!!! One big happy family for the general election. It’s smart politics for the Lamont supporters to embrace Malloy. Make peace, show your face and work for Malloy. Losing sucks. It sucks a lot less when you embrace the primary winner and earn your stripes. And Malloy wants all the help he can get. You get someone like Ed Gomes on your side and you land lots of votes at Wilbur Cross, one of the largest percentage wins in Bridgeport for Lamont.

Professional politics is a season that leads into the next season and the next season and the next season. And just about everyone keeps score, and I’m not talking about the ballot box score. When your guy loses, always better to show your face on the other side, and be a gracious recipient.



  1. “Something’s got to give soon.” The question is, when is “soon” enough? The Finch administration is waiting this out until after the November elections. Expect a mid-year tax increase and layoffs. Another option on the table is the Fabrizi/Ayala tactic; keep the deficit a secret until after the 2012 election just like they (Fabrizi/Ayala) did in 2007.
    Keep in mind the first OIB Pol Pod interview with McCarthy in which he stated Finch knew coming in the city was in a dire financial situation. If McCarthy and Finch covered up the deficit back then, what’s to stop them from doing it again? Around April 2009 the administration announced a projected $40 Million deficit and two months later it disappeared. Will Caruso be left holding the empty “Brown bag?” Will Finch continue holding it? Will McCarthy knowingly and voluntarily inherit the empty “Brown bag?” Stay tuned!

  2. Lennie, when for OIB’s sake are you going to make an effort to “Pry Open the Juicy Stuff?” Are you a “Dick Head” bent on protecting Dick Blumenthal? Cynthia Blumenthal is the wife of Dick Blumenthal and part owner of the Empire State Building in New York City. There is a story (see link below) about a developer who wants to build a high rise building down the street from the Empire State Building. While Cynthia Blumenthal is quiet as to her position on this matter, her partner, is pulling all the strings to stop this project. You would think the Blumenthals would welcome such a project during a time in which jobs are scarce and unemployment is growing. Why don’t you grow a set Lennie and question her position and silence on this matter?



    Caruso got in late and lost 3 of 4 schools in the primary. Tommy Mac pushed hard for Lamont and was at Blackham doing his damnedest. Pathetic bunch of suck-ups. Malloy knows who was with him the whole time. Malloy’s gonna drop the hammer on the city of BPT’s suck-ups. Stafstrom, Ayala, John Gomes were all there since day one. Suck all you want Lamont losers.

  4. My guess, judging from the past, is the mayor will hire a consultant to advise him and his staff as how to handle this budget crisis. Let’s see, who would that be???

  5. This budget fiasco is typical of this administration. They fiddle while Rome burns. This crisis (alleged) started with the sham budget hearings held by the council budget committee. They did not cut one budget.
    The sham was carried on by this rubber-stamp council who voted in favor of a budget with an alleged $8 million deficit built in.
    The administration cried in public that every day that went by the July 1st new budget year would cost the unions dearly is still dragging its feet. Here we are almost 2 months into the new budget year and no agreements have been reached with the unions and the deficit is still there.
    Hey McCarthy stop being the mayor’s water boy and take the bull by the horns and get this budget done. At least speak out about the lack of progress. Will you do that? No you won’t. Will anyone on this rubber-stamp council do that? NO.
    These elected officials are lucky the public and the voters just don’t give a damn until their favorite program is affected. This city is made up of politicians with NBAA.

  6. Question of the day? What 3 high-ranking town committee members have been meeting behind closed doors? It is my understanding these meetings are looking at ways to change the Bridgeport Democratic party.
    As I understand it these meetings entail
    1. Replacing the chairmen Mario Testa.
    2. Backing a different candidate for mayor and not Bill Finch.
    3. Possibly replacing Tom McCarthy as president of the council.
    These 3 are well entrenched and family members hold a lot of city jobs.
    The lot thickens, here we go again what’s in it for me and screw the city needs.

  7. What is Bridgeport’s fund balance, and when does the city run into problems meeting expenses?

    No one is changing the Democratic committee leadership without an election or until Mario wants to quit. That rumor, T.C., sounds like the Malloy crowd jollying their new-found allies from the Lamont crowd.

    The Finch rumors probably started a week after he took office (anyone remember OTB–One Term Bucci?).

    The City Council is more intriguing. Bob Walsh has been a West Side independent Democrat (a neighborhood specialty) his entire life. But you would expect to see a few others off the ranch for brazen political opportunity. Why not? It is so unlike them.

    1. Callahan, if I could locate the duck and have him cough up $300 for the phrase of the day!!!

      Fund balance! What a concept! Who would wish to know the amount of unrestricted money the City has available to pay expenses as they come due, because tax payments, State education funds and Federal grants do not always provide the revenue at the necessary moment. It’s like money in your jeans or checking account. (Somewhere the City Charter sets out a % of the budget that should be maintained in such a fund, and probably budgeted for each year. Couldn’t find it this afternoon. But this has not been done for at least seven years or more and probably 80% of the former $55 Million of fund balance has been spent since.)

      Is that serious? I think it is and I am not expecting a City pension. If annual contributions are not put into a retirement plan is that an indication the City Council does not think pensions need to be funded? So how do they feel about the Fire Pension? Or any other pension? (Are the Council members telegraphing that pension obligations can be rolled back and therefore no need to fund currently?) I don’t think so …
      We can probably find the amount of the unrestricted fund balance at the City Clerk’s office where a monthly financial report available to the City Council is to be made available to the public. Something to check out …

      The Charter also said the City Council had the power and authority to determine and change salaries or other compensation after doing comparability research on other public and private systems. Would having a City job get in the way of carrying out this important duty? And again, why aren’t Council members more outspoken about asking collective bargaining employees to settle for less when it seems clear the Mayor’s chosen beneficiaries of largesse are not providing sacrifices of similar weight?

      So I happened to wonder about the various Boards and Commissions to which the Mayor has the power and duty to fill. I know one or more have failed to meet due to lack of quorum. Well at the moment there are some 20 such groups listed on the City site. I count 38 vacancies at this moment and 58 appointments whose member term has expired. Now the dirty little secret is the practice in this City of keeping people on a Board or Commission until they are replaced. But why do that? If they are good and are eligible to serve, why not reappoint them? If they are absent or otherwise unworthy of appointment, why not replace them? But how can you be proud of a situation where your in term appointments equal less than 22% of your authorized board and commission staffing? What governance philosophy does that speak to? It is shoddy at best!!!

      OK Final question? Who serves on various pension boards and where are the regular reports of the pension boards stored? We need to find someone who is a trustee and who can understand their management of a plan (as well as the City funding of said plan) are responsible for ultimate results.

  8. Deficit crisis, changing Democratic party …

    We need innovative and creative solutions and we need them now. What is going on in this city? Let’s find out …

    Tonight at 8:30 we have special guest Ken Paul, Director at Achievement First Bridgeport Academy. They have been expanding in the city, most recently at the former Garfield School on Stillman Street and the former Barnum School on Noble Avenue, though have yet to close on Garfield school.

    What is the bigger picture here: Key to getting taxes lower is getting business to move into Bridgeport and having a well educated workforce is important.

    See yesterday’s CT Post

    “Bridgeport Now” Tuesdays at 8pm on Ch88 also on net at By the way, for live internet, they fixed the link and offer an alternative link below if not working.

  9. Gossip of The Rialto!

    “Ripped from the Anals at the Connecticut Post!”

    “Guy Buy Back” program in Bridgeport
    August 23, 2010 at 2:45 pm by Tom Baden

    Master Baden needs an Editor-in-Chef


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