A claim Bridgeport has a lot in common with troubled Detroit has city officials firing back. OIB commentator Andy Fardy, a retired city firefighter, declares Bridgeport is flaming out just like Detroit. Is the comparison fair? What say you? Fardy’s commentary follows:
Bridgeport and Detroit, what do they have in common? Well let’s see:
1. They are large urban areas.
2. They have a large, poor, working-class population.
3. Both are struggling under pension contracts for municipal unions.
4. Both have ineffective leadership.
5. Both offer citizens the bare minimum of quality of life breaks and conditions.
6. Both have been basically ignored by the Federal Government but GM has received hundreds of millions in bailout money.
I have lived in Bridgeport for 71 years and I have watched this city fight to survive. Many people blame the influx of minorities and the influx of illegals for its downfall.
I lived here when the WWII veterans bought all the houses. I lived here when the cops and firefighters bought the houses. I lived here as my neighbors grew old and died and their kids sold the houses for peanuts. I lived here when minorities started to buy the houses here and actually became the majority.
It was the best thing that happened to my neighborhood. The old houses they bought, they fixed up. My neighborhood is like it was when I was growing up.
What has not improved is city government, we keep electing these people who say I know your pain and I know what you went through. Well that is so much baloney.
Our economic development is a joke. We hire a guy who’s an elected official from Stamford, Connecticut. What has he done here in Bridgeport for the past 18 months? What has been developed in Stamford in the past 18 months?
The residents of Bridgeport have been told to get ready for Bass Pro, well we have been waiting for Bass Pro for 27 years and that’s all we have is Bass Pro.
Someone tell me why we still have the developer of Steel Point still in charge. What has he done? A Bass Pro shop in the inner city.
Have we gone to the Federal Government through our senators and congress people and have them put pressure on US companies to build in our country and in our cities?
GE just opened a $7 billion plant in France; yes that’s right, $7 Billion. They donated 37 acres of contaminated land. Why couldn’t they develop something in Bridgeport?
General Motors took millions and millions of our tax dollars to bail themselves out and what do they do, they are building four assembly plants in China and getting tax breaks.
Year after year we send politicians to Washington to work for us and make our lives in Connecticut better. Year after year the politicians come to Bridgeport with promises to our people who are poor and need help, they give us nothing.
I defy anyone to tell me the last time the Feds helped induce a company to move to Bridgeport. It’s not just the politicians we have today it’s all we have sent to Washington.
Our state delegation is an absolute joke and has been for years. What have they done to bring economic development to Bridgeport? Nothing, maybe Tennis Courts, a baseball field and a park no one goes to.
Detroit has the same greedy do-nothing politicians we do so that’s another thing we have in common.
We have council people using legislative budget monies to donate to their favorite charities, which is illegal. We have council people who paid their Stop & Shop grocery bill 50 times with a city debit card. Another council person did the same thing but I don’t know the number of charges made to Stop & Shop. We also paid their cable bills.
The local newspaper knows this and says or writes nothing.
They are complicit in this rape of Bridgeport.
So yes, Detroit and Bridgeport are sister cities.