Finch: Are We Creating A City Where Our Kids Will Choose To Live, Work And Raise Families?

Fronted by a video highlighting city successes, Mayor Bill Finch on Tuesday delivered his annual address to the city’s business community. News release from the mayor:

In addressing the Bridgeport Regional Business Council today, Mayor Bill Finch told the crowd that the State of the City, working together, is getting stronger. Before delivering his address, Mayor Finch showcased a video that highlighted the tremendous progress being made with economic development, green job creation, and public schools in the state’s largest city.

During the State of the City address, Mayor Finch asserted that despite some of the most difficult economic, educational, and environmental challenges Connecticut has ever faced, the state of Bridgeport is getting stronger by the day.

“I am the father of four public school students,” said Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. “My youngest son will graduate high school in the year 2024. And I hope to ensure that Bridgeport is a place where, like his father, he wants to raise a family and make a life for himself.”

Mayor Finch continued: “That’s the ultimate question for us today: Are we in good conscience creating a city where our kids and grandkids will choose to live, work, and raise their families? The answer to that question is yes.”

During his speech, Mayor Finch pointed to tangible examples of progress being made on developing the city’s economy, creating green jobs, lowering emissions, and creating new high-quality public schools.

Ø Developing Bridgeport’s economy: “The historic Mechanics & Farmers building is getting ready to re-open its doors and will be serving as the home of Fletcher-Thompson. This is an architecture and engineering firm that is moving back to Bridgeport because they believe in the progress we’re making downtown and across the city. In coming back to the Park City, the company is bringing with it 135 jobs, and Mechanics & Farmers will also house 30 residential apartments.”

Ø Creating green jobs: “A shining example of this is EnviroExpress, located in the Eco-Technology Park. EnviroExpress employs over 100 people and fuels its fleet, as well as others, with Liquefied Natural Gas and Compressed Natural Gas at its filling station. These fuels produce 30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions, and between 60 and 90 percent less smog-producing pollutants, than traditional petroleum based fuels.”

Ø Lowering emissions: “Because of green economic growth and other initiatives through “BGreen2020,” we’ve reduced our city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent to date. You can read updates on this and more by visiting the website listed on the handout in front of you. We can literally breathe a little easier because of this economic growth.”

Ø Creating new high-quality schools: “The new [Fairchild Wheeler] campus houses three STEM academies–science and technology, engineering, and math. In addition, we opened the Bridgeport Military Academy in the fall of 2013. This school helps students focus on first responder jobs and military vocations.”

Mayor Finch closed the address by reiterating progress being made in Bridgeport on several fronts.

“There are new opportunities for jobs,” said Mayor Finch. “We’re setting a national example for creating a green economy. We’re using clean, renewable energy. Parents have better public school options. We’re building new parks, improving existing parks, and developing waterfront–all the while doing right by taxpayers. I’m proud to serve as the mayor of Bridgeport. Together, we’re making our city great.”



  1. “Are we creating a city where our kids will choose to live, work and raise families?” Here is a question I can answer with my traditional closing line: TIME WILL TELL.

    However, the attractive video produced by a local firm that showcases one student at the new Fairchild Wheeler campus (with 80% State funding for the campus and more than that with Interdistrict State funding; a successful environmental entrepreneur in the West End and a claim 900 green jobs have been created (listing of same and growth of those opportunities would be helpful) by grants; and downtown Fletcher Thompson returns to the core city again with lots of mixed funding and a mixed office residential offering.

    I hope the hype gives way to a similar reality. However, I have spent nearly 50 years in the financial security arena. Revenues and expenses must be presented in an error-free format with anticipation the statements will hold up under analysis. (Too many of Bridgeport’s financial reports, when offered to the public, show the failure to proof and remove errors of numerical accuracy and of presentation format.) Had that been true of the video, American View Productions would not have been due their professional fee, I suggest. And tracking trends is as important when looking at numbers as well as when looking at construction development. I suggest the failure to comment on the ten-year trends of jobs, net grand list development, and taxation issues ignores many of the issues on which our children and grandchildren will make the choices Mayor Finch discusses. These issues are important today and will be equally so in the future. The City has had lots of pretty pictures including a political leader fly-fishing, 30 years of design renderings for harbor front and Pleasure Beach potential, and even new buildings, many constructed with public funds and not subject to property tax, nor full payments in lieu of taxes.

    Most of the BRBC audience live and vote elsewhere. Is there one who is concerned with taxes or reduced values for the business property, or City services expected and not received? Put that person on camera and let them explain why they are still optimistic. Sell me a dream, show me a picture, get me excited about the story … but show me the money picture, slowly, accurately and fully … and stick around to answer all the questions … especially the ones you have not been willing to answer for years. The time has come. And … time will tell.

  2. Finch still has no clue about getting businesses to the area that will hire entry-level jobs. That Bass Pro Shop has done well. Finch, if you want to attract businesses to the city that will hire the people who live here, offer tax abatement inducements. You know, property tax reductions.

  3. “Are We Creating A City Where Our Kids Will Choose To Live, Work And Raise Families?” NO! NO! NEVER! My children will NEVER invest one cent in BPT and they are begging me to leave ASAP. You forget Mr. Finch, there are many many people here who do not use your stellar school system but pay for it and all your follies anyway. Can’t wait to get out.

  4. I choose to stay in this dump so that makes me a dumb ass. One kid lives in the valley and the other will follow. Anyone who has young kids or is planning a family and stays here is out of their minds.
    What you get here is crooked politicians pushing their own agenda. You get all of society’s problem addicts like drugs, alcohol, PTSD victims, mental patients left to roam the streets.
    Hungry? We have so many food feeding sites you can get three squares a day, every day.
    Want to meet a homeless person? Come here, we have them from every city in Fairfield county.
    Want to attend a new school? We have plenty of those, the problem is we have the same old courses.
    Mr. Finch and his green society is pure bullshit.
    Want to live in Bridgeport where they won’t pick up your garbage if there is a pizza box in it? They pay a guy $50K a year to put a sticker on your can saying why they won’t pick up garbage. The dumb asses don’t know pizza boxes are not recyclable. Still want to live in Bridgeport?
    Want to live in Bridgeport where since 1987 we have been redeveloping steel point, not one building yet?
    Want to live in Bridgeport where we send our council people to seminars at our expense and they come back dumber than when they went?
    Come to Bridgeport.

  5. The guy who puts the sticker on your can makes more than $50k. When those guys finish a route in four hours, they get paid for 8 hours. Then if they go do another route that takes four hours, they make another 8 hours. I know a guy who made $110k last year. Not a bad deal! Work 8 hours get paid for 16 hours. LOL!

  6. LMAO, WHO THE HELL ARE YOU KIDDING, FINCH? GIVE US A BREAK WITH THE NONSTOP BS OUT OF YOUR MOUTH. What about Bass Pro? THE OUTDOOR MEGA STORE that was supposed to begin construction late 2013? We are really improving with taking taxable land off the tax rolls. You are full of it, leave Bridgeport, you are destroying it more than it is.

  7. If the mayor had any sense (aw shucks, but he doesn’t) … while he loves Bridgeport … he’d know he could help the city most by firing Anastasi, ensuring the city charter is upheld, giving sixty days’ notice to City Council members who are city employees (either keep your Council position or your employment–but not both), then resigning himself to spend more time with his family and helping the children of Bridgeport become more reality based, educated, and ethical than he is. That’s how Bridgeport could really improve in 2014. No need to wait until 2020.

    1. Peter Spain,
      While you are in “vision land …”
      If the Mayor abdicated after seeing to the retirement days of Mark Anastasi and subsequent to presenting the “City work? or City Council?” choice (wonder how McCarthy would answer), my guess is the remaining Council members would convene and quickly call upon the City financial wizards to discover where the City really is positioned. Tom Sherwood, Ann Kelly-Lenz and various others who touch financial management and record-keeping would have the spotlight fully on them. The CT Post might even cover such a session. And where will citizen-taxpayers be then, Peter? Time will tell.

  8. I’m at a loss for words, does Finch think the people of this city are idiots??? This city is a mess, no jobs being created, no small businesses opening, corporations don’t even think about moving here, corruption is rampant in this admin, and Finch and his “supporters” who by the way don’t call Bpt home, are touting how much this city is thriving. Ya well, ask the people who live here, every one of them will tell you different.

  9. *** In the past ten years or so, I believe Fletcher & Thompson has received quite a few architecture contracts from the city of Bpt; so why not move back to a place that gives you such a high percentage of work, especially if you’re going to receive a tax-limit welcome incentive from the city! And just how many High Schools and Grammar Schools have been built in Bpt in the last ten years that weren’t already on the School Buildings Committee drawing board along with the grants/funding applications, etc. since the Fabrizi admin? It seems or every one new economic development or business that comes to Bpt, two fold up shop and leave, WHY? Also, just who makes up the “BRBC” and where are their main businesses located? Where exactly do all these folk interested in the State of the City live? Do most of them get work or some type of services from the city that in turn helps keep them afloat? Is the city’s air and water quality really “much cleaner” now than say ten years ago? And, are the city’s “new” public school kids doing much better academically than those in charter schools or private schools? Does the Mayor really have four kids still in the Bpt Public Schools system? So many questions about the State of the City claims and information given to the same old BRBC crowd with a few hopeful faces and those who show up for the free meal and political fanfare because they have to! All silently listening to the claims of how so many are picking the Park City, one of the highest-taxed cities in the State and Nation, with academic failing public schools, high crime/no jobs, politically nepotism minded/corrupt-type government structure and lack of voter interest, as their choice to live, work and raise a family, all in good conscience today and the near future! *** STATE OF CONFUSION ***

  10. *** Oh, almost forgot, the video promoting the city and its past, present and future plans and hope towards continuing forward was “well done!” “Three finished achievements” in progress over a seven-year period still does not justify the high taxes city residents continue to pay, nor the upcoming tax increases come July 1st 2014. ***


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