Mayor Bill Finch on his Facebook page takes exception to how the Connecticut Post characterizes his administration’s relationship with developer Sal DiNardo. The mayor writes:
My administration has never given Sal DiNardo a tax break. We’ve aggressively gone after every delinquent property owner, including Mr. DiNardo. Through our actions against Mr. DiNardo, my administration was able to acquire land from this developer on Barnum Avenue, which will be the home to a potential second train station for our city. Inaccuracies like this from the Connecticut Post are damaging to Bridgeport.
The mayor was apparently referring to this story in the Connecticut Post. Irrespective of the Connecticut Post editorial board endorsing Finch for mayor in 2007 and again for reelection in 2011, relations between the mayor and some reporters have been strained, particularly in the last year or so. After years of little City Hall scrutiny, Hearst Newspapers has stepped up its coverage of Connecticut’s largest city, particularly the governmental side. For instance, Hearst reporters broke the story of the city paying radioactive developer Manny Moutinho $400,000 to upgrade his property as part of a controversial airport improvement plan.
The mayor also takes exception to Hearst coverage coming off of Friday’s action by the State Bond Commission approving roughly $31 million to support construction of a Bass Pro Shops at the long-awaited Steel Point redevelopment area. Frustrated administration officials say the Post’s coverage of the Steel Point breakthrough paled in comparison to the story about DiNardo whose tax issues with the city have been chronicled often by the paper.
Post reporters maintain the Finch administration is not forthcoming with information. Several requests under Freedom of Information have been stonewalled by the City Attorney’s Office. They also say, hey, not our job to be an administration shill.
Don’t expect a peace pipe to be passed any time soon.