Finch: CT Post Inaccuracies Damaging To Bridgeport

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.

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34 comments

  1. Curiously missing is the charge The Post is only running news to sell newspapers.

    The mayor needs to pick up his game to be a fully vested paranoid political executive with a persecution complex. Either that or da mare should take a vacation someplace without cellphones and chill for a few days.

  2. “Which will be the home to a potential second train station for our city.” Just about says it all. It is home to a potential train station. It’s just potential is what it is and always will be. So in the meantime Uncle Sal gets his taxes abated and the city get a contaminated piece of property. Kind of like selling the Brooklyn Bridge.

  3. How many people knew there was a way to avoid paying taxes that are due on property you own? And simply by waiting 15 years, a statute of limitations will remove those amounts and interest due from the back tax list? You learn something every day, don’t you?

    Now that is not what would happen to me if my residential payment were late. That is a different story. Faster than you can say back taxes, interest penalties and legal costs, you find yourself in a different game that will result in your property being liened and then sold to a lien company. And you may well ask what is the difference? Well, it is not covered on the City web site, but then that source of public info is missing lots of vital and valuable taxpayer info regularly. Why are we learning from the Mayor on Facebook? Do you need a publicist if you are going to use Facebook?
    How about the whole story for a change? Half truths spoken repeatedly undercut trust and credibility. For instance, the amounts of taxes and penalties that will be ‘forgiven’ by the tolling of the statute are how much? And for what years? Is this taxpayer fully paying all the taxes on all of his variously owned properties other than this? Those questions and others relating to this would be asked by the CT Post and deserve answers to be fair about it.
    Did you know the City Finance Department is behind the eight ball again? No monthly financial reports have reached the City Clerk office for July, August or September (and the last is understandable since we are not yet at the fourth Friday of October when September would be due). However, what is City financial status according to the statements? The Mayor has not provided info on Facebook or otherwise to my knowledge. The monthly reports have failed to have narrative explanations of variances for nearly 18 months and have really ignored expense variances, like police overtime. Anyone interested? And two Council persons on the Budget & Appropriations Committee are not up for election though they have experience and often questioned some of the items. How do taxpayers get heard? The Council persons spend your money and fail to monitor how it is spent, as well as the deteriorating fiscal condition. And the fiscal employees are too busy to provide Charter timely and useful reports. And they are not available on the internet though they easily could be. Challenge your Council candidate. See what they say. Better yet ask them what they will do and how fast? Planting flower beds, repaving streets in need, and sticking a shovel in the ground for photo ops are easy. Doing some serious financial planning in the City is not easy and ignoring offered assistance from people like David Walker is plain ignorant. Will the news look any better when it finally gets out, Mayor? Time will tell.

  4. *** Boo hoo, Charlie Brown says; “why’s everybody always picking on me?” *** Better city government transparency makes for better factual newspaper and media news, no? Instead of just going by rumored opinions or bits and pieces of part of the truth! ***

  5. Interesting, two negative comments were removed from the Facebook thread, and the positive comments are from people who live in Maryland and Ansonia CT. Where is the Bridgeport support? Not in the voting booths for sure unless you count AB votes.

  6. A little off topic but if I were Tate George’s defense team (if he could still afford one), I would have made the Mayor, the Economic Development Office, the City Attorney and the Port Authority my key defense witnesses.
    Have them testify under oath how they performed their due diligence and determined the George Development Group had undergone intense scrutiny and passed with flying colors.
    We kept hearing there was nothing wrong with the developers, their finances or their ability to deliver.
    They have publicly told this same lie so many times they must believe it to be true.

  7. 1. Mayor Finch–true or false?
    At a “North End community meeting Sept. 12, Finch, when asked what the city is doing about developers who owe back taxes, responded, “Developers that don’t pay their taxes? I don’t know any.”” (excerpt from the CT Post article the Mayor objects to:
    www .ctpost.com/local/article/DiNardo-gets-big-tax-break-4851634.php)

    A. If “true,” then you were either ignorant or lying.
    B. If “false,” then you should address this falsehood directly … loudly and clearly.

    2. Mr. DiNardo (whose sister is “chair” of the CT State Democratic Party
    ctdems.org/about/meet-the-chair/)
    –true or false?

    You entered into a multi-million-dollar real estate acquisition without a contract stipulating the property tax-reduction incentives that were promised to you beforehand by then-Mayor Fabrizi.

    A. If “true,” then you must believe you earned the right to a massive tax exemption because you’re a foolish business person (i.e., to enter this deal without a contract addressing this major piece of the deal).
    B. If “false,” where’s the executed contract by which you are granted this exemption by the City of Bridgeport?

    [DiNardo] “notes that he only bought the shares in Remgrit after being assured by former Mayor John Fabrizi that a deal could be made to eliminate those taxes.” (from same CT Post article)

  8. Mayor Finch may be upset because his administration does not control the CT Post the way it controls the city council.
    Keep up the good work Brian, Keila and CT Post writers.
    The CT Post is calling for accountability that has been absent with the city council in recent years.

    1. You mean the way he has all of his hand-picked boards and commissions sign resignation letters in advance? This is what he has done since being elected and controls their every move as well. If not, in goes your pre-signed resignation.

        1. hope I, that is common practice amongst incoming Governors, Mayors etc. When they come in they ask all department heads and commissioners for letters of resignation, then decide who goes and who stays. I was unaware Mayor Finch does this with new appointees. I believe it was Jodi Rell who first did this.

      1. Sad but true, if you are selected for service to a Board or Commission, there is a resignation letter in your immediate future.
        If you get a letter from the Mayor officially inviting you for appointment, then I would call this second letter a “dis-appointment” letter! For it means you failed to play ball at some future point with such group in performing the plays called for by the Mayor.

        Mayor Bill, I sense you study everything before setting it into motion (perhaps with the exception of certain paying positions like at the Airport where Civil Service was ignored by a faster track). (Perhaps it is the reason no Snow Report has been filed yet.)

        But the Airport fiasco brought up the subject of ethics and conflicts of interest and friends of many years duration. So, a disclosure form to sign upon accepting a position has been raised by the Mayor. Any progress on that ethical statement form? Will it become an annual responsibility? Who will be appointed to this duty? I hope the public does not become dis-appointed with the proposal!
        Perhaps you can indicate how an appointed member, attempting to serve the public, can perform with integrity if he/she knows your pleasure must be met or the ‘dis-appointment’ letter will be put into use? Is it ultimately your ethical stance that is therefore measured? Take your time with this inquiry, please. Time will tell.

  9. I think the DiNardo story is more damaging to Mayor Finch than to Bridgeport at large. It is about time there was a sense of camaraderie between the CT Post and the TAXPAYERS in Bridgeport. Thank you CT Post, we need all the help we can get, and we will unabashedly take more!

    1. The DiNardo story is not exactly something that was a surprise. What would be a surprise would be if Finch actually were damaged by it. And he should be.

  10. I would like the Connecticut Post to do an in-depth interview with Dave Kooris. His political ambition in Stamford. Conflict of interest and his vocal support of 375 Main Street Bridgeport and how he believes this can help Bridgeport’s momentum downtown. At least under Fabrizi there was a proposal that was amazing with Magic Johnson that unfortunately did not come into fruition. That is what an Economic Development director goes out and supports. Him supporting replacement housing from Marina Village across from the Ballpark and Arena is extremely sad for the city and the Finch administration.

  11. That’s the question I want an answer to: Why is David Kooris, the Economic Development Director supporting replacement housing for the site across from Harbor Yard? That seems ludicrous. We spent hundreds of thousand of dollars to tear down the public housing that previously occupied this site to make way for Harbor Yard.

    How in the world does OPED and BHA think putting housing–any type of housing–on this site will support those two entertainment venues that attract regional patrons? Housing on that site will most definitely drive patrons away therefore, eventually shutter both venues.

    In addition to the 375 Main Street site being in a flood zone, the families that would reside in these proposed units will be constantly inconvenienced by all that traffic, noise and automobile exhaust pollution every time events are held at the Arena and Ballpark.

    BHA owns many other sites they could and should develop for Marina Village replacement housing. 375 Main Street, across from Harbor Yard, is not one of them.

  12. *** That “CT Post” better get its act together and stop “BAD RAPPING” our A#1 son, “the Mayor” from the Port, “Yo!” ‘Cause he’s just misunderstood at times when it comes to being transparent about city government and stuff, that’s all. Hell, all his home boys and running partners are getting paid and should be schooling and reminding him about who’s zooming whom with cool driveways in Lordship, especially when it comes to economic development kind of stuff, no? *** CUT A MAYOR SOME SLACK, JACK! ***

  13. Since everyone strays off topic on OIB from time to time, I’m going to indulge myself. I saw a photograph of the new airport manager in the newspaper today. I can’t believe the likeness to Honey Boo-Boo’s mother June! I know, I know, that was mean, but also honest.

      1. I know Steve, when the press asked the presidential candidates Snookie or Honey BooBoo–I had to watch the shows to see for myself what on earth everyone was talking about. My retinas have permanent scars.

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