Governor Dannel Malloy today was joined by federal, state and local officials to announce a program to curb gun violence in Connecticut cities. Mayor Bill Finch could not attend the meeting with Malloy. He was in Washington meeting with transportation officials about safety measures at Sikorsky Memorial Airport. The airport is owned by the city, but located in Stratford. Bridgeport officials will host the next public safety forum on Tuesday 6 p.m. at Housatonic Community College. From Mayor Finch:
Mayor Bill Finch released the following statement in support of Governor Malloy’s announcement today regarding the allotment of state criminal justice resources–state police, corrections, probation, parole and prosecutors–to a collaborative effort with federal and local law enforcement officials in the state’s three largest cities to implement a program of “Focused Deterrence” to reduce gun violence:
“One death is one too many; an innocent child caught in the crossfire is unacceptable. We have been working hard in Bridgeport reaching out to the community to keep the lines of communication open to my office and the police department. I support the Governor’s initiative and we will continue to collaborate with state and federal law enforcement officials to stem the tide of illegal guns used in these violent acts,” Mayor Finch said.
Finch added, “I want to thank the Governor for increasing the state’s involvement and allocation of state resources to help our City combat this unacceptably high level of gun violence. Chief Gaudett and I, along with Undersecretary for Criminal Justice Mike Lawlor will be hosting the second of two public safety forums next Tuesday, and we encourage residents to attend to become more involved in this city, and statewide effort to keep guns out of the hands of young people who want to do harm to others. Preventing criminals from illegally obtaining guns and using them is one of the biggest challenges we face as city leaders. Closing the gun show and ‘fire sale’ loopholes would go a long way toward cutting down on the number of illegal firearms that make their way onto our streets. That is why Mayors DeStefano, Segarra and I, along with more than 600 other mayors across the country, all support Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition.
“I look forward to working collaboratively with the Governor and the other big-city Mayors–DeStefano and Segarra–and their law enforcement officials, to share ideas and strategies that will engage the community and help break down the walls of distrust between officials and community members.”
Mayor Finch was unable to attend the Governor’s press conference due to a previously scheduled meeting in Washington, D.C., with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, CT Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redicker and Stratford Mayor John Harkins regarding the need to move forward on needed safety improvements at Sikorsky Memorial Airport. Currently, these life-saving improvements are being opposed by the Town of Stratford. The Mayor was represented at today’s news conference by Bridgeport Police Chief Joseph L. Gaudett and Tyrone McClain, Director of Legislative Affairs for the City.
The City will host the second of two public safety roundtable forums on Tuesday, June 26 at 6 p.m., in Beacon Hall at Housatonic Community College, 900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport, CT.
Should we lament the Mayor being out of town and missing out on joining the Governor in criticizing the high level of gun violence in the community? Perhaps we should. Because guns on the streets have left far more dead than any equivalent public safety threat at the Airport. Maybe he is asking for more money from the Feds, some help in negotiating with Stratford, or maybe a fast process for shutting down a deficit-running City operation. Who could possibly guess what he is up to?
Of course the Mayor has spent time and trips in the past to Hartford, Washington and other communities. And when he returns he sometimes has money commitments (that sometimes have serious consequences). Sometimes he has negotiated for more room or time to do his thing for a year or two and then get around to the public thing, like Pension Plan A. Other times he has plans set to frustrate the election process and set up a path to more personal power as Mayor like last July 7th’s BOE action proved. And at other times he has just used old election funds for a good-time junket with friends. Who could object? Remember, a Mayor is people, too.
Well maybe the people have some bottom-up ideas about increasing public safety in Bridgeport! Time will tell.
Should Bridgeport sell the airport? What is the profit/loss on that? If loss, can we afford this subsidy for those who can afford to own planes? The needed safety improvements are actually federally mandated now and it’s just a few really vocal advocates in Stratford who push town leadership saying safety expansion would invite larger airplanes. Well, they already do have small jets landing there. The expansion just means moving the adjacent road slightly over onto a vacant lot. How many years has this been going on?
Your questions are valid, but the tenor of your questions shows you are misinformed. Part of moving Main Street in Stratford would include rehabilitating the flood problem in that area as well as upgrading the runway to conform with FAA requirements. If this airport were recertified it would become an economic engine towards bringing Bridgeport back into the black.
This has nothing to do with who can afford a plane. It has to do with those companies, such as GE returning their 60 or so planes and rotary vehicles back to the area, providing jobs and revenues to the locals. It’s the NIMBYs and the politicians who only want to get re-elected with the votes from the NIMBYs who are blocking any upgrades.
I don’t think we should lament the Mayor being out of town. When he comes back, there will be plenty of time to lament his return.
It’s time for the airport to go. This past year it ran at a $300,000 deficit and there doesn’t seem to be anything that will change that.
We are paying for employees and supervisors who could be used elsewhere in the city.
Who benefits from the airport other than private plane owners?
Time to sell it and move on.
Who benefits? Well for instance, I’m pretty sure City Council member Richard Bonney has a job there that pays north of $75,000 per year.
Sikorsky Airport would be an economic engine in the rehabilitation of Bridgeport’s development. If only Stratford would sit down with Bridgeport and work out a compromise to get this wonderful asset back on its feet. For one thing, GE would bring its 60 or so fixed-wing and rotary-wing vehicles from Stewart Airport once the airport is recertified. This would provide revenue and traffic needed to entice serious commercial companies back and restore commuter traffic. All the NIMBYs in Stratford have been nothing but obstructive for their own personal economic good (i.e. property values for people who moved to Lordship knowing there was an active airport). If Bridgeport/Stratford would see what Westchester Airport did to accommodate the local communities to upgrade their facility and create enormous economic revenues for Westchester County and its surrounding communities, they would have no negative arguments. NIMBYs be damned!!!
*** It’s good the Mayor is in DC trying to push for the runway extension and other safety measures for the airport which has big potential for Bpt and surrounding towns. What the city should sell to the Feds is the bird sanctuary known as Pleasure Beach which will never amount to anything special as long as it’s owned by this always-crying-broke city! Also “big ups” to the governor for his move towards a gun control and violence program in the state of CT. Let’s hope it gets the attention of the Federal government for more support on a wider scale, no? *** HERE WE GO! ***
I spent some time with Mark Vaughn recently. Mark is the Executive Vice President of Atlanta’s council for economic development. Among other things, he attributed to the Atlanta airport all of the enormous success that city has had in attracting new business, tourism, sporting events and corporate venues. We all know of Atlanta’s reputation in that regard. Without the nation’s finest airport hub, Atlanta might not have achieved the continuing successes enjoyed for nearly 50 years. Mark Vaughn asserts the airport reputation is a critical component in Atlanta’s long-term boon in economic development.
New Haven Tweed airport serves New Haven well. The recent news that Alexion Pharmaceuticals is relocating from Cheshire to downtown New Haven is a significant step in New Haven’s continuing success. A properly run airport most certainly is vital to growth.
Then there is Bridgeport. John Ricci is doing a credible job in keeping the airport running well. But he is shoveling against the tide when he has to deal with the Calamarians? I’ll bet the Walmart executive flew into New Haven when they came to negotiate this big ‘Anchor Store’ deal that’s about to be answered. The Dollar Store people probably will fly into New Haven as well. Tattoo Depot? No. They’re local. No need to fly anywhere.
Let’s not sell the airport. It is a critical tool available to us if and when the notorious brain-dead registered Bridgeport voters ever decide to rid us of calamarian detritus and real economic development returns to this once-great community.
I actually remember the Bridgeport Airport bustling with frequent regularly scheduled airline traffic. Super G Constellations coming and going bring us all of the industrial executives to and from the large concentration of manufacturing we once had.
That’s when Jasper was running things.