Foster: Finch Using Taxpayer Dollars To Promote Reelection

Marshan Coleman
Marshan Coleman, center, featured in city mailer with tax bills.

The smiling face of Marshan Coleman who owes more than $13,000 in back car taxes appears in a city promotional brochure mailed with city tax bills this week. Democratic mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster is crying foul, asserting, “It’s bad enough that Bridgeport residents are forced to hear that the city with the highest taxes in the United States is getting better every day but receiving yet another campaign pamphlet in the mail–this time included in our car tax bill–is outrageous.”

Coleman, a city contractor, has been featured in mailings, videos and digital ads promoting Bridgeport Getting Better Every Day. He does not dispute he owes back car taxes. If he’s going to resolve the tax issue he must do so with a private debt collector in charge of his case. The brochure with tax bills highlights city development initiatives such as Steelpointe Harbor, Bass Pro Shops and Eco-Technology Park.

News release from Foster:

Today Mary-Jane Foster, Democratic candidate for mayor of Bridgeport, issued a statement regarding Mayor Finch’s use of taxpayer dollars to promote his reelection.

It’s bad enough that Bridgeport residents are forced to hear that the city with the highest taxes in the United States is getting better every day but receiving yet another campaign pamphlet in the mail–this time included in our car tax bill–is outrageous.

If the mayor had spent as much time growing the tax base as he has amassing a ridiculous war chest, maybe our taxes wouldn’t go up every year and maybe our school budget would be fully funded. Instead, he has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars–using out of state businesses–to create and distribute a message that is shamelessly self-promoting and untrue. It is way past time for him to finance his own re-election campaign. Enough of tapping our tax-strapped residents for his personal gain.

To add insult to injury, the pamphlet enclosed in our car tax bill features someone who does business in Bridgeport but has been delinquent on his 1999-2006 car taxes! Talk about tone deaf.

Bridgeport deserves better than a mayor who squanders taxpayer funds promoting himself and his non-taxpaying cronies.



  1. I had the same reaction on opening three envelopes from the tax collector today, each containing an identical “Bridgeport. Getting Better Every Day” brochure rife with exaggerations (e.g., look for occurrences of the word “nearly”) and bunkum (e.g., “Pleasure Beach–discovering a little piece of Nantucket right here in Bridgeport”).

    As a reduce-waste/recycle/go-green-minded citizen, I paid online yesterday anyway; and so no need to mail me paper. The online system does charge a convenience fee, but it worked very well.

    1. So the question remains: Are Finch re-election promotions being funded, in part or fully, by taxpayer funds?

      A question best addressed by the Feds who always seem to be keeping an eye on the city that’s getting better every day.

      While we’re at it, can we ask Maryli if that’s called “stealing” at Alma College, her alma mater?

      Sadly, up until now, I’d liked people who went to Alma College, whose mascot is the Fighting Presbyterians.

      Now, Maryli, that is I-R-O-N-I-C! Ironic because Oliver Cromwell–a satan of sorts in the history of the Republic of Ireland–was a fighting Presbyterian who raped, pillaged, and killed innocent Irish, in the name of God of course, and destroyed large swaths of Ireland, in the name of the Lord of course. Meantime, Finch and McCarthy and their noble clan love their ties to Ireland and Kennedy and all that crap.

      Will Maryli need to disavow her close association with the Fighting Presbyterians? If not, will she be replaced?

      Yes, Steve A (stick to tourist reviews!), inquiring minds want to know.

        1. Every time you use that word, you are pointing a finger at yourself and saying I cannot counter the thought and research behind the post. Pete Spain used relatively simple words of English and that is your primary language, right?
          Then he showed he had done some research on the person of the Finch Campaign manager and asked some questions regarding where her college exposure to moral concepts and her current daily escapades meet, if they do.

          And then he asked a question about the sources of her current funding, City taxpayer or campaign war chest. Did you answer it, Steve? No, you called it “gibberish.” Do you know how seriously you hurt Finch’s chances by too frequent posting of worthless substance? Time will tell.

    2. We always pay by check. You never know when you might need that copy of the cancelled check in hand as you wait in the ridiculously long line at city hall.

  2. What is the cost of the green signs all over the city promoting Mayor Finch. Who paid for them? It should insult the average taxpayer to know the assumption is their vote can be bought by putting up a sign on every corner saying their street was paved because of the mayor. The cost of the signs could go towards repairing the sidewalks.

  3. MJF,
    Right on the money. You could not make this up.
    The picture of a city contractor who owes the city $13,000 is sent with your TAX BILL. The same city contractor who hasn’t paid his taxes in years is telling you Bridgeport is getting better every day. I guess every day the city lets him slide on not paying his taxes it is getting better.
    My God, Bill. How crazy are you?

        1. Highest-taxed city and we have NOTHING to show for it aside from an underdeveloped coastline, a box shop that is one of the highest sellers of bullets in the country, an administration that defies our city charter, and a mayor who finances his campaign with OUR money, even when he has over half a million already. Better every day for him, bitter every day for us.

    1. Bubba, it’s difficult enough looking at the tax amounts we pay as we open those envelopes, then they add insult to injury by praising a tax delinquent and cluttering the tax bills with unwanted enclosures.

  4. To Steve–While I perceive you to be highly ethical, what is it going to take to convince you Finch is well on his way to becoming as ethically challenged as Ganim? This latest Finch campaign mailing, enclosed with the semi-annual car tax bills, is as arrogant and insensitive to a sense as to what is right as I’ve ever received–and I’ve been receiving them for well over 50 years. For your own sake, and the sake of all Bridgeporters who are saying enough is enough, please stop drinking the Finch kool-aid.

    1. I haven’t checked my mail. I would probably say the average citizen is happy receiving good news about the city. Come Back Bridgeport, every day your campaign comes out with redundant information that does not resonate is a wasted opportunity. I say continue letting Ganim get the votes and endorsement and you can go after the Mayor’s feel-good brochure.

      Is what I am saying not registering with you? Ganim gets the police endorsement and you have no comment???

        1. Come Back Bridgeport, I totally get it. The Foster campaign clearly does not! That does not make me happy for you or the city. I still maintain slipping into third place is not good.

          People may not love Mayor Finch but they are not blind. Downtown and Steelpointe are taking shape and non-bloggers are talking. They like what they are seeing.

          I do not think the police endorsement is a plus for Ganim, however, it is an endorsement and like an endorsement from Ernie Newton, it does have value. So, congratulations to Joseph Ganim. Not surprising for Finch but very curious why Foster, an honest woman with integrity, didn’t make the cut. More curious, why Foster is accepting Ganim’s endorsement and going after a feel-good brochure.

          Why? Why? Why? Bob? Ron? Gabrielle? Anyone?

          1. Steve, who paid for the “feel-good brochure?”

            And BTW that brochure didn’t feel good to me or many others who are seeing the point A-point B connection here between Finch’s re-election and his egotistical self-promotion on the taxpayer’s dime.

          2. Pete, it is sad. Very sad, I think this issue is extremely important to you and Bob Walsh as well as John Marshall Lee. I respect this is an issue for you. My concern is why. Why are you talking about this? I mean to be honest, I am beginning to find the humor in this. Like yourself, I get tired of the same old redundant rhetoric.

            The important issue is Joe got the endorsement from the police and the brochure is old news. Maybe just part of the Mayor’s marketing campaign. I am certain 99 percent of the voters are paying attention to other issues. I do not know what you can possibly do to make this relevant, but I can assure you commenting on my tourist activity certainly is not helping your cause.

            I am beginning to realize Maryli Secrest is certainly earning her salary and if only Mary-Jane Foster had her in her corner.

            Again, for what it is worth, congratulations to Joe Ganim.

            Mayor Finch, I have no problem with the Marketing brochure.

  5. Expensive, unsightly, obtrusive (even dangerously placed), unnecessary and associated with stupid, wasteful projects–such as the large, cement slab with purposeless, large, metal ornaments, that was recently inappropriately placed on a grassy play area next to a playground at Park City Magnet School. (Certainly not a “green” or useful project–a dangerous waste of $20,000 of taxpayer money.)(Some child running around the playground will now be in danger of falling on the cement slab or running into a stupid, large, metal ornament and getting seriously injured–and probably, rightly suing the stupid City of Bridgeport/Board of Education for damages.)

  6. Tax Bill,
    I am demanding an apology from you for this extremely offensive mailing. I find the fact you have the audacity to feature a tax deadbeat who is a city contractor in a pro-Bridgeport mailing to be the ultimate insult you can send to hard-working taxpaying residents of the city. Issue an apology now!!!!

  7. In opening my tax bill, of course I smirked at the use of the very funds the bill is trying to collect being used to pay for the campaign propaganda. And then I looked at the back page of the brochure and was completely and unequivocally astounded those Jack wagons did not care about the slap in the face to the taxpayer using a city-paid Bridgeport tax deadbeat on the brochure enclosed with an attempt to collect taxes would be.

    Seriously, were you even aware Coleman was on the brochure, Finch? Secrest? Wood?

    The more likely scenario is they just threw that stupid piece of campaign propaganda in the envelope because they had a way to reach the masses without incurring campaign expense, without even reviewing the inclusion.

    No checks, no vets, no balances, no communication, no respect, no shit!

  8. So the brochure touts Steelpointe and Bass Pro? Excellent! Yes I think Bridgeporters are happy to see this information.

    To be honest I have not seen it, but totally love it. If I were Mayor I would send this out also. Unethical or communicating with the city the exciting things happening in the city?

    I totally understand the opposition attacking this. Personally, I think it was wrong to keep the Mayor out of our marketing campaign. I understand it seems like self-promotion during an election year, but let’s be honest, Mayor Finch is the Mayor and good things are happening. Get over it!

    1. Steve, it’s none of my business but you are losing respect with people. It’s okay to disagree on issues but when you don’t see anything wrong with those mailings it becomes hard to believe you about other things.

      1. Ron, your campaign is barking up the wrong tree and in the real world, people are smiling looking at this brochure. Better you guys find an important issue. Ron, I appreciate your concern. Honestly, so very kind of you. You are a smart man. Certainly you find this a waste of time and effort. I know you and Donald Day are huge Ganim fans but you are falling behind daily and it is absolutely mind boggling to me unless the Foster camp is looking to join the Ganim camp supporting Joe. Honestly, it looks that way to me. I can see Marilyn Moore holding a press conference throwing her support behind Joe. It is just amazing MJF has not said a word about Ganim.

        I accept Mayor Finch and even with his shortcomings you want to address, he is head and shoulders above the competition. Have you been speaking to people outside of your political realm? You’d better start.

        Losing respect with people? No. See Ron, when you have passion people believe you. Not an awful lot of passion coming from the other camps. The election is still a snore. All eyes on the Presidential.

      1. Andy, yes it is self-promotion for the Mayor and our city. Are you an idiot? Of course I support it! I think most voters appreciate it and I understand why the opposition is crying. Boo hoo.

  9. Tax Bill,
    Woke up this morning. Ran to my computer, logged in and went straight to OIB to read your apology. Nothing. Not even an I’m sorry from Adam Wood. Not even a statement from Brett.
    The longer it takes the madder I’ll get and the madder I get the harder I’ll work for my candidate.
    So Tax Bill, issue the apology.

  10. I’m beginning to wonder if those arrogant SOB’s actually thought this was funny. You know, the kind of thinking that says people didn’t like Marshon’s picture in the city ads, we’ll show them. We’ll include it in the Tax Bills.

  11. Inserting this promo piece in tax bills is clearly unethical even if it is legal. Most people will not read it and those who do will see it is a political puff piece. They will also see their tax bills and be upset with how high they are. My tax bill has gone up 40% under Finch! The only years taxes don’t go up under Finch are election years. I and many others will keep that in mind when it comes time to vote.

  12. I neglected to clearly specify (above) I was referring to the very stupid, wasteful, inappropriate, green signs littering our streets, parkland, and schools proclaiming a very wide range of very stupid, wasteful, inappropriate, election-year projects. Please allow me to reiterate:
    Expensive, unsightly, obtrusive (even dangerously placed), unnecessary and associated with stupid, wasteful projects, such as the large, cement slab with purposeless, large, metal ornaments, that was recently inappropriately placed on a grassy play area next to a playground at Park City Magnet School. (Certainly not a “green” or useful project, a dangerous waste of $20,000 of taxpayer money. Some child running around the playground will now be in danger of falling on the cement slab or running into a stupid, large, metal ornament and getting seriously injured, and probably, rightly suing the stupid City of Bridgeport/Board of Education for damages.)

  13. Well today is my lucky day. First, I got a birthday card from City of Bridgeport Mayor’s Office and it is signed by Bill Finch. Next, I got my tax bill from the Tax Collector along with the “Bridgeport Getting Better Every Day” ad. Boy, it’s my lucky day, Mary-Jane Foster got this one right.

    1. Ron Mackey, Happy Birthday to you. I hope you had a great day. Mary-Jane got that right because it was not a nice gesture? I don’t get some people. You have obviously reached the age of receiving the card. It could be worse. You could have been forgotten. There are battles to fight and I don’t think this is one of them.

      Happy Birthday, Ron.

    2. Happy birthday, Ron. Perhaps we can seek the help of some of our state legislators to draft a bill that will afford Bridgeport citizens to opt into a “Do not disturb” list that would prohibit such taxpayer-funded political-puff detritus from reaching us or our mailboxes.

  14. Steve,
    It would be one thing if Bridgeport were Westport and was on fine financial footing; if there were full disclosure as to how much these election-year gimmicks cost the taxpayers; if Tax Bill hadn’t raised a half a million dollars for his reelection effort but still feels empowered to spend city money in self-promoting himself.
    But Tax Bill is hoping their are enough simple-minded voters who will not think too much about this until they get their next tax bill.


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