Foster To Finch: Enforce The Charter, Leadership, Not Gamesmanship

Mary-Jane Foster

2011 Democratic mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster, considering another run for office, declares Mayor Bill Finch must take a stand to enforce the Bridgeport City Charter that prohibits city employee serving on the City Council. “The only common thread in these illogical conclusions is that the mayor wants what best serves him personally at any point in time and never mind good, responsive, open government.” Foster’s commentary:

Mayor Finch needs to get off the fence on pending legislation to enforce the City Charter’s ban on employees serving on the City Council. He is parsing his words. He is using his spokesperson and other paid city employees to make his case while he remains silent. His mouthpiece is saying that legislation to ban elected officials found guilty of corrupt practices from running again for office is a higher priority for him than dealing with a bill pending before the legislature now that the entire Bridgeport delegation is supporting (except for one city employee). Where are his priorities?

I will state clearly and unequivocally that if I were mayor I would immediately direct my City Attorney to research the issue and give an updated written legal opinion. It is my belief that since the mayor is sworn to uphold the City Charter and that the charter bans city employees from serving on the council, then his/her first priority should be to find a way to enforce the charter.

The proper action should be to ban city employees from the council and since the state law allows for banning their service on Boards of Finance and since the Bridgeport City Council serves as its Board of Finance, the charter is enforceable. The ban should and would be effective immediately.

The mayor wants the public to believe that ‘sometimes democracy doesn’t work.’ He said so when he attempted to eliminate an elected Board of Education. But he also believes that the voters can be trusted to wisely decide whether a city employee can effectively and independently serve on the council even though the charter bans it. And then again, he also believes that the voters cannot be trusted to decide if a former elected official should be elected again. The only common thread in these illogical conclusions is that the mayor wants what best serves him personally at any point in time and never mind good, responsive, open government.

The city needs leadership not gamesmanship. The city needs clear and consistent direction moving forward and not a moving target. The city needs a leader who is committed to cleaning up city government once and for all with decisive actions and not derisive press releases. I guess we will need to wait until September and November to see if democracy will work effectively this year–I’m a believer that democracy does work. In fact, I look forward to it.



    1. Pete Spain // Mar 13, 2015 at 4:42 pm
      A couple questions:
      If the charter did not prohibit city employees from serving on the City Council, then
      1. Why does City Attorney Mark Anastasi point to a state loophole to allow for city employees on the City Council? Why would he not merely offer an interpretation of the charter, such as you are suggesting?
      2. Why are no elected officials interpreting it as you are suggesting?

      BTW, I’m not a teacher, but thanks for the compliment.

      Pete Spain, the answer to both questions is simple. Either way McCarthy or the City Attorney cuts it, there is still a violation of the City Charter. The language of the charter is very clear to me. It’s stated purpose is to make it clear members on the City Council cannot receive a salary/pay for their service. All members who accepted money–including supporters of the bill– from the city’s treasury for their duties as city councilperson are and/or have been in violation of the charter. Is Mary-Jane Foster (as attorney) going on record as having interpreted the language of the charter section in question as she states in her commentary? It’s only one sentence followed by additional repetitive language.

      Section 5. (g) (1)
      No member of the city council shall, during the time in which he/she serves as a member of the city council, be appointed to or hold any office, the emoluments of which are to be paid from the city treasury.

      1. I work for the City as a Service Assistant under Building Operations. Was I “appointed” to the position? Am I “holding any office?” Where does it state I can’t be hired by the city? I’m still waiting for replies.

      2. Regarding the section of the city charter you cite:
        So if the wording immediately following “any office” were, say “or any position,” then would you interpret it as banning city employees from serving on the city council?

        See the words “position” and “office” below in our State Constitution.

        SEC. 11. No member of the general assembly shall, during the term for which he is elected, hold or accept any appointive position or office in the judicial or executive department of the state government, or in the courts of the political subdivisions of the state, or in the government of any county. No member of congress, no person holding any office under the authority of the United States and no person holding any office in the judicial or executive department of the state government or in the government of any county shall be a member of the general assembly during his continuance in such office.

        1. Pete, no “if” allowed. The language is set in stone. The language of SEC. 11 doesn’t state a person serving on the legislature can’t be employed by the state. However, read the language and tell me if this applies more to State Representative Andre Baker. The school district for which the Bridgeport Board of Education has jurisdiction is located in Fairfield County. The BOE is a government body, no? “… hold or accept any appointive position or office […] or in the government of any county.” Is serving on the BOE the same as serving in office? Flawed arguments and interpretation all around–and it ain’t by me. Why did Bill Finch have to resign his State Senate seat after becoming mayor (of course with lots of public pressure)?

  1. Now this makes sense. Let’s cut through the BS and come up with a simple plan that works, that tries to appease all parties (except for the few council members who want it all) and removes a huge obstacle to Bridgeport’s government working conflict free.
    Let’s see what Ganim and Finch have to say, if anything.

  2. Time to have a mayor of substance instead of the thieves, flies and leeches that abound in the Democrat Party.
    Mary-Jane would be a refreshing change from the empty suit known as Finch. Just remember, Finch couldn’t hold a private-sector job for more than two years before beating Caruso. And what does that tell you?

  3. I of course agree as my post on another blog. Nice to see Mary-Jane on the blog. Curious the lack of enthusiasm in the blogosphere. Where are the former MJF supporters now supporting a convict? It is so sad!

  4. The taxpayer/voter in Bridgeport is in a very conflicted financial way. Essentially (s)he has a right to vote but after the ballot for Mayor is cast with some degree of fiscal expectation, the votes for two City Council representatives does not necessarily carry any relevant level of fiscal watchdog representation. And the Bridgeport voter can only be disappointed in the responsiveness of the Budget & Appropriation role in fact finding, best practice research, providing info to the public about operating budget, capital budget (soliciting opinion from public per Charter) and review of audits held and those supposed to be pursued per Ordinance.

    I would be willing to make a low wager with anyone in the Mayor’s office who likes putting personal funds at risk, if a representative of a Finance Board in each of the surrounding communities were to see what passes for financial oversight and monitoring in Bridgeport at the Council level and within its Budget and Appropriations Committee, our neighbors would tell us municipal financial review is not pursued in Bridgeport. It is the death of real oversight I attempt to challenge routinely by asking questions to see if one or more Council persons responds. Time will tell.

  5. I guess Bill really believes Bridgeport is getting better every day! I don’t know about you folks, but his statement hasn’t been working out very well for me.

    Bill hasn’t stepped up to the plate and he is whiffing badly on this and many other issues.

    I know it’s March Madness but Bill and his Gang of Four have gone into the proverbial Four Corner Stall.

    MJF needs to come out swinging for the fences in November. No sacrifice bunts in a primary.

    1. Up On Bridgeport, you know I respect you. I wish I knew what the letter was MJF sent out last month. The ship may have sailed. You honestly don’t think Bridgeport has improved? I understand the anti-Finch mentality here but honestly, he may have the personality of lint but unless there is an enthusiastic platform and a plan for development that can eclipse Finch’s, then it is a done deal unless there is some scandal. Even if there were a new coalition to band together to unseat Finch, it would fail because things are happening.

      If someone has a copy of Mary-Jane’s letter, Lennie? Please forward.

      Lisa Parziale, Ron Mackey and Donald Day, Jim Fox etc. All Ganim supporters, does Joe have something he wants to add and support this post or would he keep the status quo?

      I will listen to all candidates. Where is Howard Gardener? Lt. Daniels???

      1. Steve,
        All of Finch’s Economic Development ideas started with Joe Ganim and it just took Finch and Fabrizi 15 years to try to complete any of them.
        And again I am not a Ganim supporter but please, Finch has done NOTHING.

        1. Poor Stevie, he’s all over the lot on who the hell he’s going to support!
          Finch is on, then he’s off his list, talk about a weathervane! At this rate by July he’ll be singing Joe Ganim’s praises! Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

          1. Okay Jim Fox, I will listen to all candidates but I am not all over the place. I respect Mary-Jane FOSTER, I will not allow Ganim to get his second chance with the keys to the kingdom. So Jim Fox, I guess to make it clear, although I will listen to all, I will stick with Mayor Bill Finch because he has made great changes. More changes than any mayor in recent history. Is that clear enough for you? If Mary-Jane FOSTER were at all council meetings in the past few years like John Marshall Lee, I would have given her more credibility. I would have hoped she’d run for Senator. I expect to be collecting on a bet from Maria Pereira and Howard Gardner.

            I will be supporting Bill Finch unless I decide to run and I do not see changing this position. In fact Mayor Finch can put a sign on my front lawn. Jim Fox, is my position clear enough for you? I said months ago, anyone suggesting FOSTER run is not a friend of hers. But alas, this is politics.

        2. Bob, Finch crossed the finish line .Ganim had rhetoric and lawsuits. The vision was Paoletta’s but it was Finch who crossed the finish line, get it? Got it? GOOD!

          1. Steve,
            OIB is a location for people to share ideas, opinions and much that is in between, including personal history that in some manner may have shaped whom they have become.

            In that case, your distinguishing between Paoletta’s vision, Ganim’s ‘contributions,’ and Finch’s work of the past seven years is the contribution of someone who runs 5k races with little or no training.

            Any plan of economic development takes decades to work its way through. Look at the amortization schedules on bonds that suck money from the City today to pay for things funded in the past!!! Look at the deals offered to developers today of housing that will allow them to pay 50% of current taxes, or allow a schedule to run for 40 years into the future, forgiving taxes that would be paid to one party while charging more to the 100% taxpayer.

            Will that taxpayer wish to congratulate Bill Finch for crossing the finish line? It ain’t over until it’s over and that is many years into the future, Steve. If you are closing the record books today, for instance, you are saying Steel Point finishes the dream, or somesuch, in the bigger picture? But can you tell me what the expense for acquiring those 70 acres was to the City? There is a chart that is in a packet of OPED materials, but it only shows properties purchased, adjudicated, settled or otherwise taken under eminent domain from 1997-2000. No values more recent. Is that oversight? Or is it sloppy? Don’t you want to know who paid, from what source, and how much to get us into the Steel Point game? There is a document that allows up to $190 Million of bonding. Has it been borrowed? Has it been spent? How so? Who benefited?

            It seems to me our runners are still out on the course. It is a long one and the only place they see the finish line is in their dreams, for they are the believers in the photo op with the shovel in the ground, and not the prophet showing the economic profit for the community when the race is complete. Got it? If not, I will re-explain in person. Time will tell.

          2. John Marshall Lee, I do not want to give you my “I had a dream” speech, but 30 years ago I had a vision for Bridgeport, Charlie Tisdale was in economic development, Thomas Bucci was Mayor and just prior to that my attorney for the first parcel I purchased in Bridgeport at age 23. I had just returned from a six-week tour of the Orient. Life was looking good and Bridgeport looked like the most pitiful city I had ever seen. My last stop was Singapore the garden capital of the world. My vision coincided and greatly ameliorated under the Paoletta plan. On economic development I need not be lectured by JML. It has to start somewhere and it has been the hope of all past Mayors if we could get a single hit it would spur development. In my vision hitting a single would not and has proved will not work. It has to happen simultaneously so investors see progress. So many one-hit wonders fail. Whether it is an upscale grocery store downtown or a Jai Alai. Bridgeport needs 1000s of units of housing and corporate towers. We need a business community to support headquarters and not see our city as the backroom operations of Stanford’s luxurious corporate headquarters. I have a vision the past leadership and elected officials think like hillbillies who have never been exposed to amazing developments. I am not going to insult Paul Timpanelli who has made an incredible living from the BRBC. When they write his memoir, what claim to fame can he really take? I remember Chris Caruso fighting tax abatements for the spectacular Wright Financial Center. That along with the People’s Bank tower were the last landmark buildings to be built downtown. I admire the Forstone Corporation’s commitment to downtown and support of the Mayor. It cannot be easy. We have to bite the bullet, JML, and do whatever it is necessary to spur development. Even if all the City gets upfront is a few jobs and a cosmetic facelift. This needs to occur all over the city so all homeowners reap the benefits of increased property values. To be clear, Chipotle and Starbucks is a joke on Steelepointe, but it is a compliment to people patronizing Bass Pro. Housing and a hotel need to happen simultaneously to show life, lights and activity to keep moving forward. One or two projects just will not help us. Now JML, with your wealth of knowledge, if you and Bob Walsh could figure out a way to attract business and development I am all ears. I do not have the time or patience to listen to a lecture that pretty much keeps Bridgeport in the dark while towns like Milford have approved taller buildings. The town of Waterbury not only has nicer downtown layout and a great UConn campus, they have almost every big-box retailer. We are Fairfield County, not some hick town in middle America.

          3. Steve, Lenny Paoletta was the driving force behind the demise of downtown. Ticket and tow, which chased all retail out and he did nothing else. Mary Moran was right … go to bankruptcy and have to renegotiate the union contracts that were bleeding the city.

          4. Bob Walsh, that post said nothing.

            Bob, you are correct, but the bankruptcy bid failed. The people of the City failed to be educated about the benefits. Mary was 30 years ahead of her time. Unions are losing support across the country. In the end, it is all about economic development. Development will ultimately cure all of Bridgeport’s ills.

  6. That letter seems to make it clear she’s laying the groundwork for another run for mayor. I can definitely see Finch and Ganim beating the $h!t out of each other in debates while MJF stays above the fray.

  7. Steven Auerbach, I guess you missed the first post on this topic:
    Ron Mackey // Mar 19, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Excellent and straight to the point, now that’s leadership. Run Mary-Jane, run.

    1. Steve, I support Joe Ganim’s right to run and if he and Finch are in this together then I will certainly support his endeavor. I think, feel and believe MJF would be the person to take Bridgeport to unrealized heights.

      She would be an excellent choice for a city that has been mired in BS for decades.

      1. Donald Day and Ron Mackey, I am thrilled you support Mary-Jane FOSTER. I would have been considered by many to be one of her biggest supporters. I respect her so much, I would not want her to waste her energy and wait four years. The fact I have been on the other side of the fence with the two of you on almost every occasion, it would feel strange working for the same candidate. I supported Finch his first time around, I believed MJF could have moved many projects forward faster, when she lost the primary I again supported Finch and can see no reason to change captains when Bridgeport is getting better and better! 🙂

  8. Well here’s an interesting little story this morning. Cops raided Testo’s last night, something about an illegal NCAA sports betting pool being run out of there. Really Mario, gambling in your establishment? For shame. Friends were there last night while it happened.

    1. Madison Mario, the mothership; and no, it’s not in the paper yet, I’m sure it will be eventually. The CT Post isn’t exactly CNN as far as getting news out quickly, you know.

  9. It appears to me if MJF wants to run for mayor she should have begun her efforts some time ago. There is only eight months remaining until the November election, unless she will place all her chips on the primary. Needs to raise mucho dinero and get her message out, not easy to do when the local media are complicit or complacent.

  10. flub,
    You argue for conventional wisdom, no doubt. However, does this City buy “messages?” If so, what has Mayor Finch’s message been in recent years and how has he returned to it indicating he is achieving it? “Things getting better every day” is an irritant to taxpayers who have been fooled frequently by the Mayor right from his $600 promise.

    And what is Joe’s message (though he is not yet a candidate) other than: I messed up, I am sorry and I have the ability to do more for Bridgeport, or some such?

    Both men have voter recognition (at least among the older demographics) and each of them seems to have no predictable problem with funding other than where and when to spend it.

    Aren’t they the likely primary opponents, the so-called “heavyweights,” financially speaking, in the ring? And what a fight it could be. Would message intrude?

    Now there are folks who see the City needs reform, but those contributions for campaigning are not coming from reform-minded residents for the most part, I will guess, but from folks with an economic connection to one candidate or the other. And it is entirely likely many of these will find ways to ‘double down’ by contributing to both so they do not lose any opportunity at staying in the financial saddle. The price of admission may seem worthwhile.

    So reform may wait for the actual election cycle to rise against the underside of Bridgeport governance in the past 20 years or so, revealed in the primary? And if it does, what will the full impact be? Of course lots can happen and none of this may play out in this manner. Patience. Time will tell.

    1. John Marshall Lee, Mary-Jane Foster’s statement above shows reform and leadership and I’ve not seen or heard that from anyone else, not Finch or anyone.

      JML, you make a great point when you said, “Now there are folks who see the City needs reform, but those contributions for campaigning are not coming from reform-minded residents for the most part, I will guess, but from folks with an economic connection to one candidate or the other. And it is entirely likely many of these will find ways to ‘double down’ by contributing to both so they do not lose any opportunity at staying in the financial saddle. The price of admission may seem worthwhile.”

  11. Mary-Jane has until May to announce, she should wait and let Joe Ganim and Bill Finch fight it out on the DTC. And while Joe and Bill are kicking each other’s ass in a primary, she should secure the endorsement from the Working Families Party, that’s what I would do. Maybe that’s her plan? This way Mary-Jane can take the fight all the way to December, while she’s raising buckets of money.

        1. Finch would love to see as many people as possible in this race/primary, if Mary–Jane jumps into the primary or anyone else the absentees will decide the winner, what Finch would be hoping for is four- or five-way split. In a head-to-head match Finch will be defeated.
          The longer the ballot count on primary day the better for Finch, the faster the results come in, the worse for Finch. They need stall time to beat out the machine count results.
          Look for the mailbag in the corner to decide this one!
          Every election in Bridgeport is won by the ABs. Just look at how Steve Stafstrom won in Black Rock 129th, it all came down to the absentee ballot count. Mary-Jane can jump into the primary but I think she would be helping Finch.
          Mary–Jane could win this with help of the WFP, but she needs November’s general election to pull it off.

          Send check to C/O Jim Fox, Seaside Ave, 06605.

          Bridgeport is getting Bitter every day!

  12. I don’t live in Bridgeport, but I own a business that employs 48 people who predominately live in Bridgeport. We have been hanging on by our proverbial fingernails the past dozen years, but I see a bright light ahead at the end of the tunnel. Bridgeport’s location along the I95 and Rt 8 corridors should have been a home run long ago. Property values in Bridgeport are very depressed in comparison with other nearby towns. There are many valid reasons, including poverty rates, contaminated properties, high property taxes, however the stigma of corruption in politics has stopped many people from making an investment in Bridgeport. I am now, for all intents and purposes, betting the farm on the future of Bridgeport. I absolutely need the highest ethics in our government for my company to compete and prosper. Mayor Finch was dealt a pretty bad deck of cards when he took leadership of Bridgeport. The city was essentially bankrupt and unable to meet its financial responsibilities. The city still can’t adequately fund its pension liabilities as Mr. Walker has pointed out many times. Our former mayors made promises they couldn’t keep as did our former Governor. Mayor Finch has spread himself very thin to plug the holes. I have no idea why anyone would want his job. I do however believe Bridgeport is very close to achieving a critical mass of new business investment. I’ve served on the BRBC board the past four years and I’ve never seen so much coming through the pipeline. There is a lot of economic activity happening that will bring real jobs to the city. My company will be part of this renaissance bringing jobs to Bridgeport. We need to keep our leadership on the straight and narrow. We need our leaders to know we stand behind them when they are honest and we will bury them if they stray. Please keep the faith, Bridgeport really is getting better. The milkman always delivers.

    1. Milkman, great post! Thank you for seeing the big picture and great potential of our great city. For 10 years I commuted to Stamford as a Master Scheduler in a high-tech manufacturing facility. Stamford was in so many ways the mirror of Bridgeport. I watched that city get built up what seemed like overnight. I see SO much more potential for Bridgeport. Keep the faith. Word of advice. Do not frequent this blog. The negativity is sometimes unbearable. Your post was uplifting.

    2. Sorry, Milkman. You are a little late with that delivery.
      Have you already forgotten Manny’s driveway?
      The construction management/minority contracting corrupt acts?
      The inside straight deal with Julian?
      A director of purchasing who publicly admits to ignoring the city’s Procurement Ordinance?
      But on top of all that is the fact Finch DID NOTHING to deal with the inherent problems. He issued press releases about more transparency and personal disclosures and then totally ignored his own words and threw his proposal in the trash can. That is milking the system and not delivering the goods. You should know the difference.

  13. It is refreshing to have a real Bridgeport business person offer some thoughts, even if he does it using a pseudonym. So Doug Wade, welcome to the blog with participants ranging from knowledgeable cynics to unabashed Pollyannas to people who should be taking their medication.

    Bridgeport needs more people like you who can see potential. Robert Scinto (RD Scinto) explained to me about 20 years ago why he does not invest in Bridgeport. “The numbers don’t work” he said. Perhaps you can make the numbers work along with businesses like Amodex.

    Many of us find it laughable when the Finch administration has events organized by what I refer to as his ministry of public enlightenment, and makes statements that are not true or are just silly. Strong leaders deal with reality.

    I was on the Bridgeport Chamber board for nine years, including much of the Ganim years. I tried to convince the board Bridgeport city government needed a watchdog. They did not agree, and instead dealt with more important matters such as designating an official city flower, the official city tree, etc. The rest is history.

    In spite of our comments on this blog, the next mayor will be selected by the Democratic town committee in return for favors such as city jobs. I hope you can be a voice of reality for attracting businesses to Bridgeport because Bill Finch certainly is not.

  14. I’m going to throw out a scenario that may play out in the Bridgeport mayoral race. Mary-Jane Foster’s window of opportunity closes by the day. Joe Ganim has name recognition on par with Bill Finch. The OIB Pol shows what I’ve been hearing for years–the people love and support Joe Ganim.
    When I voted on the OIB Poll, the only name I placed in the “someone else” spot was Mary-Jane Foster. Foster is a wonderful woman, cares for Bridgeport, and is indeed qualified to serve as mayor or a TOP LEVEL position in any future administration. I can’t see Mary-Jane Foster working under Bill Finch. Only Steve would commend her if she did. Can Joe Ganim and Mary-Jane Foster come to an agreement in which Joe Ganim would appoint Mary-Jane Foster the CAO or City Attorney in the event Joe Ganim wins? The main concern of voters opposed to Joe Ganim is the scandal and conviction. Mary-Jane Foster would be in my opinion and excellent person to keep City Hall honest and transparent. Joe Ganim needs a gatekeeper in the event he wins. I sent Lennie a question–you’re not mad at me, eh Lennie? I asked Lennie if it was illegal or unethical for any mayoral candidate to enter into such an agreement. Some would even see it as a form of pay-to-play. In a case such as the one I raised, it would not be pay-to-play. It should be done transparently and publicly to avoid any changes of minds or plans after the election. What say you?

    1. Joel Gonzalez, Bob Walsh makes a good point, Mary-Jane and Jack would have a hard time moving based on past history with Joe Ganim. Now Joel, let’s turn your idea around and have Mary-Jane Foster as mayor and Joe working for her administration thereby there would be checks and balances on Joe’s day-to-day work for the City. This would still give Joe time to rebuild himself and to run at a later time.

    2. Joel,
      You are telling us you want Mary-Jane to be his wet nurse. You are also telling us you want her to have some sort of oversight of her boss. If I were Mary-Jane, I would be insulted by the first, and I would know the second would be a completely untenable position, what could I possibly do if he were a bad boy? Quit? Ah, but again if I were Mary-Jane I would have too much class to dignify this with a response. Luckily, I’m not Mary-Jane, so I can tell you you’re out of your mind.

    3. Joel, here’s a visual. Mary-Jane FOSTER supporting Joe Ganim. I’d vomit projectiles and lose all respect for her for what it’s worth and to imagine she would be appointed under Joe Ganim. Mary-Jane FOSTER was meant for great things. Being a stooge in a Ganim administration just couldn’t get any more pathetic, Joel. I could definitely see that coalition as sad as it may be Moore and Gomes and sadly FOSTER. Well time will tell. Personally, Finch hasn’t a worry.

  15. Joel,
    I cannot speak for Mary-Jane but she and Jack have their issues with Joe going back to the arena and hockey team and the shoddy construction of the ball park, et cetera.
    As I said, I cannot speak for Mary-Jane but if I were a betting man I would definitely bet against it.

      1. In recognition of March Madness, let’s throw another name into Bridgeport’s election-year cauldron: Enrique Torres.

        Lennie and OIB handicappers … how ’bout that scenario?

          1. Andy, I got it. Must be the hibernation that’s dulled my senses. But let’s assume through some strange series of events, it’s Finch, Foster and Torres in the bracket. How would you handicap that combination? If you really want a challenge, throw Ganim into the mix.

            And don’t hold back. Your clarity of expression makes OIB worth reading.

    1. MJF and Jack need to move past those issues from the past. I am aware of the past and the mistrust on their part. They didn’t get the Arena deal as it was allegedly promised to them. The Chairman of Contracts and Appointments at the time must have missed the memo. How about you and I bet a cup of joe on this?

    2. My understanding is Joe Ganim sold Mary-Jane and Jack’s business down the river and never looked back. I can’t imagine she or they would endorse him for anything, much less mayor. As for others, who would endorse Ganim? Even if you don’t think he was a crook and he didn’t rob the city of its opportunity, wouldn’t you just say he has incredibly poor judgment? Would you really vote for some guy who thought wine and snappy suits were the top agenda item?

      1. The air we breathe in Bridgeport? The water we drink (courtesy of Aquarion) and that which creates municipal borders in so many parts of the City? The political culture with its pantheon of “colorful political characters” and the games they played?
        If you are going to dis Ganim for prioritizing “wine and snappy suits” while Mayor (and as his train was leaving the tracks), do you or do any readers have any excuse for City Council members who refuse to make their Stipend Ordinance and the way they receive funds fit together today? Why are some content to maintain the status quo (secret records and tax-favored stipends) while a debit card advance is opposite to reimbursement for officially reported business expenses? And why is requesting purchase orders out of public sight for charitable contributions during primary season any different from a ‘snappy suit’ that makes the candidate look better to the public? And the public never knew their funds were being tapped for the gift. Wow. Is this a culture of politics that follows the spirit of ethical practice, of integrity (when no one is looking at your actions), or of truly representing the public as servants or stewards? I think not, but … time will tell.


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