Ganim And Harris Come To Terms On Communications Position

Rarely ever is a negotiation with Joe Ganim smooth sailing. It can be a choppy ride. You’re up, you’re down, you’re up, you’re down. Thinking he was headed to a communications job with the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services after volunteering as Ganim’s government spokesperson for five weeks, Av Harris received a call from the mayor to stay on as a paid communications director. On Tuesday, Harris and Ganim came to terms on a $100,000 annual salary. Under the last-minute financial grid approved by outgoing Mayor Bill Finch, the communications director pay range is $98,518 to $108,364. Last week, the City Council, citing an amendment to the Bridgeport City Supervisor’s Association contract that sets executive pay, rejected the pay scale that may require court intervention to sort it out.

Harris, a single dad of two young daughters, has endured a gas-guzzling daily commute from Holyoke, Mass. He’s now looking for an apartment in Bridgeport to reduce his commuter time.

As mayor, Finch had a communications team of four with a higher price tag than what Ganim is currently paying. Ganim currently has three, Harris, Michael Giannotti to handle police and fire and a support staffer to split time between the mayor’s office and Board of Education. Harris served as communications director for eight years for the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s Office.



  1. The original ‘Officers and Unaffiliated Employees’ ordinance was created in the the first Ganim reign (G1). It would be interesting to compare the original list to the current list that, apparently, was approved by the city council prior to them rejecting the supervisors union contract that created that new range.

    The original list did not have a ‘communications director’ nor many of the other positions. It did have ‘press secretary,’ which currently tops out at around $65,000 per year.

    If Ganim were serious about controlling the size and cost of city government, he would use the original listing of officers and unaffiliated employees as the guideline. Unfortunately, that would not allow him to use those positions for his supporters or those who pay homage to the Democrat party system.

    Oh, is he getting a city car?

  2. Tom,
    You are right.
    Ganim is looking more and more like a fraud each day.
    He is joking after the AFSCME contract saying the city can’t afford it but we can afford a $150,000 public safety director, a $100,000 communications director, a $65,000 public safety spokesperson and God knows how much he has added with changing titles for his staff he never explained.


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