Ganim Decision Time: Balancing Tax Cut With Calls For More Education Funding

Mayor Joe Ganim has a decision to make within the next several days, veto or approve alterations the City Council made to his proposed spending plan for the budget year starting July 1, including redirecting $1.3 million of his election-year tax cut to the flat-funded school system.

Ganim had proposed a budget that included a $150 cut for the average homeowner, according to city bean counters, something the council roughly halved. Ganim has line item veto power so he can mess with changes the council made to his budget. The council would need a two-thirds vote or 14 votes to override him.

Ganim is taking this time to determine if several million in state funding assumptions that the council removed from his spending plan can be restored. Municipal budgets are often at the mercy of the ongoing state budget deliberations. The budget that the council approved May 6 provides a two-week veto window for the mayor.

Within the next week Ganim will announce his response to the council’s budget based on his review of their changes as well as confirming anticipated state dollars.

Will he restore the tax cut and flat fund schools or approve a smaller cut while increasing education?

The Connecticut Post editorial page, for one, is urging Ganim to support more dough for schools.

The mayor has the authority to veto the budget or individual line items. He can have his tax cut and run for another term on a record of saving money for local voters.

But that savings would come at a tremendous price. The school system needs money. There’s still uncertainty about what will happen in terms of state funding, on which the system overwhelmingly depends, but the city needs to do more.

The mayor should forget his tax cut. He should put the money toward education, where it is most needed. It won’t be enough, but it’s the right course of action, which should count more than a re-election bid.

Full editorial here.

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23 comments

    1. Jessica Martinez is Chair of the Finance Committee. Both Joe Lombard and I serve on the committee.

      He was not in attendance at this weeks meeting. We were debating devastating cuts proposed by Dr. Johnson and Marlene Seigel which included closing Hall School and merging 200 students into Edisom School.

      Out of no where Jessica wants to take a vote to close Hall School so the Board could vote on it on Monday’s meeting. I said absolutely not. We have a comprehensive school closure policy which requires substantial analysis whi a traffic study, parent notification, an establishment of a committee,a public hearing at the school being closed and more. Not one of those requirements has been met.

      I stated you voted to end the Community Conversations because of your political buddies on the City Council stating they won’t give us money if we hold them accountable. How did that work out? She stated unequivocally that “we cancelled them because of you.” She stated everything you said about Ganim was true and factual but we couldn’t piss them off because we were fighting for kids. She said she would not be supporting those City Council members going forward.

      I stated ” you’te a paid Charter $school lobbyist fighting for money follows the child which hurts BPS students.” She said she was fighting for equity for all our kids. I responded with the state statutes governing local school boards makes it clear your responsibility is to provide an adequate Education for Bridgeport Public School children. Her response was priceless. She stated ” at least I have a job and am not on welfare like you.” I calmly responded “I am not on welfare, nor have I ever been.” She didn’t want to talk about it anymore

      I want to be clear that I support providing welfare for those in need. I don’t have a problem with helping someone survive when they are struggling. I have just never been on welfare.

      She doesn’t even understand the difference between equity and equal.

  1. Playing right into his hands as if it makes any different either way
    It seems it’s ok to make a new school for $120 million that we don’t need. That’s not chump change. And who makes money as bonding council?

  2. Ganim doesn’t have money for our 20,400 school children, yet there is plenty for his operatives.

    I received information that Ganim treasuer Anthony Paoletto had cut a deal with Health Director Maritza Bond to eliminate a position in the Health Department and utilize those savings to bump up his salary by $30,000. A twentysomething getting a $30,000 pay raise in a city job he has held less than a year. I am sure this huge raise would be based solely on his professional qualifications and accomplishments. 🙂

    Can anyone say conflict of interest? What about quid pro quo?

    Pay attention FBI.

  3. At last Monday’s City Council meeting Christina Smith read the following letter just before the City Budget vote was taken. It was perhaps the best thing I’ve ever heard in the Council Chambers and that’s saying a lot as I’ve been going there since the Mandanici administration.

    Christina has given me permission to share it., so here it is:

    Last year I was new on city council and on the committee which sets our budget and mill rate for the year. I voted yes on the work we did because I believed in the efforts we took in putting together the city’s budget. But they say ignorance is bliss, and over the last few weeks I’ve come to better understand the workings that truly determine our budget. It is not negotiation and compromise as one would expect, but a system of patronage, politics, and threats that funnel money to where it should not go at the expense of the kids and the places it should be going to move the city forward. I cannot sit by and think that the efforts made on Saturday where the best that we could do, not when i know that a number of the budget changes made where done for reasons that have more to do with politics and patronage than doing what’s best for our city.

    They say it takes one to know one so perhaps the reason those who consistently harp on and question the validity of the BOE budget do so because they have seen firsthand or know that they are actively themselves taking part in padding the budget of other departments with patronage jobs and line items that should not be there, thus they can only assume the BOE is doing it too. Many may think a job or raise here or there is just part of the political game, but when added up these patronage jobs and line items cost taxpayers millions of dollars while at the same time depriving the kids in our schools of the opportunity to get the education they need to even attempt to make it in a society that often puts undue barriers in front of them because of their skin color or ethnicity.

    I try to do my best to live a life where I do no harm, and in particular, where my efforts for success are done in a way so as not to harm others. Not only does voting for this current budget go against the voices that spoke up to fund our schools, voices that did not ask for a tax cut, it goes against my own personal values – as a human being who believes in helping others, not for my own gain, but to support them so that they may succeed. Bridgeport is not unique in the financial woes that plague the school system and city overall, but it could be unique in taking the steps to support the systems that have caused our city and schools to languish in a hierarchy and structure that favors those who would step on others, including children, to advance themselves.

    When I agreed to run for city council, I did so naively, agreeing because I thought it would be yet another opportunity to work towards contributing to bringing prosperity back to a city that was once a leader in this nation. But I didn’t know the extent to which others, public servants no less, would go to only enrich themselves. Society may paint large, for-profit corporate entities and capitalism as the evil against our fellow human being, but here, in a role where we are meant to serve the public, too many are serving themselves, and either lie to or convince themselves that the actions they are taking are best for the city. At best it’s willful ignorance, but in reality, it’s a blatant disregard for the citizens of this city. I am okay with those who want to advance themselves, but I am not okay when it’s dishonest and at the expense of others. Systems, good and bad, are created by individuals. So, each person participating in that system is responsible for the outcomes that result from the actions that system takes. Given that as an individual, I play a part in the system, I refuse to be complicit in denying the students of Bridgeport the support they need to thrive in a country where again many of them, because of their race, especially in our current national political environment, will already face numerous hurdles at a fair chance to succeed in life.

    As we vote on the budget tonight or tomorrow if that may be the case, I ask you my fellow city council members, to ask yourselves what you are really voting for, what you really are supporting.

    Christina Smith
    City Councilmember, D-130th

    1. Christina Smith’s speech was the most eloquent statement I have heard from a sitting City Council member

      She received a standing ovation and a lengthy, resounding applause for her remarks.

  4. So my neighbors and I will get together to celebrate Mayor Ganim’s New Chicken-Shit Budget, with a Bottle of Chateau Lafite or Chateau Latour if we can afford them.
    Now we as Taxpayers are also under the (assumption) that Joe’s Chicken-Shit Tax Cut, will give us enough money to purchase one of those bottles, by pooling are Chicken-Shit Tax Cut together here in Flucking Stump-ville Black Rock.

    So under the less desirable (assumptions), if (Mayor Chicken-Shit) goes with the City Council Budget we would need 21.33 Flucking Pot-Hole Taxpayers to split a bottle of Chateau Lafite @ $75 each.
    (That’s equivalent to a half a shot glass each of Chateau Lafite)

    Now if (Mayor Chicken-Shit) sticks to his Chicken-Shit Budget and Veto’s the C.C revised Chicken- Shit Budget. The City Council will have to over-ride this Chicken-Shit Mayor by a two thirds vote for the School Kids.

    Then this Chicken -Shit Mayor can’t say he was “Holding the Line on Taxes”!
    But for the last four years, this Chicken Shit Mayor was “ really” Holding the Line on Education!!!

    1. Well, if it’s good wine just ask Joe Ganim for the best wine and his old driver AJ Perez can tell you where he Ganim bought wine back in the day.

  5. John thanks for sharing the letter from Christina Smith which by the way was a tribute to exasperation with having to fight for the education of the youth of Bridgeport. Certain council members are more concerned with towing the party line and appeasing the wishes of that fool, Mayor Ganim.

    Christina Smith, doing what’s right is never easy and seldom popular, but you can look at the lady in the mirror and know that the lady you see tried to do what’s moral, what’s right and what’s just.

  6. As of 2007 The city’s public school system had 30 elementary schools, three comprehensive high schools, two alternative programs and an interdistrict vocational aquaculture school. The system has about 23,000 students, making the Bridgeport Public Schools the second largest school system in Connecticut. The school system employs a professional staff of more than 1,700.

    And I am sure that the numbers are much higher now. I would imagine that a good 20-25% of these students are the children of illegals and refugees ! Stop the inflow of illegal immigrants and refugees and we can cut back on education funding instead of having to build more schools and hire more teachers who speak fluent Arabic and Spanish and Portuguese.

    Let’s be honest here. Most of these people live in either subsidized rents or public housing and therefore do not contribute one dime toward their children’s educations, while all of the either single residents (without any children)or retired resident home owners of Bridgeport are expected to foot the bill for everyone else.

  7. To the very racist Pavlikinthe North End, I challenge you to post your racist and baseless assertions under your real name.

    You are a coward.

    1. Robert Pavlick IS MY REAL NAME, SMARTIE PANTS, MARIA !

      And where, exactly in my post did I mention RACE???
      I mentioned illegals and so called “refugees” but they come in all races and colors, so don’t put words into my mouth !

      Why do you need my name? So that you can picket my home or harass me in restaurants and grocery stores like your Leftist friends like to do to genuine Americans who stand up for the Constitution and Law and order.

  8. Mr. Racist Robert Pavlik,

    We do not have 30 elementary schools, we have more than just three high schools, we only have 20,400 students, we are currently the largest district in the state, and we have 1500 certified staff members, therefore not a single one of your statistics is “higher now.”

    Please provide your factual basis for your statistic that 25% of our deserving students are from “refugees” or “illegals.” I don’t give one iota about our parents and tudents immigration status. Every child born in this country is a U.S citizen. Children should not be punished for the laws their parents may have broken. Children are INNOCENT.

    We have NOT built a single school because of increased enrollment. We have built new schools because many of our school buildings were built in the early 1900s. Arabic is not even close to one of the top 5 languages spoken in our schools.

    Please provide factual data to support your claim that most of your “illegals” live in subsidized rental apartments or public housing . If you pay rent your rent is being used to pay the taxes on the property.

    I am a GENUINE AMERICAN you jerk. My parents entered the US legally and I was born and raised here. By the way I am Portuguese and PROUD of it.

    This country was built on the backs of slaves and immigrants. Take a history course because you are simply ignorant.

  9. What the fluck is a genuine American and who the hell decides what person is genuine and if one isn’t genuine exactly what is that person and are only socalled Genuine people Americans who stand up for the Constitution and Law and order or are you like your post, full of shit?
    Just asking, inquiring minds want to know!!

  10. This is just one little nugget from Pavlik’s Facebook page. Exactly what are “American boys?” He has pictures of refugees walking with a foreign flag identified as an “invasion” and a picture of a wall with “build the wall.” I don’t think anything else needs to be said.

    “This is very interesting ! It looks to me as though the Blacks and Latinos are trying to blame it all on the Armenian boys, when you know that it always takes “two to Tango”. Gee, I guess that they just don’t like immigrants ! HMMMM. I thought that only White Separatists disliked immigrants.”

  11. According to “45” and his propaganda machine, the US economy is “the best ever” and unemployment has “never been lower” — although Forbes magazine, et al., would beg to differ in both regards…
    But, in any event; for those that choose to believe 45’s bs, they must also be thinking that we’re short all sorts of workers for the present and future, which means that we had better get more working hands into this country — which means IMMIGRATION… 45’s “great!” “best ever!” economy claims strongly imply that he needs to get more immigrants into the country — which, of course means more schools, and teachers, etc. to accommodate IMMIGRANT CHILDREN…

    But, even if you don’t believe ’45, with all of the places in the world that we have destabilized with our hegemonic foreign policy/economic policy (e.g., Middle East, Central America, SE Asia), it is our responsibility to help the victims of our misguided policy avoid the poverty, death, and depravity that we have either initiated or exacerbated in this regard…

    Now: If we’re going to focus on the local level, we need to look at state development policy and how it has deliberately purloined and otherwise savaged the urban (especially Bridgeport) tax base, leaving us short of revenue for all of our municipal needs — especially our schools (where ECS has further, deliberately marginalized Bridgeport… So we shouldn’t be looking at poor immigrant kids as Bridgeport’s problem — it is the Gold Coast/Suburban oligarchy and their lackey’s in Hartford that are ripping off Bridgeport taxpayers and marginalizing (destroying) our city with their greed/elitist-based policies…

    We need to ask our state and federal delegations, as well as our CC, Mayor Ganim, and mayoral candidates what they intend to do address the screwing/short-changing that Bridgeport gets at the hands of the government in Hartford and DC… And if you believe that 45 is going to “make America great again!” ask him why Bridgeport (Connecticut) has apparently been divorced from the US — because the condition of our city and state don’t show any signs of being involved with the “great” upward momentum claimed by 45…

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