Ganim Declares New Beginning For City … ‘We Are That Voice’–Judge Rodriguez Lectures Malloy To Embrace Ganim In A Second-chance Appeal

Ganim at podium
Ganim at podium delivers inaugural speech. Photo by Heather Goulet.

Asserting Tuesday night before roughly 1000 supporters, elected officials and family in the Klein Memorial Auditorium that he’s “learned much from my life’s many experiences … Lessons about how a person can fall–and get back up–of how one faces adversity after making mistakes,” Joe Ganim officially returned as mayor to Connecticut’s largest city that he governed for more than 11 years, receiving the oath of office from his father George Ganim.

In an uplifting night filled with song selections from the Lighthouse Program Gospel Choir and Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Mass Choir, Ganim emphasized he will govern in an open, accountable and accessible manner with the public.

Superior Court Judge Eddie Rodriguez served as master of ceremonies with a toastmaster’s touch declaring to paraphrase the late Yogi Berra “this is like déjà vu all over again.” Rodriguez served as MC the last time Ganim received the oath of office for mayor in 1999. Rodriguez also sparked the crowd by urging Governor Dan Malloy, who did not attend, to embrace Ganim in the governor’s second-chance program. Rodriguez cited Malloy’s recent Thanksgiving message that highlighted a second chance society.

Frank Caggiano, bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport representing Catholics in Fairfield County, delivered an opening prayer.

Ganim’s three children, Krista, Joseph and Robert, led the crowd in the pledge of allegiance.

Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman attended, sitting nearby Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa on the Broadway-style Klein stage with other elected officials and dignitaries. Testa sat next to Bishop Caggiano.

The Klein, with a capacity of 1,400, was jammed on the lower level with some sitting in the balcony.

The following elected officials received the oath of office

City Sheriffs: Michael Garrett, Wesley Matthews, Joe McLaine, Michael Moretti, Wilfred Murphy, Stephen Nelson

Board of Education: Dennis Bradley, Kevin McSpirit, Maria Pereira, Ben Walker

Town Clerk Charles “Don” Clemons

City Clerk Lydia Martinez

City Council, 130th District Kathryn Bukovsky, Scott Burns; 131 Jack Banta, Denese Taylor-Moye; 132 Evette Brantley, John Olson; 133 Tom McCarthy, Jeanette Heron; 134 Michelle Lyons, AnyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia; 135 Richard Salters, Mary-McBride-Lee; 136 Jose Caco, Alfredo Castillo; 137 Milta Feliciano, Aidee Nieves; 138 Nessah Smith, Anthony Paoletto; 139 James Holloway, Eneida Martinez.

Ganim was introduced by Judge Rodriguez who delivered an impassioned plea on behalf of a second-chance society, urging Governor Dan Malloy who’s created distance from Ganim to embrace Ganim just as the governor has others who seek a fresh start. Rodriguez urged Ganim to be “the bright shining light of redemption.”

Ganim received the oath from his father at 7:42 pm to a standing ovation. Ganim’s prepared remarks:

I want to first give thanks to God for blessing me and all of us with this day.

Congratulations to all my fellow elected officials on this historic day.–A job well done.

I want to thank every resident of Bridgeport for giving me this historic opportunity to once again lead our City.

And I pledge to work hard every day to fulfill our hope for a better Bridgeport, a Bridgeport that works for everyone.

I am so very blessed by an amazing family and a wide circle of friends who believe in our mission of rebuilding this City.

Your help and support has been–and will continue to be instrumental in giving me the strength to succeed. Thank you again.

I understand that this is a new beginning.

I have learned much from my life’s many experiences–Lessons about how a person can fall–and get back up–of how one faces adversity after making mistakes.

I have learned that in America—and particularly in this great city–if you are true to a cause, work hard, and are not afraid to ask for a second chance, you can find and experience that moment of redemption.

I take these as lessons learned, and as your mayor I will apply them wisely.

T.S. Eliot wrote–“… last year’s words belong to last year’s language–and next year’s words await another voice.” WE ARE THAT VOICE.

This new administration-–YOUR ADMINISTRATION–will work hard to always treat people with RESPECT while showing HUMILITY as we work to improve the quality of life for all of our residents.

Today-–for us and all of Bridgeport, THE PAST IS DONE AND OUR FUTURE HAS NOW BEGUN.

One of the most important first steps for me as your Mayor will be to make city hall a more welcoming place and ensure Bridgeport’s city government reflects the diverse composition of our great city.

We will appoint talented managers to champion reforms so government works better for everyone …

I will  also be a hands-on Mayor, accessible to all residents and city employees. That is, a mayor who will work day and night to brighten our future by improving the quality of life for ALL of US.

Bridgeport needs to be the city of good jobs and good wages.

–Bridgeport needs to be the city where every child can attain a 21st century education.

–Bridgeport needs to be the place to develop and expand small businesses.

–Bridgeport needs to be a safe city and a place where taxes are not burdening our residents.

Our new Administration will be effective and accountable from day one. With that, I am creating an Office of Public Integrity and I will present this idea to the Council within my first hundred days.

With that commitment, we will work to rebuild the connection between government and the people, a connection that has been missing for too long.

–We will publicize budget documents and reports and obtain the input of Bridgeport’s citizens.

–We will conduct a top to bottom review of city spending to determine how we can CUT costs. So we can use all of our efforts to fight against Bridgeport’s high property taxes.


From day one, I will work with our police department to REBUILD morale and PUT community police officers back in our neighborhoods.


I will work with the Board of Education, teachers, administrators, and parents to make sure all our children get the quality education they deserve.


I know how to create jobs–REAL JOBS–and growth for our city–as we did when we built the Ballpark at Harbor Yard, the Arena, Housatonic Community College, the Bridgeport Transportation Center–and set in place the plan for the development of Steelpointe.

Today is the day we begin to bring about the positive results that everyone desires. Together we will realize the promise of Connecticut’s largest city.



  1. It was an amazing evening. Too many highlights. The reception was equally lovely. The food was excellent! It’s always nice to see a few hundred friendly and familiar faces. I wish everyone well. I thought Mayor Ganim’s speech was excellent. It was nice to see his three children so proud as were his brothers. I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were proud to be part of a great night. Always proud of my councilwoman in the 134th but knew everyone sworn in. I am glad John Fabrizi was acknowledged. I think they thought he was not there. Everyone who was anyone in the city was there. Disappointed Mary Moran was not there and I know she was respectfully invited. Finch and Foster were not there. I would have liked it if former Mayor Bill Finch were there. But if he can ignore the University of Bridgeport for eight years, why show respect for the incoming Mayor? Sometimes you just have to do the right thing! It is not for me to judge. Ritchie Paoletto swearing in his son Anthony as the youngest elected Councilman in the city was a great moment as well as Maria Pereira making an emotional speech introducing her daughter. This was a great evening no doubt and I was thrilled to be there. John Ricci–don’t forget that pen! 🙂

  2. Steve,
    Are you forgetting Finch’s week-long reign of terror starting with Gaudett and ending with hiring his Real Estate buddy and direct depositing tons of money into his and his cronies’ bank accounts?
    He will never show his face at a political Bpt function again.

    1. Frank Venna. First, the Mayor’s staff is gone. If the Mayor hired a man with a real estate background, he must be qualified. It was just a job, civil service and most likely necessary to enhance the economic development dept. I am disappointed in the five-year appointment, that just was not necessary. Ganim will survive that. The raises out the door will ultimately benefit Ganim so he can use it for rhetoric but he makes out.

      Finch’s last-minute issues that were not necessary actually benefited Mayor Ganim. People are disgusted! Mayor Finch alienated a huge community with the gaffe he would never associate with a felon. I was thinking about all the people I have known as friends and acquaintances over the past 40 years of my adult life. I realize I have known and respected many individuals who have been convicted felons. Some, extreme. People do change. Sometimes people speak without a filter and once spoken you cannot take it back. I wish Mayor Finch well in the next chapter of his life. I wish Joe Ganim great success and I am certain he will deliver. I believe development will move full speed ahead and everyone knows that is my favorite topic.

      I do not think we need to even mention the former Mayor. We just need to focus on the future and support Joe Ganim and make it clear we will not accept the ignorance of the Republican party believing Joe Ganim will be the poster child for corruption in Connecticut!

      1. The friend/real estate agent was hired on Finch’s last day. If you really think he was hired because Finch feels he will enhance the economic department Steven, then you are so far gone there is no hope for you. Maybe you should pay his six-figure salary along with Tiago who checks potholes.

      2. Steve, you were the biggest NON-Joe Ganim person on OIB, you posted more negative comments against Ganim than anybody and now you’ve jumped ship to team Ganim; please, what a suck-up.

        1. Amen, Mr. Mackey. Steve was king of the Ganim bashers and now he’s down on his knees ready to kiss and/or suck various parts of Joe Ganim’s anatomy.

          1. The Bridgeport Kid, I will not be a degenerate like yourself on this blog. I will respect the office of the Mayor. I am no longer interested in being the lone defender of Mayor Finch or Mary-Jane Foster. I am not here for your entertainment. I will not ask you to service any part of my anatomy or that of the Mayor. Better a cheerleader for Ganim than a whiner on this blog.

          2. You’ve “degenerated” yourself on this blog more than a few times, telling one commenter you were going to put your cock in his mouth.

            Hypocrisy doesn’t look good on anyone, Steve.

          3. Again Derek Brown, I am not interested in how many of the 2000 votes you got for Enrique Torres nor discussing my genitals. I have grown bored of the blog and spend time on Facebook. If my support of Ganim is hypocritical to you, then just get over it. I am being respectful to the Mayor. I like his appointments and I really am now interested in letting Joe get down to business as he gets ready to bring Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders to Bridgeport.

        2. Ron Mackey and Harvey Weintraub; first, let’s be honest. I was horrible to Ganim on this blog. He knows it and so does every one of my friends who worked their asses off for him. I have worked on many campaigns with most of them–let’s just say about 100 of his supporters. You get that, right? Now let’s say I have had more conversations with Joe Ganim in passing than I have had with Bill Finch and Mary-Jane Foster. Let’s acknowledge I have never bad-mouthed Joe outside this blog. Let’s acknowledge I have been in Ganim’s headquarters saying hello to my friends more than you have been in Mary-Jane’s headquarters. Let’s acknowledge I have said all along I thought Foster could not win but as a loyalist and a fool I supported her for Finch. Let’s acknowledge I have all along acknowledged what a great campaign Ganim ran. Let’s acknowledge I have an excellent rapport with most of his staunch supporters and let’s acknowledge I have respect for the office. Let’s acknowledge I love Bridgeport and so does Joe Ganim. Let’s acknowledge I had voted for Joe Ganim twice. Let’s get that word suck-up out of the way because you will not hear any negative stuff from me about Ganim. I have been ruthless to him during the campaign on this blog only!!! His supporters know that and his real supporters know exactly where my heart is. I campaign until the day of the election and then I work with all my friends at the polls and we have a ball. Last night I had the opportunity to congratulate my friends who have received appointments especially those I did not see see the night after the general election at Testo’s. I went to congratulate the victor, in my book it is the respectful thing to do and oh yeah, during the campaign I have apologized to Joe Ganim for abusing him on the blog. This blog is read by a select group and most know me personally. So Mr. Mackey and Mr. Weintraub, sorry but calling me a suck-up doesn’t fly. This will most likely be the last time I defend my support of Ganim. He is the Mayor and I totally believe he will do great things and if by chance he falls from grace, well golly gee whiz, there will be another election in four years. Coviello and Torres will run and things will be as normal as they can possibly be in Bridgeport! I did mention I would not be responding to any more crap about anyone questioning my good-natured support of Ganim. My new $80,000 a year position has absolutely nothing to do with it! Kidding, of course!

          1. Steve, so your comments here are not necessarily real, ever, because there are certain things you say here but nowhere else?
            And your use of “I” in your post above more than 25 times, not including “my” and other personal references reveals your love of the City, or your over-the-top self-regard? Perhaps the new administration will appoint a “court jester” and you will apply? Time will tell.

          2. Didn’t know the position of court jester paid $80,000 a year. How are the benefits? Do you get medical, dental and a 401(k)?

          3. Steve doesn’t have a point, just a shiny bald head and the ugliest horn-rimmed glasses this side of Woolworth’s.

  3. Wow Steve, you certainly changed your tune from the summer about Joe. And on a related note, I’ve never seen such disdain for an outgoing mayor as I do now for Finch. I was having breakfast at the Galaxy diner yesterday, and a few at the counter were talking about “that crook” Finch. The only time that comes close in my opinion was when Mandanici got voted out. The way a lot in the city feel about Bill is his own fault, if he would have only handled himself with class for the last month, he would have been a little more respected in the future, imo. I believe Finch will ultimately land on his feet with a job with the UI, I think that was arranged when Bill arranged that sweet deal for them for the solar field at Seaside. We shall see.

    1. Finch will be training as a barista at the new Starbucks. When you order your cappuccino remember to specify small, medium or large. Bill hasn’t memorized the fancy terminology just yet.

  4. *** Let’s not spoil Ganim’s special moment yesterday with the mention of Mr. Green Jeans and his vindictive ways on this particular story site about a nice city event, no? ***

  5. Superior Court Judge Eddie Rodriguez doesn’t have to worry about Gov. Malloy in helping Bridgeport because he needs Bridgeport if he has any future political plans and with his approval rating in the low 30% range. Malloy needs friends and voters and he sees the handwriting on the wall.


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