Ganim-Harp Mayoral Bond Leads To BridgeHaven

Ganim, Harp, Murren
Toni Harp, left and Ganim chat with MGM CEO Jim Murren in Bridgeport. CT Mirror image Mark Pazniokas.

While Governor Dan Malloy continues to wire development deals to Stamford where he once served as mayor, Mayor Joe Ganim and New Haven Mayor Toni Harp have partnered on several fronts to bolster jobs and development. As the New Haven Independent’s Paul Bass reports they joined forces on a casino proposal and youth summer hoops tournament. Now they’re teaming on the Amazon HQ2 sweepstakes.

Ganim, in an exploratory stage for governor, has made New Haven a magnet for his political ambition with Harp and Ganim leveraging a symbiotic relationship on behalf of Connecticut’s two largest cities. The New Haven Independent has coined a campaign: BridgeHaven.

And, of course, it’s a natural question to ask: a Ganim-Harp gubernatorial ticket? Wouldn’t Joe love that.

New Haven Independent contribution. illustration by Bruce Oren.

From Paul Bass:

The mayors of New Haven and Bridgeport–until now two parallel urban universes 21 miles apart–have decided it makes sense to do business together in order for both of Connecticut’s two largest cities to grow. And they’re making it a habit.

“I don’t think that we’ve seen it previously. … You haven’t seen New Haven and Bridgeport working together,” New Haven’s Toni Harp said during her latest appearance on WNHH radio’s “Mayor Monday” program. “As more and more of these proposals come up, they’re looking for a place where there are more people. We begin to look at our neighbors and say, ‘Who can we work with?'”

“I’ve never had a problem with [Bridgeport Mayor] Joe Ganim. We always worked together on ‘urban policy issues’ when I was in the State Senate. He’s been easy to work with. And so am I,” Harp said.

Call it a marriage of mutual economic self-interest at a time when the state’s fiscal tap is running dry.

“I admire Mayor Harp and am excited about working with her and the City of New Haven,” Ganim said. He said the casino and Amazon opportunities brought the two administrations together in the quest for “billions of investment and thousands of jobs.”

He called Bridgeport and New Haven “just minutes away.” “The benefits of each city, for jobs and tax base growth as well as for the region and the state, are magnified and become massive when you combine the attributes.

See full story here.



    1. This native New Havener says Toni Harp has no credilibity, so she can’t give any to JG2.

      She started her mayoral career lining in a house in my old neighborhood, built by her late husband and son that had no COs, and then publicly blamed it on them.
      She is a party hack, looking out for herself. Her first term she made herself chairman of the New Haven Board of Education…talk about conflict of interest.

  1. As a concept, this is great from a marketing standpoint and a interesting economic collaboration from two of the biggest cities in the state; both with its own inherent benefits and obvious problems. The question is does Ganim and Harp have the effectiveness to make this collaboration more than a slogan? I do not know anything about Harp, but until Ganim shows he wants to do the heavy lifting of being mayor and not just someone who like having their picture taken, this will not rise above a neat concept.

  2. New Haven and Bridgeport have a lot in common as similar size cities with a lot of the same problems. New Haven adds some swagger to the mix and Bridgeport has some solid foundation.
    Connecticut’s cities suffer from lack of regionalization and a preponderance of home rule that the suburban communities use to marginalize its cities.

    This is a great concept of collaboration.

    No surprise Commissioner Smith says Hartford is the best place for Amazaon. The absurd paradigm of Hartfords viability is pathetic. A lot of pretension is Hartford. Go away…please..

  3. Ultimately this is a good thing, forget about Amazon HQ2, that’s mostly a pipe dream but to collaborate on future projects and transit oriented development is a good thing. Let’s just hope that relationship outlive Ganim and Harp for the sake of both cities. I worry that the message will be lost due to the baggage of the messengers.


Leave a Reply