Ganim, In New Term, To Address Education And Public Housing

Mayor Joe Ganim is expected to announce some personnel changes to his administration in the coming days. In advance of that he issued a news release announcing the formation of task forces addressing education and the housing authority.

Ganim on the campaign trail promised more money for education after flat funding schools for four years.

News release:

Each Task Force will be required to gather information including public input, then work together to provide a summary report of challenges and weaknesses, as well as any opportunities and finally–recommendations for improved governance and/or operations that will create a positive impact on our community of young people in schools and residents in public housing.

The Education Task Force, consisting of the Superintendent, parents, teachers, and administrative staff is charged with building better working partnerships with the BOE, council and administration, identifying cost efficient purchasing policies and procedures, as well as identifying financial gaps that need attention for the betterment of our students, education, and schools.

“I am looking forward to working with the mayor and representatives from the Bridgeport school community to secure the resources that our students deserve. Our kids are entitled to the same opportunities that other children have in our neighboring communities,” Superintendent Testani.

The Housing Authority Task Force will be address challenges met by BHA and HUD in order to find solutions and create better practices that will benefit the residents of Park City Communities. Various issues have surfaced and were brought to the attention of city officials and the Mayor for unsafe living conditions, health hazards, and quality of life issues. “We need this partnership to be sure issues are handled appropriately and expeditiously for the residents,” said Mayor Ganim.

Cowles Andrews stated, “The Bridgeport Housing Authority is in the process of hiring a permanent Executive Director. The Authority is working to reposition a portion of its functionally obsolete housing stock in order to revitalize neighborhoods.”

“I look forward to these committees building strong partnerships that will bring all parties to the table working collaboratively to provide solutions for our children to have the opportunities that they deserve,” stated City Council President Aidee Nieves. “Each stakeholder of the Task Force needs to be accountable because every Bridgeport resident, young and old deserves an equitable education and living standards.”

“We made positive progress in the first four years, but I recognize that we need to do more, specifically for our young people,” stated Mayor Ganim. “The launch of these task force committees is just the beginning of moving things forward and letting Bridgeporters know that we hear them. I’m looking forward to hearing the ideas and solutions from these committees to make the improvements that will help our city, students and residents thrive. In the coming weeks we will be making a few more announcements regarding reorganization.”

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24 comments

  1. More smoke and mirrors, Joe Ganim did the same thing four years ago where he put together different groups to come with advice to improve the City and nothing happen and nothing will happen this time. Hey Joe, what happened to former Philly and D.C. Police Chief, Charles Ramsey’s report from the investigation into the Bridgeport Police Department and did the City pay Chief Ramsey. Joe, need to fired or remove your Personnel Director, David Dunn.

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  2. Do you remember that in late August Joe Ganim announced that he was forming a task force to focus on the long term needs of school buildings and more.

    He had his props, ACTING Superintendent Mike Testani and John Weldon next to him.

    That task force has met one time, which was right before the September 10th Primary.

    The Board of Education has sole authority over the BPS and they are the sole decision makers over every single aspect of public education.

    This is simply propaganda.

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    1. For someone who acts quite smart you really are quite dumb.
      If the Board of Ed has complete control and Joe and Mario have named their man acting superintendent and I control of the elected BOE is their man John Weldon then Joe and Mario have complete control.

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      1. Bob,

        Don’t EVER call me dumb again. That was completely out of line.

        Know this, I have always made it onto the ballot by going directly to the voters, I have never sought or been endorsed by the DTC, nor would I EVER.

        That is certainly different from the path that you and your mayoral candidate have taken in the past.

        Let me be absolutely clear that I repeatedly state that I don’t start it, but I will be more than happy to finish it.

        No one should ever want me as their enemy, that includes you, Bob.

        I hope I have made myself perfectly clear.

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  3. More propaganda. How about some real news? Joe Ganim has backtracked and stopped any zoning enforcement in the North End concerning the SHU. Also,in the last couple of days,a mysterious business entity in Maryland has bought the Stop&Shop property on Madison Avenue. CT Post inquired but no response from this MD business. Something for North Enders to think about.

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    1. that eyesore on the former Dewhirst property happened on Ganim’s first watch. the neighbors were browbeaten into accepting Stop & Shop because of the fear of “affordable housing” being built on the property. Lyons and Vizzo-Paniccia will accept what ever happens there because – well it will be better than the (vacant) store that should never have been built. will whatever that store is transformed into become a legacy of Ganim’s second watch??
      the SHU debacle won’t end until something serious happens in rental housing….Ganim , Lyons and Vizzo-Paniccia don’t give a flying rat’s behind because elections are over – for a while

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        1. Harvey….I met Michelle Lyons at Stop&Shop a few months ago. Michelle told me that she and AmyMarie don’t talk and AmyMarie does her own thing. I think there are a lot of City Council members who aren’t really engaged

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          1. Lisa and Harvey,,,,,,,Great insight into the Dynamics of our City Council. I truly believe you. The outgoing CC had at least two CC reps who communicated. They will not be in the incoming CC and it will be a loss to all of Bridgeport.

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  4. I must say that in my ten years of involvement and door knocking I have never heard so many voters Express concern about the funding of our public schools as I did this year.

    The number of voters who raised it as an issue before I did was exciting for me.

    Voter after voter brought up the $2.5 million for the Beardsley Zoo Tiger Exhibit. Once I explained that the Beardsley Zoo was owned by the state of CT and that Bridgeport had ZERO responsibility to appropriate a single municipal tax dollar to the zoo, and that as taxpayers they would eventually pay back $3.4 million on that $2.5 million bond they were pissed off.

    I was standing at Thomas Hooker School on September 10th when a woman came sauntering up the long driveway wearing a Jamaican t-shirt. I did not recognize her. I looked over at Nessah and I could tell she did not recognize her either.

    Nessah saunters over towards her and says something to the effect that she and Karen were Jamaican , therefore the woman should vote for them.

    Without missing a step or so much as looking at Nessah she yelled out “I’m nots voting for anyone because theys Jamaican. Me’s voting for peoples that goings to give our kids money for a goods education.”

    She was loud and proud and Nessah looked a bit embarassed.

    She looked right at me, gave me a wink while taking my palmcard and headed inside.

    Trust me the message around Joe Ganim and the vast majority of the City Council repeatedly funding the Education of 20,400 students is resonating.

    And they know it.

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  5. I attended a meeting this morning about leadership (in a different context than municipal) and heard the term “burning platform” passion. The speaker, of a similar age to Ganim2, had a significant number of years of Jesuit education that is different from that offered behind Federal bars and his reference to necessary passion to keep leaders focused on the important tasks was eloquent.
    Housing and education are broad areas where Bridgeport governance is directly responsible for managing good outcomes, and responding promptly and positively when citizens are suffering from status quo attitudes and administration. I will focus on only one subject today and raise an example that bears on the broader housing question. Park City Communities group does not deal with complaints about non public housing or non section 8 issues meant to be addressed by City employed housing/building inspectors. Is it appropriate when a tenant says, “There is no heat. Please come and inspect.” to be told that someone will come out this afternoon and can not provide a closer time window?? The City is not that large. Everyone has a cell phone. How many calls are the inspectors handling each day?And while inspectors have multiple calls to make, it is not customer friendly to people who have multiple problems and issues of their own to wait another day, or days to obtain the necessary public notice to compel a landlord in this case to fix the problems? Where is the Fair Rent Commission to hear and pressure those who are failing in their responsibilities?

    Yes, the Department of Justice did battle with Park City Communities for several years over their lack of providing timely and effective accommodations to PCC residents with issues and it will cost them $1.5 Million that they likely do not have. So delay becomes a fact of life. Why has the ACTING Director had three years to relocate to Bridgeport? He knew the requirement. Where is the oversight??

    But the housing issues for many are in the private market as well as in PCC land. Why has Ganim2 (and Finch before him) allowed ( or perhaps presided over) a death and permanent disappearance of the Fair Rent Commission?? When matters between tenants and landlords are headed to court, instructions include working things out through the Fair Rent/ Housing Commission. Is Bridgeport out of conformity to State statutes? Who suffers most often in this City? Landlords? Lawyers? Tenants? If Angel DePara was tasked during the past four years to provide oversight on Boards and Commissions, why is this group still on the City website, but with no agendas or minutes available for years. Did it die for financial reasons? Or other reasons? Was Rich DeParle the Chair at the time of going silent? Perhaps he can tell why?

    Nice of Ganim3 to raise important issues, but does he mean to be accountable for them? If this is the way he points to priorities, it is important to look for his accountability and transparency, values he has not manifested since returning for a “second chance”. Time will tell.

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  6. What a bunch of shit,Joe knows that whatever these”committees” reccomend,especially for education,will require more MONEY…Joe is just setting up his massive tax hike for next year.He really thinks the people are idiots.

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      1. LE,
        Perhaps we can encourage the “genius of the public” regarding taxes to show itself, as in “see something, say something” or better yet “do something” (as in Peter Spain with negligent dog walkers.)
        For instance where does the City spend your dollars on people, on stuff, or on services where you cannot see the value, and do not know where to pose the question? Where can those questions be addressed to receive an acknowledgement of the report and know where it was forwarded for a response including an explanation and/or source for further info? Brings the public into the action in perhaps a meaningful manner? If you think the idea is poor, you are happy with the status quo, I guess. But others who are not happy and wish not to pay more, may find this a way to call into question what seem like senseless expenditures? Perhaps they will learn what does make sense to City managers about multiple City expenditures if the City provides responses? Time will tell.

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