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Ganim Marks One-year Return To Office This Week, The Challenge Of Progress Versus Promise

November 27th, 2016 · 22 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Politics

Ganim podium inaugural

Ganim on the Klein Memorial stage delivers inaugural address last Dec 1. Photo by Heather Goulet.

On a chilly, wind-swept rainy night last December 1, Joe Ganim officially returned to office cementing a comeback that received national attention. More than 1,000 people filled the Klein Memorial Auditorium to witness Ganim’s oath of office and inaugural address to govern Connecticut’s largest city. Backed by family members Ganim spoke of redemption, second chances and restoring the promise of Bridgeport. Has his first year lived up to the promise? Or is that promise a longer-term work in progress?


See above video from Ganim’s inaugural address and below his prepared text.

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.

CRIME

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

EDUCATION

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

JOBS

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.

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22 Comments so far ↓

  • Bob Walsh

    Well, he created good-paying jobs for Wilbur Chapman, Ed Adams and other campaign supporters so he must figure he kept one promise.

  • Bob Walsh

    “I work with the BOE.” Well that sure as shit ain’t happening.

  • Bob Walsh

    “where every child can attain a 21st Century education.” Well hell, that ain’t happening. He refused to budget an extra dime in the first budget he proposed. And is playing games with in-kind services. So much for 21st Century. More like going backwards to the 19th century.

    • Maria Pereira

      Bob, I can assure you many average non-political residents/voters are not happy with Ganim. Complete strangers email, text me, message me, approach me in public, etc. to commend my efforts and encourage me to continue to stand up to Testa and Ganim.

      I repeatedly had voters this weekend ask me about the BOE. I explain everything and how Ganim repeatedly lied about his commitments to our BPS students.

      Ganim won the Primary by 412 votes. He won JFK by 44 votes and THooker by 150 for a 138th plurality of 194 votes. You would only need to switch 207 votes away from Ganim to a competitive challenger to win. Ganim has disappointed, disgusted, and angered sooo many, that would not be difficult to do.

  • Jimfox

    At the end of the tax year, the IRS office sent an inspector to audit the books of a local hospital. While the IRS agent was checking the books he turned to the CFO of the hospital and said, “I notice you buy a lot of bandages. What do you do with the end of the roll when there’s too little left to be of any use?”

    “Good question,” noted the CFO. “We save them up and send them back to the bandage company and every now and then they send us a free box of bandages.”

    “Oh,” replied the auditor, somewhat disappointed that his unusual question had a practical answer. But on he went, in his obnoxious way. “What about all these plaster purchases? What do you do with what’s left over after setting a cast on a patient?”

    “Ah, yes,” replied the CFO, realizing that the inspector was trying to trap him with an unanswerable question. “We save it and send it back to the manufacturer, and every now and then they send us a free package of plaster.”

    “I see,” replied the auditor, thinking hard about how he could fluster the know-it-all CFO.

    “Well,” he went on, “What do you do with all the leftover foreskins from the circumcisions you perform?”

    “Here, too, we do not waste,” answered the CFO. “What we do is save all the little foreskins and send them to the IRS Office, and about once a year they send us a complete dick.”

  • Stringfellow

    What a joke. The education system is a mess, they can’t or won’t work together. Jobs he says, what jobs? Not the revolving-door retail jobs created by Bass Pro and Starbucks. You wonder how many people who started these jobs when the stores opened are still there. Where are the businesses that will stabilize taxes?

    The police department? Another dismal failure especially with the latest headlines in the Post. The failures there are many perhaps one day someone with no ties to the city will fix it.

    Cut costs? Start by reducing the fat in all city department, too may chiefs and not enough indians. Reduce waste from paper to gasoline. Adjust shifts to reduce overtime, the unions are going to have a hard time but it is necessary. Get away from bid jobs and hire employees who can do masonry, carpentry and electrical work.

    No more tax breaks, everybody pays. Hospitals will have to pay taxes on their satellite properties. Non-profits have to pay half of what their properties are worth. Hiding behind an LLC to avoid paying taxes has to end, too.

    At some point the city will have to go after every business and vendor that owes the city. The city has to stop giving breaks to get business.

    Run the city as a business, get rid of people who only think of themselves and not the city and its future. Too many suits lining their pockets with these backroom deals. In the end it’s the taxpayers who foot the bill. The city can ill afford to continue on this path. Look what happened as the factories were leaving, what you have is what the city is now, not a nice picture.

  • Steven Auerbach

    So far, I do not think there are complaints to be made. Most people on this blog voted for Joe and are now very unhappy with him. I did not vote for Joe and have no problem with his job approval. One year in, he is doing okay. I think Joe Ganim will really make his mark with his first announcement of a development project conceived and realized during his tenure. I have faith he will. :-) Bob Walsh, blaming Joe for the education in Bridgeport–seriously?

    • Bob Walsh

      Blaming Joe for doing NOTHING to improve the schools. NOTHING. Not a dime more for education funding and doing nothing about the dysfunctional chair of the BOE.
      You and Joe can be very proud of all the wonderful things going on in Bridgeport public schools.

      • Steven Auerbach

        Bob, seriously, I am in the schools every day. Throwing more money is not going to solve the problem. The BOE needs to start accomplishing things to implement changes. Too many are focusing too much time to stop charter schools. Some of the teachers need to go and the Union needs to step up on holding teachers accountable. We have some wonderful teachers in all our schools as well as some slugs who care more about union benefits than the students. Just a sad fact.

        • Maria Pereira

          Steve, there are a lot of poor substitutes, too. Like the one at Harding High School who was caught masturbating a male student in his classroom.

          The VAST majority of our staff is dedicated and hardworking. I doubt you understand the slightest issues around the BPS finances, Steve.

          Steve, very little of what you just posted is a “fact.” It is your opinion and conjecture.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Maria, I’ll give you a fact. I have been in over 28 schools. You??? I have no idea who that master bater :-) at Harding was but there are a number of teachers and principals who also have had some serious issues. I might remind you Maria, not all teachers are fans of yours and your main concern should not be defending the teachers but assessing the problems with the grades of these students in the classroom, which is why so many parents are absolutely desperate to to get their children into charter schools as they cannot afford private schools.

            Maria, I do not believe you talk to many teachers. I know you have not been in more than five schools, Hooker, Central??? I would not ask any Kindergarten teacher what they think of the BOE.

            I certainly believe your job is huge. I always believed the Board should be in the hands of professionals who were not political. As you know, I still have a hard time believing you really care about the thousands of students and I would not stoop to asking what you have accomplished as Ron Mackey has asked so many times. BTW, you can respond to this post as I am sure you will. I however have nothing more to say other than my phone rings off the hook begging me to cancel jobs to go to their schools. I am booked through April. Though when I come home from Portugal and Spain during the break, I may have moved on. Bridgeport Kid, we know you voted for Torres, we know I voted for Finch, we know Bob voted for Foster and everyone else voted for Ganim!

          • Ron Mackey

            Steve, I’ve disagreed with you on the type of jobs both Finch and Ganim want to have here but on the BOE and related issues about education I’m in agreement with you. I’ve seen on OIB how you support Maria but you also will call her out when you think she’s off base and in this post you have it right.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      “Most people on this blog voted for Joe and are now very unhappy with him.” You need to lay off the amyl nitrate, bud.

    • Jimfox

      Joe started the first conflict of interest policy for the city, a great campaign promise, to remove all those city employees like McCarthy and others who sat on the City Council for all those years, and some of them controlled millions of taxpayers dollars, some of those City employees were co-chairs of various committees, let’s all thank our Mayor for keeping that promise.
      Right, Stevie A?!

      • Steven Auerbach

        Jimfox, I am supportive of our Mayor and hope he succeeds. To hope he fails is just plain silly. I know you were a staunch Ganim supporter. I may support a candidate, but when the election is over I move on. I am sorry you are disappointed by Joe. He did not make a promise to me to get my vote. He did ask for my support after Finch lost the election. I thought I would if Finch did not run. I regret following Finch to the Foster camp. Not because I do not respect Mary-Jane Foster but because I knew she did not have a chance. I did not buy into the rallying cry, “anyone but Ganim.” I do believe Joe will succeed. I do believe by the next election, Joe will have scored points. Anyone praying for his failure over the next three years is pathetic, period! I am still hopeful.

  • Ron Mackey

    There are so many lies spoken by Mayor Ganim, I don’t know where to start.

    EDUCATION: I will work with the Board of Education, teachers, administrators, and parents to make sure all our children get the quality education they deserve. (That’s a lie.)

    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. (That’s a lie.)
    Mayor Ganim what do you have against women becoming firefighters in Bridgeport, you are doing exactly what Bill Finch did as mayor and that is to allow the Acting Personnel Director David Dunn to give entry level exams where NOT ONE female has been hired. So Bridgeport’s city government reflects the diverse composition of our great city; Joe, what a lie.

    “I get no respect. The way my luck is running, if I was a politician I would be honest.”–Rodney Dangerfield

  • Bob Walsh

    Come on, Steve.
    “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.”
    Give it a break. It took him over six months to hire an Economic Development Director whose experience in the field is 40 years ago.
    Not only have we seen nothing, but the FANTASTIC movie theater Steve had already bought tickets for on-line is now being moved and cut in half. How’s that for progress, Steve?

    • Steven Auerbach

      Bob Walsh. Personally, I do not know the man Joe hired for Economic Development. Personally, I would have looked for an aggressive accomplished director from any large city across the country with a proven track record. I do not want to criticize the appointment. Maybe Joe felt comfortable with him. I am sure the man has some very good qualities. I have never heard of any serious attacks. I have no idea off the top of my head the name of this man. Considering development is my favorite topic, it could be very telling. Maybe because I too am hoping for a home run that is a Ganim win, not something that has been in the pipeline since Finch and Kooris. I know I did apply for a job in that department. Another candidate was chosen and was fired a week later when Ganim took office. Timing is everything. I still believe Joe is going to market this city. I am hopeful there are investors out there who realize Bridgeport is an amazing city in Fairfield County. Hopefully, the economy will continue to improve and maybe just maybe we can get some serious activity before the economy is on its way down and out.

  • Bob Walsh

    And let’s not forget the other real job he created; the one for Ed Adams.
    No one knows what he does and no one knows what his title is but that was a real job alright. A hand job.

  • Frank Gyure

    YEAR ONE–Joe Ganim has been a complete failure. Created a Death Spiral Budget (mil rate, misplaced priorities, everything). Spent first six months on his Police payback bill. Then played peek-a-boo with the budget process. Terrible hiring. Worst of all, THE MISSING-IN-ACTION MAYOR. And his feeble efforts at PR stood out like a sore thumb. Right Joe Ganim, you are giving bicycles to kids. Lol.

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