Ganim Open To Bonuses For Frontline Workers

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

The mayor’s office broke its silence Wednesday over ongoing union demands to use federal coronavirus aid to provide “premium” or “hero” bonuses to employees.

After a group of labor leaders gathered outside of the downtown government center and accused Mayor Joe Ganim of ignoring multiple requests to meet on the topic, Ganim aide Tom Gaudett and Communications Director Rowena White in an interview said the administration has been exploring awarding the extra pay, but it is complicated.

“City staff has met multiple times to discuss the issue, what the ARP (American Rescue Plan) bill allows and who might be eligible,” Gaudett, who had observed some of the unions’ press conference, said. “There’s a lot of research that needs to be done on who worked from home, who was a ‘front-line’ worker, how much they made during the period that is relevant.”

Gaudett said Ganim is behind the idea–the concept of bonuses.

}We should have communicated sooner with our unions,” he said.

Full story here.



  1. David Dobbs, president of Union Local 834 of the Bridgeport Fire Department, your concern for the membership of the local should be with a pay raise considering January 2022 will make it two years without a contract. The hell with a one time bonus, get a lifetime raise, FOOL!

    1. Don, David Dobbs, president of Union Local 834 of the Bridgeport Fire Department is a failure as a union president because he has no concerns for those who paved the way for people like him way before he became a firefighter. Bonuses are a NO NO for firefighters and the police. Don, for Dobbs it’s his four and no more.

  2. LOL..Joe secretly (as usual) jetted off to Glasgow Scotland for a vacation…err “Climate study”..kept it a secret,even from his administration & the CC…Waste more of our money Joe!,enjoy!

    Ganim jets to Scotland for U.N. climate summit

    BRIDGEPORT — As world leaders, including President Joe Biden, gathered in Glasgow, Scotland during the last two weeks for a United Nations climate summit, Mayor Joe Ganim recently joined them.

    Ganim confirmed by phone Friday morning, the gathering’s final day, that he was on an unannounced trip to participate in the 26th climate change summit. He arrived Tuesday and planned to head home this weekend after complying with the necessary coronavirus pandemic travel protocols.

    The mayor said his participation was arranged through the United States Conference of Mayors and emphasized the importance local elected officials like himself play in achieving global goals through municipal policy-management

    “For us to grasp on to that and be a part of it is critical,” Ganim said in the brief interview. “There is a role here and we need to lift our heads up.”

    But the mayor faced some criticism back home for the secrecy surrounding his trip, which was only made public Friday morning after Hearst Connecticut Media approached his office about rumors he was abroad.

    “It’s always better to be at the table than not. If he can bring back something to us, for us, I think that’s great,” said City Councilman Scott Burns, one of that all-Democrat legislative body’s most vocal environmentalists. “But I would have loved to have known that he was going and what sort of agenda he was looking to achieve there.”

    Ganim’s participation is not unusual given Bridgeport’s recent history. Beginning when his fellow Democrat, Bill Finch, was mayor from 2007 until 2015 — Ganim defeated him in that year’s primary — elected and business officials in Connecticut’s largest municipality have slowly but persistently sought to reinvent the ex-manufacturing hub into a leader in the green economy.

    Some of the highlights have included: The shuttering and replacing of the aged coal-burning power plant — Connecticut’s last — with a natural gas-fired facility; installation of solar panels atop the capped landfill at Seaside Park; Massachusetts-based Vineyard Wind’s choosing Bridgeport for its headquarters and the staging area to install wind turbines off of Martha’s Vineyard; continued efforts to build a hydrogen fuel cell plant and related thermal loop to heat downtown buildings; Greater Bridgeport Transit’s introduction of electric buses; and many smaller, less-flashy efforts like installing solar panels atop the libraries.

    Ganim said he has been impressed this week by the commitment to the cause by “people from all over the world.”

    “We’ve got protesters outside saying, ‘Not enough. Not enough,’” he added. “You need that. You need that push from the extreme advocates to keep the pressure on.”

    Joe Gresko, a state representative from Stratford, has been Ganim’s part-time environmental initiatives chief for the past five years. Gresko did not accompany the mayor on the overseas trip but said it is an important part of keeping Bridgeport engaged in the national and worldwide conversation.

    “We’ve a proven record here and I’m hoping showing everyone we’re serious about this will result in some good things happening,” Gresko said, adding the projects in the city are not only about helping the environment, but creating jobs.

    Ganim was never the outspoken environmental advocate Finch was, defeating the former in 2015 by focusing on other issues like taxes and crime. But members of the business community who appreciated Finch’s vision urged Ganim following his election to continue his predecessor’s work, and he has attended other climate summits in Denmark and Ecuador.

    Rowena White, Ganim’s communications director, said her boss’ flight cost $842 and his lodgings, booked through Airbnb, $700. She said no other staff accompanied the mayor but could not state if he had friends or family along, as was the case in 2016 when his parents joined him on an official trip to Israel but paid their own way.

    City Council President Aidee Nieves, who is acting chief executive in Ganim’s absence, said his participation in Glasgow “speaks to how Bridgeport is transitioning and addressing it’s carbon footprint (and) to our commitment. The mayor’s being at the table just further highlights the positive work we’re doing.”

    “Hopefully this will bring more projects and investment into Bridgeport,” she said.

    But she, like Burns, also expressed frustration that Ganim’s office did not make public and promote his trip.

    “He should have made the announcement that Bridgeport was at the table and he missed that opportunity,” Nieves said.

    Although he shared with Hearst some video from and photos of the event, including him posing with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Ganim’s Twitter feed and Facebook page give no indication he is gone.

    White said the mayor’s decision to participate in the climate summit was “last minute.”

    But Burns noted that earlier this week he and some council colleagues participated in a teleconference with Ganim’s staff about federal coronavirus aid and were only told the mayor was not available. Burns had been hoping Friday to speak with Ganim about applying for a state environmental grant, only to learn the mayor is in Scotland.

    “I don’t know of any other cities whose mayors are heading over,” Burns said. “It would speak pretty well for us that we’ve got a mayor who’s at least interested.”

    Ganim and his staff have a history of not revealing when he is away, from when he flew to Lebanon in 2017 to last December when even Nieves was unaware the mayor was traveling to an undisclosed location while health officials were encouraging people to stay home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In contrast, when Ganim ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2018, he made sure to promote a quick trip to Texas to protest then-Republican President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policies.

    Nieves said often politicians are unfairly criticized for going on business trips and wasting taxpayer dollars and Ganim is sensitive to that, thus his hesitancy to reveal what he is doing, at least until his return.

    “It’s been stigmatized when you leave the city you’re going to these junkets and just hanging out. Everybody thinks it’s like we’re going to a party,” Nieves said. “I think that’s his way to shelter himself from that banter.”

    One of Ganim’s biggest critics, Councilwoman Maria Pereira, called his Scotland trip “ridiculous” and a “vacation,” arguing most of Bridgeport’s success with combating global warming stems from projects Finch began.

    “If you had told me Finch was there, I would believe that would be credible,” she said. “Do I believe it’s credible for Mayor Ganim? No.”

  3. Not to eclipse the cause of the Bridgeport Frontline Workers bonuses — they should get something…

    But: The Bridgeport Mayor in Glasgow for a climate summit?! There is nothing really “green” about mammoth wind turbines or gas-fired power plants — especially when either are placed in the ocean or along it near residential/recreational shoreline! The maintenance and presence of mammoth wind turbines in the fishing/shipping corridor of Mass/CT/RI can be nothing but environmentally harmful and otherwise problematic for commerce and general transportation.

    And, with respect for the wind turbines: Why are we (electric utility consumers) being set up for the huge liability of building and maintaining the means for the utilities to own the wind even as they overcharge us for electricity… Isn’t it bad enough that utilities own — and overcharge us — our water?! (And how did the Lamont Administration/DEEP allow Eversource to acquire Bridgeport Hydraulic/Aquarian?!)

    No. There is nothing “green” about Mayor Ganim and Ganim’s Bridgeport…. (Let’s see if he steps in to save the Remington Woods…)

    And; there certainly wouldn’t be anything “green” about Cong.Sen.Gov Ganim’s Connecticut or Fourth District. Just look at Bridgeport! Empty lots, waterfront power plants, beachside incinerators and dumps, unwalkable streets, unlivable neighborhoods subject to pervasive, deadly violence and catastrophic flooding — all on a background of declining grand-list value and chronic, widespread, endemic unemployment.

    Sure the esplanades and park facades look ok — but don’t dare dare take a close look at most of our neighborhoods! But the Master of Deception and Denial is always willing to pull out the Clean and Green Guide to Political Deception to resell Bridgeport — and its Congress Street Bridge — to “second chancers” (like myself)… In Bridgeport, we have to pinch and bite ourselves in the event that any thoughts of a Third Chance begin creeping into our COVID-numbed senses…

    Glasgow, indeed!


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