Ganim Proposes Ordinance In Crackdown On Blight

Ganim, blight
Ganim with City Council members Tom McCarthy and Anthony Paoletto behind sign.

From city Communications Director Av Harris:

Mayor Joe Ganim joined several city council members and the Bridgeport Police  Department (Friday) to declare war on blight and illegal dumping, reminding violators that any vehicles involved in illegal dumping can be seized, perpetrators face steep fines and criminal charges.

In addition, Mayor Ganim has proposed a new city ordinance that would fine owners of consistently blighted properties in Bridgeport $100 for every day their property is not cleaned up. Mayor Ganim made the announcement on Suggetts Lane in the East End of Bridgeport, an area that is one of several hot spots for illegal dumping in the city.

“Blight and illegal dumping are eyesores that can lower property values and deter investment in our city, but they are also costly and can lead to health hazards. Enough is enough!” said Mayor Ganim. “We are declaring war on blight and illegal dumping. That means zero tolerance for anyone who disrespects the residents of this city and our neighborhoods by just leaving their trash in an abandoned lot or letting their house go to waste. We will find those responsible and bring criminal charges against them. Just dumping trash and leaving a blighted property in Bridgeport are going to cost you. We are also asking for the public’s help in finding the bad actors here so we can clean up our city, and we are now offering a reward for anyone who gives us a tip that leads to an arrest for blight or illegal dumping.”

Mayor Ganim is reporting that so far in 2016, the city has issued more than $111,000 in fines for blighted properties and illegal dumping. Crews from the Bridgeport Department of Public Facilities have cleaned up more than 1,110 illegal dumping sites in 2016, removing more than nearly 300 tons of debris, including nearly 200 discarded. This is at a cost of nearly $100,000 to Bridgeport taxpayers just to remove unlawfully dumped trash. Mayor Ganim and the Bridgeport police are offering a $200 reward for anyone who contributes evidence that leads to an arrest for a chronically blighted property or illegal dumping. The city is providing the following numbers to report such evidence: 203-576-8023 or 203-576-7976 and evidence can come in many forms, including a picture taken on a mobile phone and sent via text message.

In addition, Mayor Ganim has proposed a new ordinance to the Bridgeport city council that would increase penalties for blighted properties, including a fine of $100 for each day the property sits vacant and abandoned, not cleaned up. The ordinance, if approved by the city council, would empower the city to seek liens against property owners which would prevent any transfer of title or deed until outstanding fines for blight are paid off to the city treasury.



  1. Blight is the enemy and it sets in when the expense of maintaining property (that may have once had market value of significance) including property taxes, mortgage payments, insurance, utilities, regular maintenance, etc. is greater than the owner/tenant combination can afford any longer.

    Vigilance, city action, increased fines, and lien action may all be tools and there are likely more, but this is a defensive game. Economic development is playing the same game positively on offense. Where is Bridgeport’s game? How many potential OPED leaders have been approached and turned down the “opportunity” as Ed Lavernoich returns to BEDCO? Where are the metrics, month in and month out, Av Harris, for the “blight effort?” On the City website? How many of the fines are ignored or set aside as part of a settlement? How much does that leave the taxpayer holding the bag for those property owners in paying current costs?

    The City has incurred $111,000 expense in six months? Has sent out fines, bills, additional notices, etc. to get the fines paid? Has received how many dollars as revenue? Is this effective? Or another photo op? Time will tell.

  2. The issue is legit and the ordinance needs teeth. I had an issue recently I knew my council reps couldn’t or wouldn’t handle so I called Mike Freddino and he took care of the infraction within 24 hours. Maybe it wasn’t his responsibility, but as a long-time homeowner in Brooklawn he understood how hard our neighbors work to get our neighborhoods desirable and he took care of it. Thanks again, Mike! Off subject for a sec, this is the issue I spoke of in an earlier post; while watching Channel 12 last night, I noticed Joe Ganim turn the podium over to McCarthy to address the issue. I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again, why in hell didn’t he do it himself? Could it be he still doesn’t realize he’s Mayor and that’s why everything is taking so long to happen? Or was he giving McCarthy a leg up on Marilyn Moore by giving him some face time?!

  3. Drive down Asylum St just past the City Transfer Station. Take a look at the former City Dog Pound. Then tell me how you will fine residents for blight. The city should lead by example and clean their own blighted properties before issuing one fine! LOL! What a joke!

  4. The ordinance has been in place for over 20 years. What are the amendments being considered? Who is in charge of the anti-blight efforts?

    I tried both phone numbers Saturday afternoon. They go directly to city employees’ voicemails. One was unintelligible and the other message was he would be returning on July 18th.

    There was no mention of the BConnected Citizen Service System. Is it still in place? Does anyone monitor it?

    Definitely a pattern developing. Video press conference on a particular topic. Line up people behind the mayor, maybe even have them hold up props.

  5. He should do something about polluting in general. I can’t count the times I saw an empty bag fly out the window of the car in front of me at stop lights.

  6. Maybe Ganim handed the podium over to McCarthy before reporters reminded him he gutted the department for political reasons and to get Rep Rosario. And of course McCarthy sat back and watched because he was too busy negotiating his severance deal.
    What a joke!
    Reap what ye shall sow.

  7. I hope this ordinance sees new enforcement life. This City is lovely and should not be a dumping ground for urban and suburban folks too lazy to drive the extra few blocks to a transfer station.

  8. Zena, quick story. A handicapped Brooklawn taxpayer secured a ride to the transfer station to bring one item. The person gracious enough to accommodate him lives in Stratford. They get to the transfer station, the Bridgeport resident shows his driver’s license, that clearly shows he lives on Laurel Ave in the 132nd, and they refused to take his item because the person who gave him a ride lives in Stratford and the vehicle was registered in Stratford. The Bridgeport man, who happens to be a senior citizen, explained that he’s handicapped and could not drive and this was the only way he could get there. Bottom line, they wouldn’t take the item. Maybe there’s a reason people are dumping elsewhere. I’m not implying it’s right, I’m implying we have a transfer station that’s broken.


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