Gomes: No Place In City Hall For Election Year Employment Tactics

Democratic mayoral candidate John Gomes shares this commentary about the termination of supporter Maria Pires from city service.

With an upcoming mayoral election quickly approaching, the executive leadership of our city is showing that they will stop at nothing to ensure they continue to remain in office. The recent termination of Maria Pires is nothing more than an attempt to bully city employees from exercising their civil rights to be involved in the political process.

According to the CT Post, city officials claimed Pires was fired last month due to an unspecified “reorganization” which led Pires to seek legal representation and challenge the firing. As a result, she was reinstated by the Civil Service Commission. This week, city officials are now claiming “budget constraints” that have led to the termination of Pires. If the city was truly under clear “budget constraints,” shouldn’t that have been the initial reasoning provided by city officials the first time she was terminated?

The current administration has not been able to give a clear reason as to the termination. With job openings posted on the city website and no announced hiring freeze, it is apparent that budget constraints may not be the case. It is common practice in many other organizations when “restructuring” to utilize employees with the most applicable skills to fill necessary vacancies which would have been the case for Maria Pires. This leaves many Bridgeporters to truly question the motive of this termination. If there was a clear budgetary constraint would this not impact the entire city? Further, the Tax Assessors office has been understaffed, including the Department Head position which has been vacant for more than five years. How can that department possibly be facing budgetary constraints with these existing vacancies? Is there an actual budget constraint or is the current administration having a difficult time with managing the City, necessary staffing needs, and its budgets?

As a mayoral candidate for Bridgeport, I am calling on state oversight officials to look into this matter. Can a mayoral appointed ethics commission, all with expired terms, fairly adjudicate this without bias? We urge Pires to take this matter to the state judicial branch to send a clear signal that the mayor of Bridgeport greatly overextends his authority. Citizens of our city should not feel that their job is on the line when they decide to support a candidate on their personal and private time. It is evident that the current Bridgeport administration will utilize every executive authority possible to progress their self-serving agenda even if it comes at the cost of providing the services needed to the residents of Bridgeport.

This administration has made it clear in its actions that it does not concern itself with the needs of the residents of our city. By blatantly finding a way to terminate a hard working civil servant in a way that violates the oath of the Charter is just deplorable. We do not need these practices dictating the decisions made at the executive level in our city.

This cannot continue to be “business as usual” in our great city, and as mayor, I will bring clear direction and protections to everyone in our city regardless of their employer or zip code. A Gomes administration will ensure that there is a team of risk assessment professionals that will ensure there are no conflicts of interest and the city leadership is held accountable in partnership with the Civil Service Commission.



  1. In the long history of organized government, City Hall has always been the place for election year employment tactics. Pires was a contractual employee who was snubbing the mayor thanks to her vested interests. She didn’t lose her bundle. Gomes is overreacting.
    Gomes has yet to convince skeptics his campaign is more than a vendetta against Mayor Ganim. He might not have an agenda but voters will eventually need one.

  2. OIB readers,
    Unfortunately it may require an upcoming Mayoral election to stir up facts, opinions, and feelings from those who have lived within the Bridgeport governance structure on either the Civil Service or political appointment side. This is likely of benefit to the overall public.
    As a Bridgeport resident and downtown business owner/taxpayer I was familiar with Maria Pires who dealt with questions and concerns in a pleasant and professional manner. Perhaps there was a change, but what does her personnel file say or is there no annual review function, and does that leave the City open to criticism and court action?
    (I also noted the lack of a full- term City Assessor for a few years and wondered why but did not inquire further. Was this subject not dealt with in the “current” restructuring or re-organization? Where is the plan to follow, to measure and present public data so that objective oversight can be real? Or is everything ad hoc, equally affected by political feelings, financial reality, or indigestion of a decision maker?)
    The presence at the moment of three challengers to the incumbent, Ganim2, is likely a prompt that will reveal many other problems, issues, and concerns to the voting public. This article raises the subject of “conflicts of interest” in judgements, employment, and decision making in the City where people wearing two or three and perhaps more hats as they look for a genuine public service solution to a matter at hand.
    Word has gotten back to me of a comment about my attendance at City Council meetings. I attend the PUBLIC SPEAKING portions of most Council meetings and prepare comments on public topics to fill three minutes. Usually, I then sit down and listen to fellow citizens relate their comments and sometimes get to know them and share information with them. I usually leave after the Public Speaking finishes.
    There is little information aimed at the public at a CC meeting with the Mayor presiding, frankly. Video presentations are no longer capturing content, for those who wish to view from home or at a different time. The public has no right to speak, either a comment or question, and no responses are part of the regular program. Whoever has seen me leave after Public Speaking and before Ganim2 takes the chair might want to comment to me rather than about me if they have any questions!!
    I ask lots many questions, it is true, but there is much information to learn and know to think about municipal governance in order to reflect logically on our situation. I answer many questions also. Do I sue the City for a problem poorly handled? Do I wonder about employment performances not reviewed as a cause for legal action? Are too many situations seeking legal resolutions and taxpayer expense? What budget constraints are pointed to by MANAGEMENT as secondary rationale for specific terminations? Does it seem that there are many issues regarding City leadership erupting? Who is listening? Time will tell.

  3. She left heelmarks on city property — you have to draw the line somewhere.
    I once got caught dancing on the ceiling but you’ll never see me dancing on a tabletop.

  4. Well, John if the comment that got back to you has a negative connotation of your participation in CC public speaking, which I will assume. It is safe to say they are not happy with your words and tend to silence you.

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” ~ Martin Luther King

    “It is not possible to be in favor of justice for some people and not be in favor of justice for all people.” ~ Martin Luther King.

    You’re correct, elections tend to stir up facts, opinions, and feeling, though they may be unfortunate, they may not be, depending on how things are evaluated. Half a loaf is then no loaf. But, you would think that everybody would be behind a more just, measured, professional police department, in apprehending/arresting people, but at what cost?


    It’s telling that a young black male was beaten to his death by the police and BLM and Antifa were nowhere to be found listing/protesting to this CC public speaking portion. They was so Vocal across this nation and the world. JS

  5. To be fair John, While you are present and vocally active in the public speaking portions of the city council. When you leave right after the public portion it could merit so “commentary” 🙂 about sincerity. Though, i would say if you want me to stay for the entire meeting elect me to the council. 🙂

    Besides you can’t hear/make out a thing what is being said, Though, I feel you. The meetings are pretty mundane. Unless Maria’s going at it with some on the council. 🙂

    Good time people. 🤣


  6. Only in Bridgeport would this type of story be front page news. Congratulations to John Mayor for coming back to Bridgport to head the Summer Concert at Seaside. His dad was my Principal at Central High School.


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