Ha, Ha, Ha; It’s Time For Santa Claws

Santa Claws

Who needs peace, love, goodwill, prosperity and diplomacy when we have good old Santa Claws to scratch out goodies? Yes indeed, it’s time for OIB’s annual gifts to a vast collection of great and near-great local and state pols. I’ll be up to my ears in squid and other things today. No squid pro quo. Meanwhile feel free to add to this list of insightful gifts.

State Rep.-elect Christina Ayala: A good lawyer to survive the state investigation into alleged election improprieties and a navigation system to find her district.

Former City Councilman Bob “Troll” Walsh: A pacifier for boycotting OIB in protest of his anonymous handle elimination.

Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas: A Board of Education contract making him the highest paid school chief in city history.

Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa: A political pulse.

Outgoing Democratic Party Vice Chair Dottie Guman: A lifetime of free food and drink from Mario’s restaurant.

Republican Town Chair John Slater: A blood transfusion for his party from Abe Lincoln.

Bass Pro Shops: A finalized deal with the city and state in 2013.

Mayor Bill Finch’s Chief of Staff Adam Wood: A big-paying private-sector gig, now that he’s a tenured city employee.

Mayor Bill Finch: A charter revision question that voters can swallow.

Charter Revision Panel: A ballot question that doesn’t cost $1 million in campaign expenses.

City financial watchdog John Marshall Lee: An army of forensic accountants.

Government watchdog Andy Fardy: A drink with Cheyenne Jackson. (That would be a hoot!)

Governor Dannel Malloy: A calculator that works.

City Councilwoman Lydia Martinez: A gallon of disappearing ink for her absentee ballot operation.

City Councilman Andre Baker: Backbone insertion into his council mates.

Bridgeport City Council: Required reading of the City Charter.

State Sen.-elect Andres Ayala: Truth serum to know he actually endorsed his cousin Christina for his State House seat.

Barack Obama: An assault weapons ban, a balanced budget and Congressional sanity. (We’re not asking for much, are we?)



  1. Thank you Santa, but I did not ask for an “army of forensic accountants,” did I? It would be enough to:
    * Have the Mayor strictly follow the City Charter regarding ANNUAL financial meetings–one for operating budget and one for Capital budget.
    * Have Mayor Finch provide a standardized monthly financial report within four weeks of the close of the previous month–also Charter ordered.
    * Have the City Council members read the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report personally and appear at a public meeting to answer questions about it directly. Of course Tom Sherwood and Finance Director Anne Kelly-Lenz can be there to assist (but no texting from Adam Wood!).
    * Get the City Council to review all Ordinances passed in the last decade and see which ones they have issued they are not following.
    * Have the Mayor tell us what materials available on the former web site are not and will not be available on the new one, i.e. if it is missing, it is purposeful!
    * Ask Mayor Finch to assign one Wednesday per month as Financial Brown Bag Lunch. No, I am not telling people to come to meet the Mayor with brown bags with cash. I am asking the Mayor to tell us each month whether we are trending to surplus or deficit, what the administration is doing about it, and whether all the ghost expenses and salaries with benefits have been spirited away.

    So what do you think Santa, any chance for these starts in OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, and TRANSPARENT this year? You don’t have to change any laws, you know. No chance? You’re telling me it’s easier to gather an army of forensic accountants? Time will tell.

    To all readers of OIB, enjoy your “partridge in a pear tree” or whatever else you have planned to celebrate the holiday. Remember the real Spirit of Christmas and I wish you peace and health in the New Year!

  2. OMG I forgot all about stipends …
    Next year let’s look to the City Council members to have a grab bag for the taxpayers at the Christmas Tree Lighting on McLevy Green.

    Whatever funds are unspent/unaccounted in the stipend account get returned to taxpayers, proportionate to their current tax payments. No packaging or ribbons necessary, but for some people it might represent a light meal or a drink downtown (just like the tens of thousands of dollars of meals supplied by taxpayers to certain City events) and in any case enough to put in a parking meter. But you get to spend it and know how it is being expended, and that’s important! Time will tell.


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