New Year’s resolutions. Predictions, predictions. Time to look into the OIB crystal ball. Tell us what you see. Look into my eyes. Jesus, I sound like a Dracula movie.
For political junkies like me 2010 will be an absolute hoot. Former Mayor Joe Ganim, incarcerated for more than six years, is expected to be released shortly. Hard to believe I’ve not spoken to Joe in 9 years. And former State Senator Ernie Newton, the Moses of his people, will be released in 2010.
The new year, March to be exact, will include potential Democratic Town Committee primaries for future control of the party. Democratic Party Chair Mario Testa does not yet have an announced opponent to vie for 90-member party leadership. But ya never can tell who’s hiding in the bushes. Do they burn brightly? Watch out for those thorns! Nothing like a pol in the prickers.
Assuming Mario’s reelected he’ll then go about hooking up with one of the leading guber candidates Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy and Ned Lamont who croaked Joe Lieberman in a primary in 2006 only to lose to JoeMentum in the general election. How did that happen? Ned failed to appeal to independents. And so, maybe that’s Susan’s and Dan’s biggest argument against multi-bucks Ned: Can he win a general election?
State party conventions will take place in May. On the GOP side for governor it’s a race between Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele and former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley.
In the 4th Congressional District Republicans Rob Russo, former state senator and Shelton State Senator Dan Debicella are jockeying for the GOP nod to face Democratic incumbent Jim Himes.
And what about Chris Dodd? He faces a primary from Merrick Alpert, an attractive money-challenged candidate who e-mailed OIB “I will be on another walk across Connecticut next week. This one will take me on a 100 mile, five day trek to focus on the suffering that is taking place in Connecticut. Starting in Enfield I will walk south to East Hartford and then go on to Hartford, New Britain, Bristol, Waterbury, Ansonia and New Haven. There will be a lot of points in between. Unlike the last walk, on this walk I do not go through Bridgeport, but I will certainly be addressing issues relevant to the citizens of the city. My flag will be in my hands.”
Linda McMahon and former Congressman Rob Simmons are duking it out on the GOP side to face Connecticut’s senior senator, or Alpert, in November.
And we’ll have a whole bunch of state legislative races. Could bullet Bob Keeley try to reclaim his old seat against State Rep. Auden Grogins, the blonde banshee from Black Rock? What other incumbents will be challenged? I can’t wait!
In the state’s largest city, this is a crucial budget cycle for Mayor Bill Finch who’s up for reelection in 2011. Pay raises for cops kick in for the budget year that begins July 2010, and the mayor has a new-look Board of Education which he hopes can help his city-side budget. The guy in charge of the BOE budget Pat Crossin, who had the same position on the City Council for several years, is a pushover for no one. That will be fun.
Me, I think the city needs a new Harding High School. Maybe Jodi Rell will help give Bridgeport the loot for a new high school in addition to a new prison before she leaves office. You want reading material for the weekend? Here goes. Happy New Decade!!!
Marc Delmonico, Bridgeport GOP Chair, steps up in letter to gov’s office:
I never received the data comparing the States spending allocations to Bridgeport verses other Connecticut cities. It is obvious that Bridgeport is not a high priority on the Governor’s list. We have only to look at the latest news with regard to the proposed jail. Be advised that I will be siding with Bridgeport. The blatant arrogance of Hartford towards this city is amazing. I am trying to grow a Republican Party in this City, every step forward we take, is set back three steps by the Governor.
First you put a jail on waterfront property. I am sure that in Real Estate Development 101 it is taught that waterfront property is better used for Economic Development rather than government services. The only Government services that should be on waterfront property are the Navy and the Coast Guard.
Secondly your hesitation in sending the spending allocations I requested is confirmation of what I thought … Bridgeport is not getting the fair slice of the pie.
Thirdly, Bridgeport gave you alternate sites for the Girls Detention Center (Jail). It is obvious that this was ignored. You are destroying an established neighborhood. It is obviously too late to affect this administration since The Governor is not seeking reelection. I hope the next Republican administration will be more Bridgeport-friendly, and I will do my best to help insure that for my City.
Linda McMahon’s New Year’s Resolution:
As we approach the end of the year, it’s time to think about a New Year’s resolution that will stick. My pledge for 2010 is to unite Connecticut so that we can take back Washington.
Uncontrolled spending, massive recurring deficits and unacceptable debt — this is what career politicians have given to us. Government is not working for people, and career politicians are doing what they do best when their jobs are threatened: spending even more of our money and driving the country further into the red.
We need to end this cycle, and the way to do that is to stop sending career politicians to Washington. Instead, we should elect a Senator who has the strength to end business as usual, make Washington work for Connecticut families, and most importantly, put people back to work.
Share this message with your family, friends and neighbors. As we ring in 2010, you will have your chance to tell Washington you want a new direction. Right now, you can keep the momentum building by taking these last few hours of 2009 to sign up for a yard sign, a bumper sticker or the opportunity to volunteer.
We are ready to take the voice of Connecticut families to Washington, D.C.
I will work for you. The journey has already begun. Best wishes for the New Year.
News release from Mayor Finch:
Housing Authority Hires Fire Safety Consultant to Review Safety Issues at P.T. Barnum Apartments
In the wake of a fatal fire on Nov. 13, Mayor Bill Finch and the leadership of the Bridgeport Housing Authority announced today that the Housing Authority has hired a fire safety expert to examine and evaluate fire safety at the P.T. Barnum Apartments.
The Housing Authority has hired Joseph H. Versteeg, principal of Versteeg Associates, a consulting firm specializing in the formulation and implementation of fire safety/protection strategies and the development of fire/life safety training programs, to aid the BHA in ensuring fire safety at the public housing complex.
“In order to move forward, we felt it was best to have an independent party review the many suggestions put forth by residents, the public and other interested parties, and make recommendations on where to focus our resources,” said Nicholas Calace, Housing Authority Executive Director. “Mr. Versteeg’s expertise as former commanding officer of the technical services section of the State Fire Marshal’s office and his background in fire/life safety training and implementation will be invaluable as we determine what will be the best and most efficient course of action to address the safety concerns of P.T. Barnum residents.”
Versteeg will review all suggestions that have come from the three public board meetings held by the Housing Authority since the fire, the staff meetings hosted by the Mayor, and from members of the public and residents of P.T. Barnum Apartments.
To reinforce the message of fire safety, the Fire Chief and the Mayor have visited with children at Longfellow School where most of the children at P.T. Barnum attend. In addition, the Fire Chief along with members of the department, have visited every apartment at P.T. Barnum, providing information and discussing fire safety with residents. The Fire Department next plans to spread the fire safety message during door-to-door visits at Marina Village and the rest of the City’s public housing complexes.
“I have joined the Chief in visiting many of the residents of P.T., and the one-on-one visits have been very helpful in reinforcing the fire safety message to an entire family,” said Mayor Finch. “The assistance of an outside expert will help the Housing Authority and the City to make all of our public housing complexes safer in the future.”
“I would urge all City residents to check their smoke alarms on a regular basis to ensure they are operating properly, and to practice fire safety plans with family and friends so everyone knows what to do in case of a fire,” said Bridgeport Fire Chief Brian Rooney. “The one sure way to reduce the possibility of a fire in your home is to be vigilant and use smoke detectors,” he added.
In addition to the hiring of a consultant, the Housing Authority also has augmented its annual certification process to require that each tenant file a fire safety plan when they recertify their financial eligibility each year.
The state Fire Marshal’s office is continuing its investigation into the exact cause of the fire; a final report is expected in 30 to 40 days.
The Housing Authority expects to call another meeting sometime in January to inform residents and the public of their progress and receive additional input. The meeting will be open to the public and all residents of P.T. Barnum, and state, local and federal officeholders will be invited to attend.
In the meantime, residents are urged to share their ideas and concerns about fire safety with the Housing Authority by writing the Executive Director at 150 Highland Avenue, Bridgeport, Connecticut 06604 or by attending any of their board meetings.
And More From The Mayor
Mayor Finch Wishes All a Safe and Happy New Year in 2010
Mayor Bill Finch urges all city residents to have a safe and Happy New Year’s celebration, and a healthy and prosperous year in 2010.
“Safety is our number-one priority during the holiday season, and throughout the year,” said Mayor Finch. “Here are two New Year’s resolutions everyone should make: make sure your home or apartment has a working smoke detector and, if you plan to celebrate on New Year’s Eve, please include a designated driver in your plans.”
City residents can take advantage of the free Safe Asleep smoke detector program by calling 203.335.8835 to get one installed. The Bridgeport Fire Department, in conjunction with AmeriCorps and the American Red Cross, has installed more than 23,000 smoke detectors in city homes since 2005.
Bassick Video Students Win $12,500 in Final Feats Contest
Bassick High School video students won a total of $12,500 in the recent nationwide “Friday Night Feats” video contest sponsored by State Farm Insurance.
The winning video, which placed second out of 300 entries from school across the nation, depicted the Bassick Lions touchdown victory in the last 15 seconds against cross-town rivals Harding Presidents during a game on Nov. 11.
Mayor Bill Finch joined Bassick principal Ronald Remy and Schools Supt. John Ramos Sr. in congratulating the students’ efforts. Local State Farm representative Victoria Hodson presented a check for $12,500 to football coach Frank Marcucio and Video Instructor Kathy Silver, whose students created the winning video, during an event at the school on Dec. 22.
“We’re very proud of the work these students are doing; their video work was top-notch and very deserving of recognition,” said Mayor Finch.
Bassick football players Rodney Lanham, quarterback, and Davonte Franklin, a running back and the stars of the video, joined Ms. Silver’s students at the award presentation.
TO THE CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS:
There will be a SPECIAL MEETING of the City Council’s COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE to be held on Monday evening, January 11, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. in the Wheeler Rooms, Side A & B.
If you have submitted an item that appears on the agenda below and are receiving this notice, it is imperative that you or a representative attend the meeting to represent that item.
23-09 Statements of Councilperson Robert S. Walsh, 132nd District to Councilperson Mary Evette Brantley.
Very truly yours,
Ann L. Murray
Assistant City Clerk
Bullshit Declaration Of The Decade
You cannot be serious!