Hot Items On City Council Committee Agenda

Several key items appear on the Monday evening agenda of the City Council’s Miscellaneous Matters Committee including a tentative severance package for City Council President Tom McCarthy, deputy director of Labor Relations, a proposed settlement of taxes related to 889 Barnum Avenue that will turn 11 acres over to the city adjacent to the proposed new train station on the East Side and appointments to the Board of Assessment Appeals that will hear opposition to revaluation of taxable property. The meeting will take place 6 p.m. in the Democratic Caucus Room of City Council Chambers.

Some council members say they feel awkward voting on a severance package for McCarthy, head of the legislative branch who has served a dual role as second in command of labor relations. Because the employment package agreement reached between McCarthy and the city exceeds $20,000 it requires council approval, according to City Attorney R. Christopher Meyer.

AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia and Richard Salter are co-chairs of the committee. Denese Taylor-Moye, Anthony Paoletto, Milta Feliciano, Nessah Smith and John Olson round out the committee.

The committee will also take up turning 11 acres of the abandoned Remington property on Barnum Avenue adjacent to the proposed site of a new train station on the East Side over to the city as part of a settlement of taxes agreement hammered out in U.S. Bankruptcy Court with RemGrit Realty controlled by developer Sal DiNardo.

The committee will also vote to approve the appointments of Democrats Joseph Almeida, Obiora Nkwo and multiple-mayoral candidate Charles Coviello to the Board of Assessment Appeals. Implementation of the revaluation of city property and new mil rate will start for the July 1 budget year. An internal appeal process is established for property owners challenging assessments.

According to the assessor’ office “If you wish to appeal your assessment after the informal hearing/assessment review process with Vision Government Solutions has been completed, a written appeal to the Board of Assessment Appeals on the prescribed Board of Assessment Appeals appeal form must be completed and physically delivered to the Assessor’s Office by March 20, 2016. The forms will be available in February, 2016 from the Assessor’s Office in the Bridgeport City Hall and on the City’s website.”

See more here.

Appointment of Cruz Manuel Cotto (D) to the Parks Commission, appointment of Pearl Brooks (U) to the Commission of Persons with Disabilities and a proposed approval of a new Job Classification with NAGE Local RI-200 for Senior Housing Code Inspector/Enforcement Officer are also on the agenda.

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19 comments

  1. 44-15 Proposed Settlement of taxes related to 889 Barnum Avenue and other matters including but not limited to a certain pending U.S. Bankruptcy Case: Remgrit Realty, Inc. Debtor Ch.11, Case No. 14-5154I
    The City of Bridgeport has won the case against Remgrit/Sal DiNardo in Superior Court. After a 12-year battle and $10 million in back taxes, DiNardo’s last legal move was to file Bankruptcy in Federal court, this was to stop the Superior Court from handing the Remington property over to the City at this time.
    In a nutshell DiNardo has lost the Remington property in the eyes of the Superior court.
    Now Remgrit/DiNardo wants to cut a deal with the City of Bridgeport.
    DiNardo/Remgrit told the Federal Courts they have a deal pending with the city, the Federal Court in its wisdom told DiNardo/Remgrit to prove it!
    Don’t approve this deal, let the Federal court send it back to Superior Court for a Strict Foreclosure. The City will own the entire Remington property in just a few months. CC, vote no to this bad deal!
    What makes you feel DiNardo will pay his taxes on this new deal? Or any part of Remgrit’s old taxes?

    1. If DiNardo has met the requirements of bankruptcy law, he is now within the bankruptcy courts and is afforded the protection under the bankruptcy laws. That is my understanding of how bankruptcy works.

    2. Chapter 11 can be a useful tool to reorganize past-due taxes your company has incurred. Debts such as property taxes, income taxes and payroll taxes can be restructured to allow you to continue to operate the business but also meet your tax obligations at the same time. While most tax obligations usually get paid off during a five-year period, Chapter 11 allows you to renegotiate repayment terms between your business and the taxing authority on grounds mutually acceptable to both parties.

  2. I am confident the esteemed council committee members have spent the weekend reviewing documentation detailing these important matters and will make use of their extensive education and employment-related expertise to make well-informed, objective decisions.

    Or maybe they have not seen any documentation because it is still sitting in their mail slots in the city clerk’s office. Or perhaps nothing has been shared with them (on record) and they will have it placed in front of them when they gather last minute for a committee meeting prior to the council meeting. Let’s see if they are convinced to vote to approve the items, then add them to the agenda for the full council meeting. What happens then?
    Democrat Party caucus!
    Let’s see if there is any debate in public that would suggest an understanding of these important items.

  3. *** The council members seem to get worse every twoyears, what in blazes are these local town committees thinking about? The sad part is voters actually vote for some of these people! ***

    1. Mojo,
      We have read each other’s comments for years now, though you have taken a semi-retirement pause on occasion.
      What I detect in your message is a sense “these local town committees” think about the fate of the City. Is that a colorful way of expressing what they do, or were you being serious?
      Whether CC aspirants or seat holders are getting better or worse or merely staying untrained, understaffed, underinformed (by the administration in the past eight years), and overtasked for their decision-making responsibility, is a matter of opinion. The minority of City registered voters who do vote have their own reasons. Knowledge of what has been happening at City Hall is basically absent because campaigns can be run as high school popularity elections. This is because the local town committee does nothing from one term to the next to inform party members, to identify broad issues, to gather voters or do anything that might be considered helpful to good governance in a Western democracy. And when only a small number of the registered vote, the finger on the election scales dominates. If anyone thinks differently, they should serve the public by providing info they are ready to follow. Time will tell.

      1. I will be there as well.

        Perhaps there will be enough print info available to share with the taxpaying public. Perhaps the co-chair running the meeting will allow questions or comments. It has happened occasionally in the past two years but I also remember the co-chairs who would not allow public comment on one or more occasions when my hand was raised with a suitable comment on an issue. We all lose out when informed and concerned public is shut out of dialogue. City Council members need to become masters of their subjects or become embarrassed in the days ahead, it seems to me. Leadership in that regard has been absent in the recent past.

        Same leader whose City package will be discussed tonight. To avoid conflicts of interest, you have to eliminate the possibilities ahead of time, don’t you? Is there a better way? Time will tell.

  4. You can’t speak, Frank. Council rules. Although as Lisa will tell you it hasn’t always been that way.
    When she and I were first on the counci, members of the public could speak for a limited time before a committee.
    You want reform, maybe this is one area to start.

    1. I think not allowing public comments at these subcommittees is ATROCIOUS and definitely needs to be addressed. LOUDLY AND CONSTANTLY until speaking is allowed at the subcommittee meetings. ON MY LIST.

  5. *** Thanks corporate businesses in America for supplying bottled water to the public schools kids in Flint, Mich. where they’re having problems with lead in their local water! ***

  6. To be honest, I think it is a pragmatic, practical end to this issue. FROM NOW ON, this whole issue of conflict of interest needs to be completely avoided by not have any city employees on the Common Council as the City Charter states. As to the two other members who are unionized city employees, it would seem it is more complicated. Does any have any suggestions?

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