“Together we are making Bridgeport the cleanest, greenest, safest most affordable city, with schools and neighborhoods that improve each year” … Mayor Bill Finch.
Every press release, every official government statement, everything coming out of the mayor’s office features the above referenced slogan.
This is the problem with a lofty governmental jingle. Can you validate, reach, live up to it? Can you put words into action? Or is it a hollow holster on your way to collecting a package worth $150K per year?
If I were running a reelection campaign against Bill Finch, now one year into his mayoralty, here’s what I’d ask–on the internet, radio and cable, and in your mailbox:
Is the city cleaner?
Is it greener?
Is it safer and more affordable?
Have the schools improved?
Have the neighborhoods improved?
Now, I’d like to see Finch realize those haughty declarations. I have no problem cheerleading for him. But if the mayor’s going to continue to make that superior declaration part of his mission statement he’s going to have to back it up. Has he? If not, get rid of the slogan and lower expectations. You can’t say I was dealt a bad hand–the former mayor left me a mess, the economy sucks, the sky is falling–while embracing that kind of hallucination.
I’m not crazy about syrupy government slogans. They’re stupid because they suggest an extension of a political campaign. Campaigns are about money, organization and message. Government is about judgment, communication and negotiation. On some of the stuff Finch has been okay. On other stuff disconnected.
The good news for Finch: he still has a year or so to show he’s more than a recruit of pols who thought Johnny Fabs couldn’t defeat Chris Caruso in a primary. But that will require he make more friends than he currently has–in the city, with the business community, in Hartford and Washington.
One year on the job and have we heard a peep from him about an economic development proposal that’s his? Have we heard him say anything about the future of Steelpointe or Canyon Johnson?
Yes, it’s tough out there, but New Haven and Norwalk are both recent examples of cities announcing more than slogans.
So, what say you?
Hey, everyone, we’re gonna have a holiday party. Mark your calendar for Wednesday Dec. 17, 5:30 at Two Boots on Fairfield Avenue, beautiful downtown Bridgeport. We’ll enjoy some serious gourmet pizza. First cocktail on OIB. Spread the word.
Breaking news from AP via Hartford Courant
A campaign committee for U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, who was defeated in last month’s election, says it has uncovered apparent fraud in its financial records and referred the matter to federal authorities.
The Shays for Congress Committee says it became aware after a post-election review of a series of anomalies that appear to be the result of fraudulent activity by one of its former employees. Details were not released.
Campaign officials say the committee’s attorney contacted the U.S. attorney’s office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Election Commission and is cooperating fully with law enforcement officials.
News Release from Shays
Shays for Congress Committee Issues Statement Along With Filing of FEC Report
Norwalk, CT (December 5, 2008) – Following the submission of its post-election Federal Election Commission (FEC) Report, the Shays for Congress Committee issued the following statement:
STATEMENT OF THE COMMITTEE
In the course of its post-election review, the Committee became aware of a series of anomalies in its financial records that appear to be the result of fraudulent activity by one of its former employees.
The information, which was discovered by campaign treasurer Ralph DePanfilis, and finance director Kathleen Pierce, was communicated to Congressman Shays and the Committee’s attorney, who contacted the United States Attorney’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Election Commission. The Committee is cooperating fully with law enforcement officials regarding this matter.
What is known at this point is that certain financial records do not reconcile and there are indications that this may be the result of fraudulent activity on the part of a former employee. Until a full investigation is completed and because the matter is under review by law enforcement officials, the Committee is not able to comment further on the specifics of the situation.
The Committee filed its post-election FEC Report yesterday and notified the FEC that because of the discovery of this information neither the Committee nor its Treasurer can affirm that the content of the report is complete or accurate.
The Committee will amend the report and any previous reports as it obtains the necessary information.
Congressman Shays stated, “This is a serious and sad situation. If true, the actions of this individual represent a betrayal of my campaign, its supporters and the very things I stand for, but in no way do they reflect upon the incredibly dedicated and honorable service of my other staff members and extended family of volunteers and supporters. We hope this matter will be
resolved as quickly as possible.”