In Letter To Taxpayers Mayor Urges “Patience”

Mayor Joe Ganim has mailed a letter to city taxpayers along with their tax bills that will finance the budget year starting July 1. In the letter Ganim asks for “assistance and patience. No one budget or few months in office can accomplish the big goals that we have for our great city.”

Ganim’s letter:

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your mayor again. Despite an inherited budget deficit for Fiscal Year 16 in excess of $20 million, my Administration worked very hard to adopt a stable and balanced budget for this upcoming fiscal year. This budget cuts and controls the spending of local government in several key areas, while also funding 100 new police officers and making important investments in our city’s future.

Fortunately, residents of the City of Bridgeport will notice a significant drop in their motor vehicle taxes this year due to legislation that caps the motor vehicle mil rate at 37 mils. As for real estate and personal property, your taxes will vary depending on how your property values have changed over the last eight years due to the city’s recent revaluation.

Revaluation is a state-mandated process in which property values are reassessed to reflect current market values. Bridgeport’s last revaluation was conducted in 2008. Your current tax bill reflects the change in your real estate and personal property values since that time. Please know that we have worked very hard to reduce the tax burden by controlling spending in order to reduce the impact of this revaluation on Bridgeport residents.

We are continuing to make progress on erasing the large deficit that we inherited upon taking office. We are doing this by streamlining city government services, cutting costs where possible, and engaging in smart spending that will put Bridgeport on a path to long-term stability and success. As we do this, we ask for your assistance and patience. No one budget or few months in office can accomplish the big goals that we have for our great city. However, I am confident that with a consistent and dedicated effort, we will work to make Bridgeport a better and safe place to live.



  1. The prior Ganim Administration borrowed $350 million to fund the pension plan and lost about half of it in the market decline. You are all still paying for that boneheaded move. Cannot wait to see his other brilliant plans for spending your tax dollars.

    1. Jennifer, it is never too early or too often to bring taxpayers up to date on the “brilliance” of G1 in setting up a scenario where $350 Million is borrowed through using a 30-year bond and $344 Million is invested to throw off income and grow the capital corpus to pay around $30 Million annually to Pension A retirees and their spouse survivors. Since 2000 we have suffered two significant market sell-offs, and likely not funded enough into the Pension A account so while we are a little over halfway to the end of the 30-year period, there is less than 20% of the money left invested. When the Fund runs out, the City must pick up the payments to the 800 or fewer persons left in the group.

      But, But, But, don’t forget for 16 years past and 14 years into the future (more or less), the City will continue to repay the bonded indebtedness from the Police Department account at $16 Million per year and $14 Million from the Fire Department account.


        1. Do you have any such evidence? Have you ever looked at the minutes or results of the Pension A Committee? There is risk in investing, from many perspectives, and getting ripped off is only one type of corruption.
          Trying to guarantee market performance for retirement funds and mortality years of survival for retirees and spouses are not necessarily required in many workplaces. But the municipal union structure adjusts very slowly and with no practical concern about taxpayers or municipal functioning and survival.
          Interestingly, unions do not care once the union member is a retiree and no longer paying dues. But retirees should care about promises made, but not funded appropriately especially as time moves on. Time will tell.

          1. No, I do not have any evidence. That is why my statement was followed by a question mark. The pension plans were doomed from the start as the payroll deductions went into the general fund and it used poor actuarial assumptions, overestimated market returns and the city skipped pension contributions.

  2. It’s all about economic development and jobs, Joe! Tax bill apologies won’t save us!

    I went to the meeting on waterfront development last week at Blessed Sacrament church and wasn’t impressed by what I heard.

    Those who attended the meeting heard our waterfront destroyers–fuel storage depots and environmentally destructive/obtrusive, tax-base-devaluing waterfront power plants are sacrosanct and untouchable in the waterfront redevelopment scheme. (Not so downcounty, where Norwalk is replacing such waterfront infrastructure with job-rich, high-end retail and hospitality development.)

    The proposed “development” we heard about was either just landscaping or concerned silly, Finch Administration-type, parkscaping/recreation-type “development,” such as waterfront ice skating rinks and floating swimming pools, where factories and thousands of jobs used to occupy/utilize waterfront.

    I often drive past the Steal Point development and see three ill-chosen enterprises occupying waterfront space, that are probably already targeting January 2017 pack-up and leave dates.

    And then I take a look at the huge, mothballed, shipbuilding facility that used to employ/train 300 Bridgeport younger workers (just five years ago) and I note no apparent effort has been made in five years to work with the state and federal government to get another boat-builder or some kind of appropriate manufacturing in that perfectly located, ready-to-use facility. Last night I started researching possible shipbuilder company “fits” for that facility and made note of several companies worth contacting. Tonight I might take a look at hydraulic alternative energy equipment manufacturers. (We weren’t targeting that location for an ice skating rink or floating swimming pool, or another power plant, were we?)

    Come on Joe; let’s get past the David Kooris-Bill Finch smoke and mirrors, Stamford-serving redevelopment scheme and bring something here that will provide residential taxpayer relief and jobs so residents can find living-wage work by which to pay their ridiculous tax bills.

    It’s time for a very, very serious, very aggressive approach to tax base/jobs redevelopment in Bridgeport. We haven’t seen anything describable in such terms since the administration of John Mandanici, and before him, P.T. Barnum.

    The interim administrations between John Mandanici and Joe Ganim II have all taken development cues from our downcounty overseers. John Mandanici (nor P.T. Barnum!) would have never tolerated the arrogant bullying intervening administrations have swallowed in this regard.

    It’s time to get serious, and real, and tough, about Bridgeport redevelopment, Joe. That’s what the regime change was all about in this past election and it is what regime change could be about in 2019. You have the political capital and skill set to remake Bridgeport second to none, that’s why we gave you a second chance to give Bridgeport a second chance.

    1. Jeff, no one with any experience, knowledge or credibility is submitting a resume as Economic Development Director. I hate to admit when my friends thought I’d lost it when I supported G2, they were probably right. The feeling nobody would want to be a part of this administration seems to be true. Either it’s that or G2 doesn’t reach out to strangers with experience, he feels secure and safe with his little inner circle who collectively share a brain.

        1. Carolanne, you forget I watched you screw up Ganim’s headquarters on a daily basis. You created animosity, most people hated you, talked behind your back, and you had the nerve to accept a paycheck from the campaign every week. After the election you pathetically went to the Annex every day hoping Ganim would have mercy on you and give you a job. Well you finally wore him down, no one seems to know what you do there, sort of how it was in the Ganim headquarters, every day someone would ask “what does that woman do?” I would watch you talk to yourself while you shuffled papers around your desk, then we would discover hidden registration cards, ab applications, and you were once caught in a diner sharing information with people who had nothing to do with G2’s campaign. I have a lot more Curry stories to share, but I’ll save them for later. At this point in your life you should have some pride and self-respect, I’m sure you’re not hurting for money, you brag all the time about how you are an owner in the restaurant Bloodroot.

    2. Jeff,
      It’s about economic development, fiscal constraint and financial restructuring. Bridgeport’s leadership is failing on all three dimensions.

  3. Patience???! I have no patience for lies, ignorance and incompetence. If we had the right to recall elected officials Ganim and most of the City Council would be fired, and for good cause.

  4. Jeff, I can’t see development with Joe. I can’t see Joe putting on gloves and getting back into the ring to bring big, private, state, federal money and investment to Bridgeport. Maybe something decent will come out of tragedy, like fixing overbloated benefits bleeding the tax base. Bam I’m out.

    1. Robert,
      I gave a paid speech to a group of top developers and the US last year before the election. One of them came up to me and said his firm had dealings with Ganim during his first corrupt term. They walked away from the sports complex development opportunity when Ganim put his hand out. He reminded me the major developer community is a small group and stated if we elected Ganim we should not expect any major developer to invest in the City until he is out of office.

  5. It has been years of feed the machine that got you elected and economic development that has cost every taxpayer (think 60-year tax abatements, think borrowing hundreds of millions to pay obligations). This city needs to close its doors and be absorbed into the nearby towns. In the last 10 years taxes have increased 70% for an awful lot of homeowners. Isn’t it obvious this city does not have the tax base it needs to support anyone but the politically connected?

  6. Phil: John Mandanici wasn’t known as a suave, sophisticated political operator or communicator, but he certainly wasn’t stupid or lacking in managerial or political skills. He knew how to maintain control and get the job done. And certainly no one could ever accuse him of lacking in love, passion and commitment to Bridgeport, or of lacking in hopes, dreams, and plans for the city.

    John Mandanici actually started to get things moving on reclaiming brownfields and re-establishing manufacturing on reclaimed sites. Recall the Boston Avenue Industrial Park, on reclaimed GE and Remington Arms land, and its several hundreds of manufacturing jobs (e.g., the Locke Lawn Mower Company). And he also has a vision for the re-establishment of Bridgeport as an Arts and Entertainment center and took steps toward getting that in motion.

    And no one could badmouth or abuse Bridgeport while he was mayor. The Gold Coast made no inroads toward securing a Bridgeport “servants quarters” when Mandanici was mayor.

    Really, if you look at net jobs creation, the Mandanici Administration was the last administration to actually increase employment and grand list value in Bridgeport.

    So no Phil, John Mandanici didn’t have a BS (and I’m not talking Bachelor of Science) degree in Urban Planning or some other BS area of study used by talentless individuals to pimp themselves as development experts, but he knew about business basics from the standpoint of a worker, consumer, and working business manager, and he knew about US cities and about Bridgeport. He knew where Bridgeport needed to look in terms of jobs and development and he used his good, basic intelligence, instincts and hard work to take us there, and he accomplished more in his administration (albeit a scandal-tarnished one) than most other Bridgeport mayors, including and especially those who followed him.

    If Mayor Ganim, or any other modern Bridgeport mayor, wants to accomplish a Bridgeport renaissance, they need to channel P.T. Barnum and John Mandanici.

    (And no, Jennifer. Bridgeport shouldn’t be divided among its suburbs; the parasitic suburbs should be annexed by Bridgeport, as they would be in other parts of the US, where cities are served and treated as economic growth engines by forward-looking states. Connecticut has just about everything, in terms of politics and economics, backwards.)

    1. If CT had county government I might agree with you. Divide the city, and the three towns would then have the tax base to support the kind of development you want to see in Bridgeport.

      1. Jen, it is not having the tax base to support development that is the problem. BPT has overpopulated itself and does not have the tax base to support basic governmental services. The Democrat political machine flooded the city with its poor supporters. That led to low property values and a high mil rate. The high mil rate, among other things, caused a commercial exodus.

        For example: housing. You have two choices.
        One $1 mil house.
        Good things for the city–$1 mil in grand list, two expensive, insured and registered cars.
        Bad things for the city–two Republican votes, two kids, two toilets, two trash cans.

        Option 2–ten $100K houses.
        Good things for the city–$1 mil in grand list, 20 mid/low priced, (maybe) insured and (maybe) registered cars, 20 Democrat votes (if they vote).
        Bad things for the city–20-30 kids, 20 trash cans, 10 toilets, statistically higher crime, increased need for services. (Food stamps, child care, police, fire, buses, etc.)

        The 10 low-income houses are a net deficit for the city. It would literally be better to leave the lots as empty fields. BPT’s public housing (projects) are a total loss. The benefit to splitting BPT into the surrounding towns would be the new town would have a better grand list to population ratio. The new town would also be more economical. The increase in the size of new town government would be less than the size of BPT and the old town’s city government. I.e., there would be one less mayor, fewer cops overall. Things like that.

          1. Jennifer, why don’t you write in the Indiana Gazette? You don’t live here anymore so butt out.

          2. Good idea, Andy. I’ll make a call to the many people who contacted me and asked me to step in and help get the word out and write opinions about what’s going on in Bridgeport with the tax increase. I loved living in Black Rock. The city pretty much cost me all my ability to sustain a comfortable lifestyle. I still have a lot of friends there who are hurting, and they’ve asked for my help. And you’d miss me.

          3. Your friends must be idiots if they can’t fight their own battles. Have your friends get their maids and their nannies to write to the blog.

  7. The budget as designed and sold by G2 relied on City property taxpayers for 55% of revenues, and 36% from Intergovernmental (think grants to operating budgets from State and Feds). The next highest category was labeled Payments in Lieu of Taxes and was located in two places on the 2016-17 Revenue Summary sheet totaling about $18,600,000 or about 3.35% revenues. We have counted on PILOT funds in recent years for $13-14 Million annually. What caused a jump of $5,222,047 this year? I missed the explanation in budget hearings, if there was one. Is this revenue item for real? What is the source of this additional nearly 1% of required revenues for 2017? Time will tell.

  8. Dividing up Bridgeport and giving it to the suburbs that have sucked it dry in the first place is an illogical, idiotic solution to a problem that lies in the elitist mindset/policies of an unworkable elitist, capitalist system that is fast losing ground around the world. The ‘burbs love having Bridgeport’s underclass at their disposal, just as the elite of the world love having borderless access to slave labor. Well, guess what? The people of the world have decided they’ve had enough. First Brexit. Next? The elitists should be getting nervous. “… Let them eat cake …” got one powerful lady and her family in a lot of trouble a couple of centuries ago, and there was no Internet then.

    And the support for Bernie Sanders that came out of nowhere? This doesn’t give the greedy parasites and elitists of the world pause?

    The amazing thing about Bridgeport is the people have been placid for so long. Just the commentary on this blog gives an indication of the seething anger in this city. If this anger begins to crystallize and become focused and organized and effectively channeled by adept leadership, there are going to be some very big political changes in this state in the near future.

    Divide up Bridgeport for the vulture suburbs! What stupid, elitist/defeatist BS! A-holes!

    1. But Jeff, isn’t dividing up Bpt the perfect way to get the vulture ‘burbs to pay their fair share of BPT’s woes? If Trumbull will not pay their fair share of the sewer bill, give Trumbull the entire system. Bpt will no longer have the burden of supporting the slave quarters. If the surrounding towns will not pay your rent, you just move into their house.

  9. Jeff, are you as fascinated as I am with municipal unions using the discredited gang as current advisors? I hope in the next few months we are able to put some people together with some bad actions of the Finch administration and see if there are any consequences to avoiding OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT and HONEST practices. Of course when only 15% of the people come out for local elections, the problem may take longer to correct.

    Perhaps when school opens this year, as I hope it does, actual concerned citizens, taxpayers and residents, will take time to share with parents of Bridgeport students the results of G2 BOE level funding. Beautiful schools, those that are new, but the physical plant does not inspire, teach, challenge and educate the youth. Educate the parents? They have rights to vote? They are registered? They have self-interest? Or will they watch their children visit the Finch parks and playgrounds for the first 20 years of their adult lives because they failed to get the necessary education? And in those same 20 years, certain current but by then retired City employees will be receiving larger amounts of retirement pay monthly than they received in average salary most years during their employment. Follow me? Time will tell.

  10. Yes, John. You’ve defined the irony and the paradox of the modus operandi of the local/state/national political machine (singular).

    We can observe the seamlessness of the relationships/cooperative ventures of the financial-political powerbrokers and the political parties a la the Hillary-Wall Street connection, the Democratic and Republican cooperatively designed/engineered/implemented globalization/trade deals accomplished at the behest of their billionaire, multi-national corporate “clients.” Just look to the TPP and where that is coming from, and where NAFTA came from, to appreciate the validity of that statement.

    Traveling down the food chain a bit, we see where the mayor of a failed city who wrapped it in a green veneer and rode it to the brink of bankruptcy has been rewarded for his political docility and incompetence by the political establishment (that he has served for his entire adult life) by being appointed to a public-service position in a state in which he has no residential history and for which position he has absolutely no relevant knowledge or qualifications.

    So the fact political establishment appointees have transitioned to positions advocating for former union political establishment “adversaries” in contentious “negotiations” with a new political (albeit “establishment”) regime in Bridgeport is not at all surprising.

    The whole parasitic food chain maintains a synergistic relationship via the common political machine and its intravenous connection to the blood supply of the public, the latter of which just continues to lie and let itself be bled as if insensate and/or helpless.

    No one in power at the top of the political/financial food chain is paying much attention to the anemic distress of the donor-public. Soon, the $%^7 will hit fan(?). It seems so if one reads between the lines in the news.

    1. No it won’t, Jeff. The support for Bernie came from college students who only saw ‘free tuition’ and others who just wanted to suckle from the government teat. Then we have BPT. The Democrat machine moved in a dependent class that was more than happy to support those who perpetuated the system. Sending our jobs away and marginalizing the working class with illegal immigration is just a way of securing more votes by increasing the average person’s reliance on government services and the Democratic party. Bernie couldn’t even beat Hillary and Hillary is neck and neck with Trump. Trump’s popularity is the support that came out of nowhere. He did not even have the support of the Republican Party. The only $%^7 that will or is hitting the fan is coming from the average working guy who is sick of paying taxes to support the welfare system.


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