In Olive Branch From City Council President Nieves, Pereira Assigned To Key Committees

From Bridgeport Government Facebook page.

On a night Mayor Joe Ganim received the oath of office for another four-year term from his 92-year-old father George in a packed City Council chambers, Aidee Nieves was selected by her peers as president of the legislative body for two more years. She was unopposed.

The newly sworn-in council met immediately after the inaugural ceremonies Monday night for an organizational session.

Retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez, issued the oath to Samia Suliman, left, and Maria Pereira, right. Suliman and Pereira represent the Upper East Side 138th District on the City Council.

Nieves made key committee assignments where the nuts and bolts work of the legislative branch is conducted. In an olive branch to establishment fighter Maria Pereira, Nieves appointed her to the key Contracts Committee where she will certainly scrutinize contract proposals advanced by Ganim’s administration.

Ganim, with daughter Krista at his side, receives oath from his father George. CT Post photo by Brian Pounds.

Pereira was also placed on the Public Safety Committee where she can monitor, among other items, overtime spending in the Police Department, something she has chronicled in the OIB comments section. She was also named to the Education Committee, a natural fit considering her years of service as an elected member of the Board of Education, as well as liaison to the Water Pollution Control Authority whose collection practices against homeowners have come under fire. Councilman Ernie Newton was liaison to the WPCA, but asked Pereira if she would take on that task because of his added responsibilities on key committees.

City Council President Aidee Nieves. CT Post photo by Brian Pounds.

Pereira’s first committee choice was sitting on the powerful Budget & Appropriations Committee, but all things considered there was no effort by Nieves to marginalize a well-researched operative who’s been a stick-in-the-eye to government leadership. Pereira does her homework.

Ganim chats with City Councilman Alfredo Castillo Monday night.

Nieves made a key change to the budget committee adding North End councilman Michael DeFilippo as co-chair with veteran Maria Zambrano Viggiano. The other budget committee members are Denese Taylor-Moye, Jeanette Herron, council freshman Matt McCarthy, an accountant, newcomer Jorge Cruz and Ernie Newton.

The Bridgeport Boys Choir received a standing ovation from the packed council chambers crowd.
Public safety officials lead inaugural procession.

Contracts will be chaired by Newton and Jeanette Herron. DeFilippo, Cruz, Alfredo Castillo and Scott Burns round out the committee with Pereira.

Newton and Pereira have gone at it often in the OIB comments section, even challenging each other earlier this year to a literal pissing contest that made national news.

Monday night they put all of that aside in the pomp and circumstance of the evening. With both of them on Contracts, look for some fireworks.

Pereira and Ernie Newton made nice Monday night.

Each council committee, where the rubber meets the road on the legislative branch, is comprised of seven members. Depending on the quorum, generally four votes are required to pass legislation out of committee. What’s approved at the committee level generally passes the full City Council.

Pereira, who keeps score, will not be bashful about pointing out the attendance records of other council members.

Strap in.

Nieves also noted from the dais, Suliman as the first Muslim to serve on the council and Pereira as the first woman of Portuguese descent.



    1. Just in case it had not been mentioned before just wanted to thank Kyle Lanigan and Pete Spain for their service. Maria you have big shoes to fill. Just wanted to say this incase it had not been said,

  1. Lennie
    You forgot to mention I was the liaison to The WPCA but because I’m on Budget committee, Co-chair of Contracts, Committee, Ordinance Committee and on School building Committee. I asked Councilwomen Maria would she like to take my place on The WPCA and she said yes.

  2. Ernie Newton’s statement about relinquishing his appointment as the liason to the WPCA Is 100% accurate.

    Both Ernie Newton and Aidee Nieves were quite gracious, and it is greatly appreciated!

    Please note my Blue & Gold attire as a tribute to my Warren Harding High School roots. Go Presidents!

  3. Congrats Maria!..What a great night for you.First off, you look hot!…secondly,really happy for you that your mentor,Judge Lopez swore you in,sort of the icing on the cake for you I’m sure.Glad to see you’re on some key commitees also.I know you’re going to make a difference during your time on the council.Soak it all in,you worked hard for it!

  4. Kudos to the Council President. Ernie, your move with Maria showed your statesmanship. This statement I’m about to make is with much hindsight and experience, Mayor Joe, let Maria do her job and don’t become frustrated. You know from observation she does her homework, and in the long run, she’ll be doing you a favor, albeit in an indirect and probably not wanted way. She’ll be your eyes and ears because she’s smart, researches and will keep your Departments on their toes. It’s impossible for you to do it alone, and right now, I see no rocket scientists covering your back. A word from one who’s been there, you don’t have to serve on any committee to attend and right any wrong that may occur when a matter reaches the full Council. I implore every council member to remember that.

    1. Lisa Parziale, boy I’m glad to see you back where we all can benefit from your experience and wisdom. No one has ever said that Maria doesn’t do her homework, the issue to be seen is if Maria is a TEAM PLAYER. Lisa, Joe could be able watch Maria if she shows that she’s a team player but Mario can’t and watch Maria and Mario will use his influence on the council. As you know quite well Lisa elected officials are mainly concerned about their next election and not being primary with Mario backing a candidate to run against them. Love you my friend and the best to you and welcome back.

  5. On this day of the swearing-in of a new administration,I would like to offer congratulations to Mayor Joe Ganim and the entire City Council. I hope and pray that,in their civic duties,they will place the best interests of The People of Bridgeport as their top priority.

  6. Congrats to all. Hopefully the council will make improvements to the overall welfare of the citizens of Bridgeport. Im sure with Maria’s fortitude some will be careful to not do the wrong thing!!
    I found it interesting that in the last paragraph of the Ct Post article, that CC President Nieves went out of her way to point out how “the entrepreneur” had not really carried out his duties during the last term and that he ‘has not had a great attendance record’, and that “he has to prove himself”. I thought to myself what would Mario say if the bartender showed up at 6 or so instead of 5 or just didn’t make it in on some nights!!
    I know of one of the reasons that ‘the entrepreneur’ didn’t show up at times and how it has to do with some of the other CC members. That reason will be left for……………more to come. Cheers!

  7. Lennie,

    If you do list all the committee assignments please consider posting Committee attendance.

    Ernest Newton should be commended because based on my analysis it appears he has the best attendance record of ALL returning City Council members.

  8. Congratulations to everyone who was sworn in. I believe Maria will do a great job on the Council. Working with Ernie as a colleague is going to be a pleasant surprise. Ernie, in my opinion, is a blessing to both his community and the Council, I say that as a former colleague and friend.

  9. I have to say, having been in attendance for the swearing-in ceremony and CC meeting that followed, that the demeanor of the new CC and the Mayor were describable as “sober and harmonious” (not to be confused with morbid resignation).

    It actually seemed that that there was a determination to be agreeable and cooperative among the CC members and between the members and the Mayor (with one notable exception that will in any event, be of no consequence…).

    It actually seemed that some of the “evil spirits” that have inhabited the CC chamber in recent years, had been exorcised (although I did detect a very faint smell of sulfur at the time that I thought that I had spied City Attorney Beelzebub in the CC antechamber prior to the meeting). And it seemed that there was a determination by the CC AND Mayor to approach Bridgeport’s governance and management needs from a pragmatic angle, riding on the positive momentum of a new CC…

    Indeed, there seemed to be a different vibe in the room than what would be considered “normal” in Bridgeport.

    So maybe there’s room for a little optimism in Bridgeport in 2020?

    Time will tell. Right, JML?!

    1. Jeff Kohut is a keen observer.
      Maria’s presence put everyone on their best behavior.
      When you dominate the spotlight, unspoken rules take shape and the tone is set.
      New dynamics emerge and unlikely coalitions are formed.
      And it never hurts when you wear the best dress in the room.

    2. Jeff, I’m sure that was the feeling on DAY 1… Just wait till Joe & Mario start getting a little push back.” Sober and harmonious” will fly out the door.

    3. Hope is a virtue and a wonderful life-giving human value. Hopefulness represents a way of seeing the world around you with the longer term in mind. Optimism is perhaps a more tactical response to facing the world?

      When the shortened time periods for public address (3 minutes rather than five minutes) begin on December 16, I shall be prepared and present to deliver a shortened message. Will listening give rise to discussion, questioning, a more curious City Council? Will personal humility of members, new or old, allow them to learn new approaches to assuring that the problems, issues and concerns of the people are fully attended to? Will personal empathy prevail and allow the Council to order their priorities to favor the young, the weak, the vulnerable poor? Will they respect the City employees who know their responsibilities and practice them daily to accomplish the mission of leadership? Will curiosity nudge them to seek a full story, to include current and future dollar values in every story told, in every vote they take, and especially when told, “Don’t worry about that!!”
      Perhaps we should not be worried about the type of citizen passion that strives for Open, Accountable, Transparent and Honest process and practice in governance? Perhaps when we see such activity that differs from the current status quo, we should stop and salute it? For sure. Time will tell.

          1. That’s not a whistle, that’s a bullhorn and new rules will make it sound like a hurricane, unlike the gentle breeze you envision.

  10. Message to Ron Mackey:
    John Marshall Lee and Maria Pereira are Bridgeport originals. They’re both sunny.
    Both have positive posts. Both add value here and neither is negative. But both cut their teeth on Only in Bridgeport–it’s a daily weather report.
    How come it’s always raining where you are?


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