Did some poking around the past few days about finances of the Board of Education and it’s not pretty.
It may be a few weeks but look for a nasty fight between the BOE and unions for the teachers and administrators. AFSCME which represents most of the little people education workers has a history of stepping up to help. Not so for the teachers and administrators unions. The BOE is looking at flatline budgets the next two years. Cannot get there without union givebacks from folks that occupy most of the jobs.
City teachers are an admirable bunch. The difference between a Harding High teacher and one at Joel Barlow in Redding is culture shock. But if they don’t step up, look for more than 100 layoffs and school closings. It’s that tight. Mayor Bill Finch has told the BOE you’re not getting any more this year than last. And I’m gonna guess the City Council will probably go along with him. Yes, the BOE has requested more than the $215 million it will spend this budget year, but to receive more means a tax increase and hizzoner doesn’t want that. Health care increases alone each year represents millions. Unions will be forced to step up or step back. Municipal workers in general are no longer a political force. So many live in the ‘burbs.
Phil Shares With Phil
Philip Sherringham, whose frosted glass skyscraper entry and disdain for Connecticut’s largest city underscores his isle of greed, earned a cool $3 million for running the largest state-based bank. Too bad he couldn’t locate City Hall without a limo to show him the way, too bad he doesn’t give a crap about a bank history that made tons of moolah while sharing it with its host city, too bad his board members don’t challenge him about embracing the legacy of Sam Hawley, Nick Goodpseed, David Carson and Jim Biggs. Lennie, we can’t take him on. Nah, they’re making too much money as well.
Talk to folks current and past that worked for Sherringham and they’ll say he doesn’t give a shit about anything except making money, and he’s poising the bank for a move out of Bridgeport, not now, or next year, but perhaps in a few years, such is the bank’s New England presence. That’s why the first floor of Bridgeport Center has been fitted up for office space. “Screw Bridgeport, who cares. I drive in to Bridgeport and drive out.” Wouldn’t it be nice, as a gesture of good will, that the sports complex in Bridgeport’s South End proclaim: People’s United Park, People’s United Arena. Greedy, greedy, greedy.
From the Hartford Courant
The president and chief executive of Bridgeport-based People’s United Financial Inc. received a compensation package worth $3.1 million in 2009, plus stock options, in a year when the bank’s net profits fell more than 25 percent.
Philip R. Sherringham’s compensation package rose 3 percent over 2008, according to the shareholder proxy.
Sherringham, 56, saw his salary rise 5 percent, to $835,385, and his annual grant of restricted stock was 2 percent higher, valued at $644,962. His cash bonus fell 5 percent to $1,363,715.
Sherringham did not exercise any stock options in 2009.
Besides his compensation package, Sherringham was granted stock options now valued at $338,000.
The ultimate value of the options as well as the restricted stock will depend on whether the bank’s stock rises or falls over time.
In 2009, net profits fell primarily because the bank has conservatively invested roughly $2.5 billion of the capital it raised in the “second-step” conversion in 2007.
People’s United, one of the largest Connecticut-based banks, is under pressure from investors to spend more of that capital to make acquisitions to continue building its franchise.
Russo Pledges Health Bill Repeal, News Release:
ROB RUSSO SIGNS PLEDGE TO REPEAL THE HEALTH CARE TAKEOVER
‘I will sponsor and support legislation to repeal it’
Fairfield, CT – 4th District Congressional Candidate Rob Russo today signed and submitted the “REPEAL IT! Pledge” created by Club for Growth (www.clubforgrowth.org). The pledge is designed to put elected officials and candidates on record with their intention to support repealing the TRILLION dollar health care disaster passed by Congress on Sunday.
“When I am in Congress, the first thing I will do is introduce legislation to repeal this bill and replace it with something that will actually lower the cost of health insurance,” said Russo. We need to open up state lines to open up competition, allow for small business pooling and we must reform the medical malpractice system to get defense attorneys out of the exam room.”
Polls leading up to the vote on Sunday indicated wide disapproval for the legislation in Connecticut and around the country. Today, Rasmussen released a new poll that indicates 55% of Americans favor the repeal of this legislation. Rob Russo joins with the majority of Americans in supporting its repeal and pledging to do so in writing.
Russo has been calling on his fellow citizens of the 4th District to face Congressman Himes and ask him to explain why he voted against the will of the people. Congressman Himes and his colleagues are coming home next week for Spring District Work Period–a scheduled break from Washington intended to give constituents direct access to their elected officials. Just yesterday, Russo released a letter calling on members of the public to contact the Congressman’s office and ask for his public schedule in the district so they may have to opportunity to speak with him.
“As a member of the United States House of Representative, he has an obligation to face his constituents, explain his actions and hear what we expect from him next. It is his duty to represent our interests, it is our duty to question those who Represent us. Call Congressman Himes’ office and request his public schedule for Spring District Work Period-then show up and ask him to explain why he ignored the will of the people. You can reach Congressman Himes’ office by calling (866) 453-0028 or you can email him at CT04JHima@mail.house.gov. I know that you are angry at their abuse of power and blatant disregard for the will of the people, but please be respectful. This is not a confrontation, but your right as a American to question your Representative.” -Russo Letter to Constituents, 3/24/10
So far, no public schedule for Congressman Jim Himes Spring District Work Period, scheduled to begin this weekend, has been released.
From Jim Himes:
Himes Helps Pass Bill to Expand Disaster Relief, Hire Summer Workers in Urban Communities
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) helped pass legislation yesterday that provides funding for disaster relief, summer jobs, and small business programs. The largest portion of this money, $5.1 billion, will go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help states recover from disasters, such as the storms Connecticut experienced earlier this month. Local and federal officials will soon determine if Connecticut will be eligible to receive this assistance.
“The bill provides the type of investment and assistance we need to be able to count on when disasters— economic, natural, or otherwise—strike,” said Himes. “I am eager for FEMA to complete their evaluation so the residents of Connecticut’s Fourth District can soon see this funding at work to manage the aftermath of the recent storms and to train young people for jobs in the growing clean energy sector.”
This legislation supplements funding for a Labor Department initiative that provides grants to states for job training programs aimed at teenagers and young adults. This bill supports 300,000 summer jobs for people ages 16-24 through programs like Bridgeport’s Conservation Corps. This program trains youth between the ages of 18 and 24 to develop and promote energy conservation and efficiency programs in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.
“This funding will allow the Conservation Corps, and the City’s award-winning after-school Lighthouse program, to continue their valuable work within the City during the summer months,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “We’re very appreciative of the efforts of our Congressional delegation, especially Congressman Himes, in getting this legislation passed.”
The measure also provides $20 million for fee reductions and eliminations under the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan program and the 504 program, and for the cost of guaranteed loans for qualifying small businesses. It permits $40 million of the funds provided in the FY 2010 omnibus appropriations law to be available for this program and extends the termination date for the loans through April 30.
Transfer Station Hours, From Mayor Finch
Transfer Station Summer Hours Announced
Saturday Hours Extended
The city’s Public Works Department has announced that summer hours are now in effect at the Transfer Station. Please note: Saturday hours have been extended to 2:30 p.m. The hours are as follows: Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Bridgeport residents only are allowed to use the transfer station and residents must follow the rules and regulations listed below. Small business owners and haulers may use the transfer station Monday through Friday, but they must have either a business permit, or hauler’s permit to use the facility. For more information regarding permits/licenses, contact (203) 576-7123, or visit Rm. 223 at City Hall, 45 Lyon Terrace.
Following rules and regulations apply:
• Household refuse only
• Must have a Bridgeport license and registration, or a permit
• No toxic or hazardous liquids or waste
• Wood, brush or metal over four-feet long will not be accepted
• All metal must be separated from other refuse
• All small debris, lawn refuse, etc., must be bagged, tied or boxed
• No more than 2 tires per load will be accepted
• Wooden doors and mattresses must be cut in half
• Sheetrock, shingles, or remodeling and demolition materials will not be accepted
• Brush must be less than four feet in length and tied in bundles, or loose and covered
• People living outside the city owning a house in Bridgeport must show proof of ownership of said premises, e.g.: an updated tax bill or deed. Utility bills will not be accepted.
• Haulers, small business owners and monitored residents are prohibited on Saturday
• All loads must be covered and secured
• Rude or abusive conduct will not be tolerated
According to Director of Public Facilities Charles Carroll, the weigh master has complete authority to dictate rules and regulations and has the right to refuse any non-conforming loads.
For more information, call the transfer station at 203.576.7725, or Tony DePrimo, Transfer Station Supervisor at 203.576.7751.
The Gallery at Black Rock
The gallery is lucky to have Robin Gilmore Jopp attending the gallery in Black Rock for the next 3 Saturdays.
Robin will be in from 11 until 5:30 and available to answer questions and talk about her stunning work on display in the gallery.
It is also the last day to come see the Industrial Strength show on 51 Crescent Avenue in Bridgeport’s East Side. The Crescent Avenue space is open from 12 until 4 pm
The City is about to lose one of our most beloved old factories, the GE building on Boston Avenue.
Come see E Fitz’s Ode to GE on display in the show.
If you haven’t had a chance to see either show make it a double feature tomorrow.
*April 3rd we will be hosting a jewelry making Demonstration with Robin at 2:30 pm