Job Demolished, Rosario Spends Last Day As City Blight Director

Chris Rosario sworn in
State Rep. Chris Rosario.

Just days before Christmas, State Rep. Chris Rosario is no longer employed by the city. Last week, Mayor Joe Ganim bulldozed Rosario’s job as director of the anti-blight program. His last day on the job was Tuesday.

Rosario says he may return to the city in a different role as a result of bumping rights through his union affiliation with NAGE. Nothing has opened up yet. He’s also exploring some private sector opportunities.

Elected to the State House in 2014, Rosario is a member of the city’s eight-member legislative delegation that is key in shepherding the city’s legislative and financial agenda in Hartford. He had supported Bill Finch for mayor in the Democratic primary won by Ganim and then supported Mary-Jane Foster in the general election. In politics to the victor go the spoils, but Ganim’s handling of the Rosario situation considering his role in the delegation is befuddling. Ganim did not extend Rosario a courtesy call about his decision to revamp the blight office and issue a layoff notice presumably to clear the way to appoint a political supporter in that office or perhaps consolidate it into another department.

Rosario had initially worked in the administration of John Fabrizi before Finch elevated him to the blight czar position about four years ago. Although he did not support Ganim for mayor Rosario has said all the right things publicly about working with the new administration in his role as a State House member. In discussing his layoff Rosario had no ill words for Ganim. He said he was surprised he did not even receive a courtesy call from the mayor about Ganim’s new direction with the office. As blight director Rosario earned roughly $80,000, his pay docked when he attended legislative duties.

Rosario says project highlights included the nearly 200 units of housing he assisted with the Habitat for Humanity program as well as demolishing blighted buildings to make way for new development projects.

Well liked in City Hall, Rosario says he will be focused on the holiday this week and spending time with his family with an eye toward 2016. “I loved working for the city,” says Rosario. “I have a wife and three kids. I have to figure out how to pay the bills.”

Rosario is also the leader of the 136th Democratic Town Committee district. His nephew Joel Rosario, a member of the town committee in the 137th District, was also recently pink slipped from his administrative position in the city’s police department. Chris Rosario says he will run for reelection to the State House in 2016.



  1. Chris Rosario got caught in the cross-hairs of politics. He may be able to continue to work for Bridgeport through his bumping rights. He would be a great catch for another municipality to employ him and his political capital.

    Smart guy who is well-liked throughout the State.

  2. I know both Chris Rosario and his nephew Joel Rosario. Both upstanding guys. I am only disappointed because Ganim I thought was looking to be inclusive. But Rosario has the right attitude. Although Joe did not offer him the courtesy of a call especially being an elected official, Rosario takes the high road publicly with Ganim, for now anyway. It kind of negates the propaganda of a kinder gentler administration. Good luck to both gentlemen. G-d bless the city of Bridgeport!

  3. Andy,
    Good to see you posting before Christmas with a PG warning for the mayor. Are you being extra good just before Christmas so Santa treats you favorably this year?

    Wouldn’t you like to see the City Table of Organization Mayor Ganim is bringing into being? Is there any reason to become concerned? We are hearing “out with the old and in with the new” before seeing any such plan or wondering about “reorganization.”

    Should we assume there is a plan? Or might it be reasonable to conclude there was no plan? Just two lists in hand. One for “political” terminations (because some of the people were not in positions where evaluations were completed) and the other for a City job as a political reward. (Will any suits occur from the terminations, as often happens in the City?)

    If these thoughts turn out to be accurate, then we are seeing a wasted opportunity that is unnecessary and does not provide credit to the new administration’s managerial aptitude. Time will tell.

  4. Chris may be a great guy but director of Anti-Blight is an office where you can make a lot of enemies. Plus, when you are an elected official AND working for the government, shit happens.
    What will people be saying if and when Tom McCarthy gets the ax? He wasn’t a great guy? He deserved it and politics didn’t have anything to do with it?

  5. *** That’s the way of the political jobs scene in city hall, and it don’t matter if you were a good worker or not! The only way to miss the political bullet is to have a four-year contract which would have to be either bought out by the city or fought in court! I know this first hand when I got a job from Fabrizi (Weights & Measures) as he was leaving office, and it was taken by Finch when he became Mayor because I was on the previous Caruso for Mayor slate running for city council with Jack Banta that fall. I also was asked by Fabs as was Charlie Carrol if I wanted a four-year contract like Charlie but I replied “no” because I felt I always backed Finch while State Rep and Senator, also got along with him and he would not be so vindictive towards me as-long as I did my job and did it well! WRONG!! He gave me the boot! However, every dog has his day and Finch got his this election, no? *** Clean house Joe, get rid of all those who talked shit about you, DOG! It’s you turn now! *** GOOD LUCK! ***

  6. As we worked on the campaign Rosario was given numerous opportunities to meet with Joe Ganim by Roach and Gomes.
    Rosario is a loyal person whose loyalties are to Finch, Ayala and Stafstrom, he went down with the sinking ship.

    1. Rosario was supporting other candidates in both the primary and the general. The idea he should have met with Ganim’s folks during a campaign is preposterous. What he should have done is what he did; keep cool and talk no smack. Roach would not have done it and neither would Gomes. He could not change horses midstream because he does have his integrity to protect as well as his future in politics.

      The Blight department is not necessary as a silo business unit. Therefore, there is no need for a director when Blight can be and should have always been, a part of PW or Code. This was a business decision. The unfortunate fact is Rosario was the casualty (really great guy).

      I have a feeling this story has not reached its conclusion yet.

  7. *** Andy might know the answer to these fire code questions; today a fire marshal came to my place of work, an industrial building owned by Sal DiNardo, and stated because he didn’t like DiNardo he was going to find anything and everything, small or large building fire code violations and write them up! Closet tension door closer, wants signed monthly check fire extinguisher tags that just was inspected this month by the supplier, remove old left- over pieces of a sprinkler unit no longer in service, move house plants away from hall windows, emergency hall night lights not bright enough, etc. Now even if these code violations, which were not found to be in violation last inspection by a different fire marshal were legit, it sounded a bit much especially after he stated he was not a fan of Sal DiNardo! He really should not have voiced his personal opinion and just done his job, no? By the way, the business leasing the building from DiNardo has nothing to do with DiNardo in any way other than their H/R pays the rent for the space. *** What’s your take, Andy? ***

    1. That FM should be removed from the FM office and put back on the fire line. A class should be held for all FM’s on dealing with the public. I don’t think a closet needs a self closer. I see no reason for removing old sprinkler pipe as long as the outside connection is for the operating system. House plant removal is pure BS. Did the FM have a meter to test the brightness of the emergency lights? It was daytime so they would not be as bright. The extinguisher, I don’t remember the time difference when checking extinguishers but I don’t think it’s 11 months. I will look this stuff up in the AM.


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