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Ka-Ching! Finch Getaway Check $17K

December 5th, 2015 · 32 Comments · Analysis and Comment, City Budget, City Politics, News and Events

dollars

Green mayor.

He wasn’t the green mayor for nothing. On his final day as mayor, Bill Finch’s outgoing bloated paycheck on Monday packed a direct deposited $17,079 based on his authorizing a retroactive pay raise going back to July 1, 2013, according to information released by Mayor Joe Ganim’s administration. In one of his final acts as mayor, Finch approved retroactive pay increases for dozens of discretionary appointees after the City Council failed to act on approving a collective bargaining agreement under the Bridgeport City Supervisor’s Association covering about 150 city employees for a five-year period starting July 1, 2013.

Likely the agreement would have been implemented under Ganim’s administration, but Finch and his discretionary loyalists leaving city service would not have benefited from the retroactive bundle if Finch left it alone.

Finch, Blumenthal, Himes, Murphy

Will Blumehthal, Himes and Murphy step up for Finch’s HUD application?

Finch is hoping that paycheck holds him over at the very least until he lands a private or public sector job. He’s eyeing an opening for the administrator’s position in charge of the Housing and Urban Development regional office in Boston that his friends and supporters say would be a good fit for his green energy wonkish persona. That’s a tough job to crack. It’s a political position appointed by the White House that certainly will require the backing of federal representatives such as Congressman Jim Himes and Senators Dick Blumenthal and Chris Murphy. Maybe Finch had something in mind when he trotted out a holiday card featuring President Obama last year. The HUD regional office has 240 employees covering New England with an office in Hartford as well.

Finch, whose retro pay netted down to $10,801.98 after deductions, was not alone in his retro windfall. For example, former Finance Director Anne Kelly-Lenz, now finance chief in the town of Wilton, grossed $15,749, former Chief Administrative Officer Andy Nunn, who’s trying to line up a paid director’s position with the Bridgeport Port Authority, $16,906, and former Public Facilities Director Jorge Garcia $17,029.

On November 18, the attorney for the supervisor’s association Ed Gavin sent a letter to Director of Labor Relations Larry Osborne, a Finch supporter who’s also a member of the Democratic Town Committee, citing Connecticut law regarding inaction by the legislative body to act on collective bargaining agreements.

“Such requests shall be considered approved if the legislative body fails to vote to approve or reject such requests within 30 days of the end of the 14 day period for submission to said body,” Gavin wrote.

One day later Osborne who announced his retirement this week, wrote a letter to Nunn, a now-deposed Finch appointee, recommending that the “City move forward with putting the contract into effect, including any and all payroll adjustments as of November 27, 2015. If the City does not implement the contract, it will be subject to Municipal Prohibited Practices and other claims from the Union.”

Under the new agreement the mayor’s salary goes from $132,500 to $144,000.

All the incoming Ganim appointees benefit as well because even if Ganim starts them at the bottom of the pay scale which he’s generally inclined to do with most direct hires, it’s up from where it was previously, in some cases six figures including inner office staff and department heads.

Related story from CT Post reporter Brian Lockhart here

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32 Comments so far ↓

  • Steven Auerbach

    I am thrilled to say the least. :-( Not! That’s all I can say on that matter. At least they will have a joyful holiday.

  • John Marshall Lee

    Does Bill Finch’s term of office show the necessary qualifications to hold down the HUD Boston Regional position? Of course former City of Bridgeport employee Alanna Kabel is located in HUD’s Hartford office currently and might provide a vote of support. But really? How about the fiscal problems to say nothing of other Bridgeport issues in City housing units gathered under the former Bridgeport Housing Authority now called Park City Communities? Anyone hear from Park City Communities board members recently? All five mayoral appointments for this group are current. Bill Finch got that part right, actually!!! Skill sets and openings? Time will tell.

    • Steven Auerbach

      That would be most impressive if Finch got that job. He could move out of Bridgeport and not be subject to Ganim success stories. Would be a shame to sell that lovely home I have always admired. The skill set to oversee 240 people? Not unless Adam Wood is helping. Maybe a shared responsibility? Boston? Really? There are no experienced people? What if this time Mayor Finch just applied for a job like everyone else? Would he be a stronger candidate? Where do former Mayors go? Paoletta and Bucci both moved out of Bridgeport and returned to their law practices. Moran became the tax collector of Trumbull after working for the Republican party. John Fabrizi walked into a great situation with the Board of Ed and stayed in Bridgeport. Always good to run into John enjoying his retirement with his lovely wife Mary. I am certain Mayor Finch will land on his feet as he has always been lucky enough to have someone offer him an opportunity. This time he may have to go a bit further for that opportunity. Whatever his journey, I wish him and his family well.

      • Park City too

        Whenever there is a change in something, we can always get a good take on how you support the change and disavow the support you had just held prior. Ever think of being a politician?

        • Steven Auerbach

          Is there something that has changed? Did you imagine a politician has my eternal support even if they do things I do not approve of? I think Foster is a lovely person. I should have never supported her. After the primary I should have gone with Ganim. But I would have been criticized for that also. Although, every Ganim supporter has been respectful to me. Foster’s people were not except maybe six people. I loved working with Finch and all his paid associates. I was not one of them. I only know of three supporters who were not paid either from the campaign or a city job. I often joked about that. I never would have supported Enrique Torres and most important Park City too, it is all about Bridgeport for me. One thing for sure, I would only have nice things to say about a candidate I thought had Bridgeport’s best interest at heart. During the campaigns Finch got the best from me and so did Foster. I never got a cup of coffee. During the Primary, Tom Lyons from the Ganim camp shared his food and I did get a sandwich from Foster. Both candidates’ concession speeches were at the Bijou where drinks were 8 bucks. Nice to add insult to injury. I am glad I was the only one who left the Bijou to congratulate the Ganim team. It’s called respect. That makes me better than both candidates I supported!

          • Park City too

            Well, as for people being respectful, it is rare to find one who looks too far past their own nose, so wouldn’t look too hard for that. However, if a sandwich and a cup of coffee are the measure, then sorry for bothering you. Carry on.

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            So you’re just a political whore, eh? Whichever contestant looks like they might win, that’s your loyalty.

          • Steven Auerbach

            Park City too, I of course wasted commentary responding to both your posts, which still confuse me. That is okay. A sandwich and a cup of coffee was the least of my issues. All you need to know is for me, there were always only two candidates. My candidate lost. I will support the current Mayor and do believe he will be awesome. I enjoyed the inaugural and that’s really all that matters. As of Friday, I will no longer be responding to any anonymous bloggers. It is just a waste of my poor typing skills. Whether you agree with my commentary or not, or if my respect and honesty offends you, it is not my concern and I will not respond.
            There are enough people on Facebook who have names in Bridgeport to share commentary.

          • Ron Mackey

            Steve, what did you do before you supported Mary-Jane Foster and whom did you support?

          • Park City too

            Yawn. I get the whole not responding to crap, I’ve heard it from others. Fact is, everybody had anonymous names on here when the blog first started. I have been on here so rarely I didn’t catch the whole need to put my name in. I hope you get your sandwich and cup of coffee soon.

        • Steven Auerbach

          Yes, Bridgeport Kid. It looked like Mary-Jane Foster might win! Not! Certainly knew Torres wouldn’t win. One thing nobody can deny Mr. Kid, I do have a pulse of what is going on in this city and I am a very effective communicator. The Finch and Foster campaign did not listen and I have been saying for months how brilliant Ganim’s campaign was. Imagine walking for blocks and hours, sometimes just knocking on three doors on a block of 40 Democrats because they didn’t vote in the last election. To me, every vote counts!

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            Even with the great assistance provided by Bill Finch and yourself, Mary-Jane Foster still lost by a 2-1 margin.

            Say what you will about Rick Torres. He lost, and he lost like a gentleman. Bill Finch, your man crush, has been acting as if he didn’t make the cut for first-string JV cheerleading squad. Hell, he ain’t even warming the bench, for anyone’s team.

  • Grin Ripper

    Paging the Editorial Bored of the Post Toasties???

  • Grin Ripper

    It’s not easy being Green! How much did Woody get away with?

  • Frank Venna

    There is no way in hell Finch is squeaky clean and no way in hell he and the Finchettes covered all their tracks.

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Peckerwood jumped ship soon as he caught which way the wind was blowing.

  • Park City too

    The money he received is nothing really. I could spend that in a weekend and it would not even be on crack or whores. If the council were so inept they couldn’t read the automatic approval clause, then shame on their perpetually bewildering asses. Good for Bill, he is cunning as well as arrogant.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    I can’t blame Finch for grabbing his cash on the way out, I mean, who in that position wouldn’t? But the re-upping of Gaudett’s contract is a slap and an “F YOU” to every taxpayer in Bpt. There was no reason to do that to us, other than Finch being angry he lost. I hope he gets that job in Boston, just so he gets the hell out of here for good.

  • Mojo

    *** What a snake Finch showed himself to be in his last days as Mayor of Bpt. It was always about him from beginning to end; all about the Benjamins! He could care less about the new admin coming in and the current financial state he leaves the city in for the new year. He of course covers his greed and vindictive ways as he exits the city hall Mayor’s office with his usual political excuses. *** WHOOP ***

  • Frank Venna

    When I said no way the Finchettes covered all their bases I meant the last eight years, there were a lot of rumors of the use of the city credit cards in places, so on and so forth.

  • Steven Auerbach

    I heard they used credit cards to buy an occasional lunch to lure developers to Steelpointe. How dare they? Lololol. Frank, let’s be honest, can we? Is there anything the Finch administration can be criticized about that could equal activities of the past? The past is gone and we look forward to the future and hope for Ganim to do great things. How could any Bridgeport resident hope otherwise?

  • Bob Halstead

    I guess I’m not surprised Finch might be considered for a HUD leadership position. This is a moment of truth as far as I am concerned about State and National Democratic Politics.

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