Lawn Sign Wars, Plus: Hit The Road With Himes

The craziest thing happened to me on Tuesday. Driving south on Park Avenue, for a guest spot on David Smith’s radio show on WICC, I was mugged by lawn signs.

Okay, that description is a bit excessive, but that’s what it felt like. Park Avenue, between Capitol and North, looks like the Keeley Sign Co. airdropped plastic signs and metal rods in a commando mission to rescue State Rep. Rapid Robert Keeley’s reelection campaign from Democratic primary challenger Auden Grogins, the blonde banshee from Black Rock, who’s managed to drop in a few signs in between the forest.

Keeley’s compound on Park is a marvel of signage. If you peek closely into his driveway from Park, an avalanche of banners appear poised for a SWAT operation. When it comes to signs, no one is as dogged as Keeley. It’s been his calling card for decades. And no one is as mischievous about sign strategy as the longest serving legislator in the city’s history.

Opponent lawn signs have a habit of magically disappearing when Keeley’s on the ballot. And if they don’t disappear, an amazing thing happens. Almost everywhere an opponent sign appears, a Keeley sign shows up next to or on the same lawn.

Keeley loves getting inside an opponent’s head, and his lawn sign diplomacy is just one example. He had two classic battles against State Rep. Chris Caruso. Keeley licked Caruso. Caruso licked Keeley second time around. And the naughtiest rumors you’ve ever heard about Caruso were started by Keeley years ago.

“My opponent is nothing but a mama’s boy.” Caruso would remind Keeley that moms vote too. Keeley has run for mayor three times and never came close, but like Caruso he digs in hard when someone dares to challenge his legislative district. He’ll need to because Grogins, a former member of the City Council and Board of Education, is working hard. Keeley’s lawn signs say “cut taxes.” (Now, if only he voted for one.) Keeley’s also going to trot out all the stuff he’s done for his district. Grogins will talk about voting for 10 straight balanced budgets without a tax increase when she served on the council. She also supports legislation to cap property taxes, something 30 other states have passed. This race is a beauty. Lawn signs don’t vote. People do. This race is about identifying friends and dragging them to the polls. Primary day Aug. 12, at a lawn sign near you.

Hey, if you want to catch up to Democratic congressional candidate Jim Himes, he won’t be hard to find. See advisory from Himes campaign below:

Democratic candidate for Congress to kick off “Listening and Leading Tour” of district this weekend

BRIDGEPORT, CT – This Saturday in Darien, Democratic candidate for Congress Jim Himes will be holding the first of 17 forums in 17 days, talking to voters in every town in the Fourth Congressional District. As part of his “Listening and Leading Tour,” Himes is inviting residents of each town to come and share their concerns about issues in the upcoming election – from the economy, to the war in Iraq, to health care and education. He will also answer questions at each event and talk to voters about his priorities in Congress.

WHO: Jim Himes, Democratic candidate for Congress

WHAT: “Listening and Leading Tour”


Saturday, 7/12, 12 PM
St. Paul’s Church, 471 Mansfield Avenue, Darien, CT 06820

New Canaan:
Sunday, 7/13, 3 PM
New Canaan High School, Wagner Room, 11 Farm Road, New Canaan, CT 06840

Monday, 7/14, 7PM
Wilton Library President’s Room, 173 Old Ridgefield Road, Wilton, CT, 06897

Tuesday, 7/15, 7 PM
Oxford Town Hall Meeting Room, 486 Oxford Road, Oxford, CT 06478

Wednesday 7/16, 7PM
Greenwich Town Hall Meeting Room, 101 Field Point Road, Greenwich, CT 06830

Thursday, 7/17, 7 PM
Monroe Town Library Community Room (Back Entrance), 7 Fan Hill Road, Monroe, CT 06468

Saturday, 7/19, 2 PM
Easton Town Hall, 225 Center Road, Easton, CT 06612

Monday, 7/21, 6:30 PM
Fairfield Public Library, 1080 Old Post Road, Fairfield, CT 06824

Tuesday, 7/22, 6:30 PM
South Norwalk Branch Library, 10 Washington Street, Norwalk, CT 06854

Wednesday, 7/23, 7 PM
Burroughs Community Center, 2470 Fairfield Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06605

Thursday, 7/24, 7 PM
Trumbull Public Library, 33 Quality Street, Trumbull, CT 06611

Friday, 7/25, 6 PM
Weston Public Library, 56 Norfield Road, Weston, CT 06883

Saturday 7/26, 12 PM
Ridgefield Library, Dayton Room, 472 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877

Saturday, 7/26, 3 PM
Huntington United Methodist Church, 338 Walnut Tree Hill Road, Shelton, CT 06484

Sunday, 7/27, 2 PM
Westport Library, McManus Room, 20 Jesup Road, Westport, CT 06880

Sunday, 7/27, 5:30 PM
(Before and during Concert on the Green)
Redding Town Green, Redding, CT 06875

Monday, 7/28, 6 PM
Ferguson Library Auditorium, 96 Broad Street, Stamford, CT 06901



  1. Does it really make a difference who has more lawn signs, Keeley or Grogins? I’m concerned about the number of lawn signs that say Raveis or buy owner or pitt or nova!

    If Keeley has done little for us, shame on us! What makes anyone think Grogins will do more … just tell us what and how it will be done.

    I want to hear concrete proposals and see concrete solutions to REAL problems. Time for change? Let’s start with a change in our thinking that pols care for anyone but themselves.

  2. So who’s running this show anyway?!

    In todays ConnPost we read how a little guy takes on City Hall by pleading with or coersing 7 council members to enter a resolution to call for the firing of the Tax Assessor and his Deputy. Now, I’m all for checks and balances, but did anyone bother to check on this guy first? Seems like Mr Roman is far from honest and legit, and hides behind shadows to run from the tax man. But that’s ok, lets call for the firing of City employees because Taxes are the flavor of the day?! Did they all get caught up in the moment and didn’t want to look bad in front of a handful of irate residents? What’s going on here? If it is that easy to get things addressed, why not make resolutions to target the largest deadbeat tax payers in the city? I know where I’d start….

    Was anyone at this meeting? I was at work, sounds like I missed a good one.

  3. Speaking of the news:

    Stamford zoning is reviewing yet another high-rise residential tower. East Main, IN STAMFORD, is being totally revitalized with new housing. I don’t think I have to mention anything about b’port ……… you get my drift!

    A suggestion of priorities for Finch:

    1. wake up and smell the coffee
    2. throw DiNardo to the wolves
    3. bring in Scinto
    4. hire a PROFESSIONAL econ devel director
    5. get rid of the kids in your office and bring in adults who want to build B’port and not their resumes

  4. independent soul….

    Consider yourself safe from being designated “Philistine of the Week”.

    So many more Bporters are beginning to realize that Finch and the Machine are duds and that the actions you suggest are necessary.

  5. WINNERS know how to do the right thing without being told – that’s what TRUE LEADERS do. Mayor Finch recently foreclosed on two buildings; returned them to the tax rolls and convinced the new owners to re-invest in Bridgeport – he didn’t wait for an Economic Development Director.

    He has set his own priorities and made the tough decisions that new mayors must make. I continue to root for The Mayor because I continue to root for Bridgeport.

  6. yahooy,

    I’d gladly take the title of Philistine if it gets people thinking and gets things moving. These broad shoulders can handle it.

    The following mantra needs to be repeated by the local democratic party lemmings:

    2008 is the year of change. The year of Obama. The year I shake loose from the reins of partisan politics and personal gratification and do something for my city. Amen.

  7. Local Eyes

    I think the Fabrizi initiated those 2 foreclosure actions a couple of years ago. We can give Finch the tax credit on this one. I wonder if 333 State Street is going to be assessed in the interim before fit-up for 550K?

  8. Lawn signs all over is right, when I went over to the beach in Black Rock I saw many lawn signs. But if you come over to my part of town all you will see is Obama lawn signs.

  9. I wonder if Grogins ran her “property tax cap” by the Mayor. Can you imagine the havoc that 3% would have caused this year? We’d have no services left in the City. Grogins is being just like Finch when he promised a $600.00 property tax cut. Proposing a cap is disingenuous and won’t work and she knows it. I wonder if the Mayor’s advisors told her to say that. The cap is just smoke and mirrors. The state is not living up to its promises of funding the Cities; it didn’t fund the PILOTS, Education, and Early Reading Success. Grogins is spouting off the Governor’s idea, which in reality is a huge unfunded mandate. It is also a waste of time since the Legislature would not even consider passing it. If you take away revenue, any revenue, you have to replace it somewhere or goodbye to services. In addition the state has never been able to stay under its cap, why does the Governor think the Cities could. The Governor has said Cities have to tighten their belts, Bridgeport still has a huge deficit and it is going to get worse. How is Grogins going to get any money? Keeley at least has his position and this election will hopefully be a wakeup call to use his position to get the money we need. The state continues to throw this city under the bus. Are they going to kick in more money? If you had a cap there would be emergency override provisions that the City Council could pass, however do they want to take the heat? I think not. I am surprised Santiago is not taking more heat for his part in the current tax hike and budget. Salcedo is the only one with a brain and is really the only one who would provide the insight and solutions to some of our problems. He should think about an independent run, maybe Chico will throw him support if Santiago wins. (Well I am sure his thug of a stepfather is going around threatening people like he did the night of the DTC chairman vote.) Anyway Grogins and Santiago will be the Mayor’s and Stafstrom’s puppets. I know Sal needs a few more signatures and contributions. The Republicans might consider Salcedo since he is one of the few that would pass the no morons rule, at least it might prevent Stafstrom’s stooge from getting in there.

  10. Here We Go,
    As one of the council members who attached their name to the resolution let me explain a few facts that were not covered in the article in the paper.
    First of all, the council does not accept resolutions from the public as a rule. If a member of the public seeks to have an item referred to a committee they would normally need to get a council person to sponsor the resolution. However, in this instance for some reason someone in the City Clerk’s office accepted this and placed the item on the agenda. Since Mr. Roman is a constituent of mine and the item already appeared on the agenda, I agreed to co-sponsor the item so that it would be forwarded to the committee.
    Regardless of the information in the paper about Mr. Roman’s particular plight, this is not the first time I have heard of such aggressive tactics by the Tax Assessor and obviously not the first complaint that other council members have heard based on their eagerness to sign on.
    The latest tactic is that the Tax Assessor has begun to arbitrarily tax any car over a certain number of years as an antique, thereby increasing taxes up to 10 fold. He obviously does not understand the frugal mindset of many seniors and other overtaxed residents and their ability to stretch out the life of an automobiles or doesn’t care.
    He has arbitrarily established personal property values based on a book of standards and has refused to send someone out to physically inspect premises to determine if what the business owner says is accurate. He simply explains to them the process to appeal the assessment and hopes that it will eventually be referred to Superior Court where a taxpayer faced with court filing fees, attorneys fees and other costs will realize that it is cheaper to pay the inflated bill and simply go away.
    Mayor Fabrizi and apparently now Mayor Finch enjoy turning a blind eye to the complaint and cowardly claim they have no control over the tax assessor.
    I am urging any readers of the blog who have had their own issues with the Tax Assesor to forward these in writing to their council representative or the Miscellaneous Matters Committee via the City Clerk’s Office so that these issues can be documented and receive a fair and open hearing before the committee.
    Let’s shine the light on the Tax Assessor’s Office and the Board of Tax Appeals and see what creeps out from the shadows. Because if people think that these overly aggressive tactics do not have a negative impact on small businesses relocating to or staying in Bridgeport you are missing the big picture.

  11. Speaking of ther Big Picture, the negativity displayed by a certain member of this blog is counter-productive and unbecoming of the OIB blogosphere. Stew-pid would be a good adjective, male would be my gender, 20/20 would decribe my vision and tolerating bs is simply not on my schedule.

  12. Mr. Walsh why should we ignore the information in the paper regarding Mr. Roman? You mean it doesn matter that he misrepresented the fact that he is still working for aan Indian Tribe and thus he is tax exempt/ Should we ignore the fact that he is said to be in forclosure? Should we ignore the comment that Minorities and elderly are having problems paying their taxes when just as many white families are having the same problem?
    Mr. Walsh if you are going to make a statement about older cars being taxed at a higher rate please at least know how old these cars are that are being taxed. Using seniors in your article was a pity play by you. Could it be that these cars are 20 plus years old and qualify as antique cars with in most cases have a higher value now than when they were first bought?
    Which rules do you want the tax assessoto follow and which rules do you want him to ignore?
    It seems that the council is on a witch hunt again just like when the salary for the traffic engineer was eliminated. That was nothing more than payback for pissing off a few council members.

  13. Quoted from today’s Post

    “Economic development is a major part of my administration. We are striving to make sure every business that wants to, has the opportunity to locate and thrive in Bridgeport,” Finch said. ”

    Tee hee hee hee hee

  14. With all due respect to the councilman … this is a typical game played by too many of you people. Blame the city employee for the sake of not offending a constituent. I’ve seen this tactic in use and it’s despicable.

    And to ask people on the blog to provide other instances of bad behavior by the assessor? Ask his supervisor about his job performance and judge him based on that, and that alone. The assessor has a job description and a supervisor. Mr. Walsh, I’m sorry to say you are caught between a rock and hard place on this one and not managing it well. Ever read Profiles in Courage?

  15. I have just come from the assesors office and witnessed two people flipping out by this assessor’s tactics. Mr. O’Brien is the assessor and supervisor and the city employees in the assessor’s office are having to face an enraged public.

    If you have a car that is 25 years old and have registerd classic plates, then in my opinion you should pay the just taxes on the classic investment. If you have a 25 year old clunker you should pay the minimum tax.

    My cousin has a business in Bridgeport. Being a newbie she didn’t realize that she had to pay personal business property tax. Once apprised, she was more than willing to file her personal real business property and pay the 25% penalty for the two years owed based on her IRS returns that reflected 6k in business property. Mr. O’Brien assessed the business and gave it a value of 60k plus 25% penalty=75k. The assessors office never went and did a physical inspection of the office. Her space is 250 sq.ft. with 2 computers, 1 printer, paper clips and paper. She was very upset and was thinking of moving her small business out of Bridgeport. Mr. O’Brien then gave an arbitrary value of 12k for the business property.
    Again, my cousin thought this was excessive. Finally, she was apprised of the appeal process. She appealed and won. My problem is that, yes there is a lot of under reporting of taxable property, and yes the assessor has a responsibilty to tax under the law. However, he and his department should be more customer friendly in explaining the full process. It is also unfair that the people in the assessor’s office have to face the ire of the taxpayers. It is a very taxing situation for all involved.
    O’Brien get your ass out of your office or get a front of the house person at the assessor’s door to greet and explain process and calm some nerves and anger.

  16. Mr. Walsh,
    Shut your cake hole. No one needs or wants to hear what a loud-mouthed, self-important political hack like you has to say, especially those of us that live in Black Rock. Why is ot that you felt it appropriate to force a charlatan like Joseph Celli upon us? Why couldn’t you find a space in YOUR district?

    As far as the signs go, hey, that’s all Keeley’s got. He certainly hasn’t accomplished anything for the good of the people. We are the ones that live in this city, remember. Instead of looking out for the people that live, work, and pay taxes in Bridgeport, Ol’ Bob Keeley has been acting like a gangster, blackmailing the DSSD board to keep his $65,000.00 a year no-show job.

    Word around the campfire is that he’s been hiring himself out to various organizations and individuals as a grant writer, filling out applications to the very committee that he sits on in Hartford. In exchange it is rumored that he has done this for a flat fee or a kick-back. Of course, it is not listed on his tax return as a kick-back. It is probably listed as “consulting fees.” But a kick-back is still a kick-back. Jimmy Hoffa required them before signing off on loans from the Teamsters Central States Pension Fund, the loans that allowed the Mafia to gain control of Las Vegas in the early seventies.

    One last word for you, Mr. Walsh: you are beholden to ideology. The rest of us exist on the temporal plain. You are not a part of the solution, no matter what the yesmen tell you, so get out of the way.

  17. Golf Pro-Grogins is a double bogey who couldn’t holed up to Keeley’s putter.

    Summer Wind-I hear he lives up in one of the tax haven.
    No more tears for cryin’ out loud.

  18. Tom; maybe the tax assessor needs a Dale Carnegie course but he has a tough job. i would be willing to bet that just about everyone that shows up at the assessors office is pissed off before they enter the office. you take that day after day and you will get hardened and a bit surley. If there are still cars out there that are 25 years old and are not classics then one has to wonder if they are road worthy.
    if these cars are road worthy then how many of them are there? i am sure there is not enough people in that office to visually inpect these 25 year old cars. I dont want to hire anyone else in that office for this purpose.

  19. To Wondering and Independent Soul,

    Why would you be so upset about trying to get to the truth of the matter? Simply because the tax assessor says something is worth more, it does not necessarily make it so. If a car is riddled with rust, barely operating and in dire need of body work and a paint job but is 25 years old, is that automatically an antique? I am sure if you owned such a vehicle you wouldn’t think so. But the Tax Assessor assumes that it is in pristine restored condition, registered as an antique and insured at a higher value and assesses it as such. Do you think that this is fair to the taxpayer? I don’t. And who do you think the Tax Assessor’s boss is? Mike Feeney, Andrew Nunn, Bill Finch? I thing the taxpayers are ultimately the Tax Assessor’s boss and my boss as a council member as well.
    In my other life I am a controller for a company in eastern Connecticut. A year back we opened an outlet in a shoreline town. After filing a personal property declaration with the tax assessor, I received a notice that the town wanted to inspect the facility. I met with a representative from an outside firm who toured the space with me with a copy of the declaration in hand and proceeded to take notes. When I saw him adding a 10-year-old Mr. Coffee coffeemaker, a fifteen-year-old fax machine and other small office accessories that we had expensed years ago I knew his number would ended up higher than the declaration. I felt that he was pinching the penny so hard that it would make old Abe Lincoln cry but it was well within the strictest interpretations of the law.
    When we left he informed me that he would do his own assessment and forward me his results. He informed me that when I received the revised assessment that I could contact him with any questions and left me his business card.
    Is that asking too much of the city of Bridgeport? Is that asking too much of our Tax Assessor?

  20. Golf Pro is trying to give Keeley the shaft. Can you dig it!

    The Bridgeport Kid has been spending too much time with his foot on the rail and lips on the Holy Grail at Matty’s Corner.

  21. They should have put in a resolution regarding collection of the taxes owed by DiNardo! What about the cars he owns and drives in Bridgeport that have dealer plates on them? Shouldn’t the Tax Collector be trying to collect these taxes?

  22. So what’s the answer?

    Maybe put a tax on Political Lawn Signs and start the collecting at Keeley’s place?!

    Unionless – Speaking of DiNardo, you must love the commercial he’s been running on TV about his lot on Housatonic! “What it was…. What it is…..” It still looks the same to me!

  23. To the esteemed councilman Mr. Walsh,

    I deeply resent your sanctimonious response that I might be upset about getting to the truth. That was the whole point of YOU getting to the truth about your constituent and the tax assessor before setting up the guillotine. And yes, I know that the taxpayer is the boss!

    I’m not defending the tax assessor but the process. He’s not new on the job so why are people after him now?
    If he’s been arrogant and not doing his job, fire him. Don’t point the finger at him to placate a constituent.

    BTW, I’m one of your constituents and would look forward to the day I could fire you when you start putting your ego ahead of the people’s interest!

  24. Golf Pro- I hear the putter’s head is almost as big as Keeley’s.

    New political episodic comedy coming to Bridgeport, starring Auden Grogins and Bob Keeley, called “SignField!”

  25. Mr.Walsh That 25 year old clunker you described hould in all probability be off the road. if you want every car looked at hire the staff to do it.According to you when your firm was looked at you did not have much to say about the old coffee pot or fax machine because the person doing this was adhering to the strict letter of the law.
    Which rules do you want the tax assessor to ignore? Why dont you and the other 6 geniuses come up with the list and forward it to the tax assessor.
    My experience with the firm hired to assess my house was positive even though my assessment went up. For the first time someone came into the house and found that i did not have a full basement as was listed on the previous inspection. So I got a small break on my new assessment for that. Job well done.
    It seems to me that certain council members are on a witch hunt maybe if they governed properly we would not be in the fix we are now in.

  26. I’m wondering out loud. Does the DMV have a registration system that provides antique classic status plates to cities?

    Golf Pro
    It’s in the hole.
    Great imitation of Auden and Bob!

  27. Wondering,
    Once again you leave me wondering. What I said was I have no complaints when the Tax Assessor or an independent examiner goes out and does their job. I was treated respectfully, everything explained to me and given the opportunity to question any changes on an informal basis. Even if the work resulted in the declaration increasing by a thousand or two it would not be worth the time and effort to dig through accounting records to recheck the value and how it was recorded way back when.
    And I might even accept the practice of the Tax Assessor over estimating the personal property value to get the owners attention but if the attitude of the assessor or anyone else is I won’t accept the value that you declared on your federal tax return and can’t be bothered with physically go out and inspecting the premises, then that is when the assessor is totally out of control.
    In politics, as in life, quite often it is the squeaky wheel that gets the most grease. Maybe Mr. Roman’s example is not the most egregious offense. But it came before the council for whatever reason, so let’s deal with it. Let’s not ignore the problem and hope that it goes away or worse yet simply make excuses for the Tax Assessor.

  28. Mr. Walsh noone likes the tax assessor because he costs people money also IRS numbers can be manipulated. It just seems like people are on a witch hunt for certain city employees.

  29. donj: What Republican ways? I am a registered Democrat who has spent countless hours campaigning for various Democratic candidates. Where would you like me to go? It’s people like you that talk and don’t do squat who add to the problems. If you don’t like my posts, tough. If you really want to debate politics I suggest you read about both candidates and then explain to me what Obama’s platform is. Just remember to type fast as it changes often.

  30. Wondering, I’m guessing you will vote for McSame and Shays in November and if that’s the case you should switch your affiliation to Republican. Or did you support Hillary? And wondering don’t take it personal, just asking.

  31. This is the time of the year when a political junkie like me likes to make my point. From reading this blog the last three months I have to say Republicans on here have been ridiculous with their points and they continue to bash Finch for no reason. Well whoever on this blog thinks Chris Shays has any shot in B’port is crazy. Himes will win here big, and Obama too. I don’t know which part of town you guys are from but everybody is voting Democrat. And I believe all of these Shays and McCain supporters do not even live in Bpt.

  32. In more serious news. Cynthia Rodriguez decided a simple financially-crippling divorce wasn’t enough to pay A-Rod back for spelunking Madonna’s dusty tomb. So, last week Cynthia took off to Paris and dropped a hundred grand on his credit cards then started spreading rumors she was nailing Lenny Kravitz.

    Somehow I don’t think any of this fazed A-Rod. I mean, the guy had sex with Madonna which I’m pretty sure is legal grounds to declare him full-blown retarded. In the meantime, A-Rod probably makes $2 billion just by picking up a bat, so Cynthia’s little spending spree was a drop in the bucket. On a related note, going by my current salary I’ll eventually make $100,000 by the year 102,008. Bitchin’! I’m buying rocket boots.

  33. Unionless,
    You can be sure if the Tax Assessor appears before the committee I will be asking about how can a business have dealer plates issued in Bridgeport and no personal property to speak of. And I will be asking now that the word is out, what has he done to collect back taxes on this deadbeat tax-cheat.

  34. Hey Troll. You can also ask the Tax Assessor about his “Tax it to the Limit Policy” with antique cars and so forth. Why are 30 dollar office tables being assessed at 25,000 and why do people who have moved out of Bridgeport ages ago still being taxed for cars that are no longer on the road in the state.

  35. Paging Lennie:

    Lennie, tommorrow my wife and I will be expecting the birth of our second child. We don’t know for sure what sex it is. She insist in picking a name and I am of the position that if it’s a boy I want to name him Lennie.
    My wife knew a gay guy named Lennie and she doesn’t want that name. Wifey wants a biblical name and has picked Jeremiah. I tried arguing my case by saying that I knew a guy named Jeremiah who was gay and then turned lesbian. I tried my best Lennie, lets hope she pases out and I can sneak the name in. In the event that Jeremiah grows to be gay, I’ll change his name to Lennie.

  36. Honey

    You know Keely’s been on the fringe and is now playing with a limp putter.

    Since he’s been lying about his score for years, it’s time for him to get on the senior tour.

  37. Hey Lennie Grimaldi, thanks. But wtf is going on with Keeley? I just came back from Subway on Brewster St. and they have two Keeley yard signs taped to the window at Subway, holy cow … talk about Lawn Sign Wars. This is the biggest I have seen wow. If you don’t believe me go take a drive and look at that Subway and you will see.

  38. After reviewing all of the comments concerning the personal property tax particularly as it relates to automobiles, wouldn’t it be wise for the State to collect the automobile tax with a common mill rate rather than the mill rate which is the mill rate for the municipality in which the vehicle is registered. I believe that people in Bridgeport are not being fairly treated when for a given car valued statewide at $20,000, the Bridgeport resident pays $880.00 and that same car in Greenwich pays a tax of $200.00. (It would then be for the State to fairly distribute the tax collected to each municipality.) As a result of this inequitable tax people are registering cars in other municipalities where relatives live or where they have a place of business.
    I know of many such situations right here in my neighborhood. If a resident is paying a real property tax but no personal property tax, I should think that a red flag would go up in the Assessor’s office and that he would go to that home to ask the resident whether he or she roller skates to work or whether that person uses a car.
    One of my neighbors who recently moved out of the State and while living here for the previous 10 years rode around with a BMW convertible and a Florida plate. Ironically, that resident was at every budget hearing with a prepared speech about how she was being overtaxed.
    I tell you this because people are blatantly evading the law (as Sal DiNardo allegedly is doing) and those of us who abide by the law are consequently paying a greater amount of tax, in effect, subsidizing the scoff-law.
    The police who have nothing better to do but to ride around all night wasting the gas we put in their tanks, could be assigned to streets in each neighborhood to determine whether cars parked along those streets, night after night, and week after week, are the cars of residents on that street and whether those cars are registered in Bridgeport. It might put the cops to a good use rather than doing crossword puzzles all night (with their engines running and burning our gas).

  39. Wondering:

    “the registered democrat who has spent countless hours campaigning for various Democratic candidates. Where would you like me to go?”

    Honey, you go where you always go, and that’s where Mario has told you! You always did in the past, you always will; then you can blog and act like you are Mr. Good Government.

  40. The problems in the Tax Assessors Office can be described in two words “BAD ATTITUDE” from the top down. The director and his deputy set the tone in that office and unfortunately the staff follows suit. I have seen the rudeness to the residents and TAX PAYERS of this city. And if English is your second language FORGET ABOUT IT. You are treated as a second class citizen. I believe that the staff was forced to take a class in customer relations but it did not help.

    I work in City Hall and I have to face the public too. But if you are courteous and respectful then most times you get the same in return. But if you are rude and condescending to people then you just make a bad situation worse.

    I am not saying that people should not have to pay their taxes. They absolutely should. But as TAX PAYERS they have the right to expect to be treated with respect. And unfortunately that is not the case many times.

    I believe that Bill O’Brien is under the Finance umbrella which would make Mike Feeney his dept head. Don’t expect much there. Mike was made CFO because of a Mario/Fabrizi deal. Mario’s best bud John Norko (former City CAO and Bd of Ed Business Manager) needed another no show job. So they made a trade. Stratford hired Norko and we got Feeney. And when Feeney was appointed CFO by Finch, two very qualified Finance dept employees with great credentials and years of experience were demoted. Disgraceful. So much for hiring the best and the brightest.

  41. donj: i voted for Hillary in the primary. I am waiting for Obama’s campaign platform, he has not really completed what the platform will be.

  42. Let’s see, donj, Bpt Kid and anna are back. The Finch Fan Club has reconstituted itself (I will not be joining) and the Caruso bashing has picked up. Oh, and for those of you remember Blue Donkey–he’s back in town and may very well turn up on the blog. I’m not sure what to make of this but what the hell–welcome back all.

    Joel–Congratulations on the new arrival.

  43. I work at City Hall Lyon Terrace and I overheard Roger Palmer saying that he was going to triple Mario Testo’s Assessment because Councilman Holloway spends $8,456 dollars of his $9,000 stipend at the bar.

  44. donj–Glad to hear you’re supporting Keeley. I’m not sure just how quickly I’ll have the Black Rock School results. I’m helping Caruso in the 126th and I may be working in the North End but I’ll do what I can–there’s always the secret monitoring device at BR school and I may be able to activate it for primary night.

    Now I’m really off to bed.

  45. Nobody likes a Tax Assessor, even if they have the manners of Emily Post. To be fair if the Assessor didn’t go out and collect the tax owed by the debtors, the people who pay their taxes would be angry and end up paying more property taxes. It really pisses me off to here Bob Walsh complain about the tax assessor when he has been guilty many times of not paying his taxes and sued over non-payment. Taxes like death are inevitable.

    As to the Finch Fan Club, I am sure there are more recovering Finchaholoics then drinkers of his kool aid. Finch forgot about those who had supported him for years. He can’t see beyond his office, everyday I meet a former Finch friend. I suspect in three years when he tries to run again and wants to count on those people he recently screwed he will have a rude awakening, or maybe not, he’ll justify it to himself somehow. Then when he gets out of office he’ll realize he has nobody left because those like Stafstrum are just feeding off him because of his position. Wait until that hits home.

  46. In the know:
    In regards to your comments last night – I know you said you weren’t going to dwell on the transfer station supervisor, but you seem have such an interest in this story. Maybe the reason it’s taking so long is because the guy really isn’t guilty of any wrong doing, and the allegations against him are motivated by a jealous co-worker. As for the allegations of his 90 or so hours of overtime – do you really think that someone above him would sign off on that time sheet?? I don’t think so – if it was such an open and close case, don’t you think he would have been gone already. Well he’s not and he is still getting paid!

  47. I am an American Red Cross Employee from Bridgeport helping out the flood victims out in Iowa. I was near the flood zone when I saw a Bob Keeley for State Rep Sign floating near a home. Keeley’s signs are everywhere for sure.

  48. The following is pure unadulterated bullshit promulgated by an ignorant son of a bitch. Can you imagine suggesting that Scinto is Universally unpopular in the towns that he develops despite greatly increasing the tax rolls.

    BTW…you ignorant snip…have you ever tried to navigate around downtown Bport as a sporting event or concert is letting out?

    “Scinto! Some people on this blog think that that scumbag is some sort of messiah! Know your history. He is not universally popular in the places that he has developed; he has destroyed a lot of homes and neighborhoods and created a lot of dangerous traffic and flooding situations. You should know that he has caused major traffic and flooding problems for Bridgeport with his ugly, overly dense commercial development in Trumbull on Bridgeport’s border. He had scumbag Trumbull confiscate an elderly war-hero’s land by eminent domain for that project. He threatened a Bridgeport woman who lived near the property, “gangland-style” in the presence of a Trumbull official (who is still alive and living in Trumbull) after she spoke against his development at a public meeting.”

  49. You know what?

    Every one of Scinto’s vehicles, personal and business are properly registered, fully insured, well maintained and all taxes are paid and current.

    Scinto recently held a social gathering at the restaurant within his Renaissance property in Shelton. Among others, Michael Critelli, the Pitney Bowes Executive Chairman. Pitney Bowes has been considering establishing a presence in Shelton equal in size to their HQ in Stamford.

    Another local developer held a 4th of July Bash which was attended by Johnny Snorts, Finch and probably Lennie.

    You getting the picture, loyal Bport democrats.

  50. some of you people need to find something better to do than write and write and write…capitalist, your last posting was unbelievable, you re-wrote a whole newspaper article and then added a truckload of your own nasty comments. This is what I find annoying about this blog, too many haters and too much negativity.

  51. Any Bridgeporter who wants to improve their life will be at the meeting 7/23 with Mr. Himes and demand he introduce legislation for recognition of The Golden Hill Paugussetts. Charlie Brilvitch proved without a doubt they met all the critera for recognition in his book. 10K jobs at $15 an hr minimum wage can not be passed up; be there and let your voice be heard!!!

  52. 10,000 jobs at $15.00 an hour? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A casino is not the answer to Bridgeport’s economic and social woes; that would only turn our city into a community of burger flippers and chambermaids. Too many people have watched Martin Scorcese’s “Casino” and think working in a gaming establishment is a wonderfully glamorous job.

  53. Who would you vote for between Grogins & Keeley? Keeley’s had some juice in the capitol since Jim Amann’s been House Speaker, “whats Grogins got” besides building up her resume for a judgeship with daddy’s help! I know what Keeley’s done and what Grogins hasn’t while in the council & B.O.E. Actually the choice is easy, “the incumbent” of course.


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