Layoff Notices

UPDATE: Layoff notices were issued Friday to about a dozen NAGE-affiliated city employees, it appears mostly to lower-paid clerical positions. I don’t expect the city to provide details, or the savings involved. I’m getting it’s a “personnel issue” response. It could be the city is starting with some layoffs in an effort to sway union concessions. Sucks to see little guys lose work. The city is trying to close an $8 million budget gap. Layoff list:

1 buyer in Purchasing Department

2 clerical positions from Police Department. (Does this mean uniformed officers will be doing clerical work?)

1 clerical in Health Department

1 clerical in Building Department

2 clerical in City Attorney’s Office

1 clerical in City Clerk’s Office

2 clerical in Tax Assessor’s Office



  1. You say it sucks that the little guys lose work. No kidding!!! It’s always the little guy who takes it on the chin when the political leaders don’t do their jobs. You see the political leaders don’t give a damn.
    You want to lay blame for this BS?
    Start with the following:
    The mayor and his indecisive policies.
    The council budget committee for not making cuts to the department budget requests.
    The council for voting a budget that contained an $8 million deficit.
    The local district leaders who keep pounding a week administration for BS jobs for their pals, budget deficit be damned.
    The council for remaining quiet during all this BS.
    The people of Bridgeport for being quiet and reelecting a do-nothing go-along council.

  2. Sure does suck, don’t it Lennie. So the question is Ads or Jobs???
    If you were to take 12 jobs at $20K per year that means the city saves $240K. The city does not pay into the unemployment fund on a experience rate basis so it has to reimburse the state on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
    Unemployment pays a weekly benefit of 1/26 of your average highest 2 quarters. If you do the math this comes out to 50% of your wages so the city will end up paying half of this amount.
    So the city will end up paying $120K back. And that doesn’t include additional unemployment compensation for dependent care. Yes, the city will save on insurance but the savings are definitely not what they appear to be.

    1. Thanks for the info Troll. Good stuff. What prevents the mayor from pink-slipping some discretionary appointments? Isn’t it better to spread the pain around? Some of them, the city announced, gave up a few days. Is that enough to persuade unions “we’re in this together?” Doesn’t appear so. As for the ads the city budget is roughly $470 million. The city has invested 0.052 percent of its budget (you’re the math expert, not me, so I’m sure you’ll correct me if I’m wrong) on a campaign to entice suburban spending and make residents feel better about their city. Maybe you disagree with putting Finch in the spot, that’s a legit discussion.

      1. Lennie,
        I’m kind of surprised with your comments here. When you fail to make contributions to fund pension and retiree health plans, when you say you are cutting positions but adding them at the same time such that the net effect is nowhere clear (or trusted), when you pointed out in your first year how previous Mayors had run down the Unrestricted City Fund Balance from $55 Million to less than $10 Million today … below what the City Charter calls for and fails to fund it as the Charter calls for … when you and your City Council members bemoan how little real discretionary spending is possible in the City … and then you raid a public relations account of the Klein Memorial to show off the City with no clear return on investment contemplated and no real approval or recognition of the investment by your Council team who apparently never saw it “coming or going” … and you finish it with your trademark grin!!! Lennie it is not about the percentage, believe me, it is about the perception … that you don’t know what you are doing, and that you don’t care about economic consequences! If this happened in Redding, Lennie, think of the response!!!

  3. Bob,
    Thanks for helping us do the math. Until your recent comments the actual financial equation of layoffs was unknown to me, and probably to others.
    If the layoffs include more highly compensated workers, does the 50% ratio still operate or is there a larger cost saving? Is there a sum one could estimate in terms of benefit plan cost savings to accompany the net effect of no salary but a State Unemployment Payment reimbursement?

    Memory tells me the Mayor has been eliminating positions and maybe people for the past three years on the one hand while hiring others. Were some or most of those people eligible for unemployment or what?
    What is the City three-year trend for unemployment compensation payments to the State, a budgeted expense, I assume?
    Sounds like you have to lay off lots of people for long periods of time to effect an $8 Million saving.

  4. Taxpayers are getting screwed! Maybe Bill Finch needs to get laid … off! Former Seasonal Seaside Park Check Point Cabana Mama’s Boy just got a job. This comes under the banner of Civil Cervix!

    1. The job is Charlie’s wedding present to his new wife. What a family photo. The entire family is employed, courtesy of the Bridgeport taxpayers. Now they can all work with the Rec Supt to plan the wedding. Courtesy of the Bridgeport taxpayers of course. No wonder the streets are filthy and certain favored foremen are raking in the OT. No one is watching the store. Nero fiddled while Rome burned …

    1. Hijo de Puta // Sep 10, 2010 at 4:04 pm
      Responding to your post …

      Yours is an apt description. There is a cancer in this city government … and it must be removed.

      There is no doubt the Finch-Testa duo is bent on destroying the social contract that is in place to makes a city like Bridgeport a vital and energetic place to be. This contract is between her elected leaders and her citizens. And Bridgeport has suffered greatly because her elected leaders have not honored their part of the bargain.

      The changes that are needed can only be described as substantive and substantial. It is the intent of a Gomes administration to make these changes immediately, starting the FIRST DAY … and why not?

    1. Hijo de Puta // Sep 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm
      responding to your post …

      Something is borderline criminal if not actually criminal in the activities of the Finch-Testa administration to allow layoffs to occur for the price of an advertisement touting Bridgeport?
      Nothing is a surprise anymore … never mind Bridgeport.

      1. Carolanne Don’t get carried away with the criminal stuff. Is it bad judgment? Yes. Is it bad timing? Yes. Is it criminal? NO.
        Before you go crazy with the Finch-Testa stuff you should be talking about Finch, Wood and Stafstrom plus 2 lawyers or people from Hartford.
        If Testa had his footprint on this administration you would not be seeing all the dumb crap that is being done by this administration.

        1. TC, since when do you stick up for Mario? Not a week goes by that Charlie Carroll, Adam Wood, Finch, Sherwood and others are not strolling through the kitchen at Testo’s. I don’t believe for a minute Mario doesn’t know exactly what’s going on. Can’t help but notice not one DTC person/relative was on the layoff list. NO ONE from Labor Relations. NO ONE from the Mayor’s Office. NO ONE from OPM. NO ONE from Public Facilities. NO ONE from the CAO’s Office.

          In fact, we hear from an earlier post Charlie’s girlfriend’s son just got hired. This is a travesty and extreme abuse of power. And yes I absolutely believe Mario knows EVERYTHING that goes on.

          1. city hall smoker // Sep 10, 2010 at 6:06 pm
            responding to your posting

            Aren’t you the wise one.

            How many would you think got “saved” because they are in the Testa orbit of protected friends and families in City employment. Could be an interesting contest … like count the beans …

        2. town committee // Sep 10, 2010 at 5:55 pm
          responding to your posting

          All you say is correct …
          However you know better than I do that the life and breath of Bridgeport Democratic politics is not to serve the public, but to serve Mario Testa and assorted minions in the Testa orbit.
          I know there are others at the trough, but I don’t think you can begin addressing the problem with a change in the City Hall administration … someone not beholden and held hostage by Testa … don’t you think?

  5. Connecticut Postings
    FEMA denies request for tornado aid

    Too bad. This was another pot of gold some city administrators thought they could raid to offset budget woes. Back to the drawing board. But while you are at it, can you get that mountain of debris removed from downtown before causing even more ill-will to the city?
    Think about it. Someone sees the commercial and ventures downtown and is greeted by a new mount Trashmore, boarded-up buildings that are no way reflective of Hurricane damage and a SWAT team surrounding a Hot Dog stand ready to take it by force. Only In Bridgeport.

  6. Not only did Charlie’s stepson get hired but his girlfriend just got a raise and Bob Kennedy’s girlfriend was just hired to PF as well. The laid-off workers better not go without a fight. They are on a hiring frenzy while laying off veteran employees. What a disgrace. God does Not like ugly and I believe that’s why Bpt isn’t getting that Fema money. Finch is the devil himself!

  7. Carolanne what you say is true but let’s assume Mr. Gomes wins the race for mayor. Let’s assume he runs a full slate of council candidates and let’s assume 7 win a seat on the council. How much do you think will get through the council without there being peace in the entire party including the DTC? All I am saying is some sort of understanding needs to take place between the new administration and the party. You know what I am saying from your days in the Ganim administration.

  8. City hall I am not saying Testa’s influence is not growing but I am saying in the first 2 years of this administration his influence was marginal at best. Not sticking up for anyone just calling it like I see it.
    As far as layoffs go I think they suck but let’s see if bumping rights get any of the people you are talking about. My understanding is there are 60 more coming on Sept 17.

  9. TC, Mario has key people in most depts. It was his influence, along with Fabrizi and Charlie Carroll, that convinced Finch to keep Feeney and Sherwood. Finch promised everyone in his campaign that Sherwood would be the first to go. That was the first lie. And that was day #1 of the Finch administration. So don’t tell me Mario had no influence during the first two years. That’s BS.

    1. Finch had the chance to “clean house” and he chose not to. Instead he kept Sherwood and recycled Feeney and Carroll. When you keep the people who created the mess, how can you expect anything to change? Our only hope is Caruso or Gomes or both take over in 2011 and do the necessary housecleaning. Otherwise we will all grow old and gray on this blog complaining about the same issues.

    2. At the time Carroll, Sherwood and Feeney were kept in this administration Stafstrom was the DTC. Testa at that point had zero influence with Finch & Company. Look I hate defending Testa but the facts are the facts.
      A lot of what you see happening is the result of Stafstrom’s influence. Then you have Robels, Ford and Roach all marching to their own drummer and in one way or another hold sway over Finch.
      That’s not to say Testa has widened his influence with this administration especially with the election only a year away. The question we need the answer to will Testa back Finch who is destined to lose?

  10. Now, forget about the ad campaign and city patronage, it is criminal how the city is going to reward Sal DiNardo for doing nothing with his dump on the East Side by tearing it down after so many suspicious fires.
    I am not suggesting it was arson for profit that caused the final fire but the city should be looking to see if there is some civil remedy to go after Sal individually for his failure to secure that property against the constant fires.
    Instead the city is going to pay to demolish the property, they will lien it and then at some point in the future as part of a grander scheme (or scam whatever the case may be) will roll those liens up with back taxes and interest and cut Sal a sweetheart deal to help him with some low-rent development.
    Finch should have the City Attorney’s office figure out some way to haul Sal into court and make him pay for the demo immediately.

  11. And then there is OILL!!!
    Only In Lennie’s Land would a Republican Governor on her way out the door bail out a Democratic stronghold AND the brother of the State Democratic Party Chairwomen as something to be remembered by.
    Come on Lennie. That proposal is ridiculous.
    Only In Lennie’s Land.

    1. Troll, you want some cheese to go with that whine? So if you were mayor you’re telling us you would not ask for the governor’s help simply because Sal is the brother of the Dem state party chair? Wouldn’t you as mayor have an obligation to do everything possible to clean that health and public safety hazard, including asking state officials? What would you do in this situation as mayor? Better yet why don’t you run for mayor? You’re a long-suffering taxpayer, the self-proclaimed social conscience of the city, with unimpeachable integrity, no skeletons in your closet to cause even a whisper, an accomplished financial background, the perfect all-around person to challenge the establishment, transform the city, eliminate corruption, hiring first-class department heads, balance budgets, attract jobs, cut crime, improve schools, stabilize taxes. Let’s start a Troll for Mayor campaign!!! I’m in. C’mon Troll, get in the game. You have a built-in audience right here at OIB. Let’s go … Troll! Troll! Troll! Campaign slogan: In Troll We Trust.

          1. Lennie,

            Just one vote left for Finch, The Acting Chief … The city is still hammering nage employees, eh? Tom Sherwood had 2 years to get the budget in order when The Police union took 2 zeros to “do our part to help the city” … Well, now the raises are rolling in and I have no idea how the city is going to pay for them except: raise taxes or layoffs? It’s sad these people are still in a position of power!

            So I would vote for John Gomes or Bob Walsh or anyone else who has NO TIES to the “machine”!!!


            I always enjoy reading your blogs, “don’t always agree,” But I enjoy the banter …



  12. In response to Bob Walsh’s comment above, if Rell isn’t going to morph into Weicker at the last minute, don’t worry, Dan Malloy will be happy to bail out Sal at the dawn of a new era. Bpt Dems will fall in lockstep behind a party led by a DiNardo in order to help a DiNardo. Stafstrom, Murphy, Barnes are all chomping at the bit to get Dan elected so they can move to Hartford and pull on the reins to get their way in Bridgeport.

    Oh what fools these mortals be–was Shakespeare from B’port?

    1. My original post on this was pulled so I will rephrase it. Barnes pushed very very very hard for Bodine and is just going to leave in a little while to go to Hartford with Gov Malloy. Draw your own conclusions.

  13. On Bodine, if the BOE bldng moved to the annex then the city sells that bldng and makes money and the BOE pays rent to the city at the annex and the city makes money. But this way it costs a lot of money to move those people and furnish their offices at Bodine and the Bodine comes off the tax rolls and the rent goes to a private company. Only silver lining is the extra money moving to the annex would only be mismanaged by this administration and given to hired relatives during this hiring freeze. Did anyone do a cost analysis on the lost revenue for the downtown businesses as those people move to the FFld line?

  14. *** Being a Bpt resident is not a priority anymore in any city job & it seems like 70% of city workers live outside the city limits, maybe more. Yet, it seems the first to be laid off are the temps or less seniority Bpt resident workers with the smaller paying jobs! The cost savings just don’t add up & never will when you borrow from “poor” Paul to pay Peter so to speak! The old wait & see plus smoking mirrors act, sprinkled with P/R ads & speeches that always amount to more of the same, “zero.” *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  15. On a positive note. The outside concert at McLevy Green last night was “Great.” Rick Cruz and those who helped put it together deserve recognition. I arrived late (didn’t get out of work until 8:00p.m.). Still I enjoyed myself and was pleased to see the amount of families that were there together (there were children of all ages).The bands I heard were very good and I was told that the ones I missed were just as good. Saw some faces I hadn’t seen in years and it was good to re-connect. I’m sure most if not all the businesses opened enjoyed the residual business (especially TIAGO’S which is quickly becoming the go-to spot downtown).

  16. Back to the original post about layoffs. Insult to injury Lennie by calling those laid off as low-level clerical. Rumor is those employees are some that are critical to their departments’ functioning properly and have been here for many years. More than one department head was angry. But this is also just the beginning. Many little heads are going to have to roll to make up the budget gap. Anyone know how we paid for the new flatscreen TV in the hall outside the Tax Collectors Office. What’s in your wallet Regis?

    1. Instead of saying low-level clerical, Lennie should have said low PAID clerical. NAGE clerical positions are mostly secretaries and minicomputer operators (outdated civil service title). The point is, these women (and they are all women) earn in the low 30s, if that. How many does the city have to lay off to even make a dent in the deficit? Add in the unemployment benefits and it’s not worth the effort. These women answer the phones, pay the bills, handle constituents at the counter, move the paperwork. They serve a vital function for very little money.

      Finch should be ashamed of himself picking on these positions. He should start with the appointees (Deb Simms, Ramon Larracuente, Charlie’s stepson, etc.) and positions that have no purpose (Andy Nunn, Ruben Felipe, Tyrone McClaine, etc.) This would make a dent in the deficit and no one would notice the impact because there would be nunn.

  17. Lennie.
    As to your earlier posts, yes the city should ask the state to pay for the complete demolition of Remington. But to expect it to happen would be insane.
    Right now the city has the opportunity to pursue reimbursement of some if not all of the “real” tornado-related damages as the federal government suggested they could handle that expense.
    Jodi Rell could have some wonderful photo ops with residents of the East Side, public-safety personnel, small-business owners OR a photo of Jodi taking a sledgehammer to Uncle Sal’s debt-ridden, tax-delinquent, urban-blight, eyesore of a property owned by the multimillionaire brother of the Democratic State Chairwoman. Which one would you advise the governor to go after???
    And if you say both, you just might get neither as Jodi’s history would indicate her preference to lie.

  18. To Born in Bpt,
    Yes Sal might have a very good friend in Hartford in the person of Dan Malloy. And if Dan is not the man, then I would think it would be time for the Democratic Party to seek out a new Chair.
    Sal might have a lot riding on this campaign. But then maybe Sal might throw a couple of bucks Foley’s way as a side bet.

  19. Lennie,
    To the bigger question of what to do with Uncle Sal, do you really think there are not negotiations going on right now between DiNardo and the city as to how they can help bail out Sal? Of course there are and that is problem number 1. Sal has gotten so much from the city in the past he expects and demands more.
    The city should have been in bankruptcy court after the very first fire demanding the court order him to protect the site or to allow the city to place any liens it deems necessary to protect public safety. If the fires continued they should have been back in court demanding an expedited resolution on the matter.
    With the city being either the sole or major debtor in the matter they could have had great leverage to use against Sal but instead through incompetence or assistance has allowed Sal to maintain the upper hand.
    Make an example of what the city will do to property owners like this and not what it can do for property owners like this.

  20. *** Seems the city’s pool of movers & shakers (developers) like Sal have been depleted throughout the years after the Ganim debacle. Not much going on & the pickings are slim so when a deal comes along that will make some type of savings for the city, they seem to jump in “head” first! No wonder the city is in a “daze.” Not enough thought & research nor communication with the council at times which always seems to lead to a rush job with lots of “will get back to you” B/S. *** Time to clean house? *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  21. Retirement Sweet For The Connected

    Ex-Aide To Legislative Leaders Makes Good Money Working Part Time For Government Entities

    Jon Lender Government Watch

    September 12, 2010

    Democrat Edwin J. Maley Jr., a longtime aide to state legislative leaders, is proof that the right political connections can make your retirement years as financially lucrative as when you were a highly paid state employee.

    Maley, 56, of Cromwell, retired in 2007 after a 28-year career as a legislative staff attorney, much of the time serving as legal counsel and chief of staff for state Senate Democrats. His annual salary was about $180,000 during his last few years on the job, not bad for government work.

    But public records show that he has been able to exceed that in three of his retirement years since then — 2008 to 2010 — because he’s collected his pension while doing part-time work for three government entities. And those three entities are led or influenced by former or current Democratic state senators with whom he worked as a state legislative employee:

    Maley, who operates a part-time solo law practice out of his townhouse condominium in Cromwell, was paid $217,000 between late 2007 and the end of last month by the city attorney’s office in Bridgeport — where former Democratic state Sen. William Finch is now mayor. Bridgeport currently pays Maley $7,000 a month for legal work, a city spokesman said.

    He also has done $94,000 worth of work in three years, $65,000 of it in 2008, for the Hartford-based regional water and sewer agency, the Metropolitan District Commission — where former Democratic state Sen. Majority Leader William DiBella is chairman of the district’s governing board.

    And now he also makes $47,000 a year as one of two part-time state legislative commissioners who oversee an office whose full-time staff lawyers draft and approve the language of legislation passed by the General Assembly. Those two commissioners, one Republican and one Democrat, are appointed by the state legislature, and the nomination of Maley three years ago came from Senate Democrats, led by President Pro Tempore Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn.

    There’s been no criticism of any of these arrangements, which have been made under the time-honored rules that apply where official business intersects with political alliances.

    But recent years have brought increasing scrutiny of “double-dipping” by pensioners who return to the state payroll after retirement for high-paying part-time work while still collecting pensions. Maley’s case stands out because you could almost call it “triple-dipping.”

    Also, it simply provides a good inside look at how things work at the elite level of state politics, where the players can exercise wide discretion in making decisions that taxpayers provide the money for, but don’t often know much about.

    Maley was one of those quiet, behind-the-scenes counselors who are mostly unknown outside the state Capitol but are trusted and liked by the powerful legislative leaders they serve. Membership in that sort of club doesn’t necessarily end with retirement; when state legislators move on to other positions in politics, sometimes they’ll want to hire a lawyer at taxpayer expense — and, instead of searching through the attorney listings in the Yellow Pages, they tend to turn to somebody they know.

    Those involved in hiring Maley for his post-retirement work say he possesses rare skills and knowledge in the specialized areas of legislation and government action — that he has the experience to advise government officials about what needs to be done and how to accomplish it.

    Williams, the Senate president pro tempore, praised Maley’s “abilities, his integrity, his intellect, and his incredible institutional knowledge” in Senate remarks when Williams nominated Maley for legislative commissioner in 2007.

    Bridgeport City Attorney Mark Anastasi responded to a Courant inquiry last week with a statement saying, “Attorney Maley has provided invaluable advice and consultation regarding improving the quality of the City Attorney’s office service delivery plan and facilitation [of] our modernization plan.

    “In addition, Mr. Maley has been fully engaged in a number of complex, substantive budgetary and development projects on behalf of the City. As you are aware, Attorney Maley has extensive experience in complex economic development projects and public governmental budgetary matters.

    “I am pleased to report that the retention of Attorney Maley at a fixed compensation level has been a significant reason why the City Attorney’s office has been able to significantly reduce costly reliance on outside legal counsel.”

    At the legislatively created, quasi-public MDC, head legal counsel R. Bartley Halloran said that Maley’s work has included a couple of complex and sensitive projects: pursuing federal economic stimulus funds and handling the MDC’s response to concerned municipal officials with regard to a 2009 problem in which microorganisms floated through filters into the public water supply.

    Because of Maley and others, “We were able to get over $100 million out of the federal funds, by far the most of any entity in Connecticut,” Halloran said. As to the water problem, Halloran said that Maley “helped in the creation of the presentation which discussed our emergency response.” Maley also helped in internal agency reviews of what happened and in implementing recommendations arising from those reviews.

    Maley was reluctant to say much about his post-retirement legal work, saying he wanted to leave any discussions to his clients. Asked what his political connections had to do with getting the work, he said: “Did I know some of the people I work for now before? Yes. Is the fact that I know them the only reason they hired me? I certainly hope not.”

    Jon Lender is a reporter on The Courant’s investigative desk, with a focus on government and politics. Contact him at, 860-241-6524, or c/o The Hartford Courant, 285 Broad St., Hartford, CT 06115.


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