Making Sense Of Master Plan, Plus: City’s Bond Rating Lowered, And We Love Raising Taxes

The city’s Master Plan of development has been a master migraine in recent weeks from issues involving public hearings to an enterprising community group (Committee to Ungag the People) making lots of noise through silent protests.

Nancy Hadley, the city’s former director of economic development, has sent a letter to City Council members in the hope of refocusing the legislative body on the history and background that has produced the product that she supports having helped guide the process before she left city service. Grab a cup of joe and take a look. Hadley’s letter below followed by a rebuttal from Michael Voytek of the Committee to Ungag the People:

Dear Honorable Members of the City Council,

There is grossly inaccurate information circulating about the Master Plan and its Future Land Use Map. This inaccurate information has, in my opinion, contributed to the ECDC vote last week to reject the Master Plan with comments. As I was the Director of OPED and ultimately responsible to the Mayor and Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) for the process we used, I offer the following clarification:

1. In 2005, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) completed a week long technical advisory service process including over 250 interviews, three subcommittees involving over 60 volunteers, and a city wide Summit involving over 750 public participants. The Report’s major conclusions were that the city’s land use policies and procedures were so poor that significant growth of the tax base and reduction of the mil rate was severely hindered. Simply put, the economic development policies and procedures of the City sucked big time. The bottom line was clear: If the City wanted quality development and a strong growth in the tax base, a major overhaul of the Master Plan, the Zoning Map and the zoning regs was paramount; one-stop permitting by co-locating the permitting agencies must happen; a geographic information system, permit management system, and fiscal impact capability must be implemented to support the new Master Plan, Zoning Map and zoning regs. Bridgeport could not be competitive without making all of these elements happen.

2. The 2005 ULI report led to the 2006 appropriation of over $1 million to complete the comprehensive overhaul of Bridgeport’s land use policies and procedures. A team of excellent consultants was selected based on approved City procurement standards to provide the city with the best talent to support this important effort.

3. From 2006-2008, the following major elements of the new 10-year Master Plan of Conservation and Development were developed, vetted, and incorporated.

a. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Report including extensive economic analyses to determine where Bridgeport’s economic future would thrive best. This Report was led by a large steering committee composed of Bridgeport residents and businesses.

b. A Housing Policy Report analyzing the city’s housing stock, demographic trends and recommendations to best supply the essential array of housing opportunities from rentals to ownership units. This report was lead by the CAO’s office with a large steering committee composed of residents and housing experts.

c. A Downtown Master Plan and Action Plan that outlined the 10-year plan to grow the downtown. This effort led by the Downtown Special Services District included several workshops before the recommendations were developed, reviewed and finalized. This plan was funded with a $300,000 +/- grant from the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development

d. The City’s First Storm water Management Manual was developed to guide the development process to mitigate future flooding issues as a result of new development.

e. The Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ)Plans were developed for the five neighborhoods that were getting the brand new eight-acre pre-K to eighth grade schools. Each NRZ Committee consisted of the major stakeholders of the neighborhood including residents, businesses and non-profit organizations. Weekend charettes, workshops and meetings were held to develop community outcome measures and specific recommendations for short and long term improvements. The neighborhood profiles in the Master Plan include those NRZ plans that were ready at the time.

4. The final Master Plan of Conservation and Development incorporated all of these reports and many more under the leadership of a 20+ member Steering Committee co-chaired by Pat Fardy, Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) and Stu Sachs, resident of Black Rock and landscape architect. The steering committee included two city council members as liaisons back to the Council.

5. The Master Plan Steering Committee held over 30 meetings, workshops and public hearings, all open to the public. Meetings were held in several parts of the City.

6. The website contained all of the drafts, reports, and final decisions. That website is still operational. Drafts were also sent to the library branches.

7. A full Public Hearing on the Master Plan was held by the Planning and Zoning Commission in November 2007 following submission of 20 copies of the draft report and Future Land Use Plan to the City Council for the statutory required 65-day review. I am told now that the City Clerk put the draft reports and maps in the mailboxes of each councilmember.

8. Following review of the comments received at the November 2007 public hearing, the PZC formally approved the Master Plan and Future Land Use Map in March 2008. The vote was unanimous. The Plan contains 15 chapters, 223 pages and a critical Future Land Use Map (Figure 14-1). In my opinion it provides a comprehensive guide to the City’s future development. It provides the guidance developers and investors need to know as they decide where and how they will develop and grow our tax base. It also tells them where they should not look to develop.

9. The Master Plan is the guide to the City’s future development. There are two major policies that are critical:

a. Intense real estate development should be restricted to the expanded Downtown (the teardrop south to Seaside Park and west to include Knowlton and the Steel Point peninsula) and along the major transit corridors which are the major streets that are served by frequent bus service.

b. The neighborhoods would be protected and basically off limits to development. It is important to preserve the character of our neighborhoods.

10. The March 2008 Master Plan and Future Land Use Map have been the basis of each and every Planning and Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals decision. These are legal decisions that form the basis of the real estate development during the past 16 months. Some of the PZC decisions may have been appealed to the Court. The decisions have provided the basis for the private financing that was needed to start construction. A cloud over the Master Plan and Future Land Use Map would, in my opinion, place a cloud over the PZC and ZBA decisions made in the past 16 months.

11. Due to an apparent technical flaw in the City Council’s 65-day review of the draft plan in the fall of 2007, the City Attorney determined that the correct review would necessitate the City Council formally placing the item on its agenda and referral to the ECDC committee. This review to correct an apparent technical flaw started in June and will end on August 19.

12. This past Monday, the PZC announced that they will hold a second public hearing on the Master Plan and Future Land Use Map on August 24th at 6pm. The City Attorney determined that a second hearing was necessary in order to remove any possible cloud over the adoption of this critical document.

Over the past two months, many speakers have appeared in front the City Council during your public session asserting that the Master Plan is not complete, is not a quality document and should be sent back to the Planning and Zoning Commission for more work. I watched the replay of the Council meetings on the public government channel and couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. In my opinion, nothing could be future from the truth. Hundreds of volunteer, staff and consultant hours were spent, hundreds of people participated and lots of money was spent to develop a solid document and future land use map. Within the speakers comments, and a recent letter to the Bridgeport News from the ‘Committee to Ungag the People’, it is clear to me that the basis of most of their angst has to do with the new zoning map and regulations. There issues are for the most part, not master plan related.

The Master Plan and Future Land Use Map are the guide to how Bridgeport should develop over the next ten years. The implementation of the Master Plan requires the PZC to develop and adopt a new zoning map and regulations. The zoning map and regulations must support the Master Plan and Future Land Use Map. I repeat, the Master Plan and Zoning Map must be CONSISTENT. The preparation and adoption of a new zoning map and set of regulations is a SEPARATE process that has been underway since the adoption of the Master Plan in early 2008. Since I left city employ, this is my understanding of what has transpired:
13. The PZC, staff and consultants developed a draft set of regulations and draft zoning map that was fully consistent with the approved Master Plan and Future Land Use Map.

14. In November, 2008, the PZC held a public hearing on the proposed new zoning map dated July 28, 2008 and draft zoning regulations. Over 400 comments were received at that public hearing.

15. Leadership has changed on the PZC and new members have been appointed in the interim. Training has begun for the new members. In my opinion, continuity was compromised.

16. Each and every public hearing comment was reviewed and analyzed by the PZC from November 2008 until May 2009.

17. When the technical problem surfaced in May/June with the adoption of the Master Plan, the PZC stopped work on the new zoning map and regulations.

18. A new zoning map and regulations have not been adopted by the PZC. However, since the PZC meetings are public, attendees and observers have noticed that a few of the recommended changes to the proposed July 28, 2008 zoning map may not be consistent with the Future Land Use Map of the Master Plan. I don’t know this for a fact because I haven’t seen a new version of the zoning map.

19. The zoning issues are a separate but valid set of concerns that must be referred to the PZC for action. It does not however reflect on the quality of the Master Plan and Future Land Use Map. I was at the PZC meeting last Monday. I asked the Acting Chair whether the PZC’s work on the zoning map and regulations were concluded and whether the zoning map would be fully consistent with the Master Plan and Future Land Use Map. He said that the PZC’s work was not done but in the end both maps would be fully consistent.

I implore you to step back and reflect on these facts. I implore you to endorse and affirm the Master Plan and Future Land Use Map. If you want to recognize the concerns raised by those that have zoning concerns, send a message back to the PZC that the Zoning Map and Zoning Regulations must be fully consistent with the Future Land Use Map. You might suggest, as Mayor Finch has done, that the PZC hold a second public hearing on the changes they propose to make to the 2008 version of the zoning map. I am sure the PZC members understand the requirement for consistency, but it won’t hurt to reemphasize the point. The article in the CT Post included one Commissioner suggesting this second public hearing on the zoning map.

Here is why I took the time to lay out this set of facts:

A. Within the new zoning regulations and new map are dramatic improvements to the zoning for the Downtown. It is called a Downtown Village District (DVD). The financing of developments in the downtown have been waiting since the 2005 ULI report for these new regulations to become effective. Four years is a long time, way too long in my opinion. Banks will not close on deals on the promise that the new map and regs will become effective. Federal and state grants/loans will not be awarded until the new regs are adopted. Small businesses that have struggled to open in the downtown have been subject to the old zoning regulations which are convoluted and severely outdated. The downtown will not grow without the new map and regulations. If the downtown doesn’t grow, the tax base doesn’t grow. The DVD requires PZC adoption of the new map and regs. It also requires at least four ordinances to be enacted by the City Council to implement key components of the DVD.
B. Potential developers and investors in Bridgeport are national. For example, the bank that financed the Arcade and 144 Golden Hill, US BANCORP is based in St Louis. The last thing the City needs is a headline Tuesday morning that states that the City Council rejected the Master Plan. The ripple effect would be detrimental to the confidence required for quality development to happen.
C. It is paramount that the PZC finish all of the elements of the Round One Land Use Updates. In my opinion, it must reaffirm the Master Plan and Future Land Use Map. The zoning map, the zoning regs and the four ordinances necessary to implement the Master Plan, Future Land Use Map and especially, the DVD must be adopted quickly. Once Round One is done, Round Two can begin. A petitioner can go to the PZC and officially request a change in the Future Land Use Map and zoning. It would be an open and transparent process, subject to the requisite public hearing. In my opinion, Round Two changes should not start before Round One is finished. If some of the comments you are hearing are in effect a second bite at the apple, they can be considered as part of Round Two. Round One needs to be finished first!

Voytek letter

The Committee to Ungag the People! disagrees with her assertions on the Master Plan regarding Main Street’s commercial corridor changes affecting the Old Town Road and Wentworth Street areas generally. She is right on some aspects, too; however, the information she is basing her assertions on with respect to what we are asking for is based on a prior point in time AFTER: (a) we met with certain ECDC members and McCarthy on the Sunday before the ECDC committee meeting and clarified these matters; (b) we had over 75 people at the recent ECDC Committee meeting and Anastasi gave the advice that if comments were to be made on the Master Plan as we had recommended the Master Plan as a whole would need to be rejected (legal advice as an attorney I vocally disagreed with at that meeting) – the ECDC then unanimously rejected the Master Plan and made the comments we had asked; and (c) we had unraveled a bit more the confusion that surrounds and has surrounded the Master Plan and Zoning map and regs (the PZC kas also admitted confusion on these matters – and the Zoning Map on the Master Plan website still does not show the Testo’s, Greenwood St and Anton Drive changes we are challenging). Her information is therefore not current and is incorrect at this point.

Bottom Line: the Committee is asking that: (A) the Master Plan be changed on the two Main St commercial corridor areas and on Madison Ave; (B) that the Zoning map be changed to keep as residential the Testo’s, Greenwood St and Anton Dr areas; and (C) the zoning regs do not be changed to have a 250 foot setback. This should be that simple. It does not need to be overly complicated by bureaucrats, former bureaucrats and politicians.

Because the City Council may still be similarly confused and we were unable to get any speaking slots at Monday night’s meeting, we are asking City Council members to meet with us this Sunday to discuss these matters.

Bond Rating Dropped

A key Wall Street rating agency has dropped the city’s bond rating. The worse the rating the more the city pays to enter the bond market. News release from the mayor’s office below. This is not good news and as noted in the release city officials are not happy so kudos for them releasing this.

Fitch Drops City’s Bond Rating to BBB+; Outlook Rated ‘Stable’
BRIDGEPORT, CT (July 31, 2009) – Fitch Ratings has notified the City that it has downgraded the rating on the City’s approximately $654 million general obligation bonds to BBB+ from A-. The City’s rating outlook will continue to be classified as ‘stable.’

“The City was caught in the economic downturn that began in 2008, which caused a significant drop in revenue, coupled with a budget which included one-time revenues that were not realized,” said Michael Feeney, Chief Financial Officer. “The City was able to turn those trends around in 2009 by closing a very large budget gap and our budget in 2010, as noted by Fitch, is on track to reflect the fiscally conservative moves we have made in the past two years.”

“It is unfortunate that they [Fitch] chose to downgrade us now, especially so, since we’ve closed the current year’s $20 million shortfall and have corrected and balanced 2010’s budget,” Feeney added.

In order to balance the coming year’s budget the City has eliminated more than 150 positions, with another approximately 70 left vacant; won concessions from unions on wages and health insurance premiums; curbed departmental spending, and raised some fees. The City’s 2010 budget does not include one-time revenues from land sales that were budgeted in past years but failed to materialize.

The ‘stable’ rating, according to Fitch, reflects its view that “although the City’s financial flexibility has weakened, City officials were proactive in correcting fiscal 2009 budgetary imbalances.”

The Tax Fight

Republican Governor Jodi Rell wants to raise sin taxes and corporate taxes to help finance the budget. Democrats say that’s not good enough. Soak the wealthy.

And on and on it goes. Rell trying to carve out a compromise with a Democratic legislature that continues to do what it does best: raise taxes. The highest taxed state in the country–income taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, sin taxes, corporate taxes, business entity taxes (freaking taxes just for the privilege of forming an LLC) to go along with property taxes and car taxes on the local level–is gearing up for more.

Yeah I know, the Dems say there’s no free lunch. All so they can say we saved this for you, we saved that for you (while we picked your pocket). Oh, that’s right, we only pick the pockets of the wealthy. We enjoy penalizing success. We’re Democrats; if we can’t tax you … well, we’ll just print money! All of this makes for an engaging showdown for the 2010 gubernatorial cycle. Can’t wait to hear from my friends at My Left Nutmeg on this!


Okay, I see where Joel Speedy Gonzalez has his back up a bit because the local GOP bypassed his request for a slot on the Board of Education. Now that Rob Russo is poised for a congressional run, he’ll be withdrawing his name from the BOE endorsement. That means party pols must fill that slot. They had rejected incumbent BOE member Sauda Baraka claiming she was not committed to the task. Sauda was looking at challenging the endorsed slate in a primary. Could they give her the slot now? And if not will Joel run with her?

Speedy says he’ll be taking out papers to petition his way on the ballot. Signature time. It’s not easy finding Republicans in the city.

News release from Gov. Rell

Governor Rell Offers Third Budget Proposal

$36.9B Plan Reflects Governor’s Core Principles: Cutting Spending, Reducing Bloat of Bureaucracy, Positioning State for Economic Success

Governor M. Jodi Rell today presented a third state budget proposal, one that reduces state spending by $1 billion. The Governor’s proposal also calls for $391 million in new revenues by increasing “sin taxes” on alcohol and cigarettes and a temporary, three-year surcharge on corporate taxes, compared with $1.8 billion in new and increased taxes contained in a plan unveiled earlier today by majority Democrats.

“We all know the economy has worsened – and we still don’t have a budget,” Governor Rell said. “We need a budget. We need to work together and do the job that the people of Connecticut elected us to do.

“The proposals offered by the Democrats today are unsustainable and unaffordable,” the Governor said. “Their budget calls for $1.8 billion in new or higher taxes while cutting just $130 million in state spending – just three-tenths of one percent of their $37.9 billion budget. Their proposals will lead to red ink and pink slips.”

Governor Rell’s plan actually shrinks the state budget by 1.3 percent in the first year of the biennium and spending would grow by just 1.2 percent in the second year.

“I offer this plan in the spirit of compromise – to get a budget passed into law and to help the working families of Connecticut as they struggle in this economy,” the Governor said. “I would have preferred not to raise taxes at all. But it has been clear for months – and it remains clear – that the Democrat majority cannot, will not, cut state spending. I could cut more – but they cannot. And we need a budget.

“I am showing the leadership we need to get us to the finish line,” Governor Rell said. “In that vein, I have invited the legislative leaders to join me in compromise – and to join me in negotiations starting Tuesday. I hope we will be able to reach an agreement soon and bring a budget to a vote.”

 Jimmy’s Gig

Hey, what’s going on with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Amann? Check this out courtesy of David Smith and Stephen Krauchick.



  1. *** Even with those State statistics on taxes, @ this point unless things completely turn around for the worst, Rell doesn’t have a thing to worry about in the Governor’s race. *** Russo if still interested has a good chance of getting back in the State Senate this time around. However, those interested in the other half of the Senate Seat need to start now, raising & preparing for the election because Gomes can be beat by the right candidate. *** As far as the BOE is concerned, if the Republicans have no other interested qualified candidates, then I guess in their best interests maybe they should wait to endorse the winner of the GOP primary & save some “$”. Joel in my opinion has burned too many bridges behind him and alienated himself with friends & foes alike to be given the endorsement because of lack of interest by other qualified persons. And if Baraka who I felt did a good job (when she was actually there) is given the position after the party refused first time around, they’re not going to have any real say or influence over her in key issues! She may forgive but she’s not going to forget what they did! *** If Himes keeps moving & getting monies to his CT districts with plenty of local Media coverage included for campaign literature & got done list for election purposes, he’ll do okay! *** Lennie, how about an investigated research on all the party’s endorsed candidates, “real” home & district’s place of residence? You may be surprised! ***

  2. Swim Across the Sound tomorrow at Captain’s Cove. All day event. The swimmers should be arriving from Port Jefferson about 3:00 pm.

    On Sunday, at 8:30 am, is the beautiful Swim Memorial Service at The Cove. An ecumenical event and a wonderful way to celebrate and remember a loved one’s life. Especially significant is the loss of Jan Williams to cancer this year.

  3. Nancy

    Thank you for your comments and insight.

    Noteworthy is the fact that in the reporting by the Connecticut Post, certain members of the P & Z said they were “confused”?

    Also, you must agree that the mixed legal opinions by the Mayor’s legal minion, Mark Anastasi, has exacerbated this process. Furthermore, as I believe you have noted, that the Council was never forwarded or voted on the Conservation and Development plan for whatever reasons.

    I feel the city has been held in abeyance by a my way or the highway mentality, especially in light of the add-ons to the map which is clearly a spot zoning effort orchestrated by Ray Rizio.

  4. Kudos to Hadley for bringing this to the attention of the Council.

    Rizio and the Calamarians seem to think that they can do whatever they want to further their own agenda rather then establish programs that benefit the people of this city.

    We have been held captive for nearly 3 decades. Time to change things. Don’t you think???

    Not enough really good candidates to push out the embedded Calamarians.

  5. The Oracle of Omaha Steaks!


    Are you suggesting that we are suffering from a case of “Squid Pro Quo”?

    I had a lovely Pressed Pork sandwich at Épernay the other evening. It was served with a combination of kraut, a Kosher pickle, and served on a nicely grilled piece of Jewish rye. Oy Vey Maria Antoinette!

  6. “Bridgeport Now” for Tue Aug 4th–The Master Plan.

    We will be discussing the Bridgeport Master Plan and land use regs.

    We did bring this up in the last program briefly and the issue of leadership by the mayor was also raised. The selling of city buildings and economic development may not be as effective without an agreed-upon roadmap as a guide. Otherwise we have ad hoc decisions. There is nowhere else to build in Fairfield County, no other city with such resources. It is key that there is adequate discussion and outreach to the public for awareness.

    Some in other areas of Bridgeport, for example, Black Rock, may not pay attention to the fact that downtown development is key to reducing city taxes.

    1. You must have sniffed too many derivatives or taken it in your naked shorts.

      Black Rock has the highest property taxes in the city. We are so broke that we can’t pay attention. We need development all over the city. NOT just in the teeny tiny teardrop district.

  7. Yahooy, your continued use of derogatory, bigoted cultural slurs against Italians detracts from your message and really reflects poorly on you. In general ethnic slurs, and generalities hurled at any group is a sign that you can’t articulate your real objections, only your bias. If you have something to say that is constructive, do so without the insults. And I don’t care if you are Italian you still don’t get to perpetuate stereotypes and promote bigotry. I believe they call that hate speech now.

  8. *** MCAT, what you’ve seen is usually what you can expect from shithead Yahooy! Low self-esteem-type blogging, along with continued lies about himself seem to be his favorite pastime writing events! He’s a lonely scared old man searching for attention from wherever he can get it. So try not to overfeed the monkey, he tends to get gas, lots of it! *** Forget about it! ***

  9. Gosh, MCAT.

    I intend to post much about the political antics of the Calamarians without worrying about your pollyanna perception of repartee. You know exactly of whom I speak and know full well that said Calamarians included many who are not fortunate enough to be of great Italian heritage.

    Isn’t it time to call someone to find out who they want you to support?

    ***Mofo*** If you knew how little regard I and all of Bridgeport have for your political opinion, you might find it appropriate to slink back into your nook where you are so low that you have to look up to see down.

    In a recent let’s bash ***MoFo*** session, the question arose as to what you have ever done in your entire life that made this town a better place. You expound great things but in fact they are baseless. Those who know you well, know that you are an empty shirt and a consummate bullshitter.

    I am only amused by your continual rant in my regard.

    1. *** My point well taken exactly, by OIB’s #1 “Bottom Feeder”! Do you honestly think I care what you & yours, outsiders think of what I’ve done or have not done while on the city council? My contributions during my 6 yrs. representing my district & city are in black & white in the city clerk’s office. No need to make up stories or claim I was the greatest like others do, ’cause I know I did my best & am proud of it. What have you ever done besides complain & repeat made-up old bar stories? You’re an old fart hiding behind a web mask looking for attention on a urban city political website with nothing really to contribute but old news stories & baseless negative opinions written in humorless style. Sometimes I even feel sorry for people like you that are so insecure & have to go the extra mile to hide it! There must be many Pandora’s boxes tucked away deep in the darkest parts of your closet! *** Your name from now on will be “BOTTOM FEEDER”! ***

  10. Well, if you want to lump politicians you don’t agree with into a seafood group may I suggest:

    Squids (at least it’s not ethnic)
    Sharks (no wait that’s lawyers)
    oysters with a half shell
    Sea slugs

    1. Thanks for the suggestions, but I find Calamarians to elicit far more comic relief.

      That reminds me of story I just heard about ***MoFo***.

      It seems that ***MoFo *** was chiseling drinks at Ralph and Rich’s one afternoon recently when a fellow in an obvious aggravated state walked in after an unfortunate afternoon at the courthouse shouting at the top of his lungs … “ALL LAWYERS ARE ASSHOLES.” Well, ***MoFo*** became incensed. He confronted the guy shouting equally as loud … “HOW DARE YOU INSULT A WHOLE CLASS OF PEOPLE LIKE THAT.” The guy looked at ***MoFo*** taking pause for a moment, then said … “What, are you a lawyer?” ***MoFo*** too paused for a moment then sternly stated … “No. I’m an asshole.”

  11. I will stand by what I said in 2006 when I voted against spending $1,000,000 for consultants for a new master plan.
    I said at the first P & Z or ZBA meeting conducted after approving the plan, they will be approving changes or variances to the plan.
    I was wrong. They are doing it before the plan is even approved.
    Nancy Hadley says: “There are two major policies that are critical:
    a. Intense real estate development should be restricted to the expanded Downtown
    b. The neighborhoods would be protected and basically off limits to development.
    And the changes to the map are diametrically opposite of what she says. Instead they are pandering to preferred developers and power players and are harmful to the residents and taxpayers in the city.
    I said back in 2006 and I will say it again that the city of Bridgeport has never exhibited the discipline and political will to stick to a master plan and therefore the $1,000,000 is a waste of taxpayers money.

    1. Mr. Walsh,
      I have not seen a new draft of the zoning map with the proposed changes that are causing the angst. According to the Acting Chair of the PZC, there isn’t a new map. What I think people are reacting to are the discussions that were held at the PZC work sessions. I think this whole mess has gotten the attention of the PZC members and they know that the two maps must be consistent. So I fully expect them to roll back the few recommendations that are inconsistent.

      I understand your frustration with spending so much money and now having this confusion. However Bridgeport has to improve its land use policies and procedures. It just must.

      I am not surprised at the lower bond rating. Although I admire the Mayor for finding ways to close the budget gap, I know that the rating agencies also look to the future and the manner in which the City intends to grow the tax base. Bridgeport has been promising the rating agencies that this land use overhaul would be done right and be done quickly. Four years is not quickly in the eyes of the rating agencies. We have to finish Round One.

      1. Nancy:

        Just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. That was your problem when you were the director. You always fell right in line with what the administration wanted, and either sugarcoated bad news, or rammed it down the naysayers’ throats. You were never really a public servant, as many are not now. With so many people objecting to the Master Plan … could it be something is not quite right? Quit sucking up to the new administration and tell the truth … You are not going to get Eversley’s job … Ever.

    Fitch Drops City’s Bond Rating to BBB+; Outlook Rated ‘Stable’

    BRIDGEPORT, CT (July 31, 2009) – Fitch Ratings has notified the City that it has downgraded the rating on the City’s approximately $654 million general obligation bonds to BBB+ from A-. The City’s rating outlook will continue to be classified as ‘stable.’

    When you read the whole release you will see that Mike Feeney thinks the city should get an “A” for effort. But that ain’t the way it works.
    The city is officially out of the bond market. The FRB cannot be far behind.

    1. *** Of course it has to be much more and in less time according to Joel, 8 yrs. ago in 2001? I was on the council then but do not honestly remember the exact amount, so he’s maybe right? ***

    2. Last fall within months of the new 2008-09 City budget year, Mayor Finch was crying about the $20 million budget gap the City faced. When questioned about the specific details he could not get much further than general comments about Steel Point and police overtime. The failure of Steel Point revenues to appear for the second year he charged to the City Council’s revision and approval.
      At the same time Mayor Finch was sharing a chart going back a decade showing a City Fund Balance of $55 million that had steadily decreased through the Ganim, Fabrizi and his own administrations. The number quoted was $9 Million at the end of the 2007-08 fiscal year. Here we are one month beyond the 2008-09 fiscal year and I am curious why we are not hearing about this important statistic. Who routinely keeps track of it? Appointed or elected? (The ten-year trend is something that any credit rating service will consider in posting upgrades or downgrades. And a Mayor declaiming all year that the deficit is larger than the remaining fund balance will also gain some notice from raters.)
      These economic facts are why the current chaos as the Master Plan (and its attached general map as a guide) receives the work, review and decisions by the P & Z members including public comments from written and oral submissions last year and creation of new regulations and especially a new “Zoning Map” consistent with the adopted Master Plan (and its guidance map) is so troubling. Until the new regulations and Zoning Map are complete and approved (not yet acted upon), the staff at OPED are forced to continue with the outdated Zoning Map from 1996-7. Crazy? Seems so to me.
      Development of any kind poses risks of many kinds. People putting up substantial resources including time have a realistic expectation to have land use plans well developed and current. We are not there yet. However, if the City Council can see the larger picture, ignore the ECDC recommendation caused by “map confusion”, and encourage the P&Z to finish their work including eliminating any and all map changes that prove to be inconsistent with the Master Plan and then share it with the public, we may be able to get back on the path again.
      What do you think?

  13. It is well under $10 million. Part of the plan was to fund this year’s deficit with the money Finch was hoping to get from the Board Of Ed.
    I would venture a guess that it is around $5 million and dropping.

    1. Bob why don’t you try collecting the $585,000 owed by the BOE for the New Parent Center. Why wait 9 more years when currently they have a surplus in the millions?
      Why should the BOE give back surplus money when they have debts to pay? Why not pay off the whole Bianca Lebron estate settlement for example?


    Statement from Mayor Bill Finch Regarding the Animal Shelter

    BRIDGEPORT, CT (July 31, 2009) – “There have been multiple media reports in recent days regarding the Bridgeport Animal Shelter’s intensive, yet ultimately unsuccessful, efforts to rescue a pit bull puppy(ies) from the facility’s drainage system on July 24, 2009.

    As both an animal lover, and as the chief executive of the largest city in the state, I wish to assure the general public that our animal shelter employees and public facilities personnel went above and beyond the call of duty in their attempts to save the puppies who, through an unfortunate circumstance, found their way into the shelter’s drainage system and became trapped in the drain pipe.

    1. Bob, I recall reading an article in the Post in which it was stated that the drains at the new animal shelter were
      made of Stainless Steel at a cost in the hundreds of thousands. Was the drain shown on the channel 12 news report part of that system? It didn’t look like Stainless Steel to me! Maybe just the drain filter (not shown) was made of Stainless Steel.

    2. Finch is full of shit. There were no efforts to save those pits. The Animal Rights folks were there and would have paid for whatever needed to be done to get them out but the P.D. called WPCA and ordered them to be flushed down. They were still alive at the time and the city plumber had to leave because he was upset being an animal lover. Whoever says that efforts were made to rescue the pits is a liar.

  15. Just for the record, in 2007 20 copies of the draft master plan and future land use map were dropped off in the City Clerk’s office with a cover letter that explained that the Council had 65 days to review and comment on the draft. The Clerk’s office put the books and map in each member’s mailbox. The technical problem is that Mark Anastasi ruled the proper action should have been for the Clerk’s office to place the correspondence officially on the agenda and start the clock. Was someone doing something nefarious? The cover letter stated the right state statute citation and the language was approved by the City Attorney’s office before it was sent. I honestly believed we did everything that was required. I can’t tell you how many meetings I had with staff, lawyers and consultants to make sure we did the process correctly. Oh well, the best-laid plans have led to this confusing situation.

    1. Again … the consensus is that there have been changes to the master plan that you purport to have worked so hard on. Dig deeper to see the actual changes that are being fought against. You seem oblivious to the corruption. It smells funny that the P and Z chair has changed and several members as well … someone has noticed the changes anyway. Time you did.

  16. Usually it helps to wait until everyone is dead to do something dumb all over again. At least then the person doing the dumb action can claim there was a “new special circumstance,” instead of the same old crap recycled. If someone lived through something terrible, they are likely to remember the experience, and shy away from a repeat of the experience–like busting a municipal budget, for instance.
    Is there an independent analysis of the fiscal health and financial projections of the City of Bridgeport?
    If the city is getting ready to bust a budget, it has only been 20 years since the last time. Not enough people have died.

    1. “Is there an independent analysis of the fiscal health and financial projections of the City of Bridgeport?”


      Could there be a mid-year tax increase after the November elections?


  17. Although character assassinations are an accepted part of blogging (around here), the recent betrayal of brother Mojo was uncalled for. The purpose of this post is to uphold his character. His detractor is misguided, ill-informed and spends most of his time crawling on his belly like a reptile. I encourage him to stand up and develop a backbone so as to avoid this type of (spineless) embarrassment.

    In an unrelated matter, Fitch’s Rating Service’s recent downgrade of Bridgeport’s bonds is skeptical at best. This is the same company that gave a triple-A rating to all those mortgage bonds at the heart of America’s recent financial meltdown. Some of their employees live nearby and I haven’t missed a chance to voice my disapproval.

    In another unrelated matter, Bridgeport’s Master Plan reeks of the kind of socialism that costs much and produces little.

    Finally, here’s a boatload of good ideas, click below:


    1. “Fitch’s Rating Service’s recent downgrade of Bridgeport’s bonds is skeptical at best.”

      I agree Local Eyes; the rating should have been lower.

    1. You know, ***MoFo*** never really answered my question. Do you know of one thing he did while taking up space on the City Council that was of truly lasting benefit to the city? Getting off the council doesn’t count.

      1. Yes … he made sure that senior citizens got a discounted park pass. That is what council people should do … listen to the concerns of the district and respond. He did.
        Amongst other things, he was one council member who knew he did not rule city-wide, but in his district. He arranged and did work to improve parks in his district, and searched for funds to improve playgrounds for the children in his district. Mr. Mojica was a council member extraordinaire the likes which hasn’t been seen in a long time, and has not been seen since. Park cleanup weekends … youth activities … he was always there.

  18. Yahooy is sitting and sipping some Juniper from Bombay when a Mushroom walks into the bar at Ralph and Rich’s and buys everyone a drink. Yahooy says to the Mushroom, “You must be a Fungi!”

    Mojo is sitting at a bar and a horse walks into the bar and Mojo asks, “Why the Long Face?”

    Local Eyes is sitting at Murphy’s Law on St. Patrick’s Day and a pretty Colleen from Ireland walks into the bar.
    Local Eyes says to the lovely Colleen, “You must be from Ireland, ’cause me dick is Doublin’!”

    1. *** Now those are funny bar jokes Bottom Feeder, write them down so you can use them as yours for a free whiskey @ the Gay Bar. *** Answer this riddle: what council member fought with the parks & rec. board to get a free city park sticker for all the parks in Bpt for Bpt’s Senior Citizens? ***

  19. Nancy,
    The city has had two budgets problems back to back. They have leveraged the city’s future to get beyond the present. They have a fund balance of less than $10 million dollars and the first chance that they had to start rebuilding the fund, the city failed to do so.
    The city is attempting to put off for two years multimillion dollar pension liabilities.
    The city is using Tax Anticipation Notes at an unprecedented rate. Many of the same people who have led the city down this financial morass are still in the same or similar fiscal positions.
    The Bridgeport Port Authority borrowed money from a non-traditional lending source to fight an unwinnable lawsuit and used as collateral all of its assets of any value.
    And the only reason that Fitch did not lower its rating more is because it knows that the city is smart enough to realize that they cannot borrow money and if they try the rating will go down more.
    Fitch does not give a rat’s ass about the city’s Master Plan nor do I.

  20. A member of the Parks Dept. is a Peeping Tom. Was caught twice in Ladies Restrooms in the city’s parks. It was reported to the Manager of that Dept. A.V. All he did was ship him over to a smaller park off of Norman St. Peeping Tom has a political connection! A.A. Can you believe this shit?

    1. Andy Valery forgot who his friends are, he’s too busy sucking Charlie’s ass and raking in the overtime. His time will come when there is a new mayor and new parks director and all his forgotten friends remember how he treated them. Andres Ayala should be told that his guy is a pervert because he wouldn’t want him working for the city as he is an embarrassment.

      1. Are you saying that Andres Ayala has so much clout that he can fire park employees? I was under the impression that the Parks Dept. hiring and firing was under Mitch Robles’ control.

    2. I didn’t realize we had “Members” of the Parks Dept! Maybe if you were intelligent enough to actually make sense of what you are writing, people might actually listen to you. Then again, I wouldn’t be so sure about that either … There is only one meatball that comes to mind who would write or make a statement like this, and that meatball actually works for A.V.; A Supervisor for A.V. If these attacks were made against a co-worker/supervisor in the private sector, that employee would be doing job searches right about now. Jealousy gets you nowhere! I have known A.V. for many years, and he is and always has been a workhorse. We really should have more like him, and fewer like you …

      1. *** Outsiders & disgruntled employees don’t have a clue on the work nor political B/S that’s dumped on A.V. & the parks & rec. dept. I see just a bit of the summer’s worth of it from time to time & I’m amazed! The city should have more supervisors like A.V., then things would get done! ***

    3. A member of the Parks Department exposed himself to me down by the bathhouse during one of my lunchtime walks. I called the Police about it, but they laughed. I never walked down there again after that.

  21. I sat with a major equity investor this morning. He lends money for deals all over the country. He moved his offices to Bridgeport two years ago because he was impressed with the City bringing in the ULI team and then do the land use policy overhaul that you don’t seem to care about. Investors and quality developers care about this stuff big time. They do not want to invest money and do a deal in a place where they don’t have assurance that what happens in and around their property will add value. It is the quality investors and developers that will grow this tax base. It is the poor quality bottom-feeder developers that have been getting away with the ‘let’s make a deal’ scenarios. The city has to grow up and play in the big leagues if it has any shot at really growing the tax base and lowering the mil rate. We have to care about that rat’s ass.

    1. Nancy, why don’t you hook up this investor with Phil Kuchma. I don’t think that having a building like Kuchma’s
      sitting vacant and incomplete will add value to any investment downtown.

    2. Sounds to me like we do have a capable and competent economic development professional looking out for the city. Too bad Pfinch doesn’t appreciate true talent. What’s his name hasn’t done a thing since he took over.

      I think it is amazing that that obstructionist prick, Bob Walsh, doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the city’s master plan. I would like to ask his constituents why he is still on the council.

      1. Now that you’ve asked, I hope they tell you. Bob Walsh is the one nearly honest voice we have on the council as citizens of Bridgeport. He knows way more of the corruption that he speaks of. He has to hold back to not be labeled as a totally negative voice … because what is going on is all negative.

  22. A.V. a workhorse! If he can’t use you he does not even know your name. He says yes to everything! Forgets half of what he commits too. Has an excuse for everything. Has his pet EMPLOYEES and won’t even acknowledge others! He wanted to give out wrist bands rather than pay EMPLOYEES O.T. for working the Vibes. While he made his O.T. and had his wrist band and whole family at the Vibes. Bugsy123 you can keep A.V. Stick to making the coffee and don’t open your mouth until you have a better clue as to what you are talking about!

    1. *** Though I don’t work for Parks & Rec. on a regular basis, and neither see nor hear the day-to-day issues, I do notice & hear things while working the temp. summer park sticker job. One thing I notice is the amount of times & calls on the walkie-talkie for A.V. & the keyrings the man has on him & in his office, they’re huge with hundreds of keys for you name it! Also, I’ve had to pick things up @ the office at times around 7:00am and he’s been there since 6:00am with me seeing him later @ times around 7:00pm still riding through the parks checking on things. And this is any day of the week or weekend I’m talking about! In ending, I have heard him complain @ times to me & others that he does get very upset at times with political B/S but being a supervisor, his hands are tied & there are times he must bite his lip. I’m basically just on a hi & goodbye type of friendship with the man. However, whether people like him or not make no mistake, he earns his money big time. ***

      1. Do you think he’s working 12-hour days out of the goodness of his heart? No you asshole he’s on the clock at time and one half. He is milking the overtime, pulling the wool over Carroll’s eyes making him think that he actually needs to work those hours. PLEEEASE.

  23. 0h, I do not work for A.V. If I had to, I would find employment elsewhere. I could not work with the favoritism, nepotism and stupidity this person thrives on!

  24. Meatball,

    You have quite a bit to say about A.V. It seems to me only someone who works with him would have such gripes. Someone reading your posts would get the impression that you are just another disgruntled employee. Maybe one who wasn’t asked to work OT, or are you someone who appears to be his friend and once he has his back turned you pull out the knife?

    Just some friendly advice. If you are spewing all this on OIB, you might be spewing it during work too. Eventually you will be found out.

    1. “Just another disgruntled employee”

      All of them are disgruntled at this point. They have been poked and prodded to the point of no return. Long-term employees have lost plenty of retirement benefits, wages, etc. No raises, more work due to reduced staffing, long hours, no appreciation from the administration. And most of all, NO RESPECT for the years spent serving the public in good faith. The new administration views all of the long-term employees with knowledge as a financial problem. To be disregarded, and hopefully disposed of.

      1. *** Good point, certainly there are many problems in city government & everything attached to it. I wish everyone sounded as level-headed as you without the mean disrespectful name-calling & labels especially when it’s behind nothing but outside the box rumors. There are always 2 sides to a story & somewhere in the middle we may find the truth! I only resort to lower standards to send a message that if you can hide behind a website and dish it out, then you better be ready to receive it two-fold! Also, anyone who’s familiar with city hall’s staff & general day-to-day operations can feel the big change in overall morale that’s affecting the workers, and it’s not good. People can feel when they’re treated just as a employee #, as opposed to a city team member that’s part of the city engine that keeps the city of Bpt moving! Big difference! Need to improve city management & staff relations big time! ***

  25. You and A.V. should go back to working at the W.P.C.A. That way you could work more closely with the essence of your being!
    PS: Give Tony a kiss for me! LOL!!!

  26. Thanks Mojo. Isn’t it funny how meatball says he doesn’t work for A.V., yet he explains or claims in his opinion Andy’s Management style? How would he know this information?

    These idiots always attack the people who actually work and care about Bpt. It is really sad that they get away with this shit!

  27. ***MoPho***

    I asked you to name one thing you did that had a lasting benefit to the city other than getting off the council. Don’t worry about it. Your former colleagues can’t think of anything you did either.

    1. *** #1 thing, authored & stayed pushing for 2 yrs. for my ordinance resolution change & add on to establish a “free” city parks sticker for all Bpt. Senior Citizens 65 yrs. & older whose automobile is registered in the city of Bpt. *** Parks & Rec. Board were dead set (except for a few) against the resolution because of the so-called projection on cost on a yearly basis! Their projections were proven wrong by me & a little basic math. *** As I blogged before, all my work is in the city clerk’s office in black & white, no need to justify what I’ve done or haven’t done to a lame duck like you & yours! So what have you done for the city, state, country in general that makes you such an authority on right & wrong or good & bad, “Bottom Feeder”? Enlighten us with your magical B/S! *** On second though, “Forget about it”! ***

  28. Bugsy123, please tell us who won the bid and put the new roof on the mechanic’s garage that is a few years old. Still leaks to this day! That is repaired by maintenance on a regular basis. Please tell us! LOL!!!

  29. Peeping Toms???
    Puppy Flushing???
    Good employees being slapped while doing their jobs???
    Good employees get suspended for asking bad employees to do their jobs???
    Good employees get demoted when telling the bosses that the bad employees ain’t doing their jobs???
    Unqualified friends of friends in high positions with no clue how to do their jobs???

    Seems like the head honcho should be looking at what goes down in the DPF instead of being clueless or turning a blind eye, don’t ya think?

  30. A sad goodbye to Barb LaConte of Conty’s fame, who has passed away from cancer.

    Barb manned the counter, and the microphone, at Conty’s, pleasantly barking out the hot dog orders, to her husband Larry.

    Condolences to her husband Larry and children.

    The wake is tomorrow at Abriola’s in Trumbull. Calling hours 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

    1. *** Sorry to hear the news, she had character that lady & always would throw in a free beer whenever I ate in @ the counter. She & Conty’s will always be a part of my memories of Seaside Park. ***

  31. Andy,
    This was on the Conn Post website.
    “how about all the take home cars that the city of bpt has and now you have councilman richard paoletto 138 th district with a take home car i didnt know he was on 24 hour emergency call can someone explain this?”
    If it is true, this should be your number one campaign issue. Follow him around in his city car. And ask the voters why the chairman of the “powerful” budget committee allows these type of abuses to continue.

    1. Rich Paoletto takes home a former detective car. It is a Ford Crown Victoria equipped with lights and siren. The take-home policy the city has on cars is an out-and-out joke. The big shots have violated the law and registered city vehicles the same as one would register a private vehicle.
      The police department has two fleets of cars; look at the lot on Main & Congress or the building on Old Town & Sylvan.
      As far as Curwen goes he and the budget committee did not have any meaningful cuts to department budgets. The budget hearings were nothing more than a dog and pony show.

      1. John Gomes exposed these abuses last year and that’s why Charlie kicked him out of Public Facilities. John and Carolanne monitored the mileage on take-home cars and found that they were being used for personal use. They also found that municipal cars had non-municipal plates so that they couldn’t be identified by the public. Unfortunately these cars were assigned to political people or Charlie’s best buds so Citistat’s investigation was halted. Now John is supposed to straighten out the mess in anti-blight and Housing Code. Major waste of everyone’s time and money since the administration will not implement his recommendations anyway.

  32. Paging Nancy Hadley, paging Nancy Hadley …
    Did you read Bill Cummings’ article in the CT Post today???
    Seems whatever info he had from Fitch about the lowered bond rating has NOTHING to do with the master plan and everything to do with how screwed up the city finances are.
    Out with the bums. Bring back the Financial Review Board.

  33. Seems to me that things are spinning out of control way more than usual … morale seems way down and the people paid to be in charge either don’t care or have been beaten down or owe too many favors to other people to be able to do anything about the inmates running the asylum.

  34. Paging Nancy Hadley, paging Nancy Hadley …
    I read with great interest your tale about meeting with a major investor. You say that he moved into the city a few years ago. So please, pray tell how much money has he and his buddies invested in Bridgeport thus far?
    As best that I know he is involved in one small project on the East Side that will not be impacted no matter what changes they make to the zoning regs and maps.
    As a matter of fact I believe that project had to be approved by ZBA since it is not in compliance.
    And now again you want to suggest that he is prepared to invest millions in the city if a new master plan is involved?
    He will not make any major investment because he does not trust the city leaders. As Mr. Walsh suggested, as soon as a new master plan is developed the special-interest brokers will begin making changes.
    Drop the dramatics.

    1. Grin Reaper,
      Your comment was totally false. You have no idea what investors and developers I am talking to based on your description. You apparently don’t understand what it takes for good quality investment to be made in an urban environment and then increased over time. All I am saying is that the land use rules have to be clear and the processes transparent and accountable. Every emerging urban market has lots of challenges. Bridgeport is no different. The team I worked with put forward the best possible effort with lots and lots of public input to establish the new rules of the land use game. Everything was moving in the right direction. Yes the economy tanked and the capital markets dried up but during this downtime all of the work on the land use stuff should have been done. Done. Done. Investors are poring over investment opportunities and will pounce when the market is right and the risk is least. Now I learn that four years after the ULI report was issued and the roadmap identified, the City is threatening to reject its key planning document. That sends the investors’ risk way up.

      Property owners are in shock over their new tax bills. Shock and horror. Well, the city can only get revenue from property, personal property and motor vehicle taxes and a mess of fees. Sure they can pound Hartford and Washington for grants and the like. But the only real way to gain revenue is by increasing the tax base through smart and targeted development guided by the Master Plan. Everything stems from that document.

      As for today’s article, I didn’t expect the administration to comment on the unfinished business of how we are going to grow this tax base through quality real estate development. I do know that the rating houses ask and will continually ask the questions about the status of the land use update and the economic development pipeline. Given the changeover in the PZC and especially the loss of Pat Fardy’s leadership, the effort slowed down considerably and apparently started to go off the track. Let’s just focus on getting the job done. Bridgeport is in the short sale market. Selling off single parcels for the sake of balancing the current budget. Some of those sales need to have the longer vision of where the most density can be built and the most tax revenue derived for the city budget over the long run.

  35. *** The F.R.B., now that’s a continuing thought in which the city’s finances will be very much transparent, for all to see, with no smoke and mirrors there I would suspect? B.O.E. needs the same type of “$” review board as well to keep matters much more in check & transparent. *** And while that’s in the making, lets get the city council to vote, along with the B.O.E. & State Legislation for a consensus resolution to have the Mayors Office have a study done for a future charter revision that would be beneficial to all branches of city, schools, and state government in general. Too many city ordinances, resolutions, rules & regulations, etc. that are very old & outdated for 2009, etc. Time for getting out of the past & moving into the future! The powers that be must unite & push for this, or it will never happen, just talk of it. ***

  36. In that movie “Jaws,” the scientist character on the boat observes to his quarreling colleagues about the shark: “Oh boys, I think he’s come back for his noon feeding!”
    Puppies in parks and pervs in animal control are going to be the least of it if the city tanks the budget again.
    Grin Reaper made a good heads-up on the status of a financial review board. Can it be resurrected if things are that bad?
    One wonders when the city concedes to the ConnPost that “one-time revenues that were not realized,” etc. The “right” p.r. move is to not even concede that unless there is something worse. (The old ‘The sun is shining,’ statement in the middle of a snowstorm. What’s worse is the blizzard coming.)
    Criticism on the board of financial evaluators is cynical, cold-blooded, and hence, valid. City audits back in the 1980s leading up to the budget collapse were works of fiction. What gives now?

  37. Mojo beat me to my post. I’m in the same ballpark as he is, if not the same aisle. I think the charter revision people did a pretty good job chewing up financial stuff 20 years ago, but it is always a good thing to review it from time to time.
    Where is Bridgeport now? It’s pretty tough to get a FUBAR like 1988 so soon. However, you never can tell.

  38. Nancy Hadley:

    Thanks for shedding light on the importance of The Master Plan. I now understand its role in investor-related decisions. It’s meaningless to me but important to outsiders.

    We all have an interest in making Bridgeport attractive to investors. After all, what’s good for Bridgeport is good for me and anyone else who reads this blog. I think Bridgeport needs an office in Bejing or Bangalore to tap directly into countries that have beaucoup bucks rather than American investors who have too little “wiggle room” as evidenced by the latest Steel Point scenario. Foreigners have already invested billions in Treasury securities, they might be ready for direct investment here. And why not right here in Bridgeport? Early is good and late is bad (nod). I can see several advantages from their perspective.

    As always, my misconceptions were based on my ignorance. I appreciate your input.

  39. Check out this CT Post article on congressman Dr. Frankenhimes.
    “As I hear stories from constituents [about their] coverage problems, it’s become surprisingly clear to me that we do have to do something,” Himes said, adding that “it’s ridiculous that some medical plans will pay for a diabetic patient’s double amputation, rather than nutritional counseling to manage the chronic disease and avoid the costly surgery.”

    Dr. Frankenhimes knows that “some” medical plans covers services that others don’t. Yet he is poised to vote to change the whole system. Dr. Frankenhimes believes that by providing “nutritional counseling” a diabetic person like myself can avoid having both my legs amputated. Has drug counseling worked in the war on drugs? I can get all the nutritional counseling in the world and a simple act such as cutting my toe nail or failing to do so can lead to a leg amputation. Of course watching what I eat and taking my meds will help manage the disease. But just because Dr. Frankenhimes votes to reform the health care system doesn’t guarantee that I’ll never have to worry about the possibility of an amputation. Even if every diabetic person gets to have their nutritional counseling paid for by Dr. Frankenhimes, it doesn’t mean that they are going to follow the counselor’s or doctor’s advice. At some point or another, whether or not I watch my health, diabetes is going to kill me.


  40. Mr. Voytek,
    I live in Bridgeport. I therefore have a stake in its future. I live in the downtown so I admit that my first priority is the development of the downtown.

    A public hearing on the Master Plan and draft Future Land Use Map was held in November 2007. The policy direction to focus mixed-use development along the major transit corridors, defined as those major roads where there is frequent daily bus service; and the expanded downtown was one of the Plan’s major recommendations. The second major recommendation was to protect the neighborhoods from further new development. Comments presented at that 2007 hearing were considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission. The text and map were reviewed and finalized over a two-month period. The PZC unanimously approved the 15 chapters of the book containing the Future land Use Map in March 2008. The PZC then turned their attention to creating the zoning map and regulations to implement the Master Plan and Future Land Use Map. Meanwhile the totally inadequate, confusing, and convoluted old zoning map and regulations are followed by the zoning office. In my opinion, this crazy situation has gone on far too long.

    If I understand your response to my letter which Lennie included above, you want the Council to tell the PZC to change the major transit corridor development policy in the Plan’s text and modify the Future Land Use map affecting upper Main Street and upper Madison Avenue. You also have zoning map issues that are not before the Council. If I understand what you want, it would mean that you are requesting that Round Two updates should begin by the PZC before the Round One updates are completed. That would mean that the Plan and Map that were unanimously adopted by the PZC in March 2008 weren’t really adopted because you want the text and map changed now, in August, 2009. That would mean that the decisions by the PZC and the ZBA between March 2008 and August 2009 (16 months) may be put under a cloud if in fact petitions have made their way to court on appeal. That would mean that the completion of Round One would be delayed. That means that the rest of the City’s development policies and regulations would wait until the Main Street and Madison Street modifications are made. That means that the developments in the downtown that must close on their financing and issuance of building permits will be further delayed. The growth of the City’s tax base will continue to suffer until your changes are made.

    I urge you to put your issues in Round Two. I urge the City Council to put these issues in Round Two. I urge you to make a formal application/petition to the PZC for consideration in Round Two. There cannot be a mixed-use zoning petition to the PZC along upper Madison or upper Main Street without a new zoning map and regulations adopted by the PZC. Therefore your issues are not imminent. The downtown development IS IMMINENT.

    I truly hope that the PZC will hold a second hearing on the proposed zoning map and regs so we can all see how the 400 comments have translated into a new map. There were lots and lots of technical errors on that July 28, 2008 proposed zoning map. The PZC should show us all what changes that have decided to make to the map before they adopt a new zoning map and regs to implement Round One.

    I appreciate your concerns. I really do. However, the greater good of the City’s development necessitates the completion of Round One. The City Council reflects the entire City. With all due respect sir, the other nine districts need closure on Round One.

  41. Mr. Voytek,
    I have just been informed that an email has been sent to each city council member inviting them to the Roma Club, 100 Front Street, tomorrow (Sunday) between 3-7pm in order to hear a one-hour presentation on your concerns with the Master Plan. In order to avoid the Freedom of Information quorum requirements, you have set up one-hour segments and assigned a couple of council members to each hour slot. I am told you are doing this because you don’t have a speaking slot during the public session before the City Council meeting.

    I truly hope the City Council members ignore your invitation to the Sunday meeting at the Roma Club.

    I have watched the TV reruns of the past three City Council meetings and heard you and several of your committee members cite totally untrue and inflammatory comments about the Master Plan. I hit the rerun button several times because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. This is a Master Plan that has received special exemplary commendation by the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association. This is an excellent document. In my opinion, that was bad form, sir.

    I suggest your special Sunday afternoon marathon for the City Council members is a low blow to open and transparent government. You are manipulating FOIA. I also suggest that it was a low blow that your group attended the ECDC meeting a week ago Monday and somehow intimidated the ECDC leadership to the point that several of your group got the opportunity to speak before the ECDC. I checked the newspaper that Monday morning and all it said was an ECDC meeting was going to be held at 6pm. It didn’t state the agenda item so those in support of this quality document did not have a chance to speak.

    You have been diligent in your attendance at the PZC meetings once you found out that the City Attorney agreed with Mr. Herbst that there was a technical problem with the 2007 adoption of the Master Plan. You have been diligent at each public session before the City Council. I give you credit for your diligence. You certainly blew them away at the ECDC meeting to the detriment, in my opinion, of the other nine Council districts. However, I am truly shocked and disappointed at your Roma Club invitation. It reminds me of secret backroom antics. Bad form, sir.

  42. Gigantic kudos to Nancy Hadley for her vigilance in the master plan battle. Regardless of any personal feelings for the way the iron lady ran her department, I fail to see how anyone cannot laud her for continuing to fight the fight to straighten out the mess of years of nepotism and cronyism in B’port development (or lack of).

    Where is her successor in this battle? Mr. Neversley is very silent on this topic and should come out of hiding and either support or refute Nancy Hadley. The fact that he has been silent supports the belief that Neversley will never be a force to rebuild B’port.

  43. I have to bring up this point about racist Republicans. They are making their party go way down. Today I listened to Glen Beck of Fox and his really racist remarks and I guess it’s OK for a white man to say so. But if Obama said the cops were acting stupidly it’s a big problem (and yes they acted stupidly). It seems like when Latinos and Blacks stand up for their rights it’s a problem and it always seems that it is the Republicans who have a problem. I consider myself a conservative Democrat; I am against abortion, against gay marriage, and family values. But the Republican party lacks compassion for the poor and the minorities of this country and cares less about us; that’s why I am a proud Democrat. I swear I will never vote for a Republican again in my life after these racist statements. Rob Russo will not be getting my vote because his party is not for people like me who live in the inner city and the last thing Bpt needs is a Republican like him. They all are the same; I voted for Shays in every election but in 2008 I did not and I can tell you this, Russo will not get my vote he is in the racist Republican party. Rell got my vote in 2006 but won’t get it in 2010; their party has just made me so mad. I used to be a guy who would give Republicans a shot but not anymore straight Democratic ticket 2010.

    1. Your comments may well be true as far as the National Republican Party is concerned. But in fairness I have to say that it is not true of either Jodi Rell or Rob Russo. It is not fair to base your vote for or against them based upon what some out-of-state Republican said any more than it would be fair to base your vote for or against Bill Finch or Chris Caruso on what some Democratic wingnut said or did.

    2. *** donj, I can understand your feelings towards the GOP in general; however there are a few good Republican politicians around & some are here in Conn. I’ve e-mailed Fox news many times to voice my opinions on their consistent racist views in general. The Glen Beck, Spin Zone and short spots guests among others all seem to have the same anti-Dem. racist type of so-called fair and balanced news tainted ideology towards anything that deals with minorities’ rights or political views in general. They were especially racist in my personal opinion during the presidential race! ***

  44. InsideGirl said that the parks perv exposed himself to her in front of the bathhouse. Isn’t that where the rec dept camp is? Better keep an eye on those kids before the city has another lawsuit. This is grounds for immediate dismissal and criminal charges. Anyone else would be fired but the parks director and labor relations director are covering it up because of his association with Andres Ayala.

    For those who commended Andy for his long hours of hard work I have this to say. Of course he works long hours at TIME AND A HALF. The parks director should spend less time riding around in his golf cart with his girlfriend and more time watching the store. Isn’t there a law against paying someone off in illegally obtained goods? When you work you are supposed to get paid, not paid off with Vibes tickets. Andy has to cut back everyone else’s ot so that there’s more for him.

    Bugsy and Trailblazer have no credibility in anyone’s eyes but their own. Tony needs to go home and spend some time with his daughter. Take some advice from me, you never get those years back.

    1. Harley … do you have the slightest clue as to what you are talking about? … Mr. Ayala has nothing to do with any of those people. Too bad criminal charges can’t be leveled against slandering bloggers who are full of shit.

      1. Finest I’m not criticizing Andres. All I’m saying is that the perv was hired as a political favor to Andres. If Andres knew what was going on I’m sure he would want the guy dismissed as Andre would not want his good name ruined by a peeping tom.

          1. You suggested that these people got jobs and aren’t fired because they know Mr. Ayala and I can assure you he had or has nothing to do with them. So before you accuse you should get your facts straight.

  45. Now let’s see if I can get this Master Plan stuff straight. Walsh could give a “rat’s ass” about it. Hadley thinks it’s the greatest document since the Magna Carta. The bond raters think we’re all full of shit.

    How can this “Master Plan” stuff be in such a state? Isn’t the plan a product of the city’s economic development and planning departments? Didn’t the Harvard-trained ethicist with deep credentials in urban planning accept a gratuitous, albeit for chump change, role in either of those departments after acquiescing to the Calamarians by denying Caruso his independent spot on the general ticket? You would think with that type of talent, the Master Plan would be a work of art … a lot like finger painting.

  46. Bpts Finest:

    Fact – Andres Ayala used his influence to have a constituent hired at the parks dept.

    Fact – the guy was caught peeping at women in the ladies room at Seaside.

    Fact – Andy Valeri instead of firing the guy or bringing him up on charges transferred him to another park.

    Not saying that Andres knows anything about it but this is what happened.

    1. Unless you know both parties you cannot say for a fact someone used their influence to get someone else hired … you say for a fact this alleged by you peeping tom was hired as a favor to Ayala, I say he wasn’t. Burden of proof is on you.

  47. #1 What is Andres Ayala’s relationship with Don Calamari?

    #2 Has anybody asked Valeri why he did not fire the peeper? Of course, the peeper has rights. If this is merely an unsubstantiated allegation for which there is no basis in fact only typical OIB brain farts, then the peeper deserves anonymity until such a time as factual accusations can be made.

      1. To answer Yahooy’s question #1 … In my opinion … the relationship seems to this outsider as one of mutual respect, as they keep butting heads against each other in DTC elections … butting heads meaning on opposite sides of the slate.


Leave a Reply