City fiscal hawk John Marshall Lee has dug talons into Monday’s calendar. Monday at 6:30 p.m. the Democratic Town Committee is scheduled to meet at Testo’s Restaurant to approve delegates to the state party convention in May. At 7 p.m., in City Hall, the City Council is scheduled to meet. Except half of the city’s legislative body sit on the town committee. Will the City Council have a quorum? Will the DTC be loaded with proxies?
We all know that there is nothing as constant as change in our world. And change affects all issues, governance as well as financial issues. During the past few months there have been more than a few board, commission and committee meetings scheduled, canceled, rescheduled, canceled, etc. It gets confusing keeping track and wastes City Clerk time, doesn’t it?
The first order of business for the elected (as well as board and commission members selected by Mayor) is increasing the health and sustainability of the City, isn’’it? Thus there are City Council meetings on the first and third Monday of each month at 7:00 PM. And public speaking, moderated by the Council leader, allows up to six public speakers five minutes each at 6:30 PM to tell the Council what is worthy of attention, perhaps? Following which, the Council, with Mayor Ganim presiding, follows its own agenda.
The presentation of the Annual Operating budget for 2018-19 is scheduled from Mayor to Council on Monday. In addition to the regular meeting, a Special Meeting was called for 5:00 PM in the Mayor’s Conference Room to hear the fiscal news.
You may well ask why not present at 7:00 PM. I will take a “wild a**ed guess” … is it possible that Ganim2 does not plan to be there? Perhaps he and other Council members will find activity at Testo’s Restaurant where the DTC will be meeting to nominate candidates for non-city elective office to be of more interest and import to them? Will there be a quorum?
We get back to, “What are priorities to those we elected? What is important to them?” What is important to the rest of us, as citizens, taxpayers, as persons affected by incumbents setting things up for special interests … is it the so-called low level, conflict of interest, cutting corners, and ignoring some bothersome Charter, ordinance or statute language?
For example: Why does the upcoming capital budget bond refinancing include lower rate or just issued and paid expenses on in the past 2-3 years?? Is the reason, for much of this borrowing, merely to kick some 2019 obligations down the road and look to 2030 for Pension Plan A Bonding to be paid off?
Have you looked at the big picture? Did you realize that we are paying close to $20 Million of scheduled pension contributions in addition to the $30 Million bond payments for Plan A? Did you know that the public safety overtime bonding from last year administered by State of CT Municipal Employee Retirement System gets no contribution from the State of CT for Bridgeport overtime obligations? Too many police officers remember being told that it is a State responsibility. Untrue. Fake news … municipal level.
And it has been reported that the State has had two fiscal plans to offer to cities. Bridgeport seems not to want MARF (offering a total of $50 Million over two years to big cities in trouble like Hartford). Did Ganim2 ignore the option to avoid looking weak while running for State Chief Executive? And City representatives to the State may not have been at the table for the party when $500 Million of bond payoff for Hartford by State taxpayers was discussed by Malloy, Bronin, Barnes, et al.?
Forgetting oversight of fiscal monitors, past or present, but when Bridgeport had a breathing spell 25 years ago, all money used was our own, borrowed and to be repaid, not paid by the State. What reason can be shared by the State at this time for the Hartford largesse? Who will call a local meeting to do something after the Mayor gets his FOI requests fulfilled by all parties?? Who will answer some Bridgeport questions? Will there be a quorum on Easter Monday night at the City Council? Time will tell.