Moore Provides State Development Chief Tour Of City Projects

State Senator Marilyn Moore, Commissioner David Lehman, center, and Deputy Commissioner David Kooris at the Dockmaster Building on Steelpointe Harbor.

State Senator Marilyn Moore, Mayor Joe Ganim’s chief election-year opponent, toured city development initiatives with David Lehman, Connecticut’s new economic development leader.

This week, Senator Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport) voted in support of David Lehman’s confirmation as the commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). The vote was overwhelmingly bipartisan and passed the Senate with a vote of 28-8.

“Initially I was skeptical of David Lehman’s Wall Street background and how he would serve as Commissioner of DECD,” said Senator Moore. “However, after meeting with him and bringing him on a tour of the city of Bridgeport, I can tell that he is willing to do what it takes to grow jobs in our community. We need to make sure we are focused on attracting businesses and providing support to local development projects. With David as DECD commissioner, I think we are on a path towards strengthening our economy.”

Earlier in the week, Senator Moore and Mr. Lehman toured multiple businesses in Bridgeport, starting with Cherry Street Lofts on 375 Howard Avenue in the West End. Gary Flocco, head of Corvus Capital, the development firm that manages the property, joined them. Finalized in September 2018, the apartment project was made possible through a $35 million investment from the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust. It was the trust’s first project in Connecticut. Senator Moore led the effort to secure an additional $1 million in state bonding that helped to develop the property.

In the East End, Senator Moore and Mr. Lehman went to Ashlar Construction and met with Anthony Stewart, managing member of the company. Mr. Stewart and his firm are the developers behind the shopping plaza that plans to be constructed on the Civic Block site on 1206 Stratford Avenue. Plans include a 16,000 square-foot grocery store, and business and retail space. They also met with Doug Wade, CEO of Wade’s Dairy on 1316 Barnum Avenue.

They concluded the day with a visit to Steelepointe Harbor, Bridgeport Boatworks and the Dockmaster’s Building, which plans to open this spring.

“It was great to introduce David to some fantastic Bridgeport-based businesses and to highlight the projects that are still in the works,” Senator Moore said. “Exciting things are happening in Bridgeport and I’m looking forward to working with David and the DECD to expand the innovation and community development that’s taking place in our city.”

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9 comments

  1. Thank you Senator Moore for Bringing Mr. Lehman to Bridgeport and showing him around. The people in the North end of Bridgeport are curious as to what we can expect ? Thank you Lennie for giving Ms. Moore exposure at every opportunity as Mayor Ganim’s chief opponent . If only she could get her daughter to come o Bridgeport where bad things are always happening. Did she talk about how awful our Downtown was? New housings and restaurants? Last night I ws at the Cabaret and as usual, rarely see anyone from this blog and it was packed. I am so looking forward to the early April filing.

    BTW on a side Bar. There will be a small Fundraiser for Mayor Ganim at BREWPORT Downtown Bridgeport on April 9th. Maybe we will see some of the bloggers there. Maybe we will see some of the Malcontents supporting the Cabaret at the “Full Monty” on May 10th. 32 out of town friends will be loving Bridgeport where great things are happening.
    Reminder – the new Crown Deli -Meats that opened in the 134th district makes the best damn coffee in town and breakfast all day- great deli and excellent prices. Desserts and breads come from Arthur Avenue in New York. I am so happy that when Sorrento’s left Bridgeport, a new door opened. Nice to see old timers and Sacred Heart students enjoying this new establishment.
    Today was the Grand Opening of the Colab – Exchange in Downtown Bridgeport. Main Street. Best of Luck to Kelvin Ayala and his crew.

    1. Steve I just left the Ribbon Cutting, I was impressed with the businesses. I toured the soon to be opened Karaoki Bar, and stopped in the other businesses. All in all its great to see a group of people who have faith in Bridgeport so much so that some have relocated and are now residents of our promising Downtown. Kudo’s to the Businesses and “new” residents. I LUV BPT !!!!

  2. Hey Lennie; would people think it interesting as to about how many city positions would have to be vacated and replaced if there was a change in the mayors office? No names just positions. Also, how many of those changes are subject to benefits such as buy outs and pensions etc. to those losing their jobs?
    Just wondering.

    1. Rich, a mayor has about 40-50 (could tip a little higher) city-side discretionary appointments of department heads, immediate staff, etc. They include Public Facilities, Finance, CAO, city attorney, chief of staff. Out of an overall city budget, including education, of more than $500 million, the price tag of those discretionary positions, including benefits, is roughly $4-$5 million if you assume the average positioned salary at $100k per year. Some are lower, some higher. Public safety represents a good chunk of the city-side spending.

      1. Thanks. So out of the 50 or so people that a mayor gets to appoint, if the next mayor does not retain them are they eligible for severence pay, or pensions regardless of number of years served?

        1. Not all. Depends on number of years served to qualify for a pension. Historically when a new mayor comes in the old appointees are flushed away to make way for a new team. At the very least, they’d be entitled to a pay out for unused vacation/personal days, etc. per the city supervisors union contract covering officers and unaffiliated employee salaries. In fact, this item is on the City Council’s Monday night agenda: “Communication from Labor Relations re: Updated ranges for Officers’ and Unaffiliated Employee Salaries pursuant to and as required by Municipal Code Section 2.36.010, ACCEPTED AND MADE PART OF THE RECORD.”

  3. Hector or was good to see you at the Ribbon Cutting ceremony for COLLAB today. BLVD Karaoke is something this city has never seen and it’s impressive to say the least. Holla at me when you do a fundraiser and good luck.

    Good luck to all the young entrepreneurs who have opened or are opening businesses on Main St. These young people are betting on Bridgeport with their time, their energy and their money. Keep up the good work young people and again, GOOD LUCK.

  4. Senator Moore: Aside from possible campaign contributions, you certainly can’t believe that your support of Mr. Lehman is going to further your chances as a mayoral candidate? He should probably be Bernie Madoff’s cell mate, but he just happened to get caught at the same time as too many other, powerful co-conspirators to allow for the government to move against him…

    “Initially I was skeptical of David Lehman’s Wall Street background and how he would serve as Commissioner of DECD,” said Senator Moore. “However, after meeting with him and bringing him on a tour of the city of Bridgeport, I can tell that he is willing to do what it takes to grow jobs in our community. We need to make sure we are focused on attracting businesses and providing support to local development projects. With David as DECD commissioner, I think we are on a path towards strengthening our economy.”

    “Initially…skeptical …” But then he won you over with his depth of knowledge of urban redevelopment and the plight of our post-industrial cities and their residents — and his obvious empathy and sympathy thereof!…
    ” I can tell that he is willing to do what it takes to grow jobs in our community…” Really!? And what might that be?! You’ve never commented on specifics as a candidate or sitting Senator…

    So this guy has lived in Greenwich, was chosen to lead Connecticut’s economic redevelopment efforts, and had no previous familiarity with Bridgeport and our housing projects? He didn’t already know that Bridgeport is a poor city with virtually no commercial tax base?! He doesn’t know that we have square miles of brownfields, served by several transportation options and other essential infrastructure, begging for redevelopment? And you voted for him, why? Out of deference to our plutocrat, “keep the status quo” governor who will do nothing good for Bridgeport when all said and done?… You certainly didn’t vote for him because he possessed any insights into Connecticut’s urban decay. And certainly not because he has any record of professional integrity and leadership…

    Did he chat with you about the option of reinvesting your pension savings in credit-default swaps?… (For God’s sake; don’t let him get near the state’s treasury machinery!) (OMG! Just noticed that David Kooris is Deputy Commissioner! Now we know that Bridgeport’s in for another four-year-long economic back-flush from the Stamford-Greenwich $ewage $ystem…)

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