New Parks Hire Is Up A Tree With City Council

This hire has some City Council members stumped.

It’s spring cleaning time and Bret Caulfield has been retained by Public Facilities Director Craig Nadrizny as a new tree warden for $108,000 mixing these duties with other responsibilities.

Members of the council’s Budget & Appropriations Committee are of mind to do some spring cleaning of their own to Mayor Joe Ganim’s more than $600 million, no-tax increase, fiscal plan for the spending year starting July 1.

Some council members are questioning the hiring process and Caulfield’s bona fides for the job. Is this hire going to the woodshed? Are they barking up wrong tree?

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

“How many times are we going to keep going out and getting people who don’t meet the requirements? How many times are we just going to go out and keep these searches private?” asked Councilman Tyler Mack.

Mack and his colleagues on the council’s budget committee–all of them Democrats like Ganim–spent around 40 minutes Wednesday grilling members of Ganim’s staff over the hiring of Caulfield as a $108,000 project manager in the public facilities department. Besides serving as tree warden, Caulfield will help supervise parks personnel and oversee parks projects.

“I believe this individual will be an asset to the city,” Public Facilities Director Craig Nadrizny, who hired Caulfield, said.

Caulfield, who did not respond to requests for comment, is technically a replacement for veteran staffer Stephen Hladun, who recently took a position with New Haven. But because he is assuming additional duties, budget committee members understood Caulfield’s to be a new position for them to consider funding.

Full story here.



  1. How can this not be on the up and up? After lengthy consultations with Bridgeport’s eagle-eyed Director of Accountability and Integrity, six-figure Eddie Adams, Joey G says it’s A-OK! The side hustle properties will surely be magnificently landscaped when they hit the market.

  2. So, Joe Ganim, Ex-Con, FELON who ripped off the Bridgeport Taxpayers (I am one, although not a resident) says I’ll hire another non- certified six figure salary employee for Bridgeport and you can do nothing about it.

    The article says Bret Caufield has the Bona Fides for the job. It isn’t certification, sounds like Testani all over again.

    What are the Bona Fides. you ask??????
    Just look at the March 31 filing of Ganim 23 campaign:
    March 22, 2023 Bret Caufield of Monroe of Mount Landscaping LLC (Sorry Joe your campaign screwed that up, It is Monet Landscaping LLC) made a $100 CASH contribution to Joey’s war chest.

    The Ganim, you want a job, pony up bucks system continues. Now that Bret has been hired, expect to see additional contributions through the election.

    Joey’s doing business as usual, smelling corrupt. The people and taxpayers be damned.

  3. In this case Ganim is fine. As Bridgeport’s chief executive, the Mayor is simply making an executive decision. It might have political implications but that’s natural for politicians.

  4. A mayor is elected in Bridgeport by registered voters, in a fair and democratic manner to become a “public servant”, subject to rules and regulations of a Charter document, serving others because he cares about others before caring about himself. Is this what you observe, LE?

    So you have substituted the word “natural” for the decisions he makes because he sees or identifies himself as a “politician” and acts in a removed manner, ignoring “best practices” in multiple areas like Civil Service, Human Resources, and Labor Relations that effect most City personnel. And the word “political” becomes a negative that people run from rather than “autocratic” or “undemocratic” as if describing childish behavior in a sand box as bossy, bullying, or failure to share.

    When your “leadership’ behavior is so widely observed in negative terms, a healthy community is likely to nurture alternative voices and willingness to potentially serve. Is that why there are three candidates raising funds, knocking on doors, attending smaller listening sessions, and sharing alternatives that will grow Bridgeport in a more resident favored direction? Time will tell.

    1. What I’m saying is this: there are bigger battles to be fought.
      Here’s the one the ghost of Machiavelli told me about:
      Any public servant must have value the exceeds his cost. Ganim’s costs are 400k per year (help me on this one). Prove that you contribute value that exceeds 400k and you can claim to outperform the Mayor as mayor o Bridgeport, before the election — potent political ammo!
      Write a budget that depicts the mayor as weak, ineffective and overpaid. Then tell ’em their vote can change that wrong to right.
      Get their interest, Get their trust. Get their vote!

      1. Sorry Local………………….
        Between Testani and Caufield, you had salary and benefits awarded NON=CERTIFIED hires exceeding $400,000 per year.
        Yes, there are bigger battles, but that doesn’t mean you ignore skirmishes that should be fought.


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