Newton’s Law–The Sidewalks Of Bridgeport Come At A Price, Even For Him

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

The new concrete sidewalk outside of Councilman Ernie Newton’s Read Street home looks as smooth and sharp as the suits the East End politician is known to wear.

And last week the city placed a lien on Newton’s property because he has not paid the Department of Public Facilities for his share of the sidewalk work–even as he and his colleagues lobby for changes to how Bridgeport approaches sidewalk repairs.

… Launched in 2017, the sidewalk program was an experiment to try and fix the miles of damaged walkways in Bridgeport that are a legal liability. The city set aside $3 million for public facilities to use to split the sidewalk repair costs with willing property owners, and hired G. Pic and Sons Construction for the work under an open-ended contract.

The city has the authority to place a lien on properties that are not paid up. The lien does not accrue interest and cannot be used to seize real estate. But the debt owed the city will be attached to the property if and when it is put on the market.

Newton’s upgraded sidewalk cost $3,935.50. His unpaid tab is $1,967.75. The bill was sent Jan. 4 and due 30 days later.

“We’ll pay it,” Newton said Monday. “I didn’t kill nobody. Everybody got bills.”

Full story here.

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30 comments

  1. Wait so this is basically an interest free loan from the city that only really needs to be paid back if/when you want to sell/ transfer the property? What is his or another person’s motivation for paying back in any sort of timely manner? If your property values are in the tank and you are stuck in the city for years to come, no need to payoff. Beyond the general embarrassment for being an elected official, it is a shrewd move not to pay. With the way this city keeps track of money I am sure in a few years most of these debts will be lost in the shuffle or lost to some accounting anomaly. Landlords who are going to rent their property for years and years should sign up now!

    1. I recommend this website as a starting point for anyone contemplating sidewalk replacement: https://www.remodelingexpense.com/costs/cost-of-concrete-sidewalk/

      As for Ernie Newton, no one seems to notice the grey stone on the curb that separates the road from the sidewalk. Most of these stones measure about 5 to 6 feet long x about 18 inches wide x about 4 inches thick. Every single stone removed is taken by the contractors and replaced with cemented curbs. These pieces of stone cost about $70-$80 a piece. The stones can be re-used; they rarely break when removed carefully as they sink into the ground with time. Why is this practice taking place? It can’t be because it’s cheaper to remove the stones; haul them away; frame the curb for cement pouring and removing the framing after, etc.

      1. Joel, congratulations on another observation, made in plain sight of all, but noted by you, and it does raise a question (or at least a question mark or two.)
        When a sidewalk requires replacement, or at least qualifies for it with the City paying a portion, to whom does the debris belong? Likely to the City? Possibly to the property owner? Possibly to the sidewalk replacement expert, if the bidding process included the removal of anything of value, netted it from the gross expense, and thereby reduced both City and property owner expense? Was this sidewalk replacement program run through the City Attorney office?? Wouldn’t you be pretty certain that it was if $3 Million of City capital was to be made available??
        In a manner of speaking those quarried curbs had value as Joel noted, the same comment he would have made, had the subject been blighted properties with a variety of scrap metal hanging around. FBI interested in scrap metal disappearing? How about curbstones?
        Perhaps we ought to suggest that the next Mayor hire Joel to maintain inventory on everything setup to be purchased (and track it for its reasonable useable life time?) And for all things purchased to see how and when disposed of??Maybe he could start with a light show, hardware and software that had an initial cost to the City of over $300,000?? What has become of it? Should the FBI be interested? Perhaps it could highlight a “perp walk” when the time comes? Does the City do an audit of items, stuff and things from the past before tossing, selling, or an inevitable disappearance sets in? What’s the story? Time will tell.

  2. Ernie Newton knew exactly how much he owed. The contractor provides an invoice which is reviewed with the home owner BEFORE they are required to sign a written agreement which includes the cost of the total project and details the homeowner’s cost I helped one of my constituents with it.

    Ernie Newton is simply unethical, dishonest, immorale, and lacks any character. This is just who he is.

    CT state statute allows the lien to be removed/deleted after 15 years as unpaid because bad debt can only exist for 15 years.

    1. Maria
      Tell me what law did i break its sad that you of all people should be talking at lease i pay taxes. This contractor is under investigation because of his connections with others who worked for the city of Bridgeport. I will seek 2 appraisals to see if this contractor overcharged me and others. Your day is coming at lease we will have one less cuckoo bird on our Board of Education. I may be all the thing you said about me but I”M DRUG FREE ON YOUR DIME! (BONNIE THANKS) Maria just remember what goes around comes around!

      1. Ernie,

        Did you review G-Pics invoice PRIOR to signing a written agreement with the city regarding the scope of the work and the cost which detailed your portion of the invoice?

        I am going to file a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the invoice and your signed agreement, therefore you should answer truthfully.

        I brought up you having your street paved and having your sidewalk done months ago. You responded with you are a tax payer just like everyone else and that you were paying for your portion of the sidewalk like everyone else.

        Now that you have been exposed for not paying a bill for almost four months you want to get two appraisals regarding the cost of repairing your sidewalks. Shouldn’t you have obtained additional appraisals BEFORE you signed the agreement with the city?

        How can you then tell the CT Post you didn’t see the bill that was sent in January, which makes you almost three months late with your payment, when you signed an agreement with the city regarding the cost of the work and how much you were responsible for paying?

        This is completely unethical behavior. You are an elected official that should lead by example.

        You look terrible.

        Ernie, stop with the “crazy” and “cuckoo” rhetoric. You have ZERO credibility.

        1. Maria
          As i’ve said before I will get Two appraisals if i like other were over charged I’m a tax payer unlike your self. I have every right to participate in any program the city offers. I didn’t get any special treatment. This company is under investigation by the FBI i have a right to see if this company overcharged me and others. I know you should no better seeing you dont pay taxes you would not understand.

          1. Ernie,

            Did you review the invoice PRIOR to signing a written agreement which outlined the scope of the work and the costs you were required to pay?

            Please answer the question. The invoice and your signed agreement is public information.

  3. Maria
    First of all you should be concern that tax payers didn’t get overcharged by the contractor who’s under investigation by THE FBI I will get 2 other appraisals done if they come back lower then what this contractor charged me i will bring it back to the CITY. You of all people should talk at lease i pay taxes.
    Maria i might be all those things BUT I’m DRUG FREE ON YOUR DIME. Your day is coming real soon. Our Board of Education will have one less cuckoo bird on it BOARD!

    1. You are not drug free on my dime because I never paid for your drugs to begin with. You were likely paying for your drugs with the bribes you received when you were selling your elected office to the highest bidder.

      1. Maria
        YOU can’t be that crazy YOU Paid For The DRUG Testing. It was on your DIME! WOWWWWWWWWW Maria Maria Please understand I don’t care what you say about but Thanks for the FREE DRUG Test.

  4. I know of some ‘undocumented immigrants’ that would likely do it at a lower cost.
    What, they must be registered as a city vendor and charge prevailing wages?
    What, they must make contributions to the Ganim for Mayor campaign?

      1. Is Ernie a Ponzi schemer?
        For suggesting a taxpayer-paid solution to the taxpayer-paid sidewalk, I nominate Tom White as OIB’s blogger of the day. I’m laughing so hard my britches need stitches!
        Even Ernie agrees!

        1. Local eyes Maria
          That Tom White is funny as hell. News flash CNN is doing a story on Me Being Clean going on 24 years and passing Maria’s DRUG Test on her Dime! You see Maria Every knock is a Boost! Thanks for making Me a True Star in The Hood! Maria you can Fool some of the people some of the Time but You can’t fool all the People all the TIME. Whats done in the Dark will come to LIGHT! Your day is coming!

          1. CNN is doing a digital online story.

            You are not a STAR in the hood. You’re just in the hood.

            The story is not about you being clean for 24 years. It is about my challenge and the results.

          2. Ernie CNN is not doing a story on you about being clean. They are doing a story on you and Maria and how bat-crazy you are. That reflects the City of Bridgeport. I read the piece and Maria was portrayed in a better light. Is it because you’re black? Or is it true what they said about Maria’s graciousness:

            “Pereira said she had worked with Newton as recently as last year and “would not be opposed” to doing so again “whenever there’s something that needs to be done in this city or community that requires us to work together..” It must be true. It’s not Fox News, and it is in black and white, like yours and Maria’s test results. #BATSHITCRAZY.
            LOL 🙂 OIB

            https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/23/politics/connecticut-politicians-drug-test/index.html

          3. Ernie, you said, “CNN is doing a story on Me Being Clean going on 24 years and passing Maria’s DRUG Test on her Dime!” Ernie please post the CNN story on OIB.

  5. RUMOR MILL:
    Moses is upset with Ernie.
    He never endorsed Ernie.
    He resents him using his name in vain.
    Moses reminds OIB readers that a concrete sidewalk is no substitute for a burning bush.

  6. Maria
    what business is of your. Remember this contractor was not under investigation at the time. These contract were signed. You of all people show talk about anyone YOU have been the biggest dysfunctional person on the BOARD OF EDUCATION INIT HISTORY. Maybe we will do Bridgeport and Our children a great favor when you are kick off the Board of Education MS BULLY!

  7. The City Council approved the contractor’s for the sidewalk repair/replacement program.

    Hasn’t your assertion always been that you were innocent till proven guilty? Now that you have been exposed for not paying your bill for sidewalk repairs you are questioning the cost of your sidewalk repair. The time to question the cost was BEFORE you signed the written agreement.

    Once again, did you review the invoice PRIOR to signing a written agreement with the city regarding the scope of the work and your share of the costs?

    G-Pic has been paid. Therefore, when you don’t pay your very fair portion of only 50% of the costs you are stiffing the taxpayers who paid the G-Pic invoice.

    Then you will assert there is no money for the Bridgeport Public Schools and its 20,400 students.

  8. Ernest Newton should be ashamed of himself. He got caught. Now he is “using” the G. Pic mess as an excuse.Pay up,Newton. Or maybe you should concede you don’t have the money. Worst even,you thought your “position” on the City Council and in Bridgeport politics would get you off the hook. Guess what….SURPRISE.

    1. Frank
      First of all you don’t know what i have. Secondly G-Pic wasn’t under investigation with its ties to Tiago Dep Director of public works. I sure the FBI is looking to see if homeowners might have been over charging for works done on side-walks. I have every right to participate. I got no special treatment. I have every right to check and see if myself and other were over charged. You should read the ordinance before you open your mouth.

  9. Joel Gonzalez is one of a few of the smartest bloggers on OIB. The others know who you are. With that said, I think the CC should pull back that Ordinance for a new look. In this case, retrospect would serve them well, and the original Ordinace should be scrapped, or a serious redo should happen. You guys and gals have the authority to do this, don’t waste time, and please, don’t leave Ernie hanging alone.

  10. Brother Newton, you need to let this topic die its unseemly death. The CNN story wasn’t about you being clean for 24 years nor was it about Maria’s time on the BBOE. Brother, the story was about two clowns that serve the resident’s of Bridgeport all the while doing this dumb ass shit.
    The article called into question the ignorance of both you and Maria and how you both are an embarrassment to the City of Bridgeport. My Brother let it go and just represent the city in a manner that brings honor to Bridgeport and its residents and not ignominy. Please Brother let it go.

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