No Parking Pleasure At Beach, Lopez To City Council: Stop Being Props For Ganim Photo-ops

Pleasure Beach lot
Parking lot in question. Photo: Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

Retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez has stepped up on several occasions to leverage her legal might to the cause of rectifying government snafus such as parking meters and wastewater collection practices. Now a neighborhood cry has started urging her guidance to preserve a lot for Pleasure Beach parking in the East End, including an eminent domain battle. Lopez to the rescue? Not so fast, she declares, time for you to start pushing back. She writes to East End City Councilwoman Eneida Martinez, “Far from standing up to Mayor Ganim, all our City Council is capable of doing is standing behind him every time he needs props for his photo-ops.”

Martinez wrote this email to Lopez:

The East End Community, leaders and NRZ are calling out for your help into this most recent discovery of the parking lot that was suppose to be used for Pleasure Beach visitors. (CT. POST) Article today. We will like to eminent domain the land for public use, as I am sure the next step will be that the beach is not getting any usuage and they want to close it down. But the reality is that there is no parking. PLEASE HELP! I HAVE RECEIVE CALLS TO PLEASE CONTACT JUDGE LOPEZ.

Lopez issued this response to Martinez with some serious tough love.

I appreciate the trust and confidence of the community; thank you for conveying those sentiments to me.

You are correct!

The failure of the City of Bridgeport to secure title to the “Parking Lot” through use of the power of Eminent Domain, is an affront to the East End Community and to the entire City.

Evidently, Mayor Joe Ganim, Mario Testa, and the Democratic Political Machine in this City, are unwilling to employ Eminent Domain, and to take property belonging to the Julian Family for a “public purpose.”

Clearly, a parking lot which provides access to Pleasure Beach is a “public purpose.”
The Julian Family would receive “just compensation” under Eminent Domain, not an inflated hold-up price which would be paid by Bridgeport taxpayers, if a contract is “negotiated.”

It is not necessary for taxpayers to pay a ‘hold-up’ price to the Julian family, although I believe, this is the objective of all of this publicity. Mayor Ganim will wring his hands, and say, “we had to pay it,” will blame the previous administration and a “politically connected family” will obtain a windfall.

It might be interesting to know how much money members of the Julian family, or Julian Construction Company employees, have donated to Ganim for Governor.

The City of Bridgeport has every right to use the power of Eminent Domain in order to acquire this property. Mayor Ganim can immediately (TODAY) direct his City Attorney to begin Eminent Domain proceedings and therefore guarantee access to Pleasure Beach.

However, until public officials and community leaders are willing to stand up to Joe Ganim, Mario Testa, Chris Meyer and Mark Anastasi, I am not available to participate in meaningless chatter.

Since neither you, nor any member of City Council, seem willing or able to challenge Mayor Ganim’s political power, it would be futile for me to be a part of any effort.

Memories of the WPCA capitulation come to mind.

I have seen first hand, that when push comes to shove, no-one will stand up to Joe Ganim or the City Attorney’s Office in an effort to secure real change.

I am quite confident that no elected official or ‘community leader’ will demand that the Mayor take action or will introduce and secure passage of a City Council resolution authorizing such action.

Far from standing up to Mayor Ganim, all our City Council is capable of doing is standing behind him every time he needs props for his photo-ops.

This is an embarrassment and a disgrace which I cannot participate in.

As always, my heart goes out to the “real community;” someday it may be able to transform the city government of Bridgeport.

But today is not that day!



  1. Judge Lopez is absolutely brilliant. She should be respected and not taken for granted. The work she has done in this community would be valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars if she charged for her services.

    No one should ask for her legal assistance and guidance and then fail to abide by it.

    I recall several times where she advised me to NOT support particular candidates and I would tell her I thought the candidate would fulfill their campaign promises. Well, who do you think was right and who was wrong? Judge Lopez was right EVERY single time.

    If Judge Lopez is gracious enough to offer her support and guidance, just do what she says. She is ALWAYS right.

  2. So long as members of the city council feel it is more important to suck up to the Mayor, Testa and the DTC rather than due the peoples business nothing will ever change in Bridgeport.

  3. Very powerful and very respectful Judge, I’ll fight with you after you’ve shown that you are willing to fight, at all. As an elected official you are supposed to be fighter of righteousness for your constituents and your city and not for political expediency.

    Enida and the political leaders of the 139th, you know exactly what you’re supposed to do, but the question is do you possess the wherewithall to get it done?

    A lot of people are betting you don’t!

  4. Judge Lopez points directly to what the problem is. She writes to East End City Councilwoman Eneida Martinez, “Far from standing up to Mayor Ganim, all our City Council is capable of doing is standing behind him every time he needs props for his photo-ops.” Both 139th City Council on the East End, Eneida Martinez and Ernie Newton are cheerleaders for Joe Ganim while Ganim has shown the both you that he has no respect for you and the black voters in your district. I t was your district that came out in large numbers to get elected in 2015 what the hell has done for the black community, NOTHING. Now he’s running around the state trying to be governor at the same time he turns his back on you. There is NOT one City Council member who has the courage to standup to Joe Ganim and Mario Testa and you know that Mario doesn’t get a damn about blacks. All 20 City Council members are all scare that if they don’t go along with Ganim and Testa that Testa will primary whoever goes against them and Eneida and Ernie you guys are just like the rest, not serving your district. Judge Lopez was soft on you Eneida.

  5. Well, first, I am shocked that councilwoman would write the letter to Judge Lopez. Considering the access to the Mayors office and city attorneys. Though I too respect Judge Lopez, she is absolutely Not the answer here though I appreciate the respectful and adoring comments from her fanclub on the blog.
    The parking lot located by the yacht club with waterbiews needs to be developed and added to the tax rolls. It is nice the city had an agreement to lease from the Julian family, however the lot is grossly under utilized. There is an awful lot of city money invested in Pleasure Beach. There are the Water taxis, the police officers the up keep of this rate jewel. There have been countless studies on what to do going back to Jacob Ukeles.
    What to do? Pleasure Beach is magificent and nearly always only a handful of people. You can critisize the Ganim administration or is this just one more reason to consider Ganim as a viable candidate for Governor? Enough bullshit year after year. The city and State need to secureoney to build the bridge. There is plenty of parking on the penninsula. This bridge should have been a priority since negotiations began with Steelepointe. People do not pay and do not need a. City sticker to enjoy Pleasure Beach. No revenue just a beautiful under utilized Park. I love chatting with everyone fishing on the dock. If Ganim were Governor Bridgeport would be the beneficiary of everything that Stamford,Hartford and Waterbury benefitted by election their own.

    Eminent Domain for parking here??? No way. Build the dam bridge. Charge put of towners. Bridgeport is on the verge of great things. Get with the program and focus. Put the right people in positions and elect the right people to make this happen. I respect Judge Lopez alot. She is not the answer. I respect her time that she has given freely. Giving time freely is perhaps the greatest gift. We need to focus and ask the right questions. You don’t like the Mayor? Vote anyway. He is Bridgeport’s greatest chance to make us an amazing destination. Build the bridge and no more Band-Aids. The East End has the most potential in the city. Build the Bridge. Build the Casomo and build housing on Steelepointe. Now? Not when the market slows down. 🙂 wishing everyone an amazing and safe 4th of July.

    1. This deal never made any cents from the get-go! The only real economic benefit the city realized was paying almost 70k a year in rent. 35k of that went to the landlord towards the 35k in city taxes.

      The “Public Good” would be better served with Imminent Domain to get out of this deal.

    2. I agree completely. Fighting for the parking lot is a joke. Ganim is a joke.doesnt care at all about the minority community. People need to get their heads out of their asses. The fight isn’t for the parking lot, it suppose to be for a damn new bridge

  6. Take half of the old Tappan Zee and recycle it to Pleasure Beach.
    That’s the only way to cut cost, that old Tappan Zee bridge will handle any load we can give it.
    I’m sure Mayor Finch has a few friends in Albany.

  7. Steve,if Joe is “Bpt’s greatest chance to make us an amazing destination”,we are screwed.Joe can give a shit about Bpt,except to use it to promote himself in his pipe dream of becoming governor.
    If Joe “loved’ our city as much as you think he does,he would have done the job he was elected to do,instead,all he is focused on is advancing his on career.He has done Nothing for Bpt this time around,and the last time around he stole every dime he could from us.

    1. The almighty Steven Auberbach has spoken because we all know that he only speaks the truth. It is people like Steve that allows Ganim to do what he does uncheck. Harvey you have it right. All Ganim had to do was to show everyone that for his term has mayor for four-year how successful he was after coming out of jail how good he was as mayor. No candidate who becomes the next governor will solve anything in the next four years and Joe Ganim would be the ideal candidate to become Connecticut next governor but not this ego driven man, it’s all about Joe.

      1. Exactly Ron, all Joe had to do is stay clean,and put his full effort into getting our city back on its feet. But no,Joe being Joe, once again abused the trust the people gave him, he was only using Bpt(again), for a springboard to advance his own career.I mean a year after he was given a second chance, he checked out of running Bpt, and put all his energy to his ridiculous dream of becoming governor,he couldn’t even give Bpt one term.

  8. *** Well put Judge Lopez, everyone likes to be in political pictures when you’ve contributed towards something positive for your district or city in general. However, most of these
    city council (rubber stampers) seem to flock to these photo-opps. regard-less of being a part of the actual proceeding’s that took place! They continue to vote on last minute administration agendas with only a pre 10-minute city pep-rally by the mayor’s legal team. Last minute decisions of 15-pages or more legal issues, that many times comes back to bite the city & taxpayers in the ass! There’s only a few city-council members that actually take time to do their political homework & seek out answers way before some of these up-coming rumors, actually become items on the city-council’s meeting agenda’s. Most of the good city council-persons in time, work towards being the best they can be & by learning through experience. You learn as you go, by asking questions of those pro or con to your ideas & way of thinking over time. Now that there is so much availability of intel at your finger tips, its much easier to explore, study, & compare to help one make tough political decisions at times! However, some council-persons get lazy & complacent the longer there on the council & become rubber-stampers in hopes of getting another 2-yr. free-ride from the incumbent party & ruling Mayor & admin. Sad but sometimes true, weather your pro, anti, or some-where in the middle, you can’t please everybody all of the time. All you can hope for is to please “some of your constituents” in your district, your local town committee, your political party, your-self & of coarse the city tax-payers, “some of the times”! Walk away holding your head-up high, yet knowing that when you look back at it in time, you probably could of done better at some things? However you know, that you try’ed to do your best while you were there, no? ***

    1. Thank you Judge Lopez.
      And since there are several conscientious and competent Council members who are learning the ropes of our City legislature, rather than “playing the game” as one more senior member can be quoted when he explained the way he sees his role, the public should note who is raising or supporting public minded issues.

      We might also notice who is ever available to be in the MAYOR BOOSTING photos. If it is not an infringement on the rights of these folks, can someone provide the occupation and employer of each of the Council members. How many are back at work, seasonally or permanently, paid by the taxpayer? There is the conflict of interest issue once again.

      Finally, we know that ten districts each have two elected representatives from the district. Did you ever worry that we have NO COUNCIL REPRESENtation AT LARGE? Who is concerned about how an issue affects people Citywide, rather than their own narrow interest? Do my two Council reps, Smith and Spain, only consider what the BOe BUDGET is effecting at Black Rock, Claytor or Bassick
      for instance. Part of their brainpower must be used to consider City wide implications. We are Bridgeporters. Forget about your Council lanes when it comes to the big issues…..public health, education of youth, public safety, building genuine economic development…. Take a look at the Council persons. What is their occupational role in the community that earns them a living and serves the public?? Do they fit in all the responsibilities of a Council person, including liaison with communicating with fellow COUNCIL members? Maybe those photos should be consigned to the “FUNHOUSE” for folks with no real work to accomplish??Time will tell.

      1. JML, again I’m n agreement with you but council members being smart means nothing if they are not doing what is best for their district and the City.

  9. Maria, I’m glad to hear you say you are not all knowing.
    Day, on point.
    Ron, wait for it, wait for it, wait for it Bam! black.
    Steven, we got your drift. Whatever way the political wind blows.
    Fox, be nine before you????
    Judge Lopes, how about after the 4th but before Labor Day.
    JK 🙂

  10. July 4, 2018 America is celebrating its birthday of 242 years of freedom and its independence, Happy Birthday America but….

    “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

    Frederick Douglass
    July 5, 1852

    What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciations of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade, and solemnity, are, to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy — a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices, more shocking and bloody, than are the people of these United States, at this very hour.

    Go where you may, search where you will, roam through all the monarchies and despotisms of the old world, travel through South America, search out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival.

  11. Let America Be America Again

    Langston Hughes

    Let America be America again. Let it be the dream it used to be. Let it be the pioneer on the plain Seeking a home where he himself is free.

    (America never was America to me.)

    Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed— Let it be that great strong land of love Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme That any man be crushed by one above.

    (It never was America to me.)

    O, let my land be a land where Liberty Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath, But opportunity is real, and life is free, Equality is in the air we breathe.

    (There’s never been equality for me, Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

  12. With America celebrating its birthday let’s not forget its history.

    “Black American War Heroes”:

    Crispus Attucks: The former slave was the first casualty of the American Revolutionary War when he was killed during the Boston Massacre. In 1888 the Crispus Attucks monument was unveiled in the Boston Common.

    Lemuel Haynes: He served as a minuteman during the American Revolutionary War, fighting at the April 1775 Battle of Lexington. He was an indentured servant who enlisted in the war after earning his freedom. He later became an ordained Protestant minister.

    Maj. Martin Robison Delany: He was the first African-American field officer in the U.S. Army. He led the 52nd U.S. Colored Troops Regiment and became the first line officer in U.S. Army history. He was accepted at Harvard Medical School but was kicked out after three weeks when white students petitioned for his removal.

    Cpl. Freddie Stowers: On Sept. 28, 1918, while serving as squad leader of Company C, 371st Infantry Regiment, 93rd Division, Stowers went above and beyond the call of duty when his company led the attack at Hill 188, Champagne Marne Sector, France, according to his Medal of Honor citation. (The medal was presented to Stowers’ surviving sisters during ceremonies at the White House on April 24, 1991.)
    First Lt. Vernon J. Baker: He received a Medal of Honor for his extraordinary heroism in action near Viareggio, Italy, during World War II. Then holding the rank of second lieutenant, Baker demonstrated outstanding courage and leadership in destroying enemy installations, personnel and equipment during his company’s attack against a strongly entrenched enemy in mountainous terrain. The federal government later acknowledged that racism was the reason he didn’t receive the medal until 50 years later.

    The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps (AAC), a precursor of the U.S. Air Force. Trained at the Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama, they flew more than 15,000 individual sorties in Europe and North Africa during World War II. Their impressive performance earned them more than 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and helped encourage the eventual integration of the U.S. armed forces.

    Doris “Dorie” Miller (October 12, 1919 – November 24, 1943) was an American Messman Third Class in the United States Navy.During the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 Miller manned anti-aircraft guns, (despite having no formal training in their use), and attended to the wounded. For his actions, he was recognized by the Navy and given several medals.

    He was the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross, the third highest honor awarded by the US Navy at the time, after the Medal of Honor and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal. The Navy Cross now precedes the Navy Distin

  13. Enida and my brother, you both seem to be dedicated to your district. Enida I never had the pleasure of meeting you, but from what I observe through the media, you’re a stand-up woman, intelligent (witnessed by your willingness to reach out to the Judge), you sincerely represent your district, and I know, you know, what you must do. You were elected and reelected by your constituents, you owe no one but those voters. Don’t allow this to happen; if I was able to stand up to the political machinations for 20 years, you can also. Use your power, the effort means as much, or more, than the outcome. I’d rather be a proud loser than abdicate the opportunity to show by example what a difference you can make.

  14. Perhaps Eneida Martinez should provide a detailed summary of her research (discovery) and share it with those who have contacted her.

    Or, Lisa, Eneida Martinez has no clue of what to do or how to do it and is too busy with Bridgeport Democrat party activities and being a ‘prop’ for Ganim’s photo-ops.

    It is easier to pass it off to Judge Lopez.

  15. Tom, you’re instincts are well-honed, but I hope you’re wrong. I was in more difficult situations when I served, you know, we served together, but I knew that I had to reach out to my colleagues, shake that political tree on the Council, and sometimes we were successful. If Enieda chooses not to do that, well, she’ll know soon enough that the third time may not be the charm for her.

        1. Lisa, what’s troubling is the fact that this issue is nothing new for that entire area because when Don Clemon was one of the City Council member from the 139th Clem pushed for providing access to Pleasure Beach and that area for fishing so this nothing new to Mayor Ganim and the voters of the East End and those who just love fishing from all over. There’s no need for Judge Lopez to help if Mayor Ganim cared about those voters on the East End and if the two current 139th City Council member we’re doing their job for their district.

  16. Back to building the Bridge. The focus should be on putting the funds in place to build the bridge. Since most people on this blog bitchin everyday have never been to the beach since Finch opened it they only know of the Julian property from the picture in the post. Between the Steelepointe project and Pleasure Beach we have one of the best Portuguese seafood Restaurants. Again, most blogging here have never been there. Let’s focus. Bridgeport 2020. High-rises on the pointe. A huge grocery store. MGM breaks ground. The Funds in place and the individual elected Governor will funnel money to Bridgeport. Pleasure Beach will re-open Seaview Ave is dotted with excellent Seafood Restaurants and Brigeport becoming ” The Entertainment destination” . Everyone knows that Ned Lamont shares that dream– Not… Maybe MGM could be part of the Pleasure Beach Bridge project.

    It would be nice if some bloggers offered solutions instead attacking others . Hoping Ganim fails and does not achieve his goal is just hoping Bridgeport never moves forward. That is just so sad. Actually it is pathetic. Maybe some democrats can tell Bridgeport’s how Lamont can do better. I know of a few Republicans I’d consider but Ganim is our best chance. I like the Bridgeport First or Urban Agenda. I want what our City has been deprived of since my family moved here in 1967. I want money to flow into every corner of this city and want developers to want to be here! If anyone cares to respond with a candidate that they believe would support Bridgeport ,I would appreciate the dialogue. Attacking me for supporting Ganim is not an aceptable option.

    I only ask people to keep an open mind. I do and will. I want what is best for the city of Bridgeport. Right now it is Joe Ganim. My opinion of course Ron Mackey. I don’t have all of the answers but I always make my own decisions. The town committee has never made a demand on me. I have never been paid for my time working on a campaign.I certainly do not work on campaigns to expand my circle of friends. As for friends I am blessed and I have many that are always working on different campaigns. We respect each other and appreciate their choices. This blog does not offer the same. The comments are generally negative and redundant.

  17. Steve, you are right regarding negativity of posts. Sometimes, though, a negative comment speaks directly to an issue and sometimes a negative comment can be humorous.

    I will start off with a modest solution and others can follow with more.

    Eneida Martinez should run her communications, including e-mails, through


  18. Ron, I remember so well. I also remember when the ever-changing members of the Council, during the 20 years I sat, pulled together when a particular district was facing distressfull issues ignored by the Administration. There was strength in numbers, especially when those numbers represented a majority of the Council. Remember Mount Trashmore? Do you think we let the 139th district tackle that alone? That’s only one example! We had strong leadership then, excellent media coverage, and engaged and present individuals representing the City as a Whole. It takes support and cooperation from all members. This is their City, the lines of their districts does not abdicate their responsibility to assist every district when necessary. Tom White’s comment, in part, is right. Negativity speaks directly to an issue that warrants it. If not for OIB, the Judge, and several other concerned men and women, we’d all we whistling in the dark.


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