I guess the good news is, it could have been worse. The City Council Monday night officially set the city’s mil rate for the budget year (beginning July 1) that will boost tax bills for homeowners several hundred dollars per year.
The council had rescued taxpayers from an additional burden and saved dozens of jobs by adding revenue sources to the nearly $500 million spending plan proposed by Mayor Bill Finch.
It’s an ugly budget, and the Board of Education isn’t finished yet trying to close a projected $10 million shortfall for its new budget year. Supt. of Schools John Ramos has suggested that he’d forego his pay raise condemned by OIB posters if unions stepped up to share the pain. I can understand the schools’ chief trying to leverage his raise for additional savings, but whining that he has bills to pay too sounds disingenuous when collecting more than $200,000 per year. Nothing like leading by example, eh?
I wonder if Ramos will be joining Finch at the Black Rock Day parade this weekend. Should be an interesting crowd response for his honor just completing his first six months in office. Between the tax increase and rammin’ Ramos toying with closing Black Rock School, should be a mighty happy crowd in The Rock. (Hey, any word on hiring an economic development director? We need the revenue.)
Might be wise for most city pols marching in Black Rock Day and Barnum Festival parades to wear a helmet.
Notes From City Hall
State Department of Transportation to Close Stratford Avenue Bridge for Maintenance Two Days this Week
The State of Connecticut Department of Transportation announced that it will be closing Bridge 2475, the “Stratford Avenue Bridge” connecting downtown with Bridgeport’s East Side, from 9:00am to 3:00pm on Wednesday, June 4th and Thursday, June 5th for maintenance.
Traffic will be diverted around the bridge during those times. Motorists are asked to seek alternative routes or follow detour signs. Questions or concerns should be directed to the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation at (860) 594-2000.
Animal Shelter Closed to Public June 6th-June 11th for Move to New Facility
The Bridgeport Department of Animal Control has announced that it will move to its new location at 236 Evergreen Street during the coming week. The shelter will be closed on Friday, June 6th and will re-open at the new location on Wednesday, June 11th. During that time all animals and equipment will be transported to the Evergreen Street facility.
Animal Control will remain available for emergencies. Emergencies should be reported to Police Dispatch at (203) 576-7671.
The Animal Shelter hours are:
Closed for Lunch: 12:00pm-1:00pm
Also open the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month from 10:00am-3:30pm
Ramos always tries to spin his raise. A few years back he donated some of his raise to the Bridgpeport Public Education Fund. Nice gesture but full of tax benefits for the Super. He takes the raise so it builds up his pension package. Then he donates a paltry amount to the BPEF and gets a much needed tax write-off.
Speaking of write-offs. Whatever happened to Bill Finch’s promised donation to the Zoo for his senate double dip? I’m looking forward to his campaign finance report to see if he gave Sal back his money as promised.
Bad touch by Mayor on WICC yesterday thanking AFSCME for all their good work in the city. Guess NAGE, SEIU and others have no standing in city with this mayor.
Clever, that guy Ramos!! You can’t say he isn’t smart. – I guess that’s why he’s Supt. of Education. I wonder whether he’s giving lessons to other City employees on how to screw the City.
It’s not good news. The taxes are rising at a rate that will not be sustainable in another five years. As I’ve said, my taxes have risen nearly 400% in the past 7 years. Should we expect 400% more in another 7 years? That’s got to frighten anyone.
wondering, thank you, you and I disagree, but at least you don’t insult me or tell me who you think I am! Yeh, Ramos is pretty clever to turn down a raise, but I had to laugh when he said he has expenses. Its pretty hard to feel sorry for somebody who makes $214K a year when most of us are struggling to make ends meet.
I think City Kitty is Lisa Parziale.
Yahooy, you naughty boy, no way City Kitty is Honey. And there’s no truth to the rumor that Yippy Yappy Yahooy is Anna!
BTW, City Kitty, I’m with you about Rambo Ramos.
Lennie, it’s always a happy crowd @ Black Rock Day. Come on down and I’ll buy you a hot dog.
With regards to Ramos, you know the old saying “No good deed goes unpunished.”
It is an ugly budget, but then again it has been for the past 19 years.
I agree with you City Kitty, it’s hard to feel sorry @ $214K a year. However, how many here would walk into their employer and say “It’s ok boss, I know the company can’t afford to give me a raise, you keep the money”? Not many I would think.
As per a special request, I’m reposting an earlier posting from this morning…also, I’m taking a cooling off break from the signature hunt and the heat/humidity on Black Rock Avenue and Cottage Street…I thought I’d hit the heartland of the 130th today while it’s not raining, and I don’t have court hearings scheduled this afternoon…putting loving wife to work on the streets tonight…she’s acclimated to the 100 degree heat and high humidity of Southern India as soon as she steps off the Amtrak train from Boston’s South Station.
More soon from curbside in the 130th…I think I have 102-105 signatures so far…and 8 days to go…I’m trying my best not to do the Hillary math formula…25-30 good signatures a day should do it.
Good Morning, OIB fans!
Woke up to Tim Quinn’s voice on the radio alarm with a reminder from Mayor Finch that there is an alternate side parking ban in the Red Zone in effect now for the 1st ten days of the month…to make Bridgeport the “cleanest and greenest” city.
Here’s my two cents’ worth…last month in my zone, the Green Zone in the East Side, I live on the even side of East Washington Avenue, between Knowlton and William Streets and a street sign twenty feet from my front door says, April 1st to November 1st no parking on odd days this side of the street, 21st to month’s end.
I didn’t notice what happened in April as I have ignored that sign, like everyone else, since moving to this street five years ago, and I’ve never complained about the sweeping issue, that happens on some days and not on others…but here’s the report card for May for Mayor Finch: May 21, 23, 27 and 29, no sweepers came by. The sweeper swept the street on May 28 at 8am, and the sweeper swept both sides of the street within 5 minutes while cars were parked all along the curb, including my car, meaning the street wasn’t really cleaned…no police or tow trucks (enforcement) in sight. After making the effort to park my car as required by the mayor’s initiative, four days, nine hours each day, and I get my side of the street swept on the wrong day according to the sign, or do I go by the odd and even announcement. Can Public Facilities please clarify?
In contrast, I went to Boston Sunday night to pick up my wife returning from India and got parking at 1:30am (luckily for Beacon Hill!), but there’s street sweeping on her side of the street, every 1st and 3rd Monday, from 8am to 12 noon, on the opposite side of the street, it’s every 2nd and 4th Monday, same times, 8am to 12 noon…Beacon Hill, one of Boston’s most crowded neighborhoods…and guess what? The sweepers, the police and tow trucks were right there at 8am!!!…move your car or it’s gone and the streets are swept…twice a month…you move your car twice a month for a four hour stretch, and after the sweepers go by, you can park your car again… Having lived in NYC, this is the same practice in effect and it works…you don’t comply, your car is gone. The streets are swept like clock work.
Not four days, nine hours per day, once a month…for what? Street sweeping on the wrong day. Let’s see what June 23, 25 and 27 brings to the Green Zone.
A quick primary update: I have to tip my hat to Amerigo Santiago, if he is, as rumored, the man responsible for drawing up the 130th district because the challenge to get signatures to get on the ballot is a formidable task. I’m learning that hard fact of political life in Bridgeport very quickly. For someone with no built-in organization or lifetime roots in this neck of the woods and a day job that stretches into late evening hours, I can see why no one bothers to run for public office in this district unless you’re the party nominee. I have serious doubts Ezequiel himself can collect the required signatures on time if he had to do it by himself, as Chico, Keith and I are doing. And now Chico’s retired and has all the time in the world to collect signatures…But we gotta plug away. You’re either in or you’re out. Not whining, just sharing my observations from the front lines…More updates soon…8 days to go… At 4pm on June 10: I’ll be a continuing viable candidate for the 130th or a WOS (without signatures). Hey, Keith!…how are your signatures coming along…what streets are you finding them in?
Pat Crossin: In the real world if the company I worked for did not make a profit and pay the stockholders I did not have to worry about giving back a raise because there would not be one; in fact there would be layoffs. My boss never told me don’t worry about the performance standards for your job or your people. He never said it’s okay you’re not responsible. So Pat your scenario in the real world and I don’t mean the civil service world would never happen. Ramos is an overpaid do-nothing super with no action plan and poor results. Who is he kidding with I will give back my raise. In fact your friend Audin I believe was on the selection committee for this guy.
Pat-Maybe you should rent “Crossin’ Delancey” this weekend. It’s about changing old habits and putting on a new hat.
Ramos, the educational “Rambo’, is the CEO of the company. Surely, I would hope that if your company was not making its margins or a profit you would have to forgo your raise. And based on a performance based ratio, I don’t know if this non -Uper-Duper -Super should get a raise or even have a job. I would rather pay him 300k and have results.
The Bored of Ed. still thinks their mission statement is to prepare children for college. How about preparing them for life first and worry about college later. High dropout rates and poor scores are not the equalizer in life. The basic 3R’s need to be addressed. Most kids in Bridgeport think “Yo-Yo” is a salutation in life and if you told them it was made by Duncan, they would think it was a new coffee.
Perhaps all the administrators and teachers should follow the Super’s creative accounting procedure.
Form a 501(c3) non-profit educational charity. The Superintendent, Administrators and Teachers get their raises which does not effect their pensions. Then donate the increase to the non-profit and get a tax write-off. The charity is used for the educational shortfalls.
That way everyone shares in the pain and gain of our educational system. Not just the taxpayers and kids.
Wondering: RIGHT ON!
wondering, you said it all, good post. No yahooy, I’m not Lisa whoever. Where has your friend Anna been?
What is Auden going to say/do about the Board of Education? You gotta know it is going to be an issue.
Maybe Anna is Lisa Parziale.
yahooy, you are so funny, I thought you would know who Anna is for sure, isn’t she your friend? FCO, I think people will bring up Auden’s BOE past during the election and it won’t be a good thing for her, that’s for sure.
Was audin on the board when Salcedo was hired or was she on the council
Frankly yahooy, I don’t give a damn.
The Keeley/Grogins primary will be won by the candidate who puts the focus of the campaign on their opponent not themselves. God knows they both have more than enough baggaggge to sink any candidate. Can Keeley show that his “senority” means anything? Has he done anything in the last 20 years except bring home a little bacon (it’s too little to be considered real pork)? Can Auden live down her lackluster record on the City Council and the antics of the school system under her “leadership”? We all know that Bridgeport’s legislative delegation is a joke. Which one will be part of the solution, not the problem? How?
Could be interesting. LET THE BATTLE BEGIN!
I’ve kind of lost track. Isn’t Lisa Parziale a “Former City Official”?
Signs of the Times.
Black Rock Day Parade will feature Auden riding in Bill’s car and Bob will be walking with BRLL. They would love to make Bob a hood ornament but Bob will probably have a Keeley sign stuck on the back of their car. The tennis courts would make a great venue for a “Steel Cage Match” between Audie “Why Me” Grogins and Bob “No Dealy” Keeley. This race is going to be won in the Brooklawn and Central part of the district. Keeley already has his well-oiled sign operation under way.
Auden was on the Council when Dr. Salcedo was appointed to her position and on the Board votng for her buy-out.
I realize this is off topic and perhaps does not rise to the import of a Bpt. State Rep. primary, but tonight’s the night Barack Obama becomes the Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.
Given the history of this country, that’s something worth noting.
JFBR-Well said and welcome home. I hope even more worth noting will be his victory in November.
Sorry. I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor do I want to be an ELECTED city official.
yea we can. Obama ’08, come November there will be record turnout in Bpt all along the east end, north, south, west and Black Rock. Go Obama and go Himes.
Campaign songs can be: “Solid As Barack” and “Let the Good Himes Roll”
Look who decided to come by! Pat Crossin. The most racist elected official I had the displeasure to serve with. Care to make Puerto Rican racist remarks here? It’s o.k. to throw insults here.
The budget has been ugly for the past 19 years? For how many of those years were you the Chairman of the City Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee?
You never said that the Budgets you put together were ugly back then.
Remember when you took all the West End funds and transfered them to Black Rock? Did you tell the Burroughs people where you got the funds from? Now that was uglier than Ugly Bettie!
How’s Philip Pump doing? Any pump repair or purchases from the Water Pollution Control Authority going your way yet?
I’ll try to make it to the City of Black Rock Parade. I’m bringing my Puerto Rican Flag.
Wondering Auden was on the Council when Sonia Salcedo was selected as School Sup.
I drove down North Avenue and I noticed your lawn sign.
CUT TAXES? Name one time that you managed to do that in your career as a State Representative.
Honestly, I think those signs will cost you votes. Are you suggesting that you will support Rob Russo’s proposal of a Tax Cap? If I was in your district, I would not vote for you based on the Lawn sign alone. People are not falling for that old cliche anymore. You might as well promise a $600 tax break. It worked for Finch!