OIB’s Profiles In Courage Awarded To City Councilman Matt McCarthy

Black Rock’s not an easy navigation for pols: Ivy League affluence smack up against give-us-a-chance poverty, the “upper end” of the neighborhood featuring spectacular million dollar waterfront homes versus the “lower end” of the district housing projects living day to day.

Opinions are noisy and can be simple as we are smart and you are stupid, though internally never echoed, god forbid we expose ourselves. Just easier to say you’re corrupt and we are not. Really? I went to Yale and you went to jail? Okay, plenty of Yalies have done involuntary vacations when folks raised in housing projects have not. They rarely mention that.

The matter at hand. Black Rock City Councilman Matt McCarthy, the lone CPA on the legislative body, stuck his neck out when his wimpy council partner Scott Burns wouldn’t, penning a commentary that appeared on OIB, CT Post and social media urging a vote on behalf of Mayor Joe Ganim.

McCarthy recognizes his district’s White privilege, myopic anathema to Ganim, yet he penned a cogent commentary based on the numbers and bottom line: “If the independent professionals on Wall Street are recognizing the positive impact that Mayor Ganim’s strong fiscal management is having for our city, then that is something that we need to take into serious consideration when we go to the polls this Tuesday.”

As expected, Black Rock voted heavily against Ganim, but I dare say McCarthy’s effort swayed some pragmatic voices against the odds to examine fiscal success versus the unknown of fired John Gomes seeking revenge.

In the end a city vote all adds up. McCarthy’s call for pragmatism into know-it-all headwinds deserves kudos. So we replicate McCarthy’s column on behalf of profiles in courage.

From McCarthy:

Bridgeport’s finances have been one of my top priorities as a member of the Bridgeport City Council.

My interest in this is not only as a CPA, but also as a taxpayer. In fact, my constituents and I have some of the highest assessments, and therefore some of the highest property tax bills, in the entire city.

As we head into the special primary for Mayor this Tuesday, I need to know that the mayoral candidate that I am supporting will continue the progress that I and others on the Council have been working towards in recent years.

After years of strong fiscal management and his commitment to not raising taxes, Joe Ganim has earned my vote this Tuesday, January 23rd. I want to be clear, I don’t have anything personal against John Gomes and I do not agree with Mayor Ganim on everything. In fact, we have had some big disagreements during my tenure on the City Council. But those policy debates aside, I know that it has been a challenge to get our city’s financial house in order, and I know that it doesn’t take much to screw it all up again.

I understand that fiscal stability may not be top of mind for most voters, but it’s not something that should be taken for granted either. Just a few years ago when Hartford’s finances were a mess, the state spent over $500 million bailing out Hartford’s pension system. And when New Haven and some of our neighboring suburbs also experienced financial issues in recent years, they simply raised taxes. Thankfully, this has not been our experience here in Bridgeport.

Under Joe Ganim, the city’s financial status has improved significantly. Every single budget over the last eight years has ended with a modest budget surplus. Our rainy day fund, which was nearly depleted when the Mayor took office, has tripled.

For the first time in years, the rating agencies on Wall Street upgraded the city’s bond rating, saving the city money when we bond for infrastructure projects, schools, and other needs.

And, all of this was accomplished without a mill rate increase on the backs of the taxpayer. Just read this snapshot from the Moody’s ratings report last year which caught my attention:

“The city’s financial position has improved materially over the last five years. The city has solid prospects for continued stability. Overall financial improvement is due to the city’s consistently conservative budgeting, strict expenditure controls and we expect management will continue to produce solid operations.”

If the independent professionals on Wall Street are recognizing the positive impact that Mayor Ganim’s strong fiscal management is having for our city, then that is something that we need to take into serious consideration when we go to the polls this Tuesday. Furthermore, I firmly believe that sound municipal finances are essential to attracting developers, investors, and businesses to our city.

I am pleased to say that Bridgeport’s best days are ahead. Bridgeport is a better today than it has been in a long time with Joe Ganim as our Mayor.



  1. BptPorter, a nice place to continue our conversation.

    BptPorter says:
    January 21, 2024 at 11:21 pm
    Robert Teixeira:

    Schools: Taxpayer’s main hope, particularly those with children attending Bridgeport schools, is that their children will receive a good education that will prepare them for college or the workforce. This is more important to them than new building. New buildings do not prepare children, teachers do. In the 90’s Bridgeport was ranked as one of the lowest school districts in CT. In 2024 Bridgeport ranks as one of the lowest in CT. Ganim was mayor for 20 years and much of this falls on him. Maybe he should have increased taxes to invest in education and not a Chipotle as Steelpointe.

    Property: Side walk responsibility rests on property owners and the city. If the city was proactive with tax payer money sidewalks and streets would be addressed earlier than later. Also problematic is the city’s unpredictable zoning. A homeowner purchases a home in the Northend to then have a Stop and Shop built in a residential area and now it is abandoned. Which happened under Ganim 1. And then you get Testos, another example of unpredictable zoning with elevated apartments next to homes, which will devalue homes.

    Police: The biker issue is not just a tactical issue it is also a staffing issue. Police cannot prioritize this issue because they are understaffed and they also do not prioritize rowdy sacred heart parties that go to 3am. Again, which devalues quality of life and homeowner’s property.

    At the end of the day a homeowner would not mind a $100 or more in taxes if it could guarantee a better education, home value appreciation, responsive police, and predicable zoning. As tax payers we want to see our money used wisely. Ganim has been so focused on SteelPointe to build a Chipotle while the North End of Bridgeport has simply crumbled and deteriorated. Ganim has been Mayor for 20 years and this mainly all falls on him.

    While you made some fair and understanding value points your hatred for G2 is blinding you to a rational thought.

    Or perhaps a perspective you have not experienced, thus can’t comport.

    Do you not find it blinding to take a position regarding the quality of life, value of property, and, safety, then say school buildings are meaningless as part of the needed preparation for educating kids?

    With regards to taxpayers with children attending BPS wouldn’t all the qualities you aforementioned for your prosperity and growth be suitable for students’ education?

    You talk about students receiving a good education that will prepare them for college or the workforce as the main hope for their parents. That is a goal of going to school to receive the education that their parents want.

    Parents’ hopes for their children are often accompanied by fair, that nothing bad/harmful happens to them, in a world, quite hard, cold, cruel, callous, and not so forgiving at times, especially in an urban setting, such as the Port.

    The Building/school is the foundation of a quality education and everything you imagine, in many respects.

    The teachers are on the front line in preparing and educating the children, but do you think you might have overlooked their needs and values in the undertaking to educate the children? You want a nice sidewalk for your property where you live but see no value in providing the same quality and safe place for the teacher’s work, a place where they will spend a good portion of their time/life trying to educate the children.

    Well, you know the world you live in and how it can be.


    P.S. OIB, the best ESL class every Teh Prophet.


  2. At least 190 more Black Rock voter would have been swayed for Ganim, had The Spain Klan, JML, Jimfox, Gen Now and many other, had shared Matt McCarthy’s OIB commentary with the many voters they bullshitted. 1047 + 190= 1237
    I’m so pissed at them I’m gonna drive around their neighborhood blasting Rap, Reggaeton, and Salsa Song after 2 a.m. till after the next election.

  3. While BPD staffing issues, being underman, have a sense of how they are prioritized issues/responses there are no bikes in the colder months. Regardless of the manpower, it is tactically challenging for them. Can’t chase them without chaos or potential injury, and public outrage that goes far beyond beig called pigs or piglets. Especially when they roll in large packs with quads and dirt bikes, logically leading or not.

    As for BPD trying to stop noisy parties, well, we saw their tactics and how that could end, people 🤣

    Perhaps at the end of the day, homeowners would not mind 100$ or more in taxes to receive all the benefits/value you imagine but do you honestly think it would buy all the things you mentioned?

    I believe Rich will agree that zoning is predicable, let it go. 🙂

    But your two examples are an oxymoron. First you say how a commercial Stop & Shop was placed in a residential neighborhood and then go on about a residential project right down the road.

    However, I will agree the projects seem overreaching. There is a much better location for a larger residential development right down the road. I believe it is an abandoned, shuttered Stop & Shop. 🤪

    BTW The thing you claim as the main hope of parents is the main protagonist in the quality of life in the upper north End, Sacred Heart University JS. 🙃

  4. Robert – that’s a pretty long winded response to a post that you say is devoid of rational thought. not worth my time responding. have a great day. and back to netflicks.

  5. I respect Matt. He always appeared to be a person who would tell it like it is wether you like it or not, and that is a quality you want in a CPA. It seems that those who consider themselves the Creme de la Creme of Bridgeport know more than the professionals. Wouldn’t it be great if John Gomes could be the mayor of Black Rock! Gen Now and the rest of Black Rocks elite could have the benefit of Gomes all to themselves. I’m sure in no time at all they would be begging for the return of Joe Ganim.

  6. Lennie,
    I wonder if my writing an OIB article a week ago responding to Matt, for whom I have personal respect, as I acknowledged. But he and you, as above, mention only the fiscal pleasure enjoyed by each of you, apparently. I raised a larger but important and neglected City issue, that is the handling of employee futures along with job supervision that wastes a major City resource when regular employee reviews are ignored, as in the case of the Gomes personnel file solicited by Hearst Media by FOI from the City!!

    Why are you raising “Ivy League”, Yale or jail, and million dollar property owners at this time? Probably have someone else in mind though I was educated in New Haven, after the death of my immigrant father while I was a sophomore in high school, and do not have a Million dollar home. Through community activism in pursuit of social justice I have learned about the unjust “jail option” for too many human beings of color and today work with some with grievances who need their stories narrated accurately in a trusting manner.

    Lennie, Matt spoke about $$$ of taxpayments and balanced budgets but I called into question, a financial issue that he did not cover, the handling of employee relations, a resource that no one talks about with pride, and the grievances that come from that infected the AJPerez & David Dunn stories and more when the filings with the City Clerk are viewed and work their way through the system to cost taxpayers real dollars authorized by Miscellaneous Matters City Council members. This is a subject you have avoided calling attention to. Subtle of OIB, for sure! So I post my original response to Matt. A Bridgeport RE-DO. Hope readers respond.

    You are my Council person, a CPA, and have been accessible and communicative during your term in office. But I am unhappy with your argument as a taxpayer, someone who tries to understand municipal finances by asking questions, and for that community acttivity was termed by the CT Post as Bridgeport’s “financial watchdog”.
    A City like Bridgeport spends the working lives of its employees, as well as money. the employees who are hired, and those who remain to retire need feedback and guidance at all levels, routinely, as to how they do their job, how to do it better, and results. Yes, the City funds things like fire engines and motor vehicles, building maintenance, insurance (though we have no risk manager for the self-insurance we have proclaimed), outside services, funding long term benefits, and land and buildings, among them. But those employee working lives are a valuable resource, not necessarily on a balance sheet, and when not considered in a commentary, are equally critical to the forward movement of the City.

    In a recent period of no tax-increases, and increasing balance sheet strength, you find a reason to support Ganim2. However, if failure to follow basic employment practices at multiple employee levels in the City when by totally ignoring the important annual evaluation process in too many Departments for too many years, then Ganim2’s leadership outomes must be questioned. Following standard process and municipal practice with employees can be acknowledged as a costly expense that taxpayers must ultimately bear, when legal actions are filed, finished, and those expenses are approved by City Council vote. That story is withheld in substance from the public. Not for the first time do I note that an ACTING Civil Service director for about 11 years was charged, found guilty, and is today suffering the financial consequences personally. Was he supervised by Mayor Finch or Ganim2, or did they have an “understanding about maintaining the status quo?” That makes the City uncompetitive and causes employee dissatisfaction and the filing of grievances.

    The funds necessary to have all the youth of our community reach goals similar to surrounding communities with the BOE budget was not advanced as a Mayoral purpose that included specific necessary goals for a four year, eight year, or long-term period of time in the past. The position of Ganim2 relative to the youth of the City was that he cared more about budget balancing, and complex financial narratives, always hopeful, than he has about education of youth that cost upwards of 50% of City budgets these days with out of date ECS funds from the State of CT.

    Money or kids. Too simple an observation. Too late. (Remember February 27) At least a public discussion rather than a Mayor lack of caring is credible, if he really understood the family situations in the City. Something to consider? Time will tell.

    1. I thinks you missed this part of Lennie’s commentary. I’m sure he had you in mind when he wrote this:

      “Opinions are noisy and can be simple as we are smart and you are stupid, though internally never echoed, god forbid we expose ourselves. Just easier to say you’re corrupt and we are not. Really? I went to Yale and you went to jail? Okay, plenty of Yalies have done involuntary vacations when folks raised in housing projects have not. They rarely mention that.”

  7. Robert, Expecting JML to write anything in a short,to the point easy to read style is too much to ask. He tries to take others comments and twist them to conform with his ramblings. If he has all the answers then he should be doing the job that Matt and Scott are doing in Black Rock. But it appears that in his opinion Matt and Scott are poor choices because the DTC endorsed them for the office that they hold. Isn’t that how you feel JML, (don’t you really enjoy having others tell you what you mean and feel). Take another shot at running for city council next election. It can’t turn out any worse than the last try. A loss is a loss. Then you can come back on OIB when you are defeated by the DTC candidates and tell everyone all of the good things that came out of your campaign. I can think of one good thing that came from your previous attempt at city council. YOU LOST!

  8. To be fair to John, his writing style is the art of persuasion throw questioning, direct answers are not part of that format. He often though speaks/write in a language that is not always perceived by many common folks.

    Until they are aware/indoctrinated in the language. But does that truly make it any more factual?

    As for twisting others’ comments, that’s my thing/ writing style. You’re welcome John, can wait until I encourage/indoctrinate you into posting links. 🤣

    As for John’s loss, Joe? 😂



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