Paging The Mayoral Candidates–A ‘Frank ‘n’ Stein Mailing’

Six days from the general election and very little word from the respective campaign camps. No statements, news releases, charges, countercharges or irresponsible accusations. What’s a campaign without someone spewing something over the top? It’s a Bridgeport ritual, is it not? Has Mayor Bill Finch anesthetized the entire electorate? We might have to start calling him Dr. Bill. Yes indeed, incumbents like sleepy voters.

The mayor’s challengers Republican Rick Torres and petitioning candidate Jeff Kohut, as it applies to free media, are acting like most of the state following the kooky snow storm–lights out.

A supporter of Finch’s primary opponent Mary-Jane Foster is still willing to launch a barb. Black Rock resident Tom Kelly is crying trick or treat following a piece of mail he received from the mayor’s office. He shares this letter to the editor in his Kellyesque sense of humor.

Trick or Treat?

This was my immediate reaction on Halloween Day with the arrival of a piece of mail marked “Mayor’s Office” on the envelope. Upon opening the envelope it contained a flyer for the Blackrock Senior Center. Full disclosure to the Mayor’s office is that it is spelled Black Rock and I am 58 years old although obviously I mustn’t look my age.

To be perfectly frank my immediate thoughts were that this must be a “Halloween Frank.” Franking the mail refers to politicians using government assets to promote themselves during the political season at the taxpayer’s expense. Traditionally it is forbidden on the state level but certainly not honored in Bridgeport. That would make too much Frank and Cents at $.39 a Mom or Pop.

I wondered what Mayor Finch and his fun ghouls were up to with this Frank ‘n’ Stein mailing. Clearly my suspicions were not unfounded as this frank for the memory went only to “seniors” in the 130th district and not citywide. I guess they needed to get their numbers ginned up where they are afraid that Rick Torres may pull a majority in that particular district. Beefeater anyone?

Bill and his goblins deserve a Big BOO! on this stamp act.



  1. Nether Torres nor Kohut have run a campaign that will excite the voters of Bridgeport. They needed to come out with a powerhouse program that would excite the electorate, neither one has. Sure they have walked the neighborhoods to some degree but they can’t reach the large majority of voters this way. It’s too bad but the electorate in Bridgeport is brain dead, thus four more years of Flinch.

  2. Tom,
    ‘Old man,’ it must be the pallor of your face, the fading color of your hair or a Fairfield Avenue ‘shuffle’ that earned you this most special letter. However, since my spouse and I each received one, it may also mean lots of eligible and ineligible folks received the same.

    What appears attractive to you, Mr. Kelly about the Center? Perhaps the FREE Lunch on Senior Emergency Preparedness Friday (that has already passed)? Or Herr Tom was it the Halloween/Oktoberfest Party with $6.00 for wiener schnitzel, red cabbage, potatoes and strudel? Not free but certainly a value meal, nevertheless. Or the upcoming Veteran’s Pancake Breakfast (with pancakes and bacon) free to Veterans and Family and Bridgeport Seniors? So who is buying, I wonder?

    The flyer continues with Foxwoods Trip for $20, a lecture on Arthritis, and Tai Chi and Zumba classes. For the less active, Bingo in the morning.

    See how lively things are at the Blackrock (sic) Senior Center these days? No grass growing underfoot here.

    My reason for comment is I have a dawning impression City programs and departments seem to offer food to the public on many occasions and in various forms. To the extent such food is basic to a program like nutrition in the public schools I am in favor. However, if the Bridgeport taxpayer is currently devoting hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer funds to feed people attending meetings, hearings, social events, then I recommend what I imagine was the reason behind the Mayor’s brown bag luncheons. And there I assume each individual is responsible for ordering and paying for their own brown bag contents for these meetings?

    So I come to the question as to why any funds are budgeted by City Departments to feed the public servants (employed or volunteer) and/or their guests when money is dear and taxes are too high for too many. Do you know more money for City food was spent last tax year in City budgets for “fat cats” rather than for the Emergency Shelter Grants that support food kitchens and pantries for the truly needy and wanting in our City?? What is the purpose of this use of “other people’s money” (yours and mine, as taxpayers) to feed those who otherwise can afford their own meals?? And while a meal or two was purchased from Testo’s with City funds, it is probably not in the upper echelon of beneficiaries for City dollars spent for “food, restaurants and catering” in addition to “employee reimbursements” otherwise non-specific. I am happy for the success of many local food-related businesses, however I would like each employee, public volunteer or guest to “show us their money” and pay for their own meals.

    I am talking about City funds being spent for food and entertainment that can be used for BOE needs, Pension Plan deposits, full use of CitiStat as a highly productive City department, getting financial assistance for the Council Budget & Appropriations committee, rebuilding the City fund balance, etc. Who is running this government?

    What do you think? Free lunches? Sponsored parties? Or can social events for citizens be equally successful if people contribute personally the full cost or through pot luck events? Do we need a referendum on a subject like this to get a sense of the City? Should we ask the people in line at the food pantry or at table in a food kitchen to tell the City how they feel about priority use of public dollars? I have a sense of the answers I will hear already … Time will tell.


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