In a read similar to an editorial board endorsement, former Republican Mayor Nick Panuzio, 1971-75, shares his support for Mary-Jane Foster for mayor. This commentary first appeared in the CT Post.
The mayor’s race in Bridgeport this year is “classic Bridgeport.” While there are many mayoral candidates for the Nov. 3 election, the two main candidates are Mary-Jane Foster, Independent, and Joe Ganim, Democrat.
Foster, a lawyer and business woman will bring a different approach to the management of the city. As co-owner and co-founder of the Bluefish baseball team, she was instrumental in bringing baseball back to Bridgeport.
Her experience as current vice president of the University of Bridgeport has given her a broad picture of education at its best.
Most of all she will bring to the city a renewed excitement that has not been there for a long time. Mary-Jane will have a new plan to cut taxes, expand police capability and expand commercial development by having it known that Bridgeport will remain open for business. She will be an excellent mayor.
Former Mayor Joe Ganim, the Democrat nominee, is attempting to regain his old job after being convicted of multiple counts of corruption against the city while in office, and for which he served time.
While we should accept Joe Ganim’s apologies to the people of Bridgeport for his wrong-doing, he does not deserve to be re-elected to the job he betrayed.
The need to turn around the image of Bridgeport as a place of corruption where one had to “pay to play” has been difficult. Anything that adds to that difficulty is wrong.
Ganim’s return to the mayor’s office, regardless of what prior successes he had, would damage the image of the city just as it has begun to recover.
Two mayors, Marion Barry in Washington, D.C. and Buddy Cianci in Providence, R.I., have been cited as examples of mayors who were convicted of different crimes and were re-elected.
Mayor Barry was re-elected after serving time for a cocaine conviction. Mayor Cianci was re-elected after serving time because of an assault. Neither man was re-elected after having been convicted for public corruption. That is a significant difference.
During their terms as mayor, John Fabrizi and Bill Finch, whether you agreed with them or not, performed a major task in turning the city around. They should be thanked for that. Because of their efforts in trying to improve the city’s image, people and corporations began investing in Bridgeport again.
Now, under fresh leadership, there are continuing opportunities for future growth through new ideas, new creative thinking. Mary-Jane Foster is the person to move the city ahead.
That will not happen if Joe Ganim is elected again. Many of the same people will return to their jobs, others will be looking to reclaim theirs, and the old mindset will become reality again.
Citizens of Bridgeport now must reach for the future with new leadership, and new hopes as well as new dreams.
Mary-Jane Foster can bring a new sense of purpose to Bridgeport. There will be excitement in electing a new person with new ideas, attracting new people who will want to work in what they will consider a new city.
Mary-Jane Foster is the future with offering plans for the future, and hopes for those who have not had hopes. There will be opportunities and choices for those who want to gain education, for expanded development that will bring jobs and a plan for replacing and increasing housing.
Bridgeport has a choice: citizens can go back to the black clouds over the City or turn around and look for some sunshine and a blue sky. It’s there for the voting.