Park Board: Return Columbus Statue To Seaside Pedestal

Mayor Joe Ganim announced a few weeks ago the fate of the removed Christopher Columbus statue from Seaside Park should be decided by the Park Board. By a unanimous vote Tuesday night the board wants the statue replaced on its pedestal along the city shoreline within 45 days.

Citing public safety concerns as Columbus protests erupted across the country, the mayor had the statue removed without consent of the commission that oversees parks.

Former State Rep. and two-time mayoral candidate Chris Caruso and former Mayor Lenny Paoletta had started a community dialogue with the goal of keeping the statue in place with some historic context for those opposed to Columbus’s colonization.

City Council members Michael DeFilippo and Jeanette Herron who represent the North End with a solid Italian American community also weighed in to replace the statue with a continuing community conversation.

The Columbus weekend festivities in which Caruso has a strong organizational role including the annual parade that marches down Madison Avenue will take place in two months.

For Caruso, the Columbus statue has become a personal manifesto for an exchange of ideas to reach common ground.

“We have people working together,” he says. “Let’s keep the discussion going so we can come together as a community.”



  1. This decision is a SLAP in the face of every resident of Bridgeport with a Social Conscience irrespective of race, color or ethnicity. The re-installation of the Columbus statue isn’t about racism or bigotry, it’s merely about WHITE PRIVILEGE!

    Cities across America are removing the statue of Christopher Columbus because of his past where he took over 1500 indigenous people to Europe and into forced slavery! A man that history tells raped young indigenous girls as young as 12 or 13! Columbus, Ohio which bears his name has removed his statute because of his past atrocities and yet WHITE PRIVILEGE in Bridgeport demands that it’s put back up and it is done.

    Bridgeport, a city that is less than 30% WHITE, can still dictate to Black’s and Latinos what is or isn’t going to happen in this city and don’t you DAMN FOOLS ever doubt that! Chris Caruso, you know I love and respect you like a play cousin, but when you say, “Let’s keep the discussion going so we can come together as a community,” you know that discussion is over and will never be revisited. WHITE PRIVILEGE is a powerful tool of the WHITE MAJORITY which they will never relinquish nor give up because it’s to valuable to their future of suppression. This is a sad day in Bridgeport for anyone that lacks WHITE PRIVILEGE!

    1. Don, where the hell is the voice Councilman Jorge Cruz, where the hell are the voices of the Black and Hispanic council members, they just let Joe Ganim play them like a fiddle. They sit around waiting for direction and instruction from Hamilton Burger on what Joe Ganim wants. This time Former State Rep. and two-time mayoral candidate Chris Caruso and former Mayor Lenny Paoletta out smarted Joe Ganim and Hamilton Burger.

      Here are the names of the Park Commission members that are listed on the City’s website.

      Mayor appoints two members for four year terms every December, per City Council approval
      Eight members total
      No more than 4 members of any one party
      Members serve until a successor is appointed and has qualified.
      These are the people who voted to make the change and not the City Council.

      James Brideau (R) Bridgeport, CT 06606
      Term Expires: 12/31/2017

      Cruz M. Cotto (D)
      Bridgeport, CT 06610
      Term Expires: 12/31/2019

      James Giles (D)
      Bridgeport, CT 06606
      Term Expires: 12/31/2018

      John Mark Hosier (U)
      Bridgeport, CT 06606
      Term Expires: 12/31/2020

      Banjed Labrador (D) Acting President
      Bridgeport, CT 06604
      Term Expires: 12/31/2007

      Lillian Wade (D)
      Bridgeport, CT 06607
      Term Expires: 12/31/2016

      1. Thank you Ron Mackey.
        Look at the board and you can see the dysfunction in the city.
        1) There are supposed to be 8 members but only 6 are appointed. Why doesn’t the Common Council do their job. Appoint two members NOW. Take action and force the mayor to act.
        2) All of the members except John Hosier are filling expired terms. Have the Common Council declare the positions vacant and begin filling them. I know it’s hard to embarrass this mayor and his administration but at least try. Do not accept the excuse that in a city of 150,000 people no one wants to volunteer.
        3) If the city won’t do it force the state. There is no minority representation if there is no legally constituted board.
        4) While you are at it force the city to follow the charter. The charter states that the boards should represent the demographics of the city. Make the city post along with the names the make up of the boards. Number of white, Black and Latino members. Number of male versus female.
        Minorities continue to allow these boards to represent the mayor and not the city. If the minorities cannot get this done then they are worthless to the general population.

        1. Sad day in Bridgeport
          First of all the Parks board had a meeting on election day. The Board told the public it would have a meeting in September. This is a slap in the face of us all. The Mayor has 45 days to place the statue back. Chris Caruso is trying to blackmail many people who feel the statue should stay down. Let me say this Maria was on board for taking it down. She’s now in favor of putting it back up. I told the Mayor not to put it back up for safety reasons. I will be asking the Mayor to reappoint new members to the parks board. The parks board to have a meeting on election day was a slap in the Face of everyone who started this movement!

          1. Ernie
            The time to ask the mayor has passed. Demand.
            Take action yourself. Don’t take no for an answer.
            And don’t stop with a statue. Ganim is no different than Trump. Act now or resign.

          2. Ernie, when you go to church or praise God do you say it’s a slap in the face because slavery and conquest of other people is in the Bible too? Asking for a friend.

          3. Ernie,
            Any body who feels “slapped in the face” by behavior other than a physical assault, while serving the public in office, is likely, too sensitive. There is much to be accomplished in the field of municipal governance and not enough trained, able and willing people to serve “all of their neighbors” selflessly, fairly, and equally.

            Who is most at fault in this situation? The person with the power, in this case, a man provided a second chance at a re-do of a corrupt first attempt. Under the Charter, among his responsibilities and powers, he has the “privilege” of inviting citizens to become involved and learn more by doing the work for a term on a board or commission. Why is Ganim2 at fault? Because he has neglected to complete the filling of all vacant and or expired Board and Commission terms!! And since returning to the Mayoral office he has assigned at least part of such responsibility to political appointees earning more than $70,000 annually. And the job is not yet done!! Or, could it be done, but just not fixed on the City web site? Could but NO!!!

            You see more than a dozen years ago the Fair Rent and Fair Housing boards discontinued their work, but they continue to be listed on the City Site. I guess there are no complaints about Fair Rent and no disputes around Fair Housing?? NOT TRUE!!! Just plain Ganim2 lack of thoroughness and competence is more likely, isn’t it? What has Ganim been doing instead with his time? Telling the UI how it can spend its funds for those with a loss in the City? Spending some face time with a sibling and earning a significant investment return for this personal investment of non-24/7 Mayoral time?

            Failing to include a significant number of the generation or two of his successors through education, training, and responsibility for future public service “work”. These are lost opportunities to broaden public ethics and understanding and to test the sense of individual integrity, isn’t it? Time will tell.

        2. Bob, the Ethics Commission doesn’t even have meetings.

          Ethics Commission Members
          Seven members, all residents & electors of city
          All members nominated by Mayor, confirmed by the City Council
          No candidate can be an office-holder or political activist
          Terms of two years
          Members serve until a successor is appointed and has qualified.
          Meet 2nd Wednesday of the month
          Click here to visit their website
          Vincent Albaladejo (D)
          Bridgeport, CT 06610
          Term Expires: 12/31/2018

          Sandra D. Carmichael (D)
          Bridgeport, CT 06606
          Term Expires: 12/31/2018

          Velma Lovelace (D)
          Bridgeport, CT 06608
          Term Expires: 12/31/2016

          Steve McKensie (R)
          Bridgeport, CT 06610
          Term Expires: 12/31/2013

          Harry Weichsel (U)
          Bridgeport, CT 06606
          Term Expires 12/31/2009

          How many Budget transfers did you approve while sitting on the City Council 0
          What did you do about Boards and Commission while you sat on the city Council Nothing, know you want to talk about what Minorities should be doing. You had a chance to change things on appointment and you did nothing but run your mouth. You cant talk about anyone! Please share with us O great one!

      2. This may seem small but it is large. The mayor decided to put the Columbus statue back up but had the Parks Board take credit (or take the blame in this case) if there is any push back.
        This gives tremendous power to Mario and the Mayor and takes power from the minority communities.

        1. Bob
          Once again you have No Clue of what you are saying. Although the mayor and city council have no say on parks we do have a say on budget issues if the statue goes back up the fund for have police watch it will come out of the Parks budget line item.

          1. How many budget transfers did you and your Common Council members approve this year??
            Let me answer that for you. NONE.
            The Common Council’s Control over the budget disappeared decades ago.

          2. Come on Ernie. Cat got you tongue???
            Better yet, how many budget transfers did the Common Council approve in all of the passed budget year? My guess? Zero. So tell me what control do you have over the budget? My guess zero.

  2. Very disappointed. To all of you saying Ms. Perierra can’t get a coalition together to get stuff done the proof is in the pudding. She spearheaded this. Anybody think the city council decided on its own to use a power they’ve always had to challenge the mayor by forcing a special meeting?

    Congratulations Bridgeport City Council now if you’d only challenge the mayor on larger issues.

    Bridgeport, CT the only city in America putting up racist statues.

    1. Joseph Sokolovic, Ms. Perierra can’t get a coalition together to get stuff done the proof is in the pudding. She spearheaded this. Anybody think the city council decided on its own to use a power they’ve always had to challenge the mayor by forcing a special meeting? Maria had nothing to do with the Return Columbus Statue To Seaside Pedestal, it was the Park Commission.

  3. Beside the historical facts that Columbus was side to be a Jew and Italian identity was founded until 350 after Colombus’ voyage it was a Latino conquest and supremacy not white supremacy. Since Chris pulled the parade out of the city to Shelton he can have the statue erected in Shelton. JS
    I would wait until after the election and if Biden/Harris win maybe that red paint that is splashed on the statue will not be a sledge hammer. ( If put back) Christ said something profound, you can’t hold 1500 century standards to today. Well, today’s city standard might be the removal of Columbus from history, just like you did with the his parade. JS

    To those Imams, pastors or Rabbis don’t dig to deep into Columbus’ history and legacy, You allowed 9 year old girls be with grown man, kill gays, even the Virgin Mary was 14 ( on the high end) Sure she was untouched but she still had a child. And that’s jsut the tip I am sticking in.

    However most importantly don’t be racist and and say Columbus and the Spanish Crown was White Supremacy. It was Latino Supremacy. 🙂 JS

  4. Ernie, how dare you have the temerity, the unmitigated gaul to lay this at the feet of the Parks Department or say that Chris Caruso is trying to blackmail many people.

    Let’s be absolutely clear here, this is the fault of none other than ya boy Mayor Ganim who possess the ultimate discretion as to whether this racist symbol of oppression stays or goes. It’s getting exasperating with you, at every turn, not holding Mayor Ganim accountable for his actions and his disregard for people of color in Bridgeport. If you’re going to continue to kiss the ass of Mayor Ganim then get a city job like Herron Gaston so that while you’re down there you can look at that city check while you snuggle that ass. By the way Herron, why haven’t you or that Sambo Mary Lee said anything about this glaring symbol of oppression? Don’t bother answering, it’s rhetorical!

    1. Comrade, Day it’s on a racist symbol of oppression because you are making it one. Let’s be honest it was the conquest of the ancestors of the people you say will never vote for, the Latinos. You do know Latinos are consider people of color right. Can anyone refute the fact the Columbus’s voyage wasn’t a Latino conquest? JS

    1. Bob, like her or not Maria is the only person on the City Council who is not scare of Mayor Ganim and Mario Testa. Ernie just blows hot air, you will never see or hear Ernie go against Joe and Mario.


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