It’s Three Kings Day. If you were king for the day what would you do to fix this national, state and local financial train wreck?
One thing’s for sure, judging by the way Mayor Bill Finch was rubbing up against municipal leaders on Monday about the upcoming legislative session, a genie is better than a king. Birdman was chirping pretty good about his efforts to avoid municipal bankruptcy. The best way to avert a state bailout of the city, hizzoner said, is for the state not to bail out on the city.
Confused? Well, it makes sense to me. If the state kicks the city in the teeth by limiting resources the mayor may throw his hands up in the air and say, “Okay, you take it over.” It’s as though the mayor’s saying “We’re on the Titanic together. Are we going to jump together or crash together?” Ugh, line up the rowboats.
As the legislative session begins in earnest on Wednesday, there’s talk about raising fees, increasing the sales tax, doing this, doing that. Raising taxes sucks, but I could swallow an increase in the sales tax as long as it goes to the cities. It used to be if a mayor uttered bankruptcy in public there’d be a public stoning.
Twenty-five years ago former Mayor Lenny Paoletta’s comptroller announced the city was technically bankrupt. Poor Lenny heard that and choked on his linguine. When Tom Bucci needed a bailout from the state in 1988, he didn’t talk bankruptcy, he just said we’re broke. When former Mayor Mary Moran actually plunged the city into federal bankruptcy court in 1991, it was via ambush. She hired lawyers and told the boys to file the papers announcing it to the City Council after the fact.
Finch is tossing “bankruptcy” around like dimes and quarters. Whether a negotiating ploy or not–with unions or the state–if the mayor gets what he wants out of it to stem the bleeding maybe he’s dumb like a fox. The legislature is controlled by Democrats. We’ll find out if they’re a bunch of skunks or they turn Finch into a fox.
Meanwhile, there’s business to do in the city. See Finch’s news release below about an announcement today.
McCloud Group Named Construction Manager for Discovery Magnet School
Minority contractor chosen from among 5 finalists
Mayor Bill Finch, joined by Deborah Caviness, director of the City’s Small and Minority Business Resource Office, will announce the selection of the McCloud Group as the construction management group for the planned 70,000 square foot Discovery Magnet School, a pre-K to eighth-grade multi-district school focusing on the earth sciences.
McCloud Group, a minority-owned firm based in Hoboken, New Jersey, was one of five finalists interviewed for the job and will be paid $1.05 million. The McCloud Group will be responsible for such matters as controlling the scope of work, project scheduling, avoiding delays and disputes, procurement and enhancing project design and construction quality.
This is believed to be the first time that a minority-owned firm has been awarded a contract of this size for the City of Bridgeport.
“The establishment of this office opens a new chapter in Bridgeport’s economic development. In less than a year, several small, minority- and women-owned businesses have taken advantage of the resources we’ve made available and have secured thousands of dollars in contracts–both within the city and with private firms. This office is here to make that happen. This is a huge step forward for Bridgeport,” said Mayor Finch.
Robert McCloud, president and CEO of the McCloud Group will be in attendance at the press event.