If you want to win a campaign to save jobs you must turn up the heat. The union that protested Mayor Bill Finch’s proposed deep cuts to health care on the steps of city hall last week has taken to the streets distributing leaflets in city neighborhoods with images of kids under the battle cry:
Mayor Finch–Why Don’t You Pick On Someone Your Own Size?
(Text of message)
Mayor Bill Finch’s answer to balancing Bridgeport’s budget will destroy health care for Bridgeport’s most vulnerable children. His budget plan cuts public health nurses, preventative disease nurses, dental hygienists and clinicians–and could close many of Bridgeport’s school-based health centers. These health centers provide access to primary health care for the neediest of Bridgeport’s children and adolescents. They are the first–and often the only–line of health care treating serious chronic diseases like asthma, juvenile diabetes and ADHD, as well as the best guarantee of mental health care for many of our city’s adolescents and their parents. The mayor’s shortsighted and mean-spirited budget cuts will put our children’s health at serious risk.
Hizzoner is hearing the noise. The former state senator that had championed health care for kids (Husky Plan) in the legislature is looking at a combination of ways to save jobs and the services, including potential privatization.
Leadership on the Bridgeport City Council is also examining a variety of options to cut expenses and find new revenue sources to save the library and health care jobs cut in Finch’s budget. One key area being looked at (as noted by OIB poster Wondering) is the Bridgeport Port Authority, created by city council ordinance, which generates more than $1 million annually in docking and ferry fees.
Council leadership is engaged in surface conversations with Finch, Chief of Staff Adam Wood and Chief Administrative Officer Andy Nunn about tweaking the budget to save jobs. Finch’s overall relationship with the council is fragile. Many council members believe that Finch is providing no leadership or substantial interaction to build relationships.
I’ve Got Gas
Hey, it is me? Or is it time for us to step on skateboards to get around? Have you checked out gas prices lately? I’m getting the feeling we might hit $4 per gallon around July Fourth.
Speaking of gas, Hill and Barack have been giving one another a lot of it to the delight of Republican John McCain who’s kicked back those old bones, building a cash reserve while the Dem candidates stick needles in their eyes. Hill and Barack will probably fight this thing out to the convention, and although things look good for McCain there will be a refocusing on the national contest in the summer that will tighten the polls. Gas prices, a sucky economy and Iraq aren’t going away.