Republican State Sen. Rob Russo has secured $250K in state funding for the first-ever forensic audit of Board of Education finances. Details will be shared at a formal announcement Thursday morning at City Hall on Lyon Terrace.
Board of Education finances have become a hot-button issue as board members grapple with gaps between revenues and expenses, potential layoffs, delayed openings of new schools and possible closures of old ones, bickering with Mayor Bill Finch over adequate funding, and a host of agonizing social issues that accompany education in an urban environment.
Fortunately, OIB has a few resident accountants so hopefully they’ll help us explain what the hell a forensic audit means, but in general terms forensic auditing incorporates investigative tools that could be suitable for use in a court of law. That’s not to say a witchhunt is going on, but for years education critics have questioned just where the money is being spent in a budget that is now more than $200 million. It’s also not a process that will happen quickly, but will eventually provide answers to money questions.
A forensic audit was a centerpiece of State Rep. Chris Caruso’s failed mayoral bid last year. Ironically, Russo has pulled off in just three months in office something that no one in the city’s legislative delegation has come remotely close to accomplishing.
Marilyn Moore Qualifies For Ballot
Add another primary to the list for Aug. 12. Marilyn Moore, who recently served as legislative assistant to State Sen. Ed Gomes, has qualified to challenge Democratic endorsed candidate for state senate Anthony Musto, the Trumbull town treasurer. The winner will take on Republican State Sen. Rob Russo in November.
The district includes the northern and western portions of the city including Black Rock, half of Monroe and all of Trumbull. Moore needed approximately 1,000 validated signatures to qualify and apparently had a lot to spare. She left OIB a telephone message on Tuesday full of gusto and ready to work on raising funds. Her alliance with Gomes, a friend of labor, could prove fruitful in a primary. City Councilman Bob Walsh, a seasoned campaigner on the West Side, supports Moore. Musto must galvanize elements of the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee, along with his Trumbull core support. Neither candidate is particularly well known, but primaries are all about identifying friends and yanking them out the door. Using the small turnout for Russo’s win in the March special election as a yardstick, the primary turnout might be in the mid teens.
Democratic endorsed candidate for Congress Jim Himes, seeking to unseat Republican Congressman Chris Shays, launched his first television spot (a cable buy) Tuesday night, with a Mayberry sort of feel. Jimmy did this and Jimmy did that. Not the way I’d introduce an unknown candidate, but Himes is a nice guy so maybe the Opie launch will work in some areas. I’m waiting for official confirmation from election officials whether Lee Whitnum, the unorthodox candidate from down county, received enough validated signatures to wage a primary against Himes. See link to Himes spot below.