Dan Shamas, who served as chief of staff for Joe Ganim from 1997-2000, will return to his former position for JG2. Ganim made this announcement Friday afternoon. Shamas will be paid $129,778.
Shamas was a Bridgeport educator for decades before accepting the chief of staff role in the 1990s. He became acting superintendent of schools at the request of Ganim in 2000 following the retirement of Jim Connelly.
Why Shamas’ return?
Shamas’ hire developed in recent discussions as the mayor assessed his staff. Ganim does not trust easily and in Shamas he has an administrator who will have the mayor’s back, but will also push back on poor public policy decisions. It does Ganim no good to have a submissive chief of staff. When Ganim made his comeback to the mayor’s office in 2015, he had no senior advisers from his first go around. Department heads were a strength of JG1.
Ganim installed long-time friend, Democratic district leader from Black Rock, Danny Roach as chief of staff. Roach was moved out of that role recently during an administrative shakeup, but remains on the payroll as director of Construction Services. As part of that shakeup Ganim named campaign operative Christine Bartlett-Josie as deputy chief of staff to manage the office. Will be interesting to see how Bartlett-Josie reacts to this news. Shamas is tough, but fair. He understands the political process, but demands performance.
Shamas, retired from public service the past decade, kept a watch on city issues. He was not a fan of Ganim’s predecessor Bill Finch and volunteered for Ganim’s comeback campaign.
“I am looking forward to the leadership Daniel will bring to our administration,” said Ganim in a statement. “Daniel played an instrumental role during my previous years as Mayor. He is someone who has over 35 years of experience serving the Bridgeport community and cares passionately for its residents.”
“I am proud to be back working for my community,” said Shamas. “This role is familiar to me and I understand the responsibility required to support the Mayor and the City of Bridgeport.”
Shamas received a Master’s degree from the University of Bridgeport and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Central Connecticut State University.