Funny, I did not know snakes could attack on command. Victor Rodriguez, a resident of the Cambridge Apartments, apparently thought so when police arrived to settle a domestic dispute. He ordered his pet albino python, according to police, to attack them and his babe. The snake did not listen. Can they even hear? It’s getting so cops must bring along a mongoose to counter attacking snakes.
I can’t imagine Stinky, my orange cat, attacking anything on command, although he’s mighty good with rodents on his own. Now if I can just persuade him to claw that pain-in-the-ass bat and woodpecker eating us out of house and home.
I’ve been thinking though, now that at least one person on the planet believes that snakes attack on command, if I had one of my own whom would I dangle in front of him to squeeze into submission.
George Bush? Ann Coulter? One of the Cheshire home invaders?
Auden Grogins, the blonde banshee from Black Rock, has taken a pretty good licking from folks opposed to her legal representation of one of the accused killers. Grogins does not believe in the death penalty. I agree. It’s governmental barbarism that doesn’t work. None of the dozens of country members of the European Union, the largest economy on the planet, govern by the death penalty. We fry folks under the phony patina of justice (translation: revenge) then wonder why we have the largest murder rate in the world.
When I was a young scribe I asked a wise attorney why he represented lowlifes. His response: So they don’t receive undue punishment. So, maybe Grogins is representing the guy because she doesn’t want jumper cables hooked up to his genitals. For me the best penalty for murder is a nice, slow, lonely lifetime in a supermax.
I love this political season because it pits–nose to nose and bone to bone–some of the unique characters of Bridgeport politics. Grogins and State Rep. Bob Keeley, the man she wants to defeat in an August Democratic primary, are two outlandish characters. Keeley is a credit to longevity, the longest-serving state legislator in the city’s history. He’s funny, engaging and unique. He also was on the FBI’s radar screen for a very long time. They think he’s dirty, receiving paychecks from nonprofits for securing state grant money when he was already being paid by taxpayers to do that in his legislative capacity. (Keeley’s buddy outgoing House Speaker Jim Amann got in hot water for something similar.) Just because the FBI thinks Keeley’s dirty doesn’t make it so. And Keeley says there’s no conflict, he’s on the side of the angels. Still, no one was more supportive publicly of former State Sen. Ernie Newton, jailed for shaking down nonprofits, than Keeley. Should that make Keeley a pariah? Several commissioners of the Downtown Special Services District, the bosses of Keeley’s taxpayer-funded job that oversees maintenance, signage and cleanliness downtown, don’t believe Keeley earns his $65k position. They call him Mr. No Show. Keeley says that’s a bunch of crap. Okay, so now we know that Grogins represents an accused killer and Keeley’s friends with a guy that shook down the poorest of the poor, the Robin’-The-Hood of his people.
I’m still pushing for a mud-wrestling match between Grogins and Keeley. Joel “Speedy” Gonzalez can serve as special guest referee (Joel’s gonna do a 9 count instead of a 10.) Then we’ll throw in that albino python and see who comes up a winner.
Hey, what’s the deal with Hizzoner Bill Finch not reappointing longtime member of the Planning & Zoning Commission Pat Fardy? Anyone have skinny on this?
Mayor Finch announced an initiative today to rebuild the city’s fund balance, a key component for an improved bond rating. See Finch release below:
Mayor Announces New Fund Balance Policy for Bridgeport
City’s fund balance will be built up to maintain fiscal stability
Mayor Bill Finch (D-Bridgeport), joined by Finance Director Michael Feeney, Chief Administrative Officer Andy Nunn, City Council President Thomas McCarthy and Budget Committee Co-Chairs Robert Curwen and Leticia Colon, this afternoon announced that the City of Bridgeport will initiate a new policy to build up and maintain sufficient funds in the City’s fund balance, or “rainy day fund,” at all times.
This announcement comes after a report earlier this year by the Mayor’s ad hoc budget review team, a group of seven financial experts from around the state who were asked by the Mayor to review the City’s financial situation before he took office last year. The group found that previous financial practices, such as including one-time projected revenues in the City’s budget each year, had depleted the City’s fund balance by almost $40 million over the course of the last 10 years. In 2001, the City’s fund balance was approximately $51 million. By the end of this fiscal year, the fund balance will contain between $15 million and $16 million, around three percent of the City’s annual budget.
A healthy fund balance is vital to a city’s economic well being. The fund balance exists in case of a financial emergency and it increases the city’s bond rating. Without a healthy bond rating, Bridgeport will be unable to bond for significant funds for many important projects such as new schools and park revitalization.
“When I took office, this City’s finances were worse than they had been in a decade,” said Mayor Finch. “I immediately took steps to freeze spending and cut expenses. But this situation requires a serious response. This policy will get us back on the right track and is a hugely important step for the City.”
“I applaud Mayor Finch’s efforts to increase the financial health of this City,” said Director of Finance Michael Feeney. “Our goal is to keep our undesignated fund balance at a minimum of eight percent at the end of each fiscal year. That current number would be $36 million. By the end of this fiscal year, our fund balance will have dipped to three percent, which is a dismal situation for our city’s finances.”
When an audited shortfall is reported in the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), it will be rebuilt during the following fiscal years. This will be achieved by adding an annual appropriation during the budgeting process of a minimum of 10 percent of the shortfall. A resolution to adopt this policy was referred to the Budget and Appropriations Committee at last night’s City Council meeting.