Speaker Kills Messenger, Plus: Council Passes Kuchma Tax Request, And Paoletto Says No

Talk about killing the messenger! Speaker of the House James Amann is not in a benevolent mood toward the city of his birth–Bridgeport–nor any Connecticut city for that matter, judging by his decision to trash a new proposal to tax messenger services in Connecticut that would generate millions extra for cities to cover the shortfall for tax-exempt properties that provide regional services.

Amann said, in a story published today by The Courant, that he was blindsided by the proposal making its way through the finance committee that would add a six percent tax to delivery services such as Fed Ex, DHL and UPS. The speaker said the current lagging economic climate was not the time to raise taxes. The tax against delivery services was also trashed by Republicans and the delivery services lobby.

Okay, fair enough, Mr. Speaker. But what about the long-suffering taxpayers of Bridgeport that foot the bill for suburbanites that use tax-exempt properties such as hospitals, colleges and motor vehicle departments?

Amann, who wants to be governor, has a tricky balancing act between keeping city voters happy while being viewed as fiscally prudent to the ‘burbs.

Bridgeport is bleeding during strained economic times. Mayor Bill Finch needs all the help he can get as his budget works its way through the city council process. He could use a boost from the speaker.

Council Approves Tax Abatement

Phil Kuchma’s Bijou Square project received a boost Monday night when the Bridgeport City Council approved his request for a tax break for the housing phase of his downtown redevelopment. Kuchma made the request to the city several weeks ago as a lagging economy threatened the financing portion of the partially completed housing complex on Fairfield Avenue. The redevelopment also includes Café Roma and Two Boots restaurants.

City Council President Tom McCarthy, one of 12 council members to vote in favor of the tax break, told OIB after the meeting that the council approval was necessary to keep Kuchma’s project moving.

“In the economy we’re in, in a downtown receiving the first major private redevelopment of brick and mortar in years, the city has to invest in this project. This is helping the taxes, not reducing the taxes. Otherwise we would have a half-empty building.”

Councilman Bob Walsh, a frequent critic of Kuchma’s tax break, voted against the measure. From what I’m told Walsh had a pretty good give and take with City Attorney Mark Anastasi about the legitimacy of the city’s standing to pass such a measure. I hope Walsh checks in to give us his first-hand account.

Mayor Bill Finch’s first city budget was also formally referred to the Budget and Appropriations Committee co-chaired by councilman Bob Curwen. A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday night. No one on the council is looking forward to dealing with this budget that calls for an approximate 10 percent tax increase with deep cuts to the library staff and public health nurses.

The council’s vote on Kuchma’s tax abatement was an important victory for Finch during difficult economic times. The city must show the current business community and potential investors that it won’t leave an important development hanging.

My apologies to Sly Salcedo and anyone that posted in relation to the commentary about his possible run for the 130th state legislative seat that covers the lower half of the city. In my effort to create a separate posting about his potential run, the cyberspace gremlins vanished the commentaries. (That’s my way of saying I’m a dummy.) We will attempt to create a separate archival posting because Sly has a remarkable background to share with readers. We will no doubt be devoting space to his efforts when he makes a formal announcement.

Paoletto Says No

East Side City Councilman Rich Paoletto has decided not to challenge State Rep. Chris Caruso in an August primary.

City job demands and a desire to work through a difficult budget process were some of the reasons Paoletto cited for deciding to take a pass against Caruso who’s popular in his legislative district. Paoletto works for the city as a housing code inspector and anti-blight enforcement officer.

Paoletto also said he will not be endorsing anyone should a candidate step up to challenge Caruso.

“I want to stay at the local level dealing with the everyday problems of constituents,” Paoletto told OIB. “Let’s get through this budget cycle. It’s going to be a bad budget year.”

Paoletto said he will attend the public hearing on Finch’s proposed budget Wednesday night at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers.

“Council members will go through that budget page by page. A lot of folks are upset where the mayor has proposed his cuts. I work for the Health Department so I know what each and every one of those health employees do on a day-to-day basis. I can’t vote for this budget the way it sits now.”

Finch’s budget calls for deep cuts to city library staff and school-based health employees.



  1. Kuchma is a good developer with no back taxes and he has done a lot of nice projects in the city. Two boots is a great place and it would be a shame if his project didn’t go forward next door to it because it would ruin the appearance of everything he’s done there so far. Of course Walsh objected, he is so negative it shows on his face. Too bad he doesn’t turn all that negative energy into something positive, it might do him some good.

  2. The City Council did the right thing in approving the tax arrangement for the Kuchma downtown project. We all need to remember that this site was underutilized for many years. It was bought as part of the World Trade development which never materialized. Tax revenue was not going to the City on a very important development site. Kuchma has solved two important issues with his acquisition and development on that site. First, the United Illuminating Company is finally putting in the major energy vault that was critical to the provision of electrical service in the downtown. The City is going to get tax revenue from that energy vault. The former owner of that site held the construction of that critical energy vault hostage for many years. Kuchma stepped in and found a solution that will now permit adequate electrical service in that portion of the downtown and tax revenue from UI to the City.
    Second, the 9,000 square feet of retail on the first floor and dozens of condominiums being built above will result in significant tax revenue to the City. Sure it won’t be fully taxed for the first few years but it will cause dozens of new homeowners to be in the downtown, paying taxes, and having buying power to fuel new businesses in the downtown. They hopefully will be voters and engaged in the future of the City which I am sure everyone wants to see happen.

    The action of the City Council was a positive signal Bridgeport is still committed to the revitalization of its downtown and growth of its taxbase. Sure, the economy is heading for a rough time but the financial institutions that are now pledging to support this project, required this tax treatment. Bravo to the City Council for their approval. Leadership takes vision and the fortitude to keep your eyes on the goal, a vital and energetic Bridgeport with a vital and engaged electorate. Isn’t that what we all want?

  3. City Kitty: I to agree with your statements on Kuchma. I have some more news on budget additions you and the other bloggers might be interested in.
    Hidden in the budget are 5 special projects coordinators 4 of whom will be paid aprox $47,000 each the fifth position will oversee these 4 special projects coordinators at $85,000. It is my understanding and as best as I can remember 1 will go to roadways (public facilities) 1 will go to the health department and I can’t remember the rest.
    So let’s add it up with what we know to date:

    1 lawyer — $110,000
    2 paralegals — $130,000
    1 greeter — $39,000
    1 pt person — $20,000
    4 special project coord. — $188,000
    1 special project supervisor — $85,000
    Total new additions $572,000
    All of these are salaries for new jobs and I know there are more but I can’t find them yet. I don’t see a job that is worth laying off a librarian or health care worker. The question is does the council namely Curwen have the balls to reject these additions?

  4. I will get to the question of the legal issues later. Here is the very simple explanation of why the tax break is bad public policy.
    1) The city should not give out tax breaks because they like a developer. The project needs to stand on its own merits. Yes, we should not give out deals to bad developers but that does not make the converse true.
    2) This project is new construction, not more difficult or more costly rehab. It is for market rate housing, not affordable. It is located on clean land, not highly contaminated brown fields. There is an existing parking facility so the developer did not need to build garages, parking areas or underground parking. If a project like this needs tax breaks to succeed then it is a bad project to begin with. And if there is no market for this project the tax payers should not have to bail-out a bad development idea.
    3) The total taxes paid by the condo owners are estimated to be $202,000 a year. The city assumes this to be approximately 50% of what the taxes would be. The city will be assessing the units at $50 a square foot a smaller unit that is supposed to sell at $250,000 or taxed at a value of $44,000. The larger units that are supposed to sell at $335,000 will be taxed at $55,000. No matter how you look at this, the tax break is greater than 50%. Over the seven year this means that city taxpayers are giving up $1.4 million dollars to build market rate housing. And I believe the real number is 2 – 3 times that amount based on the way below market assessment of $50 a square foot. What is the public good that the city is receiving for this multi-million dollar investment? And this is at a time when the average homeowner is looking at a tax increase this year alone of 10%.
    4) Now that the city has lowered the bar to an unbelievably low level, we are essentially telling any developer that tax breaks are available for all. Condos proposed for Fairfield Avenue in the Black Rock, why not. Luxury condos in the South End, of course. Tax breaks on top of bargain priced land deal for Steel Point, most definitely. I guess the good news for the taxpayers in the city of Bridgeport is that if we don’t learn how to say no, eventually these tax deals will erode the value of other properties and sooner or later we will be paying less ourselves. Of course at that time we won’t be able to give our houses away.

  5. You know, Bob Walsh….you surprise me. You just said that the city should not give out tax breaks to developers they like. The City of New York gave out tax breaks to Donald Trump to develop blighted non performing properties in Harlem. Today Harlem is as vital and thriving as mid-town or wall street. Men like Trump and Kuchma are pioneers, unafraid of venturing into risky arenas. If they succeed, the arena suddenly becomes fruitful and adds to the prosperity of the city. Trump is still enjoying tax breaks on property he developed in Harlem a few years ago. The tax break made the deal worthy of financing at reasonable rates ensuring it’s success. Good for Trump. He took the chance and won. But the people of the city have benefited far greater than if Harlem remained blighted and undeveloped. Recently, JP Morgan Chase announced plans to move a substantial portion of their investment banking operations to Harlem. There are no tax breaks being offered because the area now can sustain confidence in lenders. Bank of New York has been there for a couple of years, again without tax breaks. Employment figures for Harlem are so high, the MTA has had to enhance their subway system to accommodate the greater numbers who need to commute to and from an area once regarded as the most dangerous place in America. We like certain developers because of their demonstrated records of accomplishment. Maybe we should pay more attention to you and work with developers that aren’t so competent who won’t demand tax breaks and see what happens. Who knows, maybe some of these not so goods may contribute to certain campaigns.

    I think Ive summed it up adequately. Let’s invest in our future…our long term future. By giving tax incentives to developers that are willing to pioneer their own resources in an area that could very possibly result in failure and great economic harm to the investors. The probability of success is reasonable for smart people like Kuchma to take that chance. If we care to extrapolate, we can clearly see the benefit associated with sound development practices. Harlem is but one example of good municipal decisions. Detroit’s Rennaisance, Baltimore’s highly touted waterfront, LA’s initiative in Watts to name just a few. All were the brain children of gutsy developers who were SUPPORTED by an enlightened local municipality. The Domino Effect is highly plausible. One great success will beget another and another and another. Downtown Bridgeport will become so desirable attracting the finest facilities that I will not be able to afford the price of a dinner there and will have to resort to going back to Testo’s with the common folk.

  6. I’m sorry, Mr. Walsh. The position you have taken regarding the tax breaks as described in you posting leaves me little choice……You, sir are THE PHILISTINE OF THE WEEK.

  7. Yahooy,
    There is a huge difference between giving tax breaks to develop blighted properties in Harlem versus what was green space in downtown Bridgeport. There is a public good with removing bilight. In the case of Mr. Kuchma, the blight was self inflicted.
    And what I had said was that we should not give out tax breaks simply because we like the developer. Which seemed to be the common theme with Mr. Kuchma.

  8. One more thing. Think back to 1965. Downtown Stamford..the area just north of the thruway. RICH lobbyed for huge tax incentives to develop that little parcel of prosperity. He got what he asked for and the people of Stamford got what they hoped for. 42 years later and corporations are still fighting to get the HQs located there. The average cost of a condo is in excess of $400,000 all are at capacity include the selected properties that cost in excess of $1,000,000. Can you imagine a condo selling for $1,000,000 in Bridgeport. Wait a minute…I can!

  9. Hold on, one more final thing. Today’s news announced that Stamford and Norwalk have the highest rents in the entire USA. This is an example of how far-thinking municipal managers invested not in today but in tomorrow. The prosperity of Stamford flowed into the surrounding communities with great benefit.

    BTW … in 1965, Stamford was on the verge of bankruptcy.

    Moonbeam … this Kuchma thing is something you inherited. Don’t take credit for it, just learn from it.

  10. Thank you Mr. Walsh. I had absolutely no idea that Kuchma orchestrated the downtown blight. Nor was I aware of his financial interests in providing the plywood used to board up what were once thriving businesses.

    Not only do you surprise me, you frighten me as well.

  11. No matter how you look at it, this lame excuse for a mayor is passing out tax relief like M&Ms to the favored few. You and I are picking up the freight. Moonbeam claims the tax abatements wont yield a benefit for several years, but the long-term effect will be terrific for the city. Plausible and could be regarded as a good move. Kuchma is controversial but hasn’t shown up on the radar for anything that would carry an extended visit to Fort Dix. So, maybe, we have a good thing going here. If I were mayor, I might make Kuchma’s deal more cost-effective by counterbalancing the expense by rescinding the breaks the goombas orchestrated for Big Sal DiNardo. All DiNardo is doing for the city is costing us money by trying to have the city cover the costs of some of his stupid mistakes. Trust me, sit down with this guy. He’s no rocket scientist. When you get up, count your fingers. All he has is a deep pocket from which much political funding emanates. He has those deep pockets because he isn’t paying property taxes like you and me. I have to think twice if I want to go out to dinner more than once a week because I have a large tax bill looming and will only get bigger. I just don’t understand why we have to pay and DiNardo doesn’t. Will a Machine representative please respond to this question?

  12. If you haven’t been there, check out Kuchma’s Bijou development. It’s first rate. Bob Walsh says Kuchma received the tax break because people like him. What are we supposed to do, give out tax breaks to developer’s we don’t like?

  13. waah! waah! Ganim took away my city job…waah! waah! Fabrizi threw me under the bus… waah waah! I haven’t been laid since 1973…waah! waah!….waah! waah!

    Look everybody…THERE’S A WOLF !!!! (again)

  14. Good for you yahooy, Walsh is the most negative person on that council. But I’m sure we already knew that. Sometimes I don’t know how he can stand himself. He is frigtening and a developer’s nightmare. All of Kuchma’s developments are top notch and he’s done a lot downtown. Plus he’s honest and pays his taxes.

  15. Blab, did Walsh lose a city job? If so, maybe thats why he’s so bitter and mean tempered all the time. He fights against everything that would be good for the city, i can’t figure him out.

  16. Yahooy, my man!! Tell me where you bought those smart pills. You nailed Walsh as he should be nailed. Bob Walsh is the single most offensive obstacle to proper development in this city. He should be removed from the council and not allowed to participate in city government. There is no suggestion of corruption here. Walsh is just a plain and simple dumb ass who likes to hear himself talk to the detriment of progress and prosperity.

    Now, Yahooy. I think you trying to clean up your act so that Anna will like you better. I’ve heard rumors about you two.

  17. This absolutely pains me to admit it…but yahooy is right. For once in his life he is correct. Once. Those in the blogoshere should take note of this rarity.

    I’m so glad to hear that he is taking his meds again…

  18. anna & yahooy – you two are probably a match made in heaven. Aboost, we agree on Walsh, he needs to go away, not go away mad – just go away. Sick of people like him standing in the path of B-port’s progress.

  19. Mr Walsh that piece of Green property downtown that you are talking about used to have a building on it that produce taxes. When it was turned into a mini park it was done solely to clean up the area. It was never meant to stay that way for ever. Now there is a building there that will produce taxes. bob you cant fight everything if you do you lose any validity you might have had.

  20. Mr. Amann thanks for screwing Bridgeport again. you said you were blindsided with the delivery tax, well were the hell were you? i thought you knew everything. Now let me tell you something so that you know ahead of time.
    When you start your run for governor and need Bridgeports delegates I for one will work to make sure you dont get them. I will also remind the delegation that you supported Caruso over the party endorsed candidate.
    Cant wait to see you again .

  21. The level of discourse today is so edifying! Claude Balls, Blab Walsh! Ow, my sides! Stop, you’re killing me! You all must be Bridgeport voters!

    The word coursing through the neighborhood is that the Black Rock Library will remain closed, and that Black Rock School is history too.

    I’d like to congratulate our City Council members and District Leader in the 130th on a job well done! Only in Bridgeport!

  22. “Bob Walsh // Apr 8, 2008 at 10:09 am

    I will get to the question of the legal issues later. Here is the very simple explanation of why the tax break is bad public policy.”

    I think Bob Walsh is bad for public policy!!

  23. I think Walsh thinks he’s a Philadelphia lawyer, he’s just plain weird. At least most of the council people did the right thing for Kuchma.

  24. “I want to stay at the local level dealing with the everyday problems of constituents,” Paoletto told OIB. “Let’s get through this budget cycle. It’s going to be a bad budget year.”

    Thank you Coucilman Paoletto. It’s good to see a council member who is putting constituent services and the good of the city ahead of the petty politics of revenge.

    BTW–Rant all you like about Bob Walsh’s supposed negativity. I continue to call him my friend and the chief voice of reason on the City Council. Bob and I don’t agree on every issue. But there are damn few politicians who equal his integrity and dedication to the city of Bridgeport.

  25. No one is discounting Bob Walsh’s integrity nor dedication. He is certainly NOT the chief voice of reason. He is an obstructionist with limited long range vision. In many respects, a man who objects to everything does more damage to the city than do all of the goombas combined. I think Caruso’s integrity is impeccable, yet I agree that he sometimes interferes without sufficient prepatory thought. In this regard, both Walsh and Caruso are of the same ilk.

  26. yahooy – Just as with Bob Walsh (and Caruso for that matter) sometimes I agree with you and sometimes I don’t. This time I don’t. However, the last part of your post is probably somewhat on the money – at least on some occasions.

    Have a good night. I think there’s a Law and Order coming on at 9:00.

  27. You are so right yahooy, obstructionist sums up Walsh in one word. He’s down on everything positive. I think he’s just a really miserable person who enjoys being destructive. Too bad some of those council people agreed with him last night on the Kuchma deal, but he must have sounded convincing to them. some of them have to learn how to think for themselves. He and Caruso are on the same page in that respect.

  28. Bob Walsh does his homework. He just doesn’t let city officials like Mark Anastasi and others shove things down the council’s throat. This wasn’t about Phil Kuchma. This was about things being done right. Becasue of Walsh, concessions were made that made this a better deal for the city than the original proposition.

    I have a 1040 sq. ft. condo that has a value of 165k and my assesment is 116.5k. In this market I may be able to get 195k. My taxes are about 4,850. My new taxes will be about 5300. Phil is selling an 850 sq. ft. condo for 250k that will be assesed at 42.5k representing taxes of about 1,900. In this market, in my opinion, Phil is going to have a tough time selling these units at these prices. I’m more worried about this project selling with a crumbling market. The sub-prime market argument just doesn’t make it with me.

    I hear Eric Anderson’s Downtown North’s project is going South. Paging Paul Timapanell and the BRBC!

    Let’s get some companies in town with some jobs and taxes and get off this housng kick.

  29. Yes, Tom, it would be fantastic if some companies came to town with jobs to offer, but a lot of businesses are going under and down sizing due to the economy also, not just the housing market is suffering. I wound’t mind to give businesses a tax break to come here, but there doesn’t seem to be any coming around. I think the housing market will continue to go down, not just here but everywhere in the country. I just feel sorry for people who are losing their homes because they got in over their heads. I saw on TV how people inrich towns like Westport and Weston are losing their homes also.

  30. I am a resident of the 132nd district and must say that I feel I am well represented by Mr. Walsh. He is a dedicated public servant who isn’t afraid to go toe to toe with the powers that be in this city. Some may call him negative and others may call him an obstructionist but it begs the question why shouldn’t he take a negative approach to the same old crap being thrown at him time and again? Why shouldn’t he try to obstruct the wishes of these corrupt administrations when they attempt to jam things through the council with no ones interests but theirs in mind. It’s called integrity … it’s called guts … we could use some more of it on the council as far I am concerned.
    Keep up the good work Bob!

  31. I read recently that in addition to the “gimmicks” that Fabrizi (Feeney, Sherwood, et al.) put into last years budget, retiree benefits and pensions are really putting a strain on the city. With that being said, why does the city continue to hire to levels well beyond minimum staffing levels instead of paying overtime to existing employees? Particularly in the police and fire departments overtime can be used as a tool to keep the long-term exposure of health care costs and pension commitments to a minimum. Just a thought … anyone care to weigh in?

  32. how much money will it cost the city if kids move into kuchma’s building. 1 kid in a condo unit will cost almost
    $ 10,000. where is your tax base then????

  33. park city fan, I don’t think Walsh had the best interest of the city at heart the other night when he voted down the Kuchma deal. Kuchma is definitely not corrupt and he has really improved Fairfield Ave. with his development of Bijou Square. Funny thing is, rumor has it Walsh attended the grand opening of Two Boots, a restaurant Kuchma built. Walsh may be dedicated but he is also very short-tempered and that works against him.

  34. I don’t think kids could afford to move into a high priced condo like Kuchma’s unless they are making a big fat salary. I was just thinking today about Magic Johnson’s project. Any word on that developement?

  35. for all you smart guys on this blog, housing with kids is a ZERO SUM game. add that to tax breaks and you lose money!!! maybe we can make it up in volume by building more housing in bridgeport. oh i forgot, that is ALL you are building in the ” hood “. smart move!!!

  36. I just saw on Channel 12 news that BOE budget cuts may force the city to close several schools – including Black Rock School. This is in addition to the remodeled Black Rock Branch Library not opening due to library budget cuts – wasting over $4,000,000 in renovation costs.

    Yep, things here in Black Rock just keep getting better and better under the Finch administration. I can’t wait for my 9% property tax increase.

  37. what else can be built here besides housing? It doesn’t seem like companies or manufacturers are coming up here. They all build or relocate down south where everything is much cheaper. The whole east coast is way too expensive so they go where they can make bigger profits for less investment.

  38. John – I think the BOE is responsible for the biggest hole in the budget. They should be audited so we can find out exactly what they are doing with our tax dollars. They are the worst offenders, how many people don’t even have a kid in public school and still have to dish out for them, and every year they want more and more. I have a teacher friend and he actually bought pencils with his own money for his class, now thats a damn shame. Ramos and that board should be held accountable, I don’t believe a word they say.

  39. John, sorry to say this and I’m probably sounding as negative as Walsh on this one. the concept of librarys is a good thing, but do these kids actually use them? i don’t think so, not with a 68% dropout rate. They are too busy making babies, dealing durgs and getting involved in criminal activites. So much for the BOE, a total waste. They should be teaching the kids trades in school and I bet they would be more interested in that than going to the library to study things like Ancient History, which is useless in the working world. Teach them how to be electricians, hairdressers, chefs, mechanics, and so on, they would probably enjoy it and it would help them get jobs when they graduate. i bet the dropout rate would improve if they had this option.

  40. City Kitty – I agree. There should be a forensic audit of all city departments – with the BOE first on the agenda. Unfortunately, the current administration does not seem interested in conducting such an audit.

    Now, there was a recent candidate for mayor who pledged to conduct such an audit if elected. But, as Ive been admonished by some for talking about “what might have been” I will not go into that. Nor will I sink to the level of saying, “I told you so.” I am going to take the high road and simply await the further good news for Black Rock and Bpt as a whole, that I am sure is going to come from city hall.

    It’s getting late. Good night to all.

  41. Ahh 7 a.m. I just woke up and realized I no longer have nightmares, what with the morning news out of city hall, Moonbeam gives me all the nightmares one would ever want. I see Black Rock no longer needs a library, a grammer school or anything else, remember I’ve been sleeping having nice dreams. Let me say City Kitty read what Bob Walsh has to say with a little more understanding and you will appreciate what he is up against and his ability to stand up to wrongs. I suppose we still have greeters, graffitti officers, horses (I like animals, but get a goldfish), Tax breaks for Sal and the rest of the boys, The $ 70,000.00 speaker for education, it goes on but the coffee is brewin’ and the NIGHTMARE of this administration starts for a new day. By the way when he closes Black Rock School, where will I have to vote?

  42. John, I understand a library is more than ancient history, what i was saying is the kids don’t use them to any great extent, which is sad. don’t you think it would be better to teach these kids a trade so they wouold be prepared to get a job? Its too early to get me started again on the malfunction of the BOE, and I need coffee myself before I head out to work.

  43. City Kitty – Actually, hundreds of kids use the Bridgeport Public Library everyday. As for vocational education, I agree, there probably should be more of it. However, I would not want to see the entire curriculum dumbed down. Many of our kids are, and more could be, college material. These kids deserve their chance too.

  44. John you are not dumbing down the curriculum. The BOE can still offer the college course to those students that want to go to college.Instead of offering general subjects to kids not going to college offer a trades program. We have the aqua culture course that are offered but how many kids can actually use that to get a job after high school. teaching kids trades will give them a step up when they get out of high school. Right now a kid getting out of high school with a general diploma has a bleak future if they dont take some kind of training after high school. Giving kids a general course is no more than warehousing them.

  45. I feel like a real jerk. I had no idea that the Bridgeport Public Library System was unimportant. I go there a lot. You see, I read.

    Sure, there are a lot of school age children there. But, those children are frequently outnumbered by others. Critics of the library should visit a library. They will see a lot of people using the free internet, retirees comfortably sitting around reading newspapers, moms checking out children’s books and videos. Sometimes, authors discuss there latest and greatest. Then, there are the books. I’ll be there this afternoon to check out a few Jonathan Kellermans. I recently became interested in his recent work and would like to read his other 20.

    I can see an opposing view point that would suggest that the utilization of a library for research is greatly diminished as a result of the ease by which the internet places all data at your finger tips just a key stroke away. I, personally, haven’t gone to the library to look something up in a very long time. But, I’m at a library at least once a week.

    In a city where past and present administrations clearly demonstrate contempt for the students in our public school system, it is not surprising that they would make decisions to further impede any hope of developing well educated graduates with marketable skills. Instead of enhancing the libraries as the academic tools they are, we choose to reduce such services giving the 68% of our students who won’t graduate the message that nobody cares about their education anyway.

  46. Whoa! Wait just one minute. The answer to our educational woes is not to reopen the wood shop, print shop and metal shop. Nor is it necessary to drop the prep classes in deference to plumbing, electricity, masonry or hair dressing. All are noble callings for which training is available in the public domain.

    We need to keep all of the kids in school. We need to teach them how to think, how to write, how to speak, how to discern. We give them the basic understandings and let them apply their abilities to whatever the choose to do for a living.

    No. The answer is not to make them all plumbers. The answer is to make them all thinkers. Then let them figure out how to make a decent living.

  47. I apologize. I did not mean to imply that plumbers are not thinkers. They surely are. In fact, my plumber THINKS he can pay for his daughters wedding by replacing my water heater.

  48. employers follow the educated, young workforce. the educated, young workforce go to interesting neighborhoods and revitalized, hip urban centres. they spend their money in those neighborhoods and in those centres. they don’t breed…they just consume and support the ground floor businesses in mixed use areas.

    there is very little desirable housing for people in their 20’s and 30’s in bridgeport. sp please stop bitching about housing because what you are saying goes against the common understanding of almost every economist in the united states.

    the ignorance on this blog is appalling.

  49. While we do have to teach the kids to think what we have in place at the present time is not working. We have a 68% drop out rate. hat indicates to me that we are doing something wrong. i check with Bullard Havens and they have no such problem in fact they have a waiting list. there is no reason the schoold system could not do the same thing.

  50. not sure what this has to do with my skivvies but I’ll play along.

    i’m not sure how the kids are supposed to survive in this city without a middle class. exposure to the lifestyles of the educated and solvent can go a long way. there needs to be economic diversity in b-po.

    kids do what those around them do.

  51. Anna the problem in this city and other cities is that the middle class is forgotten. Whose faultis that? Ours because we are to busy working, raising our kids and the like. We tend not to get involved and when we attempt to get involved we are shoved aside. We also for the most part do vote and when we dont vote we get stuck with ass—- like we have now.

  52. So why doesn’t Ramos implement a trades training program? Bullard Haven is a perfect example of how successful it is and their drop out rate is probably zero. Sure, he can keep the college ciriculumn, but dont make that the only option. All this BOE does is spend money on consultants, Ramos & Medina are supposed to be smart, can’t they see the need for this? And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying libraries are useless, but with the internet, thats how kids do research for the most part. Libraries just aren’t being used the way they used to be years ago.

  53. the whole problem with the BOE is that they believe that they are the holy grail and what they want they should get because it involves kids. Believe me with the performance that they show which is a 68% drop out rate every damned administrator should be fired. There is no acountability for the teachers performnce either. I know one who starts his countdown to his summer vacation from the first day of school. You know he cares??? Why arent the teachers getting supplies there certainly is a ton of money in their budget for that.
    they built these new schools and now threaten to keep some of them closed thats is pure bullshit. Maybe the State and the attorney general should come in an do a complete investigation of the BOE and Ramos. The state should come in and do a forensic audit on the BOE. I would bet there would be people running for the hills if that was ever done.
    I hope the politician dont fall for the BOE threats.

  54. Wondering

    I protest not.

    I’ve never met her nor do I know who she is. I thought I caught a glimpse of her passing by a few weeks ago but that turned out to be an eclipse.

  55. yahooy – you are so funny. wondering, we don’t have to wonder about what a rip-off this whole BOE is, they prove it all the time and its just disgusting. I hope Finch audits them, his predecessors never bothered, but the time is NOW!! I feel they are the biggest part of the budget problem and I’m sick of getting my taxes raised because they are constantly insisting on getting more money every year – what the hell are they doing with it? I told you my teacher friend had to spend his own money to buy pens/pencils for his class, if that isn’t a damn shame then what is? Ramos makes over $200K a year and has way too many aides that are also overpaid to do nothing but milk the city dry.

  56. I Wonder-

    It is worth it if children don’t move downtown in Kuchma’s building because then those people will support ground floor retail. Perhaps a Mexican restaurant because I love MOLE sauce!!!

  57. Senator.

    Everyone in Bridgeport can’t send their kids to Fairfield Prep. In the early 80s when I sent my son there, it cost nearly $8,000. Can you imagine what it costs now? Oh. BTW. I never regretted a penny. He got a fine education. Do you happen to know what the Bridgeport BOE allots in dollars for each high school student in Bridgeport?


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