Stallworth, Maya And Salonen To Lead Ganim’s Transition Team

Stallworth, Ganim event
State Rep. Charlie Stallworth speaks at Ganim campaign event.

State Rep. Charlie Stallworth, outgoing Town Clerk Alma Maya and University of Bridgeport President Neil Salonen will serve as tri-chairs of Mayor-elect Joe Ganim’s transition team scheduled to be announced Monday afternoon (today) at a news conference at the Bridgeport Public Library Downtown.

Stallworth is also pastor of the East End church where Ganim issued his first public apology on January 1 that kicked off his unofficial comeback that so many said could not be done, reclaiming the office of mayor.

Ray Ganim, Maya, Joe Ganim
Alma Maya with Joe Ganim when he filed his paperwork for mayor. At left, Joe’s brother Ray Ganim who served as his initial campaign treasurer.

Maya had supported Bill Finch for mayor in 2007 and 2011 but broke away from the incumbent this cycle in support of Ganim who defeated Finch in the September Democratic primary. Maya, after eight years as town clerk, lost to Don Clemons in the Democratic primary.

Ganim’s outreach to Salonen is an intriguing selection and a nod to his chief general election opponent Mary-Jane Foster who serves as a vice president at the university Finch had shunned in his years as mayor due to his myopic disregard to an arm of the Unification Church that had rescued the university from financial failure in the early 1990s.

Neil Salonen
UB President Neil Salonen.

The university is enjoying renewed growth in recent years anchoring the South End of the city along Seaside Park and Long Island Sound. Business community leaders, civic activists and even mayoral staff had urged Finch for years to embrace the brainpower of UB to no avail. Arguably, Finch’s dissing of the university led to his ultimate defeat at the polls in September. Had Finch cultivated the assets of the university it certainly would have given Foster pause to challenge Finch for mayor in both 2011 and this election cycle that was one of a series of Finch gaffes in becoming the first incumbent mayor in history to lose in a primary. Ganim has ties to UB having graduated from the University of Bridgeport School of Law that affiliated with Quinnipiac University more than 20 years ago.

UB campus
Aerial of UB campus.

Ganim has scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon, according to a media alert issued by his spokesman Av Harris, in which a 60-member-strong transition team will be announced including the three chairs. Transition team members are generally volunteers assigned the task of reviewing government to identify and recommend efficiency, reforms and cost savings.

Ganim will receive the oath of office on the evening of December 1 on McLevy Green, at Main and State, Downtown. In the event of inclement weather the Klein Memorial Auditorium on Fairfield Avenue is the backup location.



  1. Very impressed with a 60-member transition team. I like the President of UB as a top-tier chair. I do not think this is a nod to Foster in any way shape or form. I do not think Ganim even mentioned Mary-Jane Foster by name once during the campaign. Ganim’s embrace of UB has been known all along. He talked about it during his campaign as well as his being an alumnus. I think this is just again a brilliant move by Ganim. Mayor Finch’s inability to show even mild support for UB over eight years was strange and the fact his inside group could not convince him otherwise showed a great weakness on their part. I am certain the Mayor will have plenty of time to think of all the would have and could haves. The people he over-rewarded, those he did not. The nonsupport of the University of Bridgeport has always concerned me. From a public relations point of view, marketing point of view and economic development point of view.

    Well now Ganim will cash in on the proposed South End projects and incorporate the University of Bridgeport as the anchor of all South End development. The total disregard for UB has always been an issue for me. I totally supported the Mayor’s attitude as well as most of the city during the Unification church financial support. Those days have since ended and so should the cold shoulder.

    Ganim, bringing in a large sector of society to help with the transition is just a brilliant move. The more involved, the more support, the greater the chance of success.

    I am very curious as to whom he has named to the transition team. But I am certain they are all fine choices. Okay, I am not certain, I am hopeful and optimistic.

  2. I think this a good start for Joe Ganim for a number of reasons. First, it’s a diverse group with a white male, a Hispanic female and a black male. Let’s start with State Rep. Charlie Stallworth, I’m not a fan of Stallworth, I’ve criticized him on OIB a number of times for his lack of effort in taking a stand on a number of issues involving the black community but I feel Stallworth could do a good job in this new and important position and I look forward to seeing him accomplishing that goal. Outgoing Town Clerk Alma Maya has always been an activist long before she was elected as the Town Clerk and I expect nothing but the same from Alma, she is a really good person who will do what is best for the City. Last but not least, the University of Bridgeport President Neil Salonen, Ganim showed wisdom and not spite with this selection, UB has been a jewel for the City of Bridgeport and even though a UB Vice President ran against Ganim, Joe knows Salonen wants nothing but the best for Bridgeport just like Mary-Jane Foster. Hopefully those who will be on the larger transition team are not all “yes people,” their selection should be as diverse as their team and as the City. Remember, trust but verify.

  3. Hey Lennie, something is not right here.
    I haven’t been contacted by Joe yet as to what my role will be in the Transition Team. Can you check to see where I am on the list?

    1. Bridgeport Kid, how come you don’t mention Enrique Torres??? All of a sudden he is invisible? How will you get through the next four years before Enrique changes his name and runs again with Charlie Coviello? I am thinking this blog is going to quiet down just a bit. I know I am not going to be arguing over politics on this blog. I’ve discovered Facebook. 🙂


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