State House Candidate Anthony Pizighelli: Holding City Job Creates Conflict

Republican State House candidate Anthony Pizighelli asserts in an OIB commentary that Democratic incumbent Charlie Stallworth is serving two masters holding a city job and state elected position.

State Representative Charles Stallworth of the 126th District accepted an appointment by Mayor Ganim as a senior adviser and director of community outreach and diversity. A very noble title, and one that implies a loyalty to the people of the city. However, a State Representative draws a stipend of a salary paid by the state to perform their elected duties to the people. They are not paid by the municipalities they represent. There is a good reason for this. No State Representatives should accept any position in addition to their elected one where they draw a salary from the city they represent. Being paid by the municipality effectively makes that municipality, and its administration your employer. If your elected job is to represent the best interests of the people of your municipality, how would you reconcile fighting against your own employer if the municipality’s administration wishes to enact any regulation or law that would be in any way detrimental to those you represent?

Being a municipal employee as well as a person elected to represent the people of the municipality creates a conflict of interest and brings into doubt where the representative’s loyalties fall. Do they vote in favor of the constituents who elected them as they have pledged to do and thereby risk their much, much more financially lucrative job for the municipality? Working for both the administration of the municipality and the people of that same municipality is a recipe for adversity and the people may well find themselves very underserved.

As things stand, Bridgeport is a city in trouble. Our residents pay outrageously high taxes, some of the highest in the state, only to find themselves terribly underserved by their elected officials who earn very good livings from those high taxes.

How do things stand for Bridgeport residents? Here is a bit of info; Median per capita income in Bridgeport as of the last US census was hovering around $20,000 a year. In comparison, the median per capita income for Fairfield County as a whole during the same time was around $48,000, meaning the residents of Bridgeport only earn about 40% of what most of the residents of Fairfield County earn. And while it is true that the per capita income in Bridgeport is a good deal above the national income of about $12,000 per capita a year considered to be the poverty level, very few Bridgeport residents are laughing all the way to the bank (unless you are part of the city administration’s cronies).

Bridgeport’s unemployment rate as of 2015 was 12.4%. If the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is to be believed, as of this year the U.S. unemployment rate is at about 5%. That makes Bridgeport’s unemployment 2.5 times as high as the rest of the country.

If State Representative Charles Stallworth is being paid $100,000.00 as a city employee, he would be making five times the income of his hard working constituents, meaning his hefty salary is coming in no small part off the backs of the hard working people has vowed to represent the best interests of, in the form of their outrageously high taxes. Bridgeport’s administration just to raised taxes yet again.

How then would you expect State Representative Charles Stallworth to lean in his loyalties? To the electorate for his meager state stipend, or to the city administration to keep his generous paycheck? Now I am not accusing Representative Charles Stallworth of impropriety in any way, I believe he is a man of principle and has served his constituency to his best ability. I am simply pointing out the conflict of interests that can cause even those of us with the best of intentions to make concessions, even if on a very subconscious level, in favor to the side that offers more reward.

If elected as State Representative I pledge that I will not take town job, appointed or otherwise, so that my interests are strictly in favor of those I represent.



  1. Wait a minute, Republican State House candidate Anthony Pizighelli asserts “If elected as State Representative I pledge that I will not take town job, appointed or otherwise, so that my interests are strictly in favor of those I represent.” Pizighelli talks about Stallworth but he doesn’t tell the voters why they should vote for him. Just vote for him because he’s not Stallworth, is he crazy?

  2. As usual, Ron Mackey comments on a straightforward point by dismissing the message. It is a clear statement and important point voters should be aware of.
    State Statute does not define his city employment as a conflict (as it does with the former situation with McCarthy). Voters should be concerned nonetheless, but even more disturbed about his role as a ‘reverend’ who sponsors Democrat party rallies at his church. A defined conflict in state statutes? No, but a violation of tax code that allows a church to be a tax-exempt 501(c)(3).
    Are voters concerned? Of course not. It’s the way it is. Shameful.

    1. Tom White, what is Anthony Pizighelli’s plan for Bridgeport besides telling us why Stallworth is not the right person? Are you saying just saying what you are against is the only thing a candidate has to say to get elected, Tom?

  3. If Pizighelli wants to talk about a conflict, well then he should be squawking about the fact city employees who are also State Reps get paid by the city AND by the state when they are at work in the capital.
    Now that just ain’t plain right!

  4. I am having a difficult time trying to pinpoint a conflict especially when Mr. Pizighelli states he is not saying Rep. Stallworth has done anything wrong.
    You would need to be splitting an issue with a surgeon’s scalpel to come up with any potential conflict here. If Rep. Stallworth were to support an issue that would help all Bridgeport residents some but maybe not quite as much as the residents of his state rep district, is that really a bad thing?

  5. I welcome your feedback and great questions.
    Before I respond to your comments, let me ask you this question; Are you happy with the way this city is managed now?
    If your answer is “yes” then by all means vote for my opponent and keep the status quo.
    If you answer is the same as mine, “No,” then a change is needed.

    This is the reason I am running. I am a lifelong resident of Bridgeport, I am a property owner, I am tired of being bled by the city in taxes and lack of service, not feeling safe when I leave my home or when I am in my home. I am assuming neither of you gentleman has had the pleasure of waking up to a stranger rummaging through your desk and stealing your wedding ring. I have, just as I have been watching my property value plummet while my taxes continue to grow.

    I am not a politician; nor will I ever be. I am a retired city resident who has had enough of this city being run into the ground while the politicians get big paydays for doing little or nothing to solve our problems.

    First, What is my Plan for Bridgeport? Well my uncle was the first newspaperman in the city of Bridgeport. He loved this city and was proud to live in it. So my first plan is to restore the pride of Bridgeport. How do we do this? Reduce crime, clean up our city, restore our city back to a thriving community where people want to live and work. Can this be done alone? No. Will it be done overnight? No, but if we all work together, we can make Bridgeport fantastic again.

    To be clear I am not accusing Mr. Stallworth of anything illegal because it’s allowed. People allow it by continuing to vote him into office. I am not in a position to say what he is doing is or is not legal, I personally feel it is unethical, but without evidence of illegal activity I am not making any accusations. All I am pointing out is when you represent two parties sooner or later you’re going to have to make a choice and in my experience it’s always john q public that ends up very disappointed, and not the city paying him $100,000 a year.

    As for my goals for Bridgeport:
    Reduce Taxes: The Mayor and City Council have once again raised taxes in the City of Bridgeport. They seem to have forgotten it is their job to work within the 552 Million Dollar budget they have. Not bleed the hard-working people of Bridgeport dry. Despite laying off over 100 city workers the Mayor and City Council in May approved a tax hike. Increasing the tax rate from 42.1 mils to 54.37. Unacceptable, under my watch we will closely examine the city spending and if necessary legislate controlled spending, reduced cronyism jobs and state oversight. We will lower taxes in Bridgeport and increase state and federal subsidies.

    Public Safety: One of my goals if elected is to work with Chief Perez to increase state and federal funding for police services. Supplement local police with State Police and civilian block watches. Our police are so understaffed right now they spend their shift playing catch-up with all the calls they have to respond to.

    Building Business: Business is simple, right now nobody wants to open a business in Bridgeport. Why? Because of the tax burden placed on them. So it is my intention to introduce legislation which would grant tax relief and state funding to new and existing businesses as an incentive to bring jobs to the City of Bridgeport.

    Going Green: I believe Mayor Finch had a great vision on making Bridgeport less dependent on common power sources and I think we should invest in solar power for our city. I would sponsor program where homeowners could upgrade to solar with little or no cost.

    So gentlemen these are my plans, I ask for your support if you want to change the city of Bridgeport for the better.

    I am Anthony Pizighelli, and I approve this message.

      1. Mr. Mackey,
        As I previously stated. A hard review of city spending, and reduced wasted funds, State and Federal subsidies, State and Federal Grants. And if all else fails we will hold fund raisers.
        We have to make Bridgeport affordable again, or we will end up like Detroit and may other Democratically run cities.
        Thank you for your question, I hope I answered it to your satisfaction.
        Anthony Pizighelli

        1. Mr. Pizighelli, are you serious, in order to make Bridgeport affordable again if all else fails we will hold fund raisers?

          You said, “A hard review of city spending, and reduced wasted funds, State and Federal subsidies, State and Federal Grants,” please, all political candidates make that statement. You have NO answers to how you plan on paying for your items above. You have shown us why no one should vote for you because you can’t answer a simple question, wait minute, you did give a answer, “we will hold fund raisers.” What a joke. Please keep your day job.

  6. Mr. Pizighelli, are you saying the things you want to implement aren’t being done now? I find it somewhat disingenuous on your part to say what Rev. Stallworth is doing is illegal, but you won’t do it, leaving the illusion it might be illegal.

    I see where Donald Trump wants to make America Great again and you want to make Bridgeport fantastic again, any other similarities?

  7. No, I do not believe they are being done.
    As for similarities between me and Mr. Trump, yes there is. I don’t suffer fools either. And I will never put myself in a position to choose between a payday and the people I represent. For the record I am also an ordained minister but I choose not to use the title for self promotion.


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