The Candidate Watch, Library On Ballot

For the past couple of weeks we’ve been consumed with civil service and library fights. Wake up, Leonard! City Council primaries will take place September 15 in four districts.

Tyreke Bird has added some spice to the race in the 138th District after his arrest for an alleged assault. Not a lot of details on this, but Bird says he’s staying in the race.

OIB has lots of new readers linking over from the Connecticut Post so welcome and here’s a quick recap. The battle for control of the Upper East Side is wide open, three slates with six candidates. Andy Fardy, a long-time city pol and retired firefighter and Ann Barney, a 25-year employee of the Board of Education, are challenging incumbents Bob Curwen and Rich Paoletto. Curwen has been sidetracked with an ailment after stepping on a nail a few weeks ago. I spoke to him the other day and he’s feeling better but his recovery will take some time.

Bird who lives in Success Village, a complex above Boston Avenue, is running with James Morton, an independent candidate for mayor in 2007, to fill out the third slate. Success Village has been a reliable East Side vote for the party establishment i.e. Paoletto and Curwen at the JFK School precinct. Any votes that Bird and Morton grab hurt the incumbents.

The other precinct in the district is Hooker School, with a high percentage of owner-occupied homes, that takes in the northeast triangle of the city abutting Stratford and Trumbull. Hooker is the home precinct of Fardy and Barney.

Low-turnout primaries are strange birds. Primaries are all about identifying friends and dragging them to the polls. I’m wondering what Dem voters are saying to candidates so maybe Fardy (town committee) can provide an update.

District 135: Peter Clarke and Mary McBride-Lee versus incumbents Warren Blunt and Richard Bonney. This is another wide-open race. OIB friend Isa Mujahid is running solo. Hey, Isa, is it lonely running alone?

District 136: Mark Trojanowski, running solo, is challenging incumbents Angel DePara and Carlos Silva. Troj is a member of the DTC for this district, the home district of Party Vice Chair Dottie Guman. This district has a strange configuration that runs from the Hollow, includes a small slice of the North End and runs over to the East Side. How did that happen?

District 137: Maria Valle and Christina Ayala against endorsed candidates Lydia Martinez and Manny Ayala. That should be a good fight. Valle is an incumbent City Council member who was dumped by the town committee. It’s hard to figure out East Side politics. Hugging and kissing one day, brawling the next, smooching the day after. Makes me dizzy.

Library Law

With voter petitions certified by the town clerk’s office, Superior Court Judge David Tobin entered a final ruling today approving a November 3 referendum for voters to decide if one mil should fund library services.

The genial Sly Salcedo who worked with Library Board President Jim O’Donnell to craft the legal arguments weighed by the judge posted in the prior commentary some observations and responses to OIB reader questions. Sly’s thoughts are worth repeating:

For Library Lover:
Forgive my tardiness in getting back to you on your concerns, but I hope you can understand we were a little busy this past week battling with the City Attorney’s office in court so that we could help our mayor a little bit with his leadership plans: TO LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE.

Point one: Hiring a coach for the Library Director is a good idea to me. It’s well worth the expense … for all that the Library Director has done for the library to date (two years). Exhibit number one: the brilliant idea to put an old, dusty CT statute to test and winning it as a first step to getting more money in a steady and reliable way every year for your beloved librar..IF the general public agrees on election day (with your help?). No library director has submitted that sort of innovative thinking to support the library before. Have you seen the library budget in the past ten to 15 years?

Point Two: Hiring a consultant to advise, re: the referendum … I don’t think a separate consultant was hired to develop the referendum idea … I think this is all part of number one above. Again, I support this effort.

Point three: I admit I have not had the chance to ask the Director about this question directly this past week, but if this is a grievance issue, then I recommend the affected employees should follow the rules and file their grievances accordingly.

Point four: Why can’t Bridgeport buy a book for Yahooy? Where is the money … to buy library materials? I can ask the Director to make the library ‘budget’ info available on the library’s website so that the library budget is open, available and transparent for all, like you, to review … this is a good idea. I support it.

Point five: About layoffs despite city council putting back enough money in the budget to keep the positions? If you know something I don’t, please share the info and enlighten us all … and if you can understand how the City of Bridgeport runs its budget, please share that knowledge with us, too, because as a board member, I cannot and have not been able to follow how city’s money is budgeted and distributed and accounted for the library. This is one of the main reasons for the referendum initiative so that the library has its own “library fund” that the Library Director and Library Board can CONTROL and ACCOUNT FOR (to you and others) … and for my part, I will vote, and I believe other board members agree with me (or rather I agree with the other board members) to make the library budget “open and available” on the library’s website.

Side note about the assistant librarian position: I think if you know how much that position paid (and I think you do) and you know how much the next level of librarians are paid … I think you will agree (but maybe not) that keeping two or three more 2nd/3rd tier librarians for the cost of one assistant librarian would be a relatively good budget move in these tough economic times.

Point six(a): Staff is almost non-existent in some places through no fault of their own … there has been a new personnel organizational structure designed and implemented by the Library Director. I think it’s a great plan. Tell me what’s wrong with it? Where are these “some places” where “staff is almost non-existent”? I toured the main library and all four branches last week, more than twice, and I didn’t see a lack of staff. Tell me about specifics, please. Help me to help you.

Point six(b): Libraries close whenever the director decrees with no regard to the public … this is my personal favorite … this incident you refer to happened once on July 2 of this year … on said date, as lawyers like to say, Scott Hughes, said Library Director, received a phone call from Mayor’s office announcing that said Mayor Finch authorized all department heads to close down their department at their discretion in anticipation of the long holiday weekend, said July 4th, at noontime. Accordingly, said Library Director thought he would take up that offer and give his staff a nice holiday break that was available to all other City employees, at their department head’s discretion. It turns out that this has caused some inconvenience, (some minor, some major) for some library users on the afternoon of July 2 who expected that the library would be open on its usual Thursday schedule … imagine the poor guy who tried to pay his car taxes on the afternoon of July 2 and was locked out of the Tax Assessor’s office and found his car booted on Monday, July 6??? … that would have been quite an inconvenience, but I digress … anyway, I tried to tell Scott not to automatically eliminate the possibility in the future of exercising his discretion in any future offers by the mayor to all early outs, but I don’t want to micro-manage either … so let’s see what happens at Mayor Finch’s next holiday early closing order to all department heads.

Point six(c): Books removed from (implied: poor people neighborhood-East End) and moved to (implied: super millionaire Black Rock neighborhood) as “bribery to support referendum, maybe?” … Library Lover, you’re really tempting me on this one, but I’m going to take a deep breath right now and say, “Serenity Now!!!” quietly to myself … okay, now to answer this super dumb-ass question … the answer is, simply, that the adult book collection was moved from the East End Branch to the newly refurbished Black Rock branch because the Library Director wanted to gain more floor space at the East End site to install more computers and create a teen space which is, in his judgment, more appropriate and needed in the East End branch. There is plenty of book space/shelf space in the Black Rock branch. Have a look for yourself. It’s that simple and straightforward. There is no “books for votes” bribery scheme here for the referendum. But feel free to call your local FBI special investigations unit and make your suspicions known … but wait! “Books for votes” or “Votes for Books” … there could be an election campaign slogan in there? … maybe “Votes we can believe in”, “Books we can believe in”??? “I believe in Votes”, “I believe in Books”, “I love books” … I digress once again …

Point six(d): demand an elected Library Board … let me refer you directly to my state rep district leader, Mr. Mitch Robles, or my City Council district leader, Mr. Tito Ayala, and my Democratic Town Chair, Mr. Mario Testa, and while you’re at it call the Republicans, too … Mr. Mark Delmonico, the Republican Town Committee chair … please call them and let them know I endorse your idea 100%. As Mayor Finch says: Let the people decide!
You want an elected Library Board? Go ahead, MAKE MY DAY! And I think you already have. Thank you. Love your library

Breakdance Tonight

The Downtown Community Council is in its second year of throwing its all-volunteer DIY concerts every Thursday night behind the Fairfield County Courthouse between 6-10pm. All Baldwin Plaza Green concerts are free, all-volunteer outdoor BYOB events with BBQs, lawn games, public art demonstrations, entertainment, and a film screening after dusk.

Tonight the DCC presents the 1st Annual Downtown Breakdancing and Street Art Festival featuring: Professional and Amateur Breakdancers, street art exhibition and live graffiti demonstrations coordinated by the Avant Garden Gallery, a 3-hour Early and Experimental Animation Festival, Open Spoken Word Mic, and Professional Fire Dancers and Breathers.

***There is an open call for breakdancers, spoken wordists, and street artists***

Come join hundreds of revelers from Downtown Bridgeport and beyond every Thursday on the Baldwin Plaza Green next to the Read’s Artspace Building.

Feat DJs Cuban B, Humble Dinosaur, + Yves Francois, Animation Festival curated by dropdeadgregg and Keith Cougar, “Dust Magnet” Video Projections by Dustin Demilio, Breakin’ by “Crazy Legs” Jeff Coleman + much, much more.



  1. What Ann & I have found is that people feel that they have been ignored by city hall and by their council people. They feel that city hall has ignored their complaints about the lack of Police coverage. That seems to be the #1 complaint. Lack of Police visibility and enforcement. People feel that the speeders and the ATVs have taken over the neighborhood. People feel that their safety is being threatened.
    The people that we have spoken to (and that is many) feel that they are not being represented by their council people. Here are 2 examples. The people living in the area of Louisiana Ave have been assaulted by the comings and goings at a certain nightclub. Neither council person responded to their requests for help. Ann & I got involved and attended zoning meetings on this subject, we also got the blight office involved in this situation. We got the zoning office to enforce a cease & desist order. Presently the nightclub is closed and the people of this area now feel that someone is finally listening.
    Situation #2. The site of the old Kennedy Center is the site of a large pile of concrete products and dust. No one would do anything about this problem. We have got the State DEP investigating this site and expect action shortly.
    People want someone to represent their daily concerns and quality of life issues. They understand that taxes are an issue and they do want their voices heard. They want the Police department to know that they are not happy with the quality of protection they are receiving. We have met once with the chief and once elected we will be working full time to increase our coverage.
    Bottom line is that people want their voices heard and someone that understand quality of life issues are important.
    People want someone to vent to, they want someone to listen to them. That is what we are offering the people of our district. We care. I did not spend my entire life here just for the hell of it. Ann did not spend the last 30 years here and raise 6 kids here for the hell of it. We love this area and we want to put the time in to bring this area back to where it once was.
    I hope I have answered your question Lennie.

  2. I was disappointed yesterday at the reaction some of the OIB posters had regarding certain references to Senator Kennedy’s tragic lapse of judgment at Chappaquiddick. Those who mentioned the incident in which Mary Jo Kopechne unnecessarily lost her life were branded by frequent posters as racists.

    Former NYC mayor Ed Koch spoke fondly of the Senator citing his great contributions to civil rights, health care initiatives and myriad other important enactments that made life better for Americans. Koch also discussed Kennedy’s use of alcohol and Chappaquiddick. Koch was generous when he said that all of the good that Kennedy has done in his illustrious career minimizes the effects of his misdeeds. I agree. Kennedy’s legacy, regrettably for many, will always have the omnipresent asterisk suggesting he was a great man except for …

    Those of you who suggest reference to Kennedy’s notoriety as being racist are patently misinformed. You actually should carefully review the meaning of the term “racist”. You might see that each of you may be guilty of your own accusation.

    1. *** Now you’re throwing the word around as well just on the assumption that a few bloggers made concerning obvious jokes of a fish fry, my peeps, provideing the hot sauce, or even caring about P/T’s reunion, all from the first blogged topic of Sen. Kennedy’s passing, etc. etc. Let’s not completely paint the picture a color of your choosing & give it an entirely different meaning to what the artist intended! However there was a need for using the correct language on both sides. ***

      1. I’m sorry. I read and reread your rebuttal several times and find that I am unable to ascertain any semblance of understanding as to what you meant to say. Actually, I have read most of your postings on other matters with essentially the same result. Expecting that you will take exception to my point of view, am I to further expect that you shall refer to me as a homosexual?

  3. “Point four: Why can’t Bridgeport buy a book for Yahooy? Where is the money … to buy library materials? I can ask the Director to make the library ‘budget’ info available on the library’s website so that the library budget is open, available and transparent for all, like you, to review … this is a good idea. I support it.”

    You’re losing me, Salcedo. Nice anecdotal reference but no answer to my question … “From where will the money come?”

    You aspire to great public office in this town. Yet, your initial foray is to ignore the budget process in deference to an altruistic quest. I prefer an administration that will use what little is collected for the greatest pro bono publica. Creating more expense when funds are evaporating is unwise and reckless. I restate my disdain for Phinch’s “deal” with the police union to defer raises to a future date when less money will be available to meet ill-advised obligations. This library schtick is the same thing.

  4. Sick! Sex offender nabbed in library wearing women’s panties
    Updated: 08/27/2009 11:18:20 AM EDT

    MILFORD — A convicted sex offender was arrested in the children’s section of the Milford Public Library yesterday, wearing women’s lace panties instead of pants.

    Richard Wedmore, 46, of Grand Avenue in New Haven, was charged with public indecency, risk of injury and breach of peace.

    Several patrons complained to library officials that Wedmore was sitting in the children’s section yesterday morning wearing women’s lace panties that were too small to conceal his genitals.

    He was held on $10,000 and is scheduled to be arraigned in Milford Superior Court later today.

  5. Just a quick clarification, the district leader for Mr. Salcedo’s aldermanic district is Gil Hernandez not Tito Ayala. Christina Ayala is Tito and our current registrar of voters’ (Santa Ayala) daughter.

  6. Grin Ripper:
    No, no, no; we WANT this guy. Or rather, we want this guy for the other guys. He’s disgusting, that’s the point. We need to get him on the DTC immediately!
    I can see it now: “Finch supporter opposes library tax.”
    His name has some pretty revolting possibilities too: “Finch, Mario Wedmore to Stafstrom.” Missing anybody?

  7. Lennie do you think voter turnout will hit even 13,000? In the general mayoral election it was not even that much; only about 12,000 and change came out for the mayoral general election. Remember this, people in Bridgeport will come out if they like something and an example of this is Barack Obama. He got 34,000 votes in the Park City alone so that just goes to tell you how popular the guy is. We can’t even get 13,000 people to come out to vote in a mayoral election that includes everybody on the ballot. But Obama alone attracted 34,000 votes and we are not even including the McCain votes in this total. Just for one guy to pull that off is amazing if you ask me. So Bridgeport voters will come out if they are interested in something and I have a feeling that this Library question will get the attention of people who voted for Obama and never again plan to vote until 2012 for him let’s hope for a good turnout!!! A yes vote is against Finch and a no vote is for Finch. I say let’s aim for a 15,000 turnout.

    1. Dear donj
      It is good to have someone present numbers, hopefully based on an accurate memory, that provide a story line or comparison to assist fellow citizens in understanding today relative to yesterday. Your comparison of the 2008 election enthusiasm to the normal municipal voting acknowledges the “what’s in it for me” attitude of many voters. (If I get nothing, I stay home?)
      The Library issue, allocating 1% of the Municipal approved budget annually, does not generate the same gut-level groundswell as the “hope” vote for Obama and change. However for those families who have used the Library services throughout the City, it will be an opportunity to “use their vote” or “lose their Library” future service with flat or decreasing funding as has occurred for the past five years anyway.
      However donj, have you noticed that Diane Chapdelaine and her pro-Master Plan group keep referencing 137,000 City voters? Where does this number come from? Let’s see, what is the sum of two buses + 75 people who never came to a City Council meeting previously + 60 signs? A gratuitous reception? Can we count on this group when it comes to numerical accuracy? Why would anyone pay $2-3,000,000 for Bridgeport real estate assessed for under $500,000? Confused …

      1. Beacon2

        You are a beacon of light. Darlene Cheapdelaine in her ad made a claim that there were 137,000 taxpayers in the city. If we had 137,000 taxpayers we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

        The Blue-haired crowd from the Augustana and Curtis Homes aren’t taxpayers.

  8. Lennie,

    Some totally off-topic questions:

    1.) Are the Spinnaker folks, who bought a chunk of downtown from People’s, trying to force Playhouse on the Green and City Lights Gallery out?
    2.) At the same time that they are looking for city and state money for their development projects?
    3.) What’s the Mayor’s position?
    4.) When was the last time People’s did anything for Bridgeport?

    1. FCO, I’ll check on some of your questions, as for People’s (I assume you mean the bank) the guy they brought in from the left coast to run the bank doesn’t give a shit about the city. Obviously, I’m a David Carson guy. Since David’s retirement roughly 10 years ago People’s commitment to the city has never been the same.

  9. The Mayor maintains several positions. He’s the Master of the Kama Sutra.

    That’s why he is so good at screwing us!

    If Spinnaker is trying to hoist their sales downwind from the city and state, their sales will be flapping in the wind for a long time.

  10. BEACON2

    You are correct 100% with your statements yes there will not be that same feeling of hope and change but it will boost the turnout. But trust me if we could get higher turnout in the city yearly we could have better leaders but the turnout is so low and it’s the usual bunch that turn out. In November over 40,000 people turned out and they gave Obama 34,000 of it!!! Equaling in Obama getting 84% of the vote. And where they get 137,000 voters????????? That is more than inaccurate it’s a big flop. I know people who voted in 2008 for the first time in years. I will admit I was one of those people who never used to vote unless there is a big reason and since I came to OIB 2 years ago I have been more dedicated and have not missed a election since. But the city has a lot of voters like my father who votes every 4 years but I know he will vote in November because it’s for the Library and that will make him actually go and vote. Bridgeport lacks voter education and lacks instructions of when to vote and where to vote. In many towns a week before the election they send you a letter telling you the time and place. I had a friend who did not know where to vote because he registered 8 months before the November election and lost that paper that they give you to register to vote. So I went to an Obama voter location thing that he had on his page and typed in his information and it said you Vote at St Paul church. Gave him that and yes that was where he was supposed to vote so the city does a horrible job of letting people know when a election is being held and where they are to vote. Trust me for any person who does not follow politics but wants to vote, it can be hard. This city wants lower turnout because it makes the machine win all the time. For example there was no reason in hell that I should have not have waited that long at Black Rock school to be the 89th voter; they had only one person checking in people!!! In Stratford they had lots of people working at the polls to check in people. And it was not like Black Rock has the most voters about 2,291 voters showed up and only one person checking the voters!!! That is why I would never vote for the S of state again she dropped the ball. Inner city are always deprived of the good things and voting accuracy is one of them. But like I said Beacon 2 it will be interesting to see the turnout.

    1. Donj

      Problem is no top of ticket this year. No Money to drive voters out to polls. In the 2003 hotly contested Mayoral race, Fabrizi vs. Torrres, just shy of 20k voted. Over 12k voted in the 2003 Democratic mayoral primary in a 6-way race. Over 8k voted against Mayor Fabrizi. Best barometer is the 2001 and 2005 off-year elections to figure out how may will vote this year.

  11. I’m rather disgusted by the tasteless comments concerning the late Senator Ted Kennedy. He should and ought to be remembered for the good that he did. He should and ought to be remembered “simply as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it,” to quote his own eulogy for his brother Robert Francis.

    1. Here’s a partial list of his senate accomplishments:

      1965. Two years after becoming a Senator at the tender age of 30, Kennedy scored his first major legislative accomplishment with the passing of the Hart-Celler Act, which abolished immigration quotas and lifted a 1924 ban on immigration from Asia.

      1971: Kennedy successfully helped a bill become law that quadrupled the amount spent on cancer research establishing the Federal Cancer Research Program

      1972: Through careful Senate negotiations, Kennedy helped pass Title IX, a bill that required colleges and universities to provide equal funding for men’s and women’s athletics

      1974: Kennedy spearheaded an overhaul of campaign ethics rules and election finance. The bill set limits for individual contributions and established the public financing program for Presidential elections.

      1983: Working for years alongside civil rights leaders, Kennedy helped push Congress to establish the Martin Luther King Day holiday. President Reagan signed it into law in 1983.

      1986: After Pres. Reagan squashed a bill imposing sanctions on gold, coal and iron on South Africa’s Apartheid government, Kennedy led the Senate in a overwhelming override of the president’s veto.

      1990: Kennedy sponsored The Family and Medical Leave Act, which required employers to give employees unpaid leave for the birth of a child or for family emergencies.

      1996: The Kennedy-Kassebaum Act let employees keep health insurance after leaving their jobs for a set period and prohibited insurance companies to deny renewal of care due to preexisting medical conditions.

      1996: Kennedy helped raise minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.15. In 2009, an ailing Kennedy helped the minimum wage be raised again from $5.15 to $7.25.

      2001: Going against fellow Senate Democrats, Kennedy championed Pres. Bush’s No Child Left Behind education legislation.

      Current legislation that bears Kennedy’s imprimatur include the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and of course the health care reform package that will be debated in the upcoming session of Congress.

  12. The Bridgeport Kid

    Thank you for the post really good. I saw some of yesterday’s comments and they are disgusting to say the least these people do not live here there is no fucking way they do with some of the statements.

    1. Ted Kennedy inherited his elder brothers’ legacy of championing the rights of the poor, of advocating for those that have no advocate. The Connecticut Post wrote a tribute to the late Senator which read in part, “Americans who dislike, even hate, Edward Kennedy, and there are many, seldom get beyond the personal, starting with Chappaquiddick and continuing on through his reputation for boozing and carousing, which culminated in 1991 in a late-night of Palm Beach partying that resulted in his nephew being accused of rape.

      “How, they cried, can people keep electing a man like that?

      “To which, voters who kept returning Mr. Kennedy to what would be the third-longest Senate career in history, replied: health insurance for poor children, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Meals on Wheels for the elderly, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration — a mere sampling of Mr. Kennedy’s achievements.

      “And no one in the country has a longer record of trying to extend health coverage to all Americans than he did. If President Obama succeeds in enacting meaningful health care reform that provides protection to a substantial segment of the millions of uninsured Americans, it will have to be considered part of Mr. Kennedy’s legacy as well.”

      1. I believe that Saints Have Pasts and Sinners Have Futures.
        Kennedy had tried for years regarding healthcare issues.
        Hopefully, God May Delay, but He Will Not Deny any longer for healthcare for the uninsured. I wish I had insurance like the Washington crowd.

        I still beg the question that was only answered by Bpts Finest.

        R.I.P. E.M.K.

  13. 1983: Working for years alongside civil rights leaders, Kennedy helped push Congress to establish the Martin Luther King Day holiday. President Reagan signed it into law in 1983.

    Thank you Kennedy Sen McCain did not want to have that day he’d rather have a Columbus day, the guy that killed many Latinos and Indians.

  14. The Bridgeport Kid

    I know that we have had our problems sometimes but on the key issues I always agree with you and you can tell you’re a resident. I just want to say I appreciate the info you give on a daily basis thank you … vacation is coming up I got a 2 am flight to catch at JFK to Jamaica I can’t wait … Grin yeah you’re correct on the Torres race. It was not close but it was close in terms of what we expected. Fabs only won by 2,000 votes and change.

  15. “… I will admit I was one of those people who never used to vote unless there was a big reason …”

    Let me guess what that “big reason” was.
    A black man was running?

    “… But the city has a lot of voters like my father who votes every 4 years but I know he will vote in November because it’s for the Library and that will make him actually go and vote …”

    The big problem is right in your own home. There is your dad who waits 4 years to vote. During those four years, the city has taxed and spent close to two billion dollars. I hope that when he votes on the Library question, he proves to be smarter than you and votes not to raise the taxes by 1 mil. If he does, then the tax and spending in the next four years will be $2 billion plus the extra 8 million he voted to add on.

    Please don’t ever put me in the same category as your dad. I’m a voter. A true voter is one who votes in every election (19 years straight) regardless of the race of the candidates. True voters take it upon themselves to stay informed about dates, times, and places to vote.

    “Trust me for any person who does not follow politics but wants to vote, it can be hard.”

    What are the chances of a person who doesn’t follow politics showing up to the polls? Chances are they wouldn’t even know how to vote by absentee ballot.
    A person that doesn’t follow politics and votes is like a blind driver at best or a person who got their drivers license by bribing a motor vehicle official–he has a license, but doesn’t know what the hell is going on.

    1. Wait, stop the presses–there was a black man running for something last year?

      I wonder why nobody ever thought of running any black men for office in Bridgeport before? Maybe if the library committee puts a black dude on their fliers, there will be another huge, huge turnout!

  16. Joel Gonzalez I respect your opinion but nope it was not because he was Black. You see my father is Jamaican of Indian decent and my mother is a Jamaican of African decent so that is something for you to know. Second of all he was a Hillary supporter and he and my mother voted for Hillary … Trust me no one can compare to a Clinton in my family. I was the only one that voted for Obama in the Primary in my family so you’re wrong about that. And trust me I do not know if he is voting yes or no but he is his own independent man and in case you did not know Clinton is a very popular name for blacks. But once again thank you for sharing your opinion Joel how much do you pay in property tax by the way???

  17. Lennie

    Thanks for the promo. I returned the favor today.

    WOW! This is really great stuff Mr. Kelly! A little more noise in the blogsphere with no reason to even take up our time. Where did you learn all this horribly important stuff from your buddy Dan The Roach? Did you ever think of devoting some space as to how people can change the wretched local politics, or where they can go to volunteer to help the homeless, or why Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the fastest growing groups in America?

    Hey! Bartender – how about some free advice on what to do with relatives who are alcoholics and ruined their families?

    Comment by Steve Peters — August 27th, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

    Dear Steve,

    WOW! You bring up some great stuff that I would love to discuss and have discussed. I guess you never read “Chief Engineers on the Red Nose Express!”
    Next week’s story will be on “The Great Depression!”

    If you want to read how we can change the wretched local politics, go to www or If you would like to help the homeless, try the Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Thomas Merton House or the Prospect House. Fairfield has a great program in Operation Hope. All are fine organizations that help many people. If you know of a woman who is the victim of abuse try the Center for Women and Families. AA and ALANON have many local meetings and times in the area and I am proud to have friends of Bill W.

    The only free advice I can give “on what to do with relatives who are alcoholics and ruined their families” is to seek professional help. I am a firm believer of brain scanning to see if someone is pre-disposed to addictive behavior, and I believe in the passing down of the bad gene theory. Living better through chemistry can also help someone, once they have been diagnosed. Most depressions and addictive personalities are chemically induced. I have witnessed many of the sad examples that you brought to the discussion table. I hope this helped you!!

    Comment by kelly — August 27th, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

  18. Hector A.
    Thank you for the correction on the Town District Leader for the 137th where I live … you’re right: it is Gil Hernandez, not Tito Ayala … my apologies to both gentlemen/caballeros for the error.

    For yahooy: in response to your 8:01am comment, two issues … (1) about your question: where or what is the source of the money for the 1 mil to be dedicated to library services??? … it will come from the annual city budget whatever it is on a given year … this referendum initiative is to ensure that 1 mil of the city budget each year will be dedicated to library services … plain and simple. The challenge for the Liberate Libraries Committee and its advocates like me, is to inform and explain to Bridgeport voters, between now and November 3, that this is NOT an additional tax. It’s unfortunate that the statute (written in the early 1800’s) inartfully describes how this money is to be obtained and spent on the library system (“Shall a one (1) mill tax be levied to establish and maintain a public library and reading room?”) … it makes it sound as though it’s a new, separate and additional 1 mil tax to be imposed on the taxpayers if this referendum question is successfully approved by the voters. NO EXTRA TAX IS BEING “LEVIED” on anyone … the goal is to force the mayor and city council to dedicate 1 mil to library services in every budget. End of story.
    Let me try to explain it again in simple math which is all I’m capable of doing in spite of being an Asian guy … if the City of Bridgeport’s budget next year is $100.00 … passing this referendum says that the mayor and city council MUST dedicate $1.00 for library services.
    If the city budget is $200.00, then the library is to get $2.00. If the city’s budget takes a dive next year at $50.00, then the Public Library only gets $.50 as their budget for library services.
    Right now, let’s stick to the City’s budget being $100.00, then the library budget now is $.69, or $.31 short of a full $1.00 which is what we are looking for. In real dollars today, the library’s budget as determined by Mayor Finch and the City Council is $4,836,459.00 that’s what .069% of a mil represents. If we get the referendum passed, the library’s budget will go up to $6,965,650.00 by today’s current city budget for a full 1 mil. That would mean an additional $2,129,191.00. So, you’re probably wondering where will that $2.1+ million come from in the city’s budget … well, that’s what the city’s leadership will have to figure out.
    Again, I’ve said this in past postings right here on OIB, if the mayor, city council and the city’s budget staff need help in figuring out where to find that money … I’m willing to volunteer to help out. Of course, it will mean cutting into the current budget allocations of other city departments. That should be plain and obvious. But what do you cut? Well, we would have to look around the rest of the 99.931% of the city budget and see where we can take a sliver here and a sliver there … that’s what.
    Here on OIB, budget items like the Horses in the Police Department have been mentioned more than a couple of times. I agree with that sentiment. After all, what other CT city or town has a police department that maintains an expensive mounted unit … in the ten years I have been a Bridgeport resident and taxpayer, I have never seen a “law enforcement” need for the horses that are usually useful for crowd control or mobile traffic control … recently I didn’t see them at the Gathering of the Vibes when you had a massive traffic jam trying to get out of the South End in the middle of a rainstorm at the end of the concert on a Sunday night??? The mounted unit could have helped a lot that night … What is the cost for the Police horses? I’d rather put that money into library services. Of course, you don’t want to get me started on the drug raids, and the drug arrest and incarceration costs and what a horrific waste of money that is … so I will bite my tongue on that one for now.
    Street cleaning program? What does that cost? Five years of living in the East Side, the street cleaning program in this city should be shelved, or at least streamlined and cut in half, and the extra money could or should go to library services instead. And so on … If we really want to, we can find the extra $2,129,191.00 … I’m pretty confident about that.

    (2) On my second and final note, yahooy, permit me to graciously disabuse you of the notion or thought that I (openly or secretly) “aspire to great public office in this town” … because at midnight on August 12, 2008, a day that will live forever in my political memory, after suffering crushing defeat in my quest for the 130th State Rep seat to Ezekiel Santiago in a three-way race with Chico Rivera for the Democratic nomination, a marital covenant was automatically triggered that said in part, … “if you win, we stay in Bridgeport, but if you lose, we’re moving and I get to pick the place.” My friends, I am no longer the boss of me. There is a higher authority. So in short, my days as a Bridgeport resident and taxpayer are numbered by the days and hours it will take to sell a lovely and sunny three-bedroom condo (lots of closets and storage space!) in the East Side.

    In this fight for the library referendum, I have no personal political motive. As they say in the Philippines, “Wala akong manok sa bulang na ito.” (I don’t have a fighting rooster in this cockfight.) I’m doing it because I just love libraries and I believe in the sentiment that “Great Libraries make Great Cities.” Can the City of Bridgeport ever be great again? What say you, OIB fans?

    1. “NO EXTRA TAX IS BEING LEVIED.” Really? You want $2.1 million more from a budget that has zero prospects of ever balancing so long as William Finch is Mayor. You propose to eliminate all of the unnecessary costs such as horses and street cleaning and funneling that money to the library.

      The library is important. For this there is no argument. I probably utilize the library more than you and most of your supporters if not all of your supporters. But I am a realist. The library is not on the top of the list of priority expenses that must be paid. Public protection and education amongst others trump a library’s need for funding. You are forcing the people in this town to call a librarian when sudden onset of chest pain occurs. Shootings and murder are on the rise. I say if you prevail that we should supplement the 21 uniformed officers on the street with librarians.

      Citing an obscure 1800s statute mandating a budget for the library will cost us more money. Money that we don’t have and have no prospect of getting so long as the Calamarians run this town … and you know it.

      Great Libraries make Great Cities. How about competent leadership who serve with skill and honor make great cities. Said cities once achieving greatness can readily afford ample funding for libraries thereby making our cities greater.

      You catching my drift?

      1. The library is not on the top of the list of priority expenses that must be paid. Public protection and education amongst others trump a library’s need for funding.

        It’s too bad libraries can’t be used to further the city’s education goals.

        Look, if state law allowed towns and cities line-item control on Board of Education budgets, they’d use it. If parents could vote for a fixed education budget set-aside, they’d do it. The politicos decided to cut the library budget, and as it happens, state law gives the library people a tool to get the money back. And since “competent leadership who serve with skill and honor” won’t be on the ballot this year, people will just have to vote on the library funding instead.

    2. No matter how you look at it a 1 mil tax for the libraries will lead to a tax increase for those of us still here. Great, you want the increase and you’re leaving.

    3. With all due respect to Mr. Salcedo and Scott Hughes, but the Library Board has discussed the funding and the statutes cited since the early years of this decade.

      I suggest that you look at old Library Board minutes. Talk to staff who have been around.

      I know. I was there.

      I am glad that they finally got the cojones to actually do something about this!

      “Great Libraries Make Great Cities–Vote for the Library Budget!”

  19. I have one hour left until I have to leave to go to JFK I would like to applaud Sen McCain on his statement tonight on Larry King, he says Kennedy was a good man and that all of us have our weakness and are not perfect and I must say that was a hell of a good statement. McCain just threw politics out of it and gave a great answer. I have never been a fan of McCain but I tell you this he says some things that are true and his speech after he lost is one of them and another thing I can say honestly I many not agree with him on anything but I will never question his character as a person because he is a good guy. There are a few Republicans that I actually like and do not carry hard feelings for and they are McCain, Joel and Shays. Even though I never agree with any of them, they still get respect from me.

  20. Damn Joel 19 years straight, wow!!! I wish when I hit my late 20s I can say I voted 8 years straight well I’m a young guy still and my experience has been 2 years so far.

  21. Solid:
    Love and marriage brought me to Bridgeport: via Fatty
    Love and marriage is taking out of Bridgeport: via Ryan’s Express … I’m just a hopeless romantic and optimist at heart … let’s drink to that!

  22. donj:
    Thank you. We’ll be counting on you and thousands more of Bridgeport voters on November 3! Let’s send a clear message to our mayor and city councilors that library services are important and valuable.

  23. Sylvester L. Salcedo

    No problem Sly I know how important a Library is; in my senior year in high school it helped me out. I was one of those kids who could care less about the library but I had a research project to do and we could not use the computer we had to go to the library and actually sit down and research things out of the book. The library staff at downtown was very helpful letting me know which section to look at and they treated me with a great attitude. And yes we like to brag about my grammar mistakes but guess what I took my time did my 5-page paper at the library for a week and a half and got a 92 on the paper. And I also wrote my college essay at the library and they were great!!! The library was just a place that I could just leave my problems and distraction at home and work great at. From that day last year I will never take a Library for granted. Now I am starting college and nobody is going to stop my dreams of being the first to graduate College. Vote yes to the question.

  24. I’m going to break my vow not to comment any further on the subject of the Library Referendum to say this–

    Thank you for your support donj. Enjoy your vacation and I look forward to working with you when you return.

  25. I’d like to address a few of the points that Mr. Salcedo made:
    Point #1–The library board hired a director who makes approximately $100,000 a year. That’s a lot of money. Presumably the hiring was done on the basis of competence. Then, another person is paid to “coach”. If I were not competent in my job, nobody would pay an additional salary to coach me. I would just be history.
    And, correct me if I’m wrong, but it was my understanding that the idea of invoking that statute came from one of your money-savvy board members.
    Point #4–By all means, let’s see the library budget posted publicly.
    Point #6–So the Newfield Library is now a computer center. Not a library. Research is still being done using books. Believe it or not, computers are not the only resources available. What about adult readers, and teens who read adult books. Oh, I know, let’s tell them to go somewhere else–or tell them they need to wait a couple of days for the books to come to them.

  26. Avast ye swabs!
    As Cap’n Finch ordered I made hearty for the day’s weather, tightening down all cleats and making secure all Port for the storm. Time you know to check all moorings, so I threw on me macintosh, boots and bucket hat and sloshed my way through the puddles, in the face of blinding mists, led through the overcast day by me lantern salvaged, don’t you know, from the Andrea Doria, to the wind-wisp-whipped harbor where the tide heaved outward toward Long Island Sound, abandoning the slime-drenched pier to low tide.

    There’s a story in here somewhere–I think. Care for port?

  27. Ted Kennedy was the architect of the ill-conceived Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Act in 1977 which required employers to “offer” an HMO alternative to all employees. Sadly, HMOs in the past 32 years have done much to degrade the costs of health care in this country and are regarded globally as abject failures. But the concept was good so applaud Kennedy’s efforts. The problem was and is, the government, while mandating the HMO option, did nothing to ensure that the original goals were maintained that being high level health care at affordable cost. When HMOs paid more attention to their respective bottom lines, the quality of HMO services greatly diminished. We need to consider the failure of the HMO system on health care in America and carefully avoid all of the problems as we contemplate further government intervention (badly needed) into providing universal health care to all Americans. I believe that this can be accomplished but must be done so without regard to political correctness or party loyalties. This is an important issue that requires each Senator and Congress person to vote their conscience and not as they are told.


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