3:30 p.m. update: A $15 million juvenile detention center for girls on the Upper East Side? Mother Rell has announced the news today.
Statement from State Senator Anthony Musto:
STATEMENT FROM SEN. MUSTO ON ANNOUNCEMENT OF $15M FOR BRIDGEPORT FACILITY
Bridgeport – State Senator Anthony Musto (D-Trumbull), Senate chair of the General Assembly’s Select Committee on Children, today issued the following statement on news that Governor M. Jodi Rell has placed $15 million in state bonds for the design and construction of a juvenile detention facility for girls in Bridgeport’s north end:
“Teenage girls are increasingly being housed in facilities that child-welfare advocates agree are unsafe for these vulnerable children. This facility will meet an increasing need and is in-line with our commitment to remove children from adult courts and facilities.
“As chair of the Children’s Committee, I think it’s critically important that we ensure that these at-risk youth have the opportunity to correct their mistakes and be protected from an adult criminal justice system that could have the opposite effect.
“I’m glad to hear that this project is moving forward in Bridgeport, and I thank the governor for this investment in our city. Fifteen million in construction work taking place in Bridgeport is welcome news in these difficult economic times.”
Will It Work This Time?
So, the city now officially has another Steel Point deal.
The City Council approved the agreement between Mayor Bill Finch and Bridgeport Landing’s Robert Christoph to transform the East Side land site. A number of council members reenacted the back slapping we saw a few years ago when the city thought it had a deal. Nothing happened, except for some landscaping.
Councilman Bob Troll Walsh says nothing will ever happen. City Council President Tom McCarthy, a supporter of the deal, says considering the economic climate it’s best to try to make something happen even if it takes longer than expected. He told Christoph to make believers of skeptical city residents who’ve seen this movie.
I hope he can.
Freedom From Information
Former Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez isn’t the only one dueling city officials over Freedom of Information requests.
The Connecticut Post is driving the needle into City Attorney Mark Anastasi, the taxpayer-paid personal attorney for anyone that occupies the mayor’s office. In fairness to Mark–whether Joe Ganim, John Fabrizi or Bill Finch– he’s awfully consistent. Mark’s appointed by the mayor and that’s where his loyalty lives and dies. Monday’s Connecticut Postings notes on the homepage of www.connpost.com proclaim Finch and company are stonewalling.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and his legal staff of Anastasi, Howlett & Wrong continue to refuse to release any information on the bids that were “publicly” opened Oct. 1 for the former Black Rock Bank & Trust Co. on Fairfield Ave.
After repeated requests for the information, which is routinely provided elsewhere by state and local officials, the Post on Oct. 7 filed a Freedom of Information request to force the release of the information. Last week, City Attorney Mark Anastasi, belatedly acknowledging receipt of the request, promised that an assistant city attorney, Melanie Howlett, would “substantively” reply by last Friday or no later than Monday.
No call from Howlett, however, either Friday or so far (Monday).
The most interesting part of this? The developer had pulled out of the deal Oct. 7. Either the city was trying to save the deal or just didn’t have time to notify the public? Meanwhile Lopez is pushing forward with information she has requested from the city in conjunction with the termination of former Civil Service Personnel Director Ralph Jacobs. The case has been assigned to a state FOI hearing officer. Lopez wants to know how much Jacobs’ firing has cost the city in outside legal fees, and claims the Civil Service Commission vote to terminate behind closed doors violates FOI.
Jacobs claims he was canned because he refused to play ball with the mayor regarding political hires. The commission says it fired Jacobs for breach of city loyalty for suggesting that a city employee seek mediation to resolve a layoff dispute.
Whoa! Last week it was Republican U.S. Senate candidates Rob Simmons and Sam Caligiuri questioning primary rival Linda McMahon’s GOP loyalty for making donations to Democrats when she served as WWE guru. Now Sam, a state senator from Waterbury, has unleashes a few torpedoes at Simmons, a former congressman, who he says is nothing more than Chris Dodd reinvented.
Dodd must be cheerleading okay boys, rip each other to pieces.
Let the teeth sharpening begin. News release from Caligiuri:
Who Will Simmons Pander to Today?
Former Congressman Rob Simmons has had a change of heart when it comes to two important pieces of legislation that he backed when he was in Congress – Cap and Trade and the Employee Free Choice Act or “card check” as it is known. Simmons announced last Friday afternoon via a blog post that he has reversed his position on these issues.
“While Rob Simmons can spin this all he wants, he is in a primary battle and is desperate to get the support of real, principled Republicans. So Rob Simmons, just like Chris Dodd, is more than happy to say whatever it takes to win an election regardless of what the facts are or what their records show. This type of pandering politics is exactly what is wrong in Washington today,” said Caligiuri spokesperson Tiffany Romero Grossman.
Grossman continued, “Simmons has now proven he is Dodd 2.0 – a D.C. insider who says what he needs to back home in order to win elections, but placates special interests when in Washington. How else can you logically explain it? Simmons said himself it wasn’t until he was back in Connecticut as the state’s business advocate, talking to the people of Connecticut, when he supposedly had this change of heart. So who was he talking to in D.C. that shaped his original position? The liberal special interests? Connecticut voters should question why Simmons wasn’t home talking to people when he was in Congress – and what will he do if he gets there again?
“We cannot afford another Chris Dodd. After 6 years in Congress, Simmons is clearly a part of the problem not the solution. His latest epiphany on two key issues that clearly he hopes will fool real, principled Republicans is right out of the D.C. insider playbook. We need a new generation of leadership in Washington – leadership that puts the people first, and doesn’t need to flip flop their positions later to win another election.
“Everyone has the right to change their mind on where they stand – but doing so years later, once confronted with a competitive primary, simply stinks of political pandering.
“Given that Simmons was a part of the Republican Congress that clearly lost their way and spent us into oblivion, one has to wonder why he didn’t try to cover that up first,” said Grossman.
Yikes! From The Hartford Courant
Personal bankruptcy filings in Connecticut skyrocketed 44 percent in the third quarter compared with a year earlier as job losses and salary cuts deepened the toll on household budgets in the state, a new report today shows.
There were 2,569 personal bankruptcy filings in the state in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared with 1,773 for the same period in 2008, according to the report Monday from The Warren Group.
“The dramatic increase in bankruptcy filings shows what effect job losses and salary cuts have on Connecticut residents,” said Timothy M. Warren Jr., chief executive of The Warren Group. “Many are struggling to pay their bills and have accumulated tremendous debt by relying on credit cards to pay for basic living expenses.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings — which all but wipe out a person’s debts — totaled 2,275 in the third quarter, compared with 1,384 a year ago, a 64.4 percent jump.
Chapter 13 filings, which require a repayment plan, fell by 24.4 percent, to 294, from 389 a year ago. Through the first nine months of 2009, personal bankruptcies rose 22 percent, to 7,177, from 5,583, for the same period a year ago. Chapter 7 filings rose 51 percent in the period to a four-year high, to 6,289, up from 4,176 in 2008.