The Politics of Public Facilities, Plus: Want Some Weed?

Hey, the city’s gonna have a director of Public Facilities real soon, and according to the skinny in City Hall it will be a familiar face … Charlie Carroll, chief of staff to former Mayor John Fabrizi and current director of Parks and Recreation.

Charlie is a good guy who had a supporting role in filmmaker Larry Locke’s docudrama The Accidental Mayor, about Fabs’ battle with his public and private demons. Fabs appointed Charlie, his chief loyalist, parks honcho in the waning months of his mayoralty. Along with the director of Economic Development (recently filled by Don Eversley) the department head vacancy in Public Facilities had left a key unit rudderless during Mayor Bill Finch’s first eight months in office.

Public Facilities is a superagency that touches the lives of residents on a daily basis more than any other non-uniformed government function. The department includes public works, parks, the dog pound and airport: it picks up your garbage and plows and paves the streets, fixes potholes and grooms golf courses, handles building maintenance and some construction projects. When a City Council member gets a raging phone call from a constituent, it usually has something to do with Public Facilities.

For decades it had been the political dumping ground for the connected. “Hey, get my kid a job!” Okay, we’ll stick him in public works. But in recent years, as budget restrictions and job reclassification have cut back on mayoral discretionary appointments, not as many jobs to go around. One of the biggest headaches for the Public Facilities director, in addition to making the trains run on time, is dealing with the unions on an assortment of issues.

If Charlie gets the nod how does Charlie, once a union worker himself, deal with the unionized workers he knows so well?

Both John Marsilio, director of Public Facilities under Joe Ganim and George Estrada who had the role under Fabs before leaving for a similar position at the University of Bridgeport last year, knew how to navigate the minefields both political and public to get the job done.

Good luck, Charlie.

Weed and seed, a news release from Congressman Christopher Shays

Bridgeport to Receive $150,000 Weed and Seed Grant
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Christopher Shays and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch announced today that the Bridgeport Police Department will receive a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to begin a “Weed and Seed” program in the Hollow as well as in the surrounding neighborhoods. This is the second award to implement a Weed and Seed strategy in that neighborhood.

Weed and Seed is a community-driven initiative that aims to revitalize high-crime neighborhoods by “weeding out” criminals who participate in violent crime and drug abuse and “seeding” communities with social, educational, recreational, health, and cultural services to improve residents’ quality of life.

“The Bridgeport Police Department works hard to improve our neighborhoods,” Shays said. “The Weed and Seed program is an important part of their efforts to clean up Bridgeport , prevent crime and build a safer community. I am grateful for this support from the Department of Justice, and for the work of Mayor Finch to enhance the quality of life for residents in these areas.”

“First, we’d like to thank Congressman Shays for helping to secure this needed grant for the Bridgeport Police Department,” said Mayor Finch. “Our police officers work very hard and they do a tremendous job, but this will help them focus even harder on the effort to make sure Bridgeport is a safer community for all our residents and for all the visitors to our city.”

Police Chief Bryan Norwood also thanked Congressman Shays and assured him that the monies would be put to excellent use. “We are always happy when we can get valuable support from sources outside of Bridgeport,” said Norwood.

Law enforcement will use the funding to continue its work to reduce drug trafficking, gun violence and gang activity through the use of Joint Law Enforcement Task Forces, infiltration techniques, and coordinated prosecutions.

The grants work to increase the level of trust between residents and the police. They provide a wide range of safe haven activities including mentoring, computer learning, and health, recreational, and cultural initiatives. The grants also aim to improve the physical appearance of neighborhoods by collaborating with local development efforts to encourage housing development and incorporating crime prevention through environmental design principles in residential housing.



  1. Charlie Carroll…Director of Public Facilities. Charlie Carroll…Snorts’ Chief of Staff. Charlie Carroll…political hack. What’s he know about facility management. Just another example of how the machine hires people based upon loyalties rather than skill level. Facilities is the first line of contact for citizens who have complaints. Complaints about matters which affect their quality of life. Matters that our expensive tax dollars pay for. Instead of seeking out a truly well qualified and experienced professional, the machine gives the plumb to a goombah loyalist supporter.

  2. Gossip of The Rialto!

    Plants n’ Things!! or All in The Family!!!

    Look for, former CAO and Stafstrom partner, Dennis Murphy to become the new Parks Director supplanting Charlie Carroll.

  3. Yahooy

    Do you write this stuff before or after you move your bowels in the morning. Honest to goodness, you have a nasty view about everything that happens in Bridgeport. Charlie Carroll has been involved with the city for most of his working life. Facilities is an important job and Charlie is up to the challenge. He has enough city experience to work with all of the influences that affect that job. I’m satisfied with that appointment and I know more about the intricacies of the municipal management then do you.

    Certainly, Charlie was appointed as a result of his loyalties to the democrats. Patronage is a part of the political process. I’m for it as long as an important job isn’t given to, as you say, a hack without regard to public safety. Carroll will do a fine job in his new role.

    I agree with you, however, that the new Economic Development Director is probably not the right guy for the job based upon his record of accomplishment (actually lack thereof) in Providence. During his tenure in Providence no new corporate development occurred, the tax basis actually shrunk and the city lost key employers at a rate greater than the national norm. It would have been better for Providence if there was no Economic Developer. Someone needs to ask Mayor Finch why he hired this guy.

  4. Stocks set to Torpedo this morning on shaky second quarter earnings reports.

    The Oracle of Omaha Steaks repeats his buy recommendation on Keeley.

    With Keeley’s position on bonding committee , Buffet says voters should take a strong hold position on Keeley for at least two more years.

    Grogins bond grades have been downgraded to a C-Minus based on her Board of Ed non- performance.

    Buffet further commented that Grogins seems to be suffering from the “Moody Blues”.

  5. Shays and Finch are suffering from Reefer Madness.

    Finch is in the weeds and Shays must stilll be high from his last trip to Iraq. If these guys really wanted to plant some seeds. They should follow Sly Salcedo’s lead on the drug war. Taking first time offender seedlings and helping them to grow to become strong trees. I’m sick and tired of these two weeping willows, Finch and Shays. They’ve become a couple of saps.

    Sly Salcedo is what this good town Needs!

  6. I am surprised you’re selling Grogins short. She has had strong performance in the past, her fundamentals are strong and the long-term outlook is for strong growth.

    The main competition has had low performance over the last 24 years, lost market share and there are constant issues about malfeasance in the market place.

  7. Have you seen the lead article in the CT Post this morning?
    “Derecktor files for bankruptcy”
    “Derecktor Shipyards Connecticut has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, but said Monday the reorganization is not expected to idle the 250 workers at the Bridgeport yard.
    The move initially surprised area officials, who later said they do not expect bankruptcy to hurt the boat maker’s plans to expand here.”
    I find it very interesting because I remember (several years ago when Derecktor was going to locate here and was being given tax breaks in anticipation thereof) that someone who had done quite a bit of research on Derecktor wrote a letter to the editor indicating that Derecktor does this on a regular basis wherever it locates. That person predicted just what is happening. – It won’t be long and it will pick up and move again.

    I’m grateful to Chris Shays for obtaining $150,000 for the “Weed and Seed” program but that will hardly pay for the gasoline to run the police around the neighborhood. From what I’ve seen there’s one helluva lot of weeding and seeding to do.

    I wish Charlie Carroll a lot of luck in his newly appointed endeavor. That department is in need of some good supervision from what I’ve seen here along Gilman Street leading into St. Mary’s by the Sea.

  8. Crossin is pulling a pump and dump tactic by Inside Traitor. Trying to be Bullish in a Bear market. This strategy will have Grogins coming up empty-handed on primary day. She’s a contrarian.

    Grogins is over…sold. “Buy on Rumor!” “Sell on News!!” Buy Keeley and say goodbye to Grogins.

  9. I posted this in the previous topic, but I figured most people move on and do not read the older stuff, so I decided to re-post here.

    I find it very interesting to read 45 posts in this section (yesterday), and only 2 of which even touch on the issue in the Police Department which Lennie mentioned.

    Instead, we wallow in name calling and hypothetical rah rah on political candidates that we really have no idea (or do we?) on what they can/will actually accomplish.

    This issue in the PD (as well as the FD and Public Works) is what makes this City so dysfunctional. Find politicians that can take the time and have the smarts and savvy to make Labor a positive force in the City, and not viewed as the enemy (Thanks Ned Winterbottom, etc.), and you will see real change.

    Then again, I don’t see anyone actually trying to “fix” Bridgeport, I see them more than happy to continue in the old ways, make blanket cuts, point fingers, and spew the same old rhetoric.

    Can Charlile Carroll make a go of Public Facilities? I don’t know. He’s going to have to listen, understand what the real problems are, and work that out. The PD and FD are no different. What I do not understand, is that if so many people in these divisions are “political appointments”, then one would think that everything would go smooth, and labor wouldn’t be seen as such a burden. Whats the answer? I’d like to know what Lennie has to say about this.

  10. Barack Obama is my homeboy and he’s bullish on Bridgeport…and so am I.

    For too long, this city has been filled with DoomFreaks who have a perspective born of the rearview mirror. Today, I see a Mayor with upbeat intentions, an EDD with fresh ideas – worth the wait – and a geographic imperitive that makes The Park City an attractive place to invest.

  11. Local Eyes

    Are you referring to Bridgeport, CONNECTICUT???

    When did Obama ever utter two words about Bridgeport. Never, not once. Propaganda.

    You see a mayor with upbeat intentions, we see a mayor who hasn’t got a clue as to how to do his job. His inadequacies have already put us behind in development plans for new commerce.

    Our new EDD practically single-handedly brought Providence to its knees. If he has any fresh ideas, I hope he didn’t test them in his last job.

    Park City is an attractive place to invest? To whom???

    I have coined a new word to describe your diminishing band of dyed-in-the-wool Bridgeport democrat loyalists…


    Not only are you people stupid. You’re assholes to boot.

  12. Charlie Carroll to facilities. He’s done just about everything in this city except been part of the plan to improve things. He may be a nice man (I don’t know him) but he’s definitely not part of the solution. If Eversley is as bad as he’s portrayed in this blog he’ll be safe until the next administration.

    Bishops move pedophile priests to hide their ineptitude. Mayors of Bridgeport move around loyalists to hide theirs.

    What a world!!! Oh yes, expect Dennis Murphy to land somewhere in city government.

    Attention B’port voters…you get what you buy into!

  13. Charlie Carroll is a good choice, he knows all the players and how to manuever amongst the sharks. Take a look at the park complex on Quarry Road. He has cleaned it up and made it into a great looking facility. The parks are clean the ballfields are groomed everyday and the golf course is very busy. I was skeptical at first when he was appointed to the parks department but time proved me wrong. Good Luck.

  14. Referring back to Baker’s proposed ordinance barring people from holding a city council seat and a job with the city or sitting on a commission…

    One of the reasons there appears to be so much cronyism on the municipal work force and on city commissions is that, hey, there are not enough qualified people to fill commission slots.

    Chris Caruso thought he would’ve been able to issue a decree prohibiting City Council members from holding down municipal jobs. That would’ve bankrupted the city–the City Attorney’s office would have been so busy defending against challenges to the decree that Mark Anastasi wouldn’t have time to do anything else except eat, sleep and shit.

    “Weed & Seed” is a good program. At least one of our elected officials is concerned about Bridgeport’s understaffed and underfunded police department.

  15. Warren is one of those disenfranchised voters that judges a candidate on his or her eating habits, at least as he imagines them. I would venture a guess that Warren’s favorite position is bent over a blueberry pie, hands behind his back, fruit filling dripping from his acne-scared jowls and running down his wattled chin and neck.

  16. Bridgeport Kid; How is the Police department underfunded and how many men are they short? Presently there is another class in training and that will add to their numbers. Could it be that we have too many patrolmen tied up in different chores; ie Horse patrol, Bicycle patrol, off road patrol, segway patrol, marine patrol. We invested in a new fleet of patrol cars and updated equipment. We have been adding classes of rookies on a regular basis. So where are we understaffed and how is the PD underfunded?

  17. The BPD is underfunded in that the starting salary is lower in Bridgeport than it is in the surrounding communities. The department is also down by about 80-100 officers. I do agree with you in part: the mounted officers aren’t a day-to-day necessity, nor are the segway patrols. Those officers could be reassigned. We do need the marine patrol. This is Bridgeport, remember; smugglers will use any means necessary to move their nefarious products, including watercraft. There are beat cops in Black Rock (and other parts of the city). This is a good thing, this community policing. The cops get to know the neighborhood (and vice versa) and develop trust. There is the Neighborhood Enforcement Team. But there aren’t enough police officers, no matter how many we get from the academy.

  18. The Bridgeport Kid

    I love the wattled chin and neck visualization. Actually I had the lap dance band surgery. So no more blueberry pie a la mode for moi. Paging Ben Dover?

    Your stock price is rising like a yeast infection in my portfolio. Nice to see many of us are on the same stock chart regarding horses, segway etc.

  19. Bpt Kid:

    “Referring back to Baker’s proposed ordinance barring people from holding a city council seat and a job with the city or sitting on a commission…

    One of the reasons there appears to be so much cronyism on the municipal work force and on city commissions is that, hey, there are not enough qualified people to fill commission slots.”

    Hey Kid are you kidding? You must be a real party loyalist. There are plenty of people in this City who could do as good a job as the party faithful on boards and commissions. Why doesn’t Baker propose an ordinance to let independents submit resumes for consideration?

    I bet there are a lot more of us without agendas than most of what’s being appointed.

  20. I’m sure there are. The trick is to get them interested in serving. Most of the commission posts in Bridgeport are unpaid. People like to get something for their efforts. Civic pride has never been enough incentive in this town.

    And I’m not a party loyalist. My political philosophies tend to be more than a little bit socialist.

  21. donj – I’ll probably be there – come on out and meet Jim Himes – he wants to hear from you – everybody! 7:00 Burroughs CC.

    also –

    Bulletin – July 21, 2008 – Andrés Ayala was awarded the public funds for the primary campaign.

    Bulletin – July 21, 2008 – Charles Clemons was awarded the public funds for the primary campaign.

  22. Independent Soul: Thanks for the dialogue regarding boards and commissions.

    Jon Kantrowitz: Thanks for the bulletins.

    The Bridgeport Kid: I always liked Jasper McLevy. I am a social capitalist. We are all shareholders of our city. I guess I can now put you on my “Social List!”

  23. Whitnum goes on to talk of illegals taking jobs from African-Americans. If this isn’t the most ignorant thing I have heard in a long time. she is nuts and that was a big insult sayaing they only take away jobs from blacks. what the hell is the ct post thinking when they post her saying that. I have canceled my subscription to the ct post.

  24. There are an awful lot of otherwise healthy employable men and women hanging around street corners in this town not many, if any, are illegals. Typically, if you see a few illegals on a street corner, they’re probably busting their ass fixing the sidewalk or doing other jobs that the people who hang around don’t “want” to do.

  25. yahooy I agree as a son of parents who were immigrants I feel that the post should have not posted that. I am black but my parents came to this country Legal and they worked their ass off and have tried to make a good life in Bpt. And also the post singles out Bridgeport in it why they did that. I was so shook when I was reading the article. More than half of the people in this city has family who are immigrants.

  26. Wow I just went to go see what you guys were talking about and all I have to say is it sounds very racist. Another thing Whitnum or witch, whatever that crazy woman’s name is, she is not from Bridgeport so why the heck do they say she is from Bpt, she is not!!! The CT Post lost all respect from me.

  27. My grandfather came to this country in 1905 as a crewman on a ship that brought supplies to the Stanley Steel Company. He came here With Out Papers so he was referred to as a WOP. A lot of Irish, Jews and Poles came here illegally too. They also were regarded as WOPs. Go figure!! My point is my Grandfather went to work for the steel company the same day he arrived just like a bunch of other guys from the same ship. He worked there for nearly 50 years while raising 5 boys and 2 girls. By the time he died he owned 2 houses on Madison Avenue. Plus, he never missed a day of work. I am reminded of my Grandfather every time I see a crew of illegals busting their ass so that they can send money to their families. How do you fault someone who comes here looking for work not welfare.

  28. Yahooy; The difference is your grandfather with or without papers was considered a legal alien. The immigrants that you are talking about are illegal and entered the country illegally. There are presently 15-20 million illegals in the US. They are overburdening the school systems and the hospital systems in the areas with heavy concentrations such as California, the border states and New York.
    The jobs they are taking are jobs that would normally pay a lot more than what the illegals are getting paid. Thus they work and others don’t.
    This problem needs to be rectified and the numbers coming in need to be regulated also. You just can’t open the borders and let everyone in the economy can’t handle them. There needs to be a solution to this problem that is fair to all of us and to the immigrants also.

  29. I think Charlie Carroll is a good choice for Public Works Director. He did an awesome job with the parks – Seaside looks better than ever. I think he’s a hands-on kinda guy, and that’s a good thing. Now I’m wondering who will get his job as Parks Director.

  30. Whitnum goes on to talk of illegals taking jobs from African-Americans. If this isn’t the most ignorant thing I have heard in a long time. she is nuts and that was a big insult sayaing they only take away jobs from blacks. what the hell is the ct post thinking when they post her saying that. I have canceled my subscription to the ct post.

    Donj – that was what the Minutemen said too — fortunately, nobody bought that BS then either.

  31. The devil regarding illegal immigration lies with the US employers who hire the illegal at a desperately low wage and do not collect statutory taxes nor do they pay the employer’s burden in additional payroll costs. A tremendous boon for the unscrupulous employer.

    The street corners of Bridgeport and all major urban communities are filled with people who could otherwise work at the jobs the illegals are doing. Our generous entitlement programs remove any incentive for these people to seek work. Section 8 pays the rent, food is paid for and Title 19 assures access to medical care. What a great deal. Why stay in school? Drop out and qualify for all this free money and get to hang with your pals of similar circumstances.

    It is naive to think we can roundup 20 million illegal aliens and send them packing. So long as the economies of their homelands don’t provide sufficient employment they will continue to come. It is regrettable, but these 20 million are here to stay. We have to learn to deal with the situation.

    I’ve noticed that there are far less Indians and Chinese coming to America for work. Outsourcing our jobs to these countries has made their economies so abundant that the Indian and Chinese can live well at home for far less than they would have had to earn here. The Indians and Chinese generally came here in legal status with H1 visas, Aliens of Distinguished Merit and Ability to fill jobs that there were too few Americans available for.

    Outsourcing has really caused a mess globally. Firstly, too many of our jobs have disappeared to India and China while our greedy corporate execs enjoy great profits because of lower employment costs. Secondly, the Indians and Chinese get to live well at home and have disposable income to buy toys like cars. Hence, $4.25 per gallon. Until recently, the Asian market did not demand oil in the quantities they do today. It’s going to get worse. The Asians will soon find that they have sufficient resources to buy 2 or 3 cars per household just like we did when our economy flourished.

    So, one way to rid us of the illegal is to make their home economy capable of providing jobs with sufficient income to make it unnecessary to cross our borders. NAFTA was a silly attempt to do that. All it accomplished was to relocate our jobs without stemming the illegal flow.

    Imagine if the illegals were allowed to work and their pay was taxed as is ours. Then we would have no burdens on our schools and medical facilities etc. To do this, we have to smash the employers who exploit the illegal and damage our economy by doing so.

    Then we have to revisit our entitlement programs. Surely there are some for which such give aways are needed, but street corners are filled with those who don’t.

    Get these people off the dole and working. If there is no work available for the illegal, they won’t come.

    It is the employer of illegals that cause the situation we are in.

  32. How about getting sloths like Yahooy who either post all day at their jobs…or who have no job off the blogs and into productivity first.

    I doubt that illegals in the US spend all their time blogging on OIB. Yahooy should start contributing to the economy.

  33. Sometimes, Anna, I forget just how stupid you really are. You take the time to read my posting #39 then conclude that you doubt illegals in the US spend all of their time blogging on OIB. What utter nonsense.

    You live below a BOZONE layer, you know, the substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating.

    Truly you are an IGNORANUS…stupid AND an asshole.

  34. As long as I’m here.

    I just read an article in the Post about the Handy and Harmon property in Fairfield that a developer wants to put a Whole Foods onto. Handy and Harmon processed metals. The residue contaminated the property so badly that the developer was REQUIRED to remove all of the top soil down to the bedrock before getting any form of approvals.

    Without blinking an eye, the developer had the work done to the satisfaction of the town, the state and the feds.

    Now someone has to tell me in words a six-year-old can understand why Sal DiNardo does not have to comply to the same set of standards. We are dealing with issues that relate to public safety. The current administration seems to be content to let DiNardo get away with it. How come?

  35. Maybe if Caruso hadn’t scared off Bob Scinto then we’d have more properties in the hands of more responsive developers.

    Why are you writing about development? “CORRUPTION IS THE ONLY ISSUE!!!!!”…no?

  36. If corruption isn’t the only issue than why did you choose to write that mantra on this blog 50 bazillion times.

    If you were wrong (which you routinely are) then why should I trust anything that drops on this blog from your nowadays less cluttered/more medicated little mind?

  37. Rather than go out and find another out-sider for a city director’s job, I prefer having a Bpt. local guy that knows the city and its people. Charlie Carroll is the right guy for a tough job that takes someone with balls, to do the job right! Good choice on the Mayor’s part & best of luck to TOP!!!


Leave a Reply