The Troll Freaks At Committee Meeting, Plus: Saving Bridgeport Jobs

If you heard the ear-splitting screams Thursday night it came from Bridgeport City Hall where City Councilman Bob “Troll” Walsh blew a cork after the council’s Economic and Community Development Committee unanimously approved contract provisions for Frank Boulton, chief executive of the Atlantic League, the new owner of the Bridgeport Bluefish.

The city, as owner of the ballpark at Harbor Yard, must approve contract language that extends to a new owner. Boulton, a successful baseball executive, purchased the team and its liabilities from an ownership group headed by Mary-Jane Foster, including a $250,000 lease fee the team owes the city.

Walsh charged that the Bluefish received an interest-free loan and the city should start with a clean piece of paper and negotiate a new contract that provides a better deal for taxpayers. The other side of aisle includes city officials such as City Council President Tom McCarthy that want to keep the lights on at the ballpark and revenue generating for a 2009 season.

Those at the meeting, including Walsh, say it wasn’t pretty. In fact, Connecticut Post reporter Keila Torres, covering a zoning matter, heard the shouting from the next room. Walsh, who’s not a member of the committee, shrieked into McCarthy’s face that it was a bad deal charging McCarthy, as an attorney, wasn’t doing his due diligence. McCarthy calmly stood his ground in front of council members as Walsh spewed.

I love it when two Irish guys go at it, especially with polar-opposite personalities. Walsh, an accountant by profession, is never afraid to say what’s on his mind, damn the consequences. McCarthy, a consensus builder, sees the city budget bleeding with a new owner assuming obligations of a prior owner. There’s dispute, however, between Walsh and McCarthy over just how much the new owner is obligated to pick up.

“I want to rewrite the lease for a better deal for the city,” Walsh told OIB.

 “The city budget is in dire straits and we have a new owner willing to pay money owed by former owners that he’s not obligated to pay,” McCarthy responded. “Boulton doesn’t have to do this. The alternative is an empty ballpark.”

The full council is expected to approve the city’s agreement with Boulton at its next meeting. Mayor Bill Finch, meanwhile, will introduce the new owner at a press conference today.

News release from Governor Rell

Governor Rell: State Loan to Keep Lacey Manufacturing, 250 Jobs in Bridgeport

Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that the state has approved a $5 million low-interest loan to Precision Engineered Products LLC (PEP) to help the company purchase Lacey Manufacturing, a move that will retain 250 jobs in Bridgeport.

“Jobs are always at the top of my priority list, and never more so than with the uncertainty on Wall Street taking a bite out of Connecticut’s economy,” Governor Rell said. “This project is an opportunity to keep one of Bridgeport’s largest and most well-respected manufacturers in operation and preserve 250 good paying jobs in the process.

“I particularly want to thank state Senator Rob Russo, who was dedicated to making this deal a reality and keeping Lacey Manufacturing in Bridgeport,” the Governor said. “His persistence in pursuing the financing from the state and his efforts to bring all of the players together reflects his commitment to preserving these jobs.”

“I’m grateful we were able to work with Governor Rell to help guarantee Lacey Manufacturing and its 250 jobs will stay in Bridgeport,” said Senator Russo (R-22). “This is an example of the kinds of smart investments the state must make to keep jobs in Connecticut and to help our local businesses and working families weather the current economic downturn.”

Lacey Manufacturing is a manufacturer of medical devices and bearing components that has operated in Bridgeport for approximately 90 years. The company is currently owned by the Schaeffler Group. PEP is an integrated manufacturer of metal and plastic molded assemblies, subassemblies and precision components with facilities in the United States and abroad.

The state portion of the financing is being arranged by the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Development Authority.



  1. How brilliant was it of Obama to diffuse just about every negative attack against him that has made its way through the media, and to do it while making everyone laugh; and that includes his opponent.
    By the way donj, yes I am. Does that offend you? Is that against the rules in your partisan rulebook? If so, I don’t subscribe to that issue. On November 4th, I will be exercising my RIGHT to vote. That means I vote for whomever I WANT TO, “without preconditions.”

  2. Hey guys. I haven’t been active lately, but I just had to respond today. I’ll be tuning into WICC at 5 … we’ll see how that goes. Also for the poll, add one for Ganim.

  3. I ran into a GOP member that ran for a City Council seat last year (and lost by 25 or so votes) at the Norden Club last Friday. (No, I’m not a member. I was working, playing in the band, “daybreak, daybreak on the land …”) She (yes, it was one of those two) was rather critical of Hizzoner the Mayor’s method of handling city affairs and claimed that Finch was maneuvering for another Fabrizi run. According to informed sources, that’s not a possibility. I can’t understand why Fabs would want to jump back into the fire. After all, he’s having a much easier go of it as an educator and radio talk show host.

  4. Lennie and Almost Everybody Else who Comments on OIB,
    Ran across the following joke which seems to sum up the treatment the McCain camp gets from the press:
    Pali and The Pope

    Sarah Palin is invited to meet with the Pope while he is vacationing south of Rome in Venice.

    The liberal press reluctantly watches the semi-private audience, hoping they will be able to allot minimal coverage, if any.

    The Pope asks Governor Palin to join him on a Gondola ride through the canals of Venice.

    They’re admiring the sights and agreeing on moral issues when all of a sudden the Pope’s hat (zucchetto) blows off his head and out into the water.

    The gondolier starts to reach for the Pontiff’s hat with his pole, but this move threatens to overturn the floating craft.

    Sarah waves the tour guide off, saying, ‘Wait, wait. I’ll take care of this. Don’t worry.’

    She steps off the gondola onto the surface of the water and walks out to the Pope’s hat, bends over and picks it up. She walks back across the water to the gondola and steps aboard.

    She hands the hat to the Pope amid stunned silence.

    The next morning the topic of conversation among Democrats in Congress, CBS News, NBC News, ABC News, CNN, the New York Times, Hollywood celebrities, and in France and Germany is …

    … ‘Palin Can’t Swim.’

  5. So did anyone see the Shays/Himes debate last night? Himes said Bridgeport is worse off than it was 21 years ago. Who is he kidding? He couldn’t find Bridgeport on a map 21 years ago.

  6. Lennie: Are you putting Jasper on your Social List?

    Denis: Is Shays going to sink or swim?

    Chris Shays: When are you going to put up a McCain, Russo or For Sale sign on your lawn?

  7. Walsh …

    Let’s hear your side of the story. I’ll tell you this: If you are wrong, you need to leave the council. Your obstructionist proclivities are burying this city.

  8. Why is this contract negotiation, renegotiation or assignment of lease, not in front of the contracts committee?

    If the taxpayer does not pay their taxes they are subject to an 18% interest penalty. Shouldn’t the city get at least 5% new interest on our money if we are going to finance new debt? Furthermore, that arrearage of debt is amortized off the patron parking to the tune of two dollars per car. It does not come off the operating expenses or revenues of the ballclub. That was a kicker clause that increased parking costs from two dollars to four dollars per passenger vehicle implemented over three years ago in lease renogiations with Mickey Herbert. This money was a carryover from an original $500k back rent debt accrued by the Bluefish under Herbert’s tutelage. So in essence this has been over a six-year interest-free loan.

    Not to be forgotten is the fact that during the debt/lease renegotiation of 2003/2004? The Bluefish rent was cut by $75k to help the team become profitable.

    Walsh is not being an obstructionist. He is being a good negotiator and responsible councilperson. He is Trolling for Dollars.

  9. I won’t vote for any of the three you mentioned no matter what happens. In my opinion just based on what they did for the city I would rate Ganim first, Fabrizi second and there is absolutely no way to rate Finch as there is not a number low enough.
    Finch and the jerks who work for him and that includes McCarthy can’t seem to do anything right. I see where they lost another round in the layoff battle. They lost to a 70-year-old woman who works in civil service. They lost to the PD and must lay off by seniority if they are going to do it at all. They will lose the Joe Minopoli layoff also when it’s disclosed he was laid off to make room for Councilman Rich Paoletto who will theoretically take over the reigns of a new department.
    Finch and Anastasi stated after they lost their latest battle that they will check with labor relations. Duh!!! I thought they should have done that before they laid off anyone. The problem would have been the same if they did check with labor relations because that department is in the mayor’s pocket also. I mean check with Osborne and McCarthy? Give me a break. Memo to Finch don’t check with those two until after 10am because they aren’t there until then.
    When Finch’s term is over he will go down as the worst mayor this city has ever had. In fact I wonder if there will be a Bridgeport after he is done.

  10. Milton Johnson, I was not questioning who you should vote for, I was just wondering if you would split your ticket because you are a Republican running for State rep. Anyway at least you are a decent Republican but you’re in a tough position to win come November and that’s because your district is so Blue. I am not a Gomes supporter but I cannot vote for a Republican this year. In 2006 it was my first time voting I voted for Lieberman, Shays, DeStefano, Gomes, Clemons. This year I will be voting for Obama, Himes, Gomes and Clemons.

  11. Oh please donj, I was there last night.

    That guy was with Josh from CT Dems who was filming the debate for Nancy DiNardo’s home video collection. The two of them were all excited outside after they shot this video.

  12. Throwin’ in a monkeywrench … don’t discount Andres Ayala Jr. … think about it … while the gentlemen you mentioned duke it out, the east side of Bpt votes Ayala and he sneaks in the front door as the next mayor of our great city … could happen.

  13. The angry man with no answers campaign isn’t working for president … ya think it would work here???

    Been here and done that … time for answers and change … not negativity and hate.

  14. Walsh doesn’t know how to conduct himself properly in public. No class and no manners, just hissy fits. People like him are the reason this city can’t get things done. That woman should have called the cops to have him removed when he started acting out and screaming. He’s just a frustrated angry person that needs to get a life.

  15. No I did not, Marlys. I wasn’t able to raise the required capital. Getting that grant is tougher that I originally anticipated. I’ll just have to make do with what I have.
    donj, if on November 4th after hearing the details of both campaigns you decide Gomes is a better choice, then I urge you to vote for him. But since you haven’t heard much from my campaign, I’d think it’d be a bit premature to declare you’re voting for Gomes (especially since you publicly announced you’re not a supporter of his).
    I am not a subscriber to partisan politics, so it disappoints me when I hear someone say they cannot vote for a Republican. I tried the independent thing, and it doesn’t work. If I were a Democrat, here in Bridgeport, you would never hear from me as a candidate because they (the local Democrat party leadership) don’t like who they cannot control. Therefore I urge you to pay no attention to the R’s and the D’s that follow the names, because that makes no difference here on the local level.
    Lastly, if your district is better now than it was in 2006, then I strongly urge you to keep your current team of representatives in place. If it’s not, then it is time to rethink whom you send to represent you in Hartford.

    All the best whomever it is you choose,
    Milton Johnson

  16. *** I’m amazed @ some of the so-called, “gossip-facts” that Bpt. Kid comes up with on this forum from time to time, #7? ** Also, councilman Walsh does seem to “over” blow his stack sometimes a bit too much, however he’s always thinking of the average Bpt. taxpayer! And when it comes to new contracts with the city, Walsh knows that it’s probably to the city’s advantage to get all it can @ the start of a new contract with new developers or businesses because it’s just a matter of time before they come back in the future wanting to renegotiate the original contract due to some type of $ mismanagement! And he’s seen many for sure, maybe he’s run out of patience with the Bluefish? **

  17. Milton Johnson, I agree with you about that but it is a hard pill to swallow knowing you voted for a Republican. Honestly Milton I wish you had run a primary against Gomes because I do feel you have more to offer than Gomes that’s why I really feel like you should primaried Gomes, you would have beat him. Well I wish you the best in that race I am still sticking to my point you should have run a primary challenge against Gomes because being a Republican will not get you elected in Bridgeport even if you have good ideas. When you ran for Mayor I actually did vote for you because there was nobody on the ticket I liked but you. Do you see yourself running for mayor in the Democratic primary in a few years???

  18. Mojo, my point is that Walsh should try to get his point across without blowing up like a madman when he disagrees with something. All his credibility goes out the window when he behaves like a screaming psycho.

  19. “Milton Johnson” #30, wrote “If I were a democrat, here in Bridgeport, you would never hear from me as a candidate because they (the local democrat party leadership) don’t like who they cannot control.”

    Although I am a strong supporter of Ed Gomes, Milton Johnson is right on target about the local democrat party leadership, they don’t like who they cannot control.

  20. Ahhh, what a carnaval … Walsh and McCarthy lose their cool … poor things …

    As for Bpts Finest posting, I like the sound of Andres Ayala, Jr. for Mayor … We’ll have to see what 2011 brings, but I for one can say no to Fabrizi, Ganim and Finch et al. … They should all retire from politics in Bridgeport …

    We need a young, fresh and new perspective from the next Mayor of Bpt … Maybe even someone not political …

  21. *** How about D. Martinez the councilman, for Mayor? He’s certainly a jolly fellow & young-#35. And yes, someone not involved in politics right now but would like to be, is always an option; maybe one of Ayala’s friends or supporters, how about you Celia Cruz? ***

  22. Ayala is already running for Mayor and everyone in the Latino community knows he will do a better job than that idiot Mayor Finch. Ayala is right about how the Mayor doesn’t care about neighborhoods and is just another drunk machine politician.

    Finch knows what everyone in his office and city (incl. Ruben Felipe, Mitch Robles, Andres and Carmen) will all do with him when the time comes (and it is coming!) Finch will do us no more harm.

    There will be a Boricua mayor in 2011!

  23. #38- Yes you’re right, after the movers & shakers have no more need of you it’s the old hook! Now, I would asume by your blog & the excitement you share on Mr. Ayala being Mayor, that you are Boricua? Also you appear to be young, @ least in heart but not too young to understand that by using Mr. C. Batalla’s name as your blog name to post silly B/S blogs; you do his good memory a disservice. I would suggest that you do a little research on the man & what his contributions were, to not only the Puerto-Rican community but the average citizen of Bpt. Then decide whether his name should be part of your many other blog names that you use on this forum!

  24. Congrats to the Shays campaign tonight, they really rocked Stamford before the debate! There were supporters and signs everywhere in front of the hotel, they looked energized and ready to go! There were Himes people there but they looked haggard and did not show the same enthusiasm. Chris really rocked the house during the debate, he was right on! My money is on Shays!


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