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These State Guys Are Nuts, Fire Up The Legal Papers, Plus: Barack’s Speech

January 28th, 2010 · 29 Comments · Development and Zoning, National Politics, State Politics

We’re getting closer.

One week left until Jodi’s Jail deadline. Will she extend it? One thing is for sure, the knucklehead state bureaucrats shoving this thing down the city’s throat should build their own detention center to accommodate their insanity. The state’s rigid requirements make it impossible for the city to find an alternative site. Based on their own criteria, Governor Rell’s location for a $20 million juvenile detention center for girls on residential Virginia Avenue in the Upper East Side doesn’t qualify. (See below.)

Mayor Bill Finch and Economic Development Director Don Eversley met with the city’s state legislative delegation for more than two hours on Wednesday to kick around alternative locations. Some sites discussed include the city-owned Health Department building on East Main and a downtown parcel owned by the city bounded by Main Street, Congress and Gold, ironically across from the state detention center for boys on Water Street. Hey, Juvenile Jail Row! There was no discussion about persuading the state to incorporate a new girls addition to the existing boys detention center.

Also discussed was state-owned property in Trumbull currently occupied by the city’s Parks Department just North of Beardsley Park. I wonder what State Senator Anthony Musto thinks of that. Anthony, you out there? The city, under that scenario, would find a new location for the Parks Department.

Some privately owned sites were also discussed but the transaction process adds an impossible wrinkle, such as the old Bridgeport Machines on Lindley Street owned by an entity controlled by developer Sal DiNardo as well as the old Remington plant DiNardo controls on the East Side. That site needs lots of clean-up. Also, the old Hubbell plant property on State Street was discussed, as well as four acres on Commerce Drive, the old Connecticut Limousine site, right on the Fairfield line.

Some of these sites, such as the Health Department location, seem reasonable alternatives in light of the state’s restrictions. If the state balks, you know what I’ve already written: give the state a dose of Mark Anastasi! Yes, that’s right, fire up the city attorney. File a land use discrimination law suit–why does the city always bear the state’s burdens?–and drag it out in the hope the next governor is reasonable.

Easy for me to say. That depends on what other development plans the mayor has teed up that requires the governor’s support as she finishes out her term. Hopefully, she’ll do something nice for the city before retiring. Like accept the city’s alternate city-owned site and deed the Virginia Avenue location to the city for private investment and new tax revenue. Ah, is that wishful thinking?

Statement from the mayor:

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and his staff today (Jan. 27) met with the Bridgeport Legislative delegation in preparation for the opening of the upcoming legislative session next week. The entire Bridgeport delegation was invited and, Reps. Ayala, Caruso, Clemons, Grogins, Hennessy and Santiago, and Sen. Musto were in attendance, along with members of the Mayor’s staff.

The Mayor and his staff reviewed upcoming legislative priorities, and the delegation received updates on key management initiatives including, economic development, CitiStat, and sustainability efforts.

The delegation also discussed alternative sites for the proposed girls detention facility slated for 115 Virginia Avenue. A statement from the Mayor follows:

“The specifications set forth by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) for this project are so prohibitive that they rule out any potential site in Bridgeport, including the proposed 115 Virginia Avenue site. This leaves us with no current options for alternatives. We did meet today to discuss the alternatives, and agreed we do have possible alternative sites to offer, if the Governor can revisit the prohibitive specs that DCF set for the site. I have a call in to her to discuss this issue. We are all hopeful that a productive discussion will ensue, and we can avoid considering legal means to stop this process until a more suitable site is found.”

The bureaucrats that crafted the “Evaluation Criteria For Alternative Sites within the City of Bridgeport” are in la-la land. Now we know why they don’t have the guts to stick it in the ‘burbs. Check this out …

Department of Children and Families Proposed Girl’s Secure Treatment Facility

Evaluation Criteria for Alternative Sites within the City of Bridgeport Prepared for the City of Bridgeport

1. Direct and easy access to major state highways.

2. Adjacent or in close proximity to bus routes.

3. A buildable rectangle area at least 440′ by 300′. The site needs to be relatively flat in
order to allow for the proposed floor plan to be placed without major modifications.
Additionally, such buildable area must exclude:

a. Easements

b. Right of ways

c. Physical structures (buildings, utility equipment, other types of permanent
structures)

d. Local zoning setbacks requirements

e. Federal and/or state regulated resources/areas (including, but not limited to,
floodplains, streams, natural diversity database areas, coastal resources)

f. Other physical or regulated encumbrances

Such exclusions would tend to limit or make the development of the proposed facility
difficult, including not feasible.

4. Adequate property frontage on an existing public street.

5. The property must be served by public utilities, including domestic water, sewer,
natural gas, electrical, telephone and Cable TV, and meet or exceed the following
requirements:

a. 8″ water main

b. 2″ gas line

c. On-site area to manage stormwater in a cost-effective way with zero-increase
in runoff.

 6. The property’s soil must have an allowable bearing pressure of 3 kips per square foot
to build the proposed facility with conventional spread footings and site
improvements (i.e. paved parking).

7. The property title must be free and clear of any encumbrances that would limit or
impact the construction or use of the subject facility.

8. No acquisition costs to the State.

9. Adjacent or surrounding land uses that are stable (for example, no potential for
incompatible or inconsistent land use or zoning changes in the foreseeable future).

10. The location of the site be within a Regional Center or Neighborhood Conservation
Areas, as depicted on the current State Plan of Conservation and Development
Locational Guide Map and be consistent with local and regional plans and local
zoning.

11. No portions of the property must be located within a flood zone as designated by the
FEMA.

12. No portions of the property or structures, must be deemed, located within, or be
adjacent to a cultural resource, such as a site or structure that is listed on the National,
State or Local Registers of Historic Places.

13. Not be subject to the Transfer Act or any Federal or State remediation standards.

Statement from Blumenthal regarding President’s speech

The following is a statement from Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Democratic candidate for US Senate, on tonight’s State of the Union address:

“I welcome the President’s acknowledgment of the economic pain felt widely and deeply and look forward to reviewing his plans to help middle class Americans, who are still hurting economically. We must enable Americans to find and keep good jobs with fair pay. And, to protect our economic future, we need vigorous, sustained fiscal discipline that enables deficit cutting.”

Statement from congressional candidate Rick Torres

Our Founders would be mortified if they heard President Obama speak tonight. They would be shocked at the fact that the government large enough to do everything for us–and thus large enough to take everything from us–is already here. President Obama wants us to believe that as the government digs its hands into our pockets to provide us with the services we can get for ourselves, we should be grateful.

There is hardly a challenge by Republican leaders to the concept of government bureaucrats raiding our wallets so that they can spend it on our behalf the way they see fit. Why do Republican leaders shy away from arguing that the way to prosperity is through a private economy, and that the best ‘jobs program’ the government can institute is by getting out of the way, through lower taxes and deregulation? Unfortunately, too many so-called ‘moderates’ in the Republican party had voted for increased spending, opening the door for unprecedented growth of government under this president.

It is time we revert back to the original tenets of the Constitution: a small government instituted among us to secure our life and liberty–not to confiscate and redistribute the fruits of our labor. It is with this express purpose that I am running for Congress in Connecticut.

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29 Comments so far ↓

  • donj

    Good address by Obama I really feel the economy will pick up. Republicans need to just stop that plan they always have of voting no no no for god damn everything. Obama took a swipe at Lieberman when he said something like some are holding grudges or something like that to be honest I’d rather have even a Republican than Lieberman he is a disgusting politician. Yes these state guys are nuts!!!

  • bri

    Where is Bob Walsh, the man of reason? Did Mario know about the site location? What could have been a mass transportation center was instead given a boys’ detention center, did someone suggest make it bigger and add the girls’ detention center? Sure why not compound the mistake. Does Finch just drink draft beer and watch basketball, shrug his shoulders and look for an easy way out when caught lying? The fat man with his hand on the pulse of the city has come up blank except for noise-making and feet-stamping antics. Tony from Trumbull looks to prefer a great big family hug. Sounds like a court battle is the best approach or get Ned to have a peek and keep everything on hold until he is sworn in.

    • Joel Gonzalez

      “Where is Bob Walsh, the man of reason?”

      Maybe Bob Walsh has a reason for not visiting or should I say reading OIB posts and not leaving comments. The troll doesn’t even return calls from an OIB Troll supporter.
      If I find out the Troll is reading OIB posts and not returning my calls … Who knows, maybe McCarthy sent him to “Diversity College.”

  • BEACON2

    Obama gets an ‘A’ for comprehensive State of the Union address last night. He hit most of the issues on our minds. But was it the talk of a world leader (by dint of US Presidency of a country with # 1 beliefs) in a competitive global economy to his countrymen and women? Or was it the secret woodshed talk to Congressional members instead who are holding up activity towards his vision? … after all, isn’t it only those elected representatives of us who are holding up his grand design … you notice he did not ask anything of us voters and taxpayers, looking and listening from the cheap seats, did he? We are receivers of tax cuts and Paygo budgeting (Republican position) and lots of stimulus: jobs, education, housing, healthcare, etc. benefits (Democratic positions). Everybody happy, right???

    When are our leaders going to get out in front and tell us the scary truth indicating the mountain of obligations already thrust on citizen taxpayers by past legislative decisions, in annual budget costs both mandatory and discretionary, as well as off-budget commitments in terms of miscellaneous “guarantees,” assurances, benefit programs without reserves, responsibilities, etc.?

    Yesterday a writer in the Financial Times referred to the proposed freezing of certain on-budget spending (in Obama’s talk) as “spitting into a forest fire.”

    Curious that Chris Shays (in the running for Governor?) quoted in this morning’s CT Post after one year away from legislative life seems spot-on to this ‘leadership’ problem. He said elected government executives need to act like competent parents, directing our attention, behavior, and decisions to things that are good for us today but also good for us tomorrow!!!

    Shays sold his home in Bridgeport to David M. Walker, author of recently released COMEBACK AMERICA, a non-technical book by the man who was Comptroller General of the US for 10 years under Presidents Clinton and Bush 43. He headed the Government Accountability Office and his experience has put him in a very good position to outline the nature of the “economic forest fire” or “financial avalanche” approaching us. It is not pretty and our leaders are not calling on the talents, the resources and the good will of the US public in a non-partisan way to understand, address and live the necessary response. Solutions deferred will be more painful and expensive. For those who believe that government and politics are serious business rather than only a forum for personal celebrity and eccentricity you ought to read Walker’s book …

  • town committee

    I heard nothing in the president’s speech that leads me to believe they actually have a plan to attack our number one problem which is JOBS.
    The lip service about increasing exports is just that, lip service. Small businesses who produce most of what we export can’t get money (loans) to increase production.
    We have spent the better part of 2 decades driving our manufacturing base out of the country and now we want this non-existent manufacturing base to increase exports.
    BTW when did any of us buy a product that was made in the USA? I do a lot of business in vintage kitchenware and every item I buy and sell states it was made in the USA. Go to the local stores and find the same item (newer version) and not one is made in the USA. We need to require or mandate countries that export products to the US buy the same amount of American made products (import). We also need to tax American companies that take their businesses overseas heavily. When was the last time you bought your kid a toy that was made in the USA?

  • enlightened

    Questions:
    If the comments attributed to the mayor’s office are correct, why would the state want to roil up the city to build a girls’ jail at a location that does not meet its own standards?
    The governor is not a dumb politician. Did mentioning the word ‘Bridgeport’ suddenly make her a mental defective willing to do anything? Or was the state told quietly it was OK to build a jail on the Virginia Avenue site?

  • town committee

    Enlightened; I think you may have hit the nail on the head. Thinking about your post one has to wonder where have the politicians been for the past year or 2. They have known about it that long and did nothing about it. They kept it a secret and did not tell the neighborhoods involved. Now they are scrambling for an alternate site and have no action plan.
    Even though they will now deny it I believe they gave tacit approval to the state’s plan for this jail.
    Finch has shown that he could care less about zoning issues especially up in the upper East Side. I point to the jail, the Jehovah church and the zone busting apartments on Evers St & Huntington Tpke. Bot a beep from Finch & Company.

  • Mojo

    *** President’s speech gets a B+ from me for understanding the need for refocusing on what exactly needs priority attention as per the American voters & this nation as a whole. As opposed to D.C. political bipartisan inhouse fighting over the same issues, just different ways of achieving success! For a new president coming into power with so many national & world problems such as the economy, war, foreign policy, healthcare, taxes, etc. just to name a few; it’s amazing he & his admin. have been able to just hold their own with picking staff, day to day operations, political & media bashing & overall moving forward on solving some of the multi-problems in this nation alone. It truly seems like a unappreciated position to be in, where they’ll never be able to please nor solve every problem in America regardless of what Obama may or may not do during his watch as President. But overall, I think this country is headed in the right direction for now, hope it stays the course. Wish I could say the same for Bpt. however, it seems like just the opposite! ***

  • town committee

    Mojo; haven’t seen your posts for a few days. Just to stimulate debate. What has the Obama administration accomplished to date? It seems to me he spent a year trying to hammer through a flawed health care Bill and Cap & trade policy that will significantly raise utility rates.
    It wasn’t until the Republican victory in Massachusetts did he decide that he needed to focus on Jobs. Stimulus money? Do you know anyone that has started work or got a job because of Stimulus Money? I don’t.
    As far as media bashing he has been given a relatively free pass by the mainstream media until recently. Just some thoughts.

  • donj

    Well stated Mojo.

  • Ron Mackey

    “town committee,” you asked “What has the Obama administration accomplished to date?” First, what was the condition of this country on the FIRST DAY that Obama walked through the door of the White House?

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Remember that Obama walked from the U.S. Senate to the doors of the “White House.”

    • town committee

      Ron we had a deficit of about $1.4 trillion and an unemployment rate of about 5%. Now we have a deficit 7 or 8 times what it was. We have a failed Stimulus Package that produced no jobs. Please don’t tell me it saved jobs as that is political BS. We have an unemployment rate of 10% which some people say could be as high as 17% adding in people who have given up looking for work. We have made the big banks whole and they are reaping the billions in profit off of our money given to them by this administration. We own 2 car companies that are doing poorly. Isn’t it funny Ford who took no money from the government has reported billions in earnings. This administration has been in charge for a year how long are they going to blame Bush? Their policies to date have failed. They spent a year on health care where has that gone? Have you read the sweetheart deals involved in health care? Landreau, Nelson. Big Pharma, the Unions and the list goes on. Tell me what they have done to put people back to work? Nothing. The speech last night and the trip to Florida today was smoke and mirrors. Obama is still personally popular but his policies are not. Just check the polls. Guantanamo is still open which I think is great. We are treating terrorists as if they are common criminals and worrying about their Miranda Rights. The list goes on Ron.

  • independent soul

    Let’s try looking at this who did what to whom when, where and why into something more realistic.

    The president proposes, congress disposes. Obama can’t do anything except sign a few exec orders, and be the marketing agent for the fed. govt. It’s Congress, those idiots with a lower approval rating than Bush, that need to be held accountable. They are too busy feathering their own nests, special health benefits, retirement benefits, travel perks, even sexual favors (mmm, not bad). I voted for Obama because I believe in the message. He relinquished too much to Pelosi and Reid and it bit him in the ass.

    Now wanna compare it all to B’port? Take a mayor with a message (my way or the highway) and a council full of bobbing headed dolls in lock step, and you have our current state of disarray. Finch can be knocked down a few pegs when the people start in their own districts to elect fair-minded community oriented people to lead.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      Finch can and ought to be knocked down a few pegs, but will that ever happen? I think not, but his lies concerning the location of the girlie jail will come back to haunt him.

      Anthony Musto is working to redeem himself, so his initial press release will be forgiven in time.

      Bridgeport’s legislative delegation has come together in a rare show of unity to oppose the Governor’s plan to build the jail in Virginia Avenue. How touching.

  • Ron Mackey

    American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Stimulus)
    Signed: Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009

    Children’s Health Insurance Reauthorization Act (Making sure kids with Health Insurance, keep it.)
    Signed: Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009

    Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (Help Ending Pay Discrimination Against Women)
    Signed: Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009

    3/9/2009
    Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells, (Finally Science and Reason over irrational thought.)

    2/20/2009
    Amending Executive Order 13390 (“in order to extend the work of the Coordinator of Federal Support for the Recovery and Rebuilding of the Gulf Coast Region.”)

    2/19/2009
    Executive Order: Establishment of the White House Office of Urban Affairs (The citizens of our cities need that ladder to success)

    2/6/2009
    Executive Order: Use of Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects (A better way to rebuild America)

    2/6/2009
    Presidential Executive Order Establishing the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board

    2/5/2009
    Executive Order – Further Amendments To Executive Order 12859, Establishment Of The Domestic Policy Council

    2/5/2009
    Executive Order: Further Amendments to Executive Order 12835, Establishment of the National Economic Council

    2/5/2009
    Amendments to Executive Order 13199 and Establishment of the President’s Advisory Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (Stop telling Democrats that they are intolerant of people of faith, 99% of us are those people.)

    1/30/2009
    Revocation Of Certain Executive Orders Concerning Regulatory Planning And Review (Again reforming the contracting process and development process)

    1/30/2009
    Nondisplacement of Qualified Workers Under Service Contracts (Stop blaming working people for the failures of management and corporations)

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Ron don’t you see that all the above mentioned is simply creating more boards and commissions? All of this has a price tag. Whatever the cost may be, remember that Obama approved the spending all on his own and in just one month’s time.

  • Golf Pro

    Fore! Or is it Four? Or For? I’ll take Obama on his worst day than Bush at his best which was never.

    • Joel Gonzalez

      If you weren’t so busy playing golf, you would have noticed all the good of the Bush years. Those years were so good you could afford to play all the golf you wanted.

  • donj

    TC like Golf Pro said I will take Obama on his worst day than Bush on his best. Your talking TC just shows how out of touch you are and why you got spanked at JFK and lost Hooker too. I remember this guy was trying to tell me one time I never talk at the good Bush did? I was like are you kidding me right? Not the guy who went into Iraq and killed all those people who had nothing to do with 911. Not the guy who could care less about a city that was underwater. Get your facts straight TC because no one agrees with you and at the end of the day I would love for you to try to sell that to voters because you would even lose worse than how you did in September. 26 votes that is what I call pathetic from a guy who said he talked to all Democrat voters. Clearly shows you’re out of touch buddy. Obama Poll numbers will never be in the late teens early 20′s like GWB. As a matter of fact with the economy still bad and all that Obama is polling in the high 40% low 50% and with numbers like that he would win. I bet you voted for McCain.

  • Mojo

    *** What has Obama done ask T/C? First off he replaced Bush & beat the rest of the Republican Party not only as a rookie underdog but also as a man of color in a racially segregated nation & government. Now he’s wrestling with topics in America that were not created on his watch but also issues other presidents decided were not important enough to tackle while in office. Does he have all the right answers yet, “no” but who has after only a year in office with so many negative issues to address & so much political & right-wing media resentment! I believe it’s much to early yet to make the win, lose, or draw call on President Obama. Especially when many of our problems today took a while to incubate before surfacing to the American forefront. You sound like a disgruntled McCain voter (wink) who still hasn’t gotten over the Obama win and now cries foul @ every & anything the president’s attempting to do or not do. Rome & New York weren’t built in a day, especially in this type of economy! *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  • Mojo

    *** Almost forgot, the temp. win by the Republicans for the Mass. U.S Senate seat is just that, “TEMP.” Time will tell if the GOP can hold on to it or it goes back to the Democrats next full term election? Just like Russo beating Mulligan once Finch stepped down then losing to Musto in the full term elections. It only means something to the GOP but in reality it’s a small step & they have a ways to go! ***

  • Ron Mackey

    Obama’s first day on the job as President he had waiting for him two wars and the country on the edge of a depression. What other American President ever had to deal with that? I’ll go to bed now and maybe when I wake up tomorrow someone will answer my question … not.

  • town committee

    Well I am glad I could get some intelligent posts on a subject. It was like the old days.
    donj It’s true I lost in Hooker and in JFK but at least I gave it a shot. It was never about issues it was about the lemming approach. People voted for the top line it really didn’t matter who was on the top line people voted for the top line because it represented the party. The 3 sets of candidates took a lot of votes and entered the race to be spoilers. That being said you get what you vote for.
    donj you got Bushitis I never mentioned Bush. Out of touch that’s a good one coming from a person that has a cyclops view of politics. You never answer any questions as they relate to Obama. You seem enthralled with my run for the council rather than the national issues.
    Obama’s popularity is still up there but dropping. His policies are another issue. National Polls show his policies are in the tank from a polling point of view. He has the majority in both houses and still no health care. Unemployment is at 10-plus% and the list goes on and on. His treasury secretary Geitner is on the hot seat and will be out shortly because of the sweetheart deals he cut with Wall Street. I am sorry to say it is you that is out of touch. When you post try to talk about the issues like health care, jobs, the economy etc. You never address these issues.

  • town committee

    Ron, Franklin D Roosevelt comes to mind.

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