This Is One Stinky Sandwich

Good gravy, is it me or is the whole country going broke? Hope not. My wife Mo has promised me tickets to the new Yankee Stadium for Christmas if I’m a good boy: unless, of course, I fail to pick up Mr. Jeter’s (that would be my dog) dung in the back yard. Ms. Mo does not like stutter stepping in the yard. Problem is I cannot see it among all the leaves.

Speaking of yuck, on Wednesday Gov. Rell announced the state is staring at a projected $2 billion deficit for the budget year that begins July 1. Yikes. What a mess. The country is bailing out mega insurance companies, banks and the automotive industry. Since we’re now a quasi-Socialist nation, let’s throw in health insurance as well. Who’d’ve ever thought this would happen under a Republican president. Glad he’s out of here real soon.

Did you know a Socialist mayor ran the city of Bridgeport from 1933 to 1957? Yes, good ol’ Jasper McLevy stood on street corners for 20 years railing against the sins of Democrats and Republicans until the electorate finally heard him as the Depression took hold.

For 24 years Jasper and his Scottish frugality pretty much governed the way he wanted, throwing a few bones to operatives of the loyal opposition. Jasper was so cheap that he budgeted a mere few hundred bucks one year to plow the streets of snow. Led to a legendary line that his public works director coined but was attributed to Jasper. “God put the snow there let him take it away.”

Seems like it will take an act of God to get us out of this mess. But you know, in a twisted way what’s going on is good news for Mayor Bill Finch. It’s not like everyone is rolling in silk while the city sinks to the bottom of the Pequonnock River. Everyone’s feeling the pain, one giant shit sandwich and everyone’s gonna take a bite. Can I add a little garlic and roasted red pepper sauce to that sandwich? That’ll mask anything.

What I’m getting at this, if hizzoner called me on the phone to ask my advice–he won’t because he’s smart and I’m stupid–I’d tell him to govern the way you want. Screw the politicians, pretend they don’t matter and make every decision based on surviving this economic tsunami. And tell each and every complaining pol that it is one giant shit sandwich and we all have to take a bite.

Until the day things get better and then you can reward the folks that stood by you.



  1. Maybe Finch could form a committee to study the collapse of the economy with the BRBC.

    Give me a Stinky on rye. Where did all those cats go that used to hang out around Wood, Park and Iranistan Avenues?

  2. Lennie: Finch will never admit that he has been wrong to date. He will jump on the economic problems bandwagon just like every politician in the country is doing.
    Why are our economic problems a surprise to the national politicians? They created this mess with their trade agreements that favor the other country and screw the american worker. Thus higher unemployment numbers. Show me a kid’s item and for that matter almost any item that is not made in China, all of these products used to be made by american workers. I will bet that what we export to China is not reciprical as to what we import from there.
    We are bailing companies out left and right and the urban areas are dying under massive debts. Let these companies sink or swim or reorganize. We bailed out Goldman Sachs and what did they do? They set aside $6Billion of our bail-out money for bonuses to executives that screwed up that company in the first place.

  3. The Mayor’s entourage earns well over 1 million $$$ a year! He’s a smart guy, be a leader. That’s why we elected you! To LEAD! You were a State Senator; you must have some game plan other than what your entourage shoves down your throat! The taxpayers elected you! Not your entourage. Be a leader! Be a man! Rise to the occasion! We are all waiting and watching with our homes, our jobs, our kids’ futures all on the line. Our faith is in YOU. Not the entourage. Now give me a big bite of that shit sandwich! I have been employed by the City for the past 15 years. I work some 40+ hrs. per week. I see waste of manpower and $$$ thrown out the window every day. I have a list a mile long that would save this city a lot of $$$! Wouldn’t you think someone would come over and ask the people who do THE WORK what their ideas might be in this fiscal nightmare? After all we have all the experience. We just didn’t walk in off the street and start making decisions that will affect workers and their families for the rest of their lives! Hey, entourage! There are people out here that do know more than you. We do it for a living. And with God willing, we were here before you came! And we will be here when you all are GONE!!!

  4. The blogosphere can be informative, but it is also a place where those with less-than-good intentions will try to spread baseless rumors. For example, the guy that claimed Bill Finch was laying off several ranking members of the Bridgeport Police Department to create space for his friends. That is just so much bovine fecal matter, to put it mildly. First of all, a police department is an autonomous entity when it comes to the administration of its human resources. Secondly, if the officers in question were laid off, that would mean they are subject to recall. So the positions wouldn’t be vacant.

  5. You don’t need particulars if you work for the City Of Bridgeport. Just open your eyes, look around and put your brain in gear! Things are done one way in this City. Managers are afraid of change. Thier plate is full. Nobody wants to step up to the plate and make the change. For fear heads will roll. The City is run like the City not a business. If you worked here you would know this. I would label these as insufficiencies and inadequacies. Abuses are small game now. The Tony saga is history. Or is it; you tell me?

  6. I can say firsthand that there is waste at many levels of the city and the brunt of the heat is on the men and women who protect this city from crime and fire … seems we have the cuts and layoffs while there are many suits and ties double dipping and collecting retirement checks while making $500 a day as consultants.

  7. Lennie, Subway has been selling “The Giant Shit Sandwich” for a long time now. How do you think Jared lost all that weight?

    I just got a letter from my union “Nage” and in it was a Thanksgiving voucher, good for fifteen dollars. The first questioning thought that came to mind was, “I wonder if the union sent Thanksgiving vouchers to those laid off last year.” So Lennie, I would love to know if there is anyone out there who knows a former Nage member who can give me an answer to my question and would accept my voucher and a sincere Happy Thanksgiving wish.

  8. Bpts Finest … I am in complete agreement with your last post (#10). It seems that every time the city is in dire financial straits they lay the blame on the police and fire departments. They use the same tired excuse of overtime being out of control and threaten cuts and layoffs. Then in their infinite wisdom they go out and hire a whole new class of recruits to eliminate the overtime. These new recruits wind up costing the city much more money when you add up the wages and benefits … this is not my opinion … this is fact … do the math.
    There have been many years when the various unions in the city, particularly police and fire, have taken a zero pay increase and agreed to increased cost-sharing on the insurance end and other related concessions. It begs the question … where the hell did that get us? Nowhere, that’s where. Here we are again being shaken down by yet another administration who refuses to look within their own ranks to trim some of the fat. Before ANY public safety jobs are cut we should see all of the patronage jobs eliminated.

  9. Lennie- I think it is funny that you referenced Jasper McLevy in today’s post. Just this morning myself and some co-workers were wondering what he must be thinking of this whole mess. Mister we sure could use a man like McLevy again.
    As far as your would-be suggestion to hizzoner the mayor to simply forget the pols and just govern as he sees fit. I fear he is incapable distinguishing the two … government and politics … and in order for this city to move forward we desperately need someone who can put politics aside and govern. I am not naive enough to think that politics isn’t part of the equation but at some point responsible government must take precedence. If not now … when?

  10. Meatball, I hear ya. I too have over 15 years with the City and the wasteful spending is obvious to me too. But the administration won’t make the cuts because they don’t have the courage to go against the political powers that be. But at the risk of beating a dead horse, I will give some particulars:

    Eliminate OPM, the entire dept. OPM was created by the financial review board circa 1988 to watch over the City’s finances and make sure we never get in debt like that again. Well, under Sherwood’s leadership they failed miserably. There should be 1 finance dept with 1 professional director and competent, non-political staff. Real bean counters who tell the truth and don’t play political games or “Find money” so that Charlie Carroll can get his office fitted with flat screen TVs or so that his girlfriend can have her private kitchen customized.

    Consolidate all the senior centers into 1 at the Eisenhower Center. Nicely ask Rose Hoyt to retire and have the other senior center directors work together to plan programs for our seniors. Close down Black Rock and the North End centers and save lots on utilities. (Imagine what it costs to heat those old drafty buildings.)

    Take away the take-home cars. Mayor Finch claims that the cars are contractual. This is untrue because people like Mike Feeney, Tom Sherwood, Adam Heller, Adam Wood, etc. are not in unions and have no contracts. They are not emergency or on-call staff and they don’t warrant take-home vehicles. A few years ago Feeney took his city car to visit his in-laws in Maine. Then he was dumb enough to leave a gas receipt from a Maine gas station in the glove compartment. So when the car was serviced, the receipt was found. DUMB!

    Take a good hard look at the number of supervisors in Public Facilities. That dept used to have 1 director and 2 foremen who worked like dogs and ran the whole shabang, and did a fantastic job. Now every foreman has a supervisor who has a deputy director who has a director. What the _uck!

    Eliminate the double-dippers and the temps. The double-dippers include Pia in OPM, Jack and Gene O’Neil in Parks, Alan Wallack and many others in Bd of Ed. There are temps all over the Annex: 1 in Tom Coble’s office; 1 in Deb Caviness’ office; at least 1 in Public facilities. It is not fair to lay off employees and keep these people.

    Do not start me on Labor Relations. We are paying Dave Ryan $200/hr to negotiate contracts while Larry and Jodie sit there. So there’s 3 of them with a combined wage of say $500/hr all at the same table. Ridiculous. You need 1 competent person to negotiate and run that dept. Dennis Murphy did it. Ned Winterbottom did it. It can be done with the right person and the key word here is “competent.”

    This is not meant to attack anyone in particular. This is just my list of examples of wasteful spending. I’m sure if you ask any other city employee he or she will have similiar examples.

  11. The City is a lot like AIG. They beg for a bailout then the top guys get new SUVs, renovate their offices and give new jobs and raises to their friends. What’s wrong with this picture?

  12. Joel, what about all those Parks police? They were NAGE, weren’t they? Maybe Gene O’Neil will get the holiday spirit and send them all anonymous money orders or gift cards so that they can put a holiday meal on the table.

  13. I hope all the unions remember their recently laid-off workers and do something for them this holiday season. I will recommend that to my union tomorrow.

  14. *** Getting off city politics for a blog on local community events. This evening from 6-8pm the election for the Bpt. NAACP excecutive board was had. Fairly large turnout was present with the results to be tallied by 10pm tonight. Everything seemed to run smooth with the election monitored by the State of Conn. NAACP executive board & observers. Best of luck to all the candidates running in the election! *** *** Also, I would like to remind all OIB forum bloggers, family & friends that there is still time to get your “Commemorative Bricks” for the W/W-II Veterans Memorial Sidewalk. There are #2 prices depending on the size brick you choose, $50. or $100. The engraved bricks will be placed going up towards & around the W/W-II Veterans Memorial, to be located @ McLevy Green in downtown Bpt. hopefully by (Memorial Day or Vets.Day) “2009”. You can call #203-576-3964 for more info. or donations (M-F / 9-4pm). It’s going to be a very nice memorial @ a historic spot in Bpt. so why not be a part of its history too! Once you see it, you’ll be glad you had your name & message engraved on the walkway! *** It’s a nice Xmas gift for a family member or close friend that’s a Vet. which they & you can be proud of, being associated with this Vets. Memorial! ***


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