It’s crunch time for city unions. It’s trigger time for city management. Is there a compromise to be had?
The city has passed a budget that starts July 1 with roughly a $6 million hole requiring dramatic union concessions to close. Every day that goes beyond July 1 makes it more difficult for the city to close that gap. Every pay week without concessions or an equal amount of layoffs an even far greater gap to close.
So that means something must happen in the coming week to eat away at that hole. The city wants help from several city unions including those representing uniformed services. What is Mayor Bill Finch willing to do to share the burden among his discretionary appointments? That’s always one of the first questions union reps ask.
Police and fire unions will scream we cannot keep the city safe if you cut positions. The city will say (privately, at least) the only thing you want to keep safe is your retirement plan. Something must give soon otherwise bean counters will have a larger burden to close the budget gap.
From Dan Debicella:
Debicella challenges Himes Hypocrisy
Dan Debicella, the Republican nominee facing off against incumbent congressman Jim Himes, criticized Himes for his recent comments during a Himes-sponsored telephone town hall meeting. Himes stated during the call that he would be willing to support a 1% spending cut. Debicella called Himes’s statement “insultingly too little and embarrassingly too late.”
“Jim Himes voted to increase discretionary government spending by 22%,” Debicella said. “He supported an $800 billion stimulus package designed to create jobs yet unemployment still hovers at 10%.”
During the call, which was held on Tuesday June 16, Himes called for a budget “this year that in the aggregate reduces spending 1%.” Himes stated that the world is looking for “an indication that we have the political will, that we have a plan to over time restore fiscal balance.”
“This is yet another example,” Debicella said, “of Jim Himes’s hypocrisy. You can’t vote for a 22% spending increase in Washington and then come back to Connecticut and talk about a 1% spending cut and think that makes it all go away.” Debicella said he believes that people are savvy when it comes to politicians and spending, particularly in this political climate.
“People are concerned about spending and they’re angry with their incumbent congressmen,” Debicella said. “A 1% cut following Jim Himes’s 22% increase doesn’t fool anyone.” Debicella stressed that Jim Himes’s voting record has led to a $1.4 trillion deficit and that 1% cuts do not begin to make up the difference.
Debicella said that there is a better way. He said he proposes “a hard spending cap that will force politicians of both parties to make tough decisions about how tax dollars are spent as well as an end to political earmarks that simply reward politicians for voting with party insiders.” Debicella’s proposal would limit the size of the federal government to no more than 20% of the economy; currently government spending represents 26% of the economy.
Debicella is also touting his plan to repeal stimulus spending and return those dollars to families and small businesses in the form of a tax cut. “Putting money back in people’s pockets is the best way to jump-start the economy,” Debicella said. Debicella’s proposal to cut the payroll tax in half would return $1,500 to every middle class family, give every small business a tax cut, and reduce the federal deficit by $150 billion.
From Mr. Barnum:
Celebrating P.T. Barnum’s 200th Birthday!
Greetings from The Barnum Museum!
In 1810, James Madison was the President, there were 18 states in the Union, the Lewis and Clark expedition was still a ‘current event,’ and P.T. Barnum was born.
Years in the making, the 200th Birthday Celebration for one of America’s most remarkable icons, P.T. Barnum is quickly approaching!
We are so pleased to invite you to join us in a fun-filled day at the Museum and enjoy the fabulous and famous clowns of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, a fun and hilarious stage performance, Barnum’s World of Wonder, Barnum Festival floats, City of Bridgeport Fire Truck, Book Mobile, kids activities, live music, Luigi’s birthday cake, all culminating in a Happy Birthday tribute to P.T. Barnum by this year’s American Jenny Lind, Jen Caraluzzi.
The Barnum Museum wants everyone to enjoy the 200th Birthday Bash for P.T. Barnum, famed showman, philanthropist, author, mayor, legislator, and one of Bridgeport’s most celebrated citizens, and we hope you can join us for the festivities on JULY 5th, to help commemorate and celebrate the historic day!
The party will be held on Barnum’s birthday, July 5th from Noon to 3:00 PM at The Barnum Museum in Downtown Bridgeport, 820 Main Street, and Bridgeport residents are welcome for free!
From Mayor Finch:
Barnum Festival Events
The 62nd edition of the Barnum Festival kicks into high gear this weekend with the Wing Ding Parade for Kids, Sat. June 19 at the Beardsley Zoo. Registration begins at 9 a.m., parade starts at 11 a.m. Parents and children from babies to 12 years old can build a float or come in costume. Ribbons, trophies and cash prizes for Best in Show, Most Elaborate, Cutest, Most Patriotic, Best Animal Theme, Best Group, Most Clever and Best Costume.
Jenny Lind Concert
Thursday, June 24 — Jenny Lind Concert, 7:30 p.m., Playhouse on the Green. Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Call 203.367.8495 or 331.1104
Friday, June 25
Fireworks over Seaside Park at dusk.
Skyblast Party at 7 p.m. Tickets: $45
Champions on Parade
Saturday, June 26, Kennedy Stadium at Central High School. Gates open at 4:30 p.m., show begins at 5:45 p.m. Tickets: in advance $17; $20 at the door. Rain or shine.
Barnum Festival Parade
Sunday, June 27,
steps off at 11 a.m. from the corner of North, Clinton and Brooklawn avenues.