Trumbull Crackpot Councilman Trashes Bridgeport, Musto Responds

I wonder if Republican Town Councilman Chad Ciocci had his head up his butt when he recently puked up inflammatory remarks about Bridgeport regarding the building of a regional magnet school. Ciocci made the remarks before Bridgeport and Trumbull officials came to an apparent agreement for a border change to place the school in Bridgeport. From Ciocci:

On a related note, I urge everyone who is enticed by the idea that some Trumbull students will be able to attend this school to think twice. It strikes me that if this school is built that we will have sacrificed a neighborhood in the name of giving a handful of Trumbull students an inadequate education when they could receive a more than reputable one at our own high school. Remember, regardless of the fact that this school will be located in Trumbull, students will be receiving a Bridgeport education. Parents, would you send your child to any of Bridgeport’s other high schools? Of course not! That this school will be new and beautiful does not negate the fact that it will be run by Bridgeport’s failed board of education.

This high school is bad for its Trumbull neighborhood, bad for Trumbull students and just plain bad for Trumbull.

Democratic State Senator Anthony Musto who represents Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe, responds:

“Councilman Ciocci’s essay comes very close to a blanket condemnation of the city of Bridgeport, its education system, and its residents. This letter is insulting, shortsighted, and generally alarmist, and should be repudiated by Trumbull’s administration as such. What Councilman Ciocci is really saying is that this particular school undermines a neighborhood, and it leaves you asking what the councilman is getting at. Is it that Bridgeport students would be attending the school? If so, Councilman Ciocci should be specific about his objections.”

Good for Anthony Musto!

Was Ciocci on crack when he frothed so eloquently against the city? In doing so he trashes every Bridgeport student and the thousands of success stories. He can trash the Bridgeport BOE all he wants. In fact, if the state of Connecticut wants to run the city school system, be my guest. But to castigate a regional school attended by Bridgeport students a failure reinforces suburban myopia against the city. Bridgeport’s regional aquaculture school is a success story.

More than any other suburb, Trumbull relies on the services of Bridgeport. When Ciocci gets sick will he go to Trumbull Hospital? When his domestic trash is picked up does it end up at a Trumbull land fill? When he takes a dump in the morning is it processed at Trumbull’s sewage treatment plant? If he ever becomes homeless will he end up at a Trumbull homeless shelter? When he must register his vehicle will he go to the Trumbull DMV?

Oh, here’s an idea for Ciocci: when you’re sick stay home, process your own garbage and sewage, build your own homeless shelter, keep your car in Trumbull and build an alligator moat around your house. That way you’ll only have to worry about all those Trumbull people from Bridgeport.

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32 comments

  1. Councilman Ciocci is basically stating what most of the elitists in Trumbull think. He was speaking against Bridgeport students who are mostly minorities. This is the prevailing attitude in Trumbull. Remember the greatest crime committed in Trumbull is DWB, Driving While Black; you can also add DWH, Driving while Hispanic.
    Councilman Ciocci states this will be bad for the neighborhood. What neighborhood, a group of movie shows and a Sikorsky building?
    Hey Councilmen next time you have a large fire don’t call us. Next time you have a problem at the mall your PD can’t handle don’t call us.
    Hey councilmen Screw You and the rest of the Trumbull elitists.

        1. One of the shooters just pleaded guilty. He used to live on Park Street in Bridgeport.

          www .ctpost.com/policereports/article/Man-pleads-guilty-to-shooting-spree-at-cinemas-1316936.php

          I’m not saying it’s right, people thinking this way. It is what it is. Bridgeport has a hard reputation. Political corruption, drugs, crime, shootings, murder, eh. If that’s mostly what the residents of the surrounding communities know of Bridgeport, what can be done to change their ways of thinking?

  2. Well, Councilman Ciocci’s comments probably sound a death knell for any future regional political ambitions he might have. It is clear he sees no redeeming features for Trumbull in the balance regarding the location of said school within the Town of Trumbull for the people who elected him. But isn’t forming an opinion like this necessary from him to represent the people who elected him? Even if sounding off about it is not perceived as statesmanlike.

    Now we may not like what he says (or what the comments may represent that is unsaid) for a variety of reasons, but there are many in Bridgeport who are not happy with the overall results of the educational system either. Those opinions are regularly posted on OIB. And frequently with minimal rebuttal.

    In the balance, what this does portend is the difficulty of “regional approaches” to effective problem solving in the future. With dollars dearer at all levels for many years to come, some opinions will doubtless need to be kept silent. Inflammatory comments, no matter how accurate, will not serve to keep the sewage flowing, for instance, and it is still very hard and unpleasant to burn what Trumbull is currently sending through Bridgeport. Of course keeping one’s opinions to oneself, for some people, might be as painful as constipation. But that is a different problem, isn’t it?

  3. Councilman Ciocci is only voicing the concerns of many parents desiring a quality education system for their children. Bridgeport’s public education system sucks, to be frank. We all know this. There are a few seniors graduating from Bridgeport high schools who go on to earn degrees. Not many, though. John Ramos and the rest of the malfunctioning bureaucrats are more concerned with their paychecks and their benefits than educating the city’s young. He doesn’t give a damn. Bassick students who can’t wait for the final bell so they can sell drugs on Clinton Avenue between State Street and Fairfield Avenue after school.

    It’s not elitist, what he said. He’s expressing the concerns of his constituents. They don’t want their children attending school with the criminal class.

    1. Hey kid, I’m offended by your portrayal of Bassick High School students and your allegation they sell drugs on Clinton Avenue. You are completely wrong. The drugs (Marijuana mostly) sold in Bassick as well as other High Schools, are sold in the bathrooms, hallways and classrooms. Let’s be “blunt,” most don’t even wait to get to school or Clinton Avenue to light up. Why smoke where there are cameras and school security, when one can smoke on the way to school?

    1. Regional approaches to social ills will only solve problems that can be solved. Unless and until Bridgeport’s municipal government is changed from the top down, all the tentacles of corruption and cronyism will remain. Our public education system sucks. Our elected leadership cannot attract commercial and industrial development because too many people have their hands out, demanding tolls to enter the rusted kingdom.

  4. To say Bassick students can’t wait for the final bell so they can get to the corner and sell drugs is not only unfair, it is wrong. Are drugs sold outside Bassick High School? Yes they are. Are drugs sold at Trumbull high school? Yes they are.
    Branding kids from Bridgeport as the criminal class is pure and utter bullshit. Have you met or dealt with any of the students at Bassick, Central or Harding? I have and find the vast majority are good kids stuck in a tough situation.
    Unfortunately a few bad kids get more attention than a lot of good kids that are in a tough situation.
    Let’s cut the bullshit, Trumbull does not want to deal with the minorities who will be attending this new school. You can carp about all the other stuff but to a great extent you are wrong.

  5. I keep hearing the term “Regional Approach.” Is it really a Regional Approach? It is if you only look at it from the standpoint that students from other regions attend Magnet Schools located in Bridgeport and vice-versa. Is this method as it’s currently structured a true partnership between localities? We “Musto” come up with a better way. I say let’s allow the parents of children from other localities attending Bridgeport Magnet Schools vote in Bridgeport BOE races and vice-versa. What Councilman Chad Ciocci said is not much different than what most of us have been saying. How many times haven’t I stated here and in public the Bridgeport Education system produces a good chunk of the byproduct of the Connecticut Correctional system? I see Senator Musto doesn’t like to be “Chadstized.”

  6. Councilman Ciocci is expressing the views of his constituents. It ain’t the lavender bucolia of Fairfield but it does have a lot of small-town charm. Councilman Ciocci’s concern is not the quality of instruction and academic excellence. The voters in his district may not want their precious children spending 6-8 hours a day in Bridgeport.

    Hahahaha …

    1. P.S.

      There’s been a spate of recent shootings here in The Park City. 15 people busted for distributing narcotics. This is a dangerous place. One would get that impression going by the Connecticut Post’s “Daily Bugle” coverage of current events in Bridgeport.

  7. So who is to blame for the condition of the B-port High Schools? Ask Auden Grogins; former Board Chair and now State Rep on the Education Committee as she explains away loosening the HS graduation requirements that last year she supported.

    “The Legislature approved the new graduation requirements last year as part of an effort to win federal Race to the Top money. The state ended up losing its bid. Thus, many see the new requirements as an unfunded mandate, since districts will have to staff more courses and build more science labs. Some put the tab at $25 million in the first year.

    State Rep. Auden Grogins, D-Bridgeport, a member of the Education Committee, called the delay the fiscally responsible thing to do. Rep. DebraLee Hovey, R-Monroe, also supported the delay, saying the state needs to look at the rigor of high school math and science courses, not just the quantity.”

    So much for improving the quality of HS education, it’s all about the money.

    1. A long time ago the Des Moines Register asked its readers, “Do you think we expect too much from our children academically?” My answer was and is no, we do not expect enough. Except for the Bridgeport Board of Education (and, apparently, a couple of state representatives from the Greater Bridgeport area), they don’t expect anything.

  8. And let’s not forget at the Trumbull High students who are using drugs and alcohol at and around Trumbull High. That’s right–THS students do drugs and alcohol right up there in Trumbull. No one really knows because IT’S NOT PUBLICIZED–and Trumbull officials (the Councilman included) will refuse to admit there are Trumbull students who do drugs. The Trumbull alderman should get his head from up his butt and get his facts straight before he makes blanket condemnations.

    1. North End,
      You are so right. We just recently found out our daugher, a THS student, was using drugs. We also knew of many others who were/are.
      My wife and I are both professionals with good jobs, a good home and a great relationship with our kids. So to think Trumbull is immune from this and point fingers at Bridgeport is just wrong.
      Maybe there is corruption etc. going on in the city, but Trumbull residents, especially a public figure, have no right to condemn Bridgeport this way. Let’s work for a solution instead of pointing fingers.

  9. Happy to return to the subject of dollars. Revenue dollars to pay for operating as well as capital expenses and budgeted dollars to do the many tasks facing our City, regardless of who is mandating or authorizing.

    Last night the Budget Oversight Bridgeport 2011 BOB listening process continued in the Wheeler Rooms at City Hall. The 6:00 PM scheduled Budget & Appropriations HEARING had to wait until 6:30 PM to gain a quorum but eventually almost half the Council members were in attendance. They listened very carefully to Tom Sherwood recap the previous evening of budget assumptions. Mr. Sherwood’s voice remained in a hearable range for the entire meeting.

    The special topic for the evening was the Capital Plan for the City. (The letter and exhibit that was reviewed is not part of the budget documents available on the City site having been released around March 2. Perhaps the Mayor in the next cycle will consider putting this together with the regular budget recommendations since it is part of the budget and hearing process.)

    The 2012-2016 Capital Plan shows PLANNED columns four years into the future followed by TOTAL for 2012-2016 that includes a next year column shown as PROPOSED. The first financial column indicates the Capital Plan ADOPTED for FY 2011, the year we are living through.

    Council members present seemed most interested in the column(s) that were not there: that would have been a column for FY 2011 showing how much of the ADOPTED Capital Budget has been spent so far in 9 months of 2010-2011 and on what for each of the line items; and another column that might show how much of previously appropriated Capital budget funds still remains unspent. (I can guess they also would appreciate a scorecard showing what monies are still outstanding for which projects and why from the several requests that could not be determined from the info provided on Exhibit A.) OPM can be helpful in making their material more OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE indicating TRANSPARENT process.

    An overall sense of Council frustration with feeling they were not kept in the loop on projects to be developed in their Districts was stated by more than one Council person. This supports the expressions of more than one Council person contained in Budget & Appropriation meeting minutes of the past 15 months. They are not getting adequate info in a timely manner from the City offices that deal with money issues, in general. How can the public expect great decision making when they appear on a meager diet of relevant info?

    One comment from Council leadership was that Council reps can talk to the Mayor one-to-one regarding any issue or question. However, there is a broader sense expressed by more than one Council member that each District should know what is happening in other Districts and not have to wait for the Mayor to appear in the newspaper in a photo op. It makes sense to me, though it may result in District project envy. More than one legislator said that “we get nothing.”

    Prediction: It is an election year. The Mayor has lined up a number of projects that will showcase in the next few months as a run-up to the primary and election. Much of it is impressive, but by analogy one has to ask why a pro team would only score in the final quarter. Does it mean City taxpayers may retain a skeleton staff plus part-time people for 75% of a year with lower pay and no benefits, rather than as current, full time with full benefits but a showcase of activity for 25% of a year? I may be overstating, but steady and dependable delivery of services and goods throughout the City would be more impressive than a Christmas grab bag of something for almost everyone before an election. People remember and resent the $650 promised tax credit from last time around.

    The next HEARING is Monday April 11 at 7:00 PM in the Wheeler Rooms to cover Registrars-City Clerk-Town Clerk budgets. Also look for Wednesday April 13 at 6:00 PM for BOE, General and Capital Budgets.

  10. Have not commented on this but felt the urge. Please give me a break if you don’t think Fairfield and Trumbull kids don’t smoke weed or sell drugs they might even do it more!!! Which la-la land have some of you come from?

  11. The kids in Bridgeport for the most part are good kids. They attend school and many of them do go on to college or enter into the workforce and become productive citizens who live and raise families in Bridgeport.
    The kids in Bridgeport do this in spite of drugs in their neighborhoods and many other illegal temptations.
    They do this in spite of a politicized board of education. A board of education that keeps rewarding a superintendent who keeps being rewarded for producing an inferior educational program.
    They do this in spite of the inferior learning tools they are provided.
    They do this in schools that are falling down around their ears.
    They do this in spite of the fact inferior teachers are allowed to stay on because of tenure.
    We are quick to point out the few bad apples and slow to recognize the kids that make it all the way through and become college graduates or productive members of society.
    I support the vast majority of Bridgeport students.

  12. There has to be a reason why Trumbull’s property values are so much higher, and the school system is ranked as a top system in the state, right?

    Impeach Ramos, get us back on track.

  13. The dropout percentage for Bridgeport is high, but I doubt it is that high. The figure I’ve read in the local print media is 48%, which is troublesome.

    I grew up in the lavender suburban hell of the Greater Hartford Area. Big houses, plush green lawns, horse farms and riding stables, etc. I know all about the gentrified concept of “country life.” For a lot of my peers (and the generations since) there was nothing to do after school and on weekends. If you weren’t part of the socially smart set you never got invited to any parties. The sons and daughters of the insurance executives who made up the football team, the cheerleading squad, the preppie set, they had no use for the bohemians among them. So we partied, carving out a presence in the woods behind the mall. We’d smoke reefer, listen to WPLR on a portable radio and occasionally drink if someone’s older brother was nice enough to buy beer for us. It was sort of a gang: we used to steal booze and cigarettes from a package store down the street from the high school. We were full of sneer and rebellion but it was only a mask. Mostly we were bored and restless, all teen angst and adolescent rage, tired of living in a place we couldn’t call home.

    So I can appreciate the odds faced by the high school students of Bridgeport. Not necessarily understand the circumstances, but appreciate the stress of the situation.

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