Strap in for an extraordinary read from Republican Ethan Book, one of four write-in candidates for mayor. Regular OIB readers know this as Book-speak. For some it’s an acquired taste, for others it’s you-can’t-be-serious-about-publishing this!, and for still others he spews what some believe but don’t have the guts to puke up.
So prepare yourself for an Ethan Book puke-up session.
COURAGE AND CHARACTER
Spanish-speaking people have a saying; “Es mejor un mal conocido que un bueno por conocer;” “It’s better to stick with a bad one that you know than try to go for a good one that you don’t know.” That saying might apply to some things but it doesn’t apply to Mayors.
Joe Ganim has been our Mayor during this his second period for four years. When campaigning in 2015, he said he would do his best to not increase taxes, yet six months later, he increased them by 25% (for a mil rate of over 54, putting the City in a distressed situation), that without doing the due diligence on city spending (re: departmental auditing, contract bidding practices, oversight of departments such as Public Facilities, issues of the Print Shop and Council member stipends, and pension funding), also while doing himself favors by bridging his employment, early taking off to run for governor, and then cashing out on unused vacation pay. The list goes on. He is so compromised with groups from whom he seeks votes that he’s unable or unwilling to exercise the leadership necessary to administer the City properly.
Joe likes to tout a few positives, but all those are not the result of his current administration and even if they were, they do not result in an overall favorable balance. A recent article of 24/7 Wall Street reports that Bridgeport is among the worst 50 cities to live in the U.S. and the worst in New England (remember that there are 50 states), having a 20.8% poverty rate (i.e., low employment rates and a poverty rate compared to the national average of 11.8%).
Bridgeport has also been rated as being one of the most undesirable cities for seniors. Consider the high taxes, the high WPCA fees (coupled with abusive collection and foreclosure practices, which have only been partially addressed during this term) and nationally high utility rates.
Another factor which hasn’t been well discussed publicly is the significance of Ganim in 2016 endorsing Hillary Clinton for President. He endorsed one of the most active abortion proponents in the world. How can we expect God to protect and bless our City when the highest elected official takes such a public position (II Chronicles 7:14)?
In the instance of Mayor Ganim, the City clearly would be wise to reach out to “el bueno por conocer.”
Write-in candidate Marilyn Moore doesn’t show the promise of performing better than Ganim. While she portrays herself as an independent Democrat, in her five years as State Senator, she’s voted in lock step with the Democrat caucus. In 2015 and 2019, she voted in favor of record state tax increases, resulting in many people and businesses leaving the state, resulting also in depressed employment levels, and adding more financial distress for residents. Of course, those increases were approved without her doing the due diligence of cutting the political fat from the budget (like she now promises to do for the City). She didn’t even take steps to close the loopholes on mileage allowance for legislators yet she’s fine to increase taxes on groceries.
Also, in 2017, she voted in favor of the early bill to extend the contract for state employee unions (without allowing the legislature to consider that bill together with the full state budget to be late presented later), also voted in favor of prohibiting voluntary conversion counseling.
Further, she even failed to do what she assured me that she would do in 2015, take certain steps for fixing our broken judicial system.
Her September economic plan was in part lifted from my Candidate Statement published here in mid-June.
She talks a late plan without well addressing the causes of city problems and she proposes programs without being engaged in municipal government. In fact, at a recent community forum dealing with alleged breaches of the PSG&E contract, breaches dealing with local hiring, she said that she couldn’t do anything because she’s only a State Senator.
Further, many of her supporters do so because she’s a woman and because she’s Black. Moore is not a real political leader. She has relegated herself to be a cheerleader!
In this instance, Moore is in fact “un mal conocido.”
The Republican-endorsed candidate John Rodriguez is also not the right alternative for Bridgeport. The process of him being endorsed by the Republican Town Committee was flawed. He is a plug candidate. He talks about challenging the city government problems but as a member of the RTC, he has been totally passive about glaring leadership errors. He rarely attends meetings and doesn’t even satisfy the minimum meeting attendance requirement. He talks about the city needs for better education and crime reduction but has no effective plan for addressing these other than “It’s time to vote for a Republican.” Also he’s not been engaged in the political process, hence is not qualified to satisfy his wish list.
In contrast to these candidates and others, I have a solid workable plan for Bridgeport and I have the qualifications including a track record of accomplishments to support my plan.
A starting point for improving the life and costs of being a city resident is the combination of reducing the burden while increasing the benefits. One of the points of my plan is that there be a complete qualified audit of city departments. I not only promise this, even as a non-elected citizen, I have been doing this for several years such as through Freedom of Information processes. Among the areas which I’ve reviewed and disclosed are City Council member stipends, excess costs in collection and foreclosure of WPCA bills, and more recently in coordination with John Lee, some glaring issues of the City in-house Print Shop. Having such audits would likely allow for tax reductions and also be an incentive for outside investors to come and invest in our Park City, hence more and better jobs.
Other matters for encouraging investment, hence jobs, include the following;
– better regulation of conflicts of interest for city officials
– that the Ethics Commission has the authority to enforce its decisions
– that there be qualified professionals heading city departments
– that there be review of apparent overreach of zoning and business regulation
– that there be minority party representation on the City Council (as there is now for the Board of Ed and the Zoning Commission)
– a prohibition that one with less than five years of completing a sentence for a felony conviction would not be eligible for holding an elected office, and
– that there be independent legal counsel for the City Council (rather than mere reliance on the Office of the City Attorney which is part of the City Executive Branch).
BTW, even what I have been doing for several years in cutting sneakers from telephone lines enhances the community, property values and adds to a more attractive welcome mat for potential investors, hence better promise of jobs.
Notwithstanding that a first order of business for improving city governance, meaning improving the efficiency and costs of city government, pertains to points discussed above, there are several areas for which I propose more funding; public education (as long as the Ed Department effectively administers the money) and after-school programs (as long as the programs don’t become substitutes for responsible parenting).
Further, a matter of dealing with broad issues of crime, domestic issues, and business and government ethics, as I have been asserting since before the Sandy Hook shooting, is the matter of the secularization of government, that process of several decades of some attempting to remove God from public schools.
THUS, I am “el bueno por conocer,” the candidate with the workable plan and qualifications for improving our city and community life, the candidate with courage and character.
As a Write-In Candidate, I do not have a party designation.
“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it, except the Lord keep the city the watchman waketh but in vain.” Psalm 127:1
“Fighting for the heart and future of our great City!”
On November 5th, or whatever date the Court determines, write in
“ETHAN BOOK” or just “BOOK” FOR MAYOR