UPDATE: $4.5 Million Approved For Amphitheater Project–Committee Meetings, Public Hearings And Full City Council Agenda

UPDATE: $4.5 million for Harbor Yard Amphitheater structural issues approved 13-7 Monday night. No votes: Scott Burns, Matt McCarthy, Michael DeFilippo, AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia, Michelle Lyons, Maria Pereira, Eneida Martinez.

Original story: A special meeting of the City Council’s Budget and Appropriations Committee will take place April 20 (tonight) at 5 p.m. via Zoom/Teleconference to vote on a proposed bond resolution regarding capital improvement projects. The public may listen by calling the following conference line and then entering the conference code: Dial in Number#: (929) 436-2866, Meeting ID#: 583 852 794.

See full agenda here

Then at 7 p.m. public hearings via written testimony will take place before the full council to address the items here.

The public may dial in to this meeting by calling the following conference line and then entering the conference code: Dial In Number: (929) 436 2866 Meeting ID: 381 083 245

See full council agenda following public hearings here.



  1. STOP 🛑 . Wait a minute. We are in the middle of a pandemic in the US without any knowledge of where we might be financially once we come out of it.
    Why in the world would we be committing to a $4.5 million increase in bonding (which we do not have to) until we can see if we can afford it?
    There will be no work going on with the amphitheater since work has stopped because all of the suppliers are overseas and are not manufacturing a damn thing.
    This is an unnecessary and controllable expense that we should not commit to until at least the pandemic has passed.
    We were told they they had to cancel this years shows because of this. That is correct isn’t it???

  2. Bob, that’s why I said that this budget is dead upon arrival, just the overtime for the police fire departments way over the projection in the budget. There are no numbers on how much funding will be coming from the state and state has no idea how much funding that they will get from Congress.

  3. Only written public testimony? Why can Meriden Idaho, figure out ways for the public to testify live and in person but Bridgeport, CT is restricting this public testimony to writing? Zoom has features thAt make it possible for the public to testify verbally. Here is one method the council should consider utilizing.
    Thank you to Meridan Idaho you could teach us backwoods folk something about public participation.

    Step 1: View the resources and tips and tricks below to become familiar with the Zoom platform and prepare for the meeting

    Step 2: For Council Meetings Use Council Sign-Up Link. For Planning and Zoning Use PZ Signup Link.

    Step 3: Watch for a reply email with a link to join the meeting

    Note: Check Spam or Junk if you have not received an email within 2 hours.

    Step 4: Follow the link provided to participate with video or dial the phone number to participate by phone without video

    If you are unavailable to participate in real-time, you can submit your testimony in advance in a number of ways. All forms of testimony hold the same weight.
    Written testimony may be submitted by email to cityclerk@meridiancity.org or by text message by texting “Comment” to 31996. Video testimony can be recorded in advance and sent by email to cityclerk@meridiancity.org. Comments can also be left by voicemail. Please call (208) 288-5607 to record your voice testimony.
    Thank you to

    • Dial an in-country number. If you dial a toll number, your carrier rates will apply.

    • You will be prompted to enter the meeting ID – the nine (9), ten (10), or eleven (11) digit ID provided to you by the host, followed by #.

    • If the meeting has not already started and join before host is not enabled, you will be prompted to enter the host key to start the meeting, or to press # to wait if you are participant.

    • If you’re using Zoom, you may need to download the zoom meeting app to your device.

    • If using cellular, stay in one place where you have a good signal.

    Read more tips on Zoom’s website

  4. Recap amphitheater funding passed. Marus made a sound point on the funding had already been bonded but robbing Peter to pay Paul still leaves the city paying principal and interest. The city is paying 12 million plus interest for this project. At 3% that’s $800,000 a year. If there was no increase in ticket revenue for the city even at 50 sold-out shows, they will not make enough to cover the debt obligation. Being we are and New England state, I can’t see it hosting and celling out that many venues.

    Nieves, I believe, said that it is a city own building. It is and the city will actually pay someone to use it to make millions. Not to mention I’m sure the city is on the hook for maintenance and repairs.

    And for anyone how said it will create jobs, just give 40 people $20,000 a year for 20 years, because that is how many people they will hire, and I bet few will be from the Port either.

    That being said, I like the concept of the building. It puts a unique touch on the Port. But the Port could have to make a little of money to reinvest in a landscape that doesn’t have to be bonded.

    It seems one side won over the other. Port, you poor baby, if only you had a Solomon judgment. 🙂


    1. Hey Rob, You may have missed my point. I was alluded to the fact that the money Marcus is talking about is a LIE. My point was clear in the question of my post. Look at Lennie’s OIB post all the way at top. There is a Bond Budget for Approval yesterday. The committee had an EMERGENCY MEETING to approve the newly allocated $4.5M for HYA at 5PM right before the scheudled 7pm Council Meeting. The fix was in already.

      If we really were in fact using the downtown revitalization fund from 2015, there would have been NO need for an emergency meeting yesterday and adding $4.5M at the 12th hour to the budget.

      I hope you understand what I’m saying here. Otherwise you commentary would be cool but it’s based on at lie stated my Marcus and a few other Council members. That’s all.

      AT this point, it’s over, the people lost, Howard and HYA scores.

      1. What’s left of the 50 million downtown fund. Can’t by no means make a valid point in shuffling money in city government. The city shouldn’t lose money on the base principal and interest payments on this project while someone is making a million. That stands. And making the city whole was very easily attainable, but no one on the council tried. That’s my point. Like I said, Port, you poor baby. 🙂

  5. So basically,considering the number of events there a season(May – October?),the city won’t be turning a profit for the life of the theater.And not for nothing with the virus not going away anytime soon,and some needed design materials coming from Italy&France,that theater isn’t opening in the Spring..think 2022 in reality..

    1. Pretty much, Harvey, it was going to pass So these good cop bad cop votes are for show. That’s why I asked Maria to make a vote on adding a $1.50 increase to make the council vote on being fiscal responsible. No, she just likes to toot her own horn and call people out with her research. Every chance she gets. When I asked, she claimed she knows what she was doing. Well, Maria, it passed nice work. 🙂 They could have easily had gotten enough money to cover the loan payments. If my math is correct, the city will not make enough to cover the payments. JS

      P.S. speaking about elected officials and the Port. Has anybody heard anything from Senator Moore or Gen Now about AB legislation? Or is the Port going to play as usual? JS.


      1. This was the short session year of the biannual legislature, Individual legislators can’t introduce bills for action by Senate or House. They can only introduce bills in their own committees to be considered and go on to the floor.
        With the Pandemic, the session was cut short and will likely not resume before the mandated closure date. If the Governor calls a special session later in the year new legislation to deal wioth AB would not be on the agenda. It will deal with the economic and health crises caused by the pandemic and recovery, etc.
        2021, the long year of the session 2021-2022 would be the time for legislation to deal with AB issues.
        I expect we will see a bill to amend the State Constitution to allow virtually any reason for AB voting, BUT>>>>The question that would have liberalized AB voting failed in 2014 when out to the voters of CT.

        1. How short is the session, are you saying Moore and other legislative body, House, took no action on any bills? If to liberalized AB voting went out and failed, why are the liberals in Blackrock up in arms about AB. Do you expect Moore to fight against that bill liberalizing virtually any reason for AB voting?

          P.S. You are Jewish, right? Did you know Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are cut for the same cloth and part of the same spiritual family? Don’t you think they could come up with it an agreement to unite Jerusalem under a unified city-state government.? I mean, have you ever wonder why Isreal just didn’t take all of Jerusalem in the six-day war? Taking about not wanting to work on the Sabbath. 🙂

          1. @Robert Teixeara
            In the short legislative session year (Constitutionally mandated to end by May 5) members can only bring new bills to the committees to which they are assigned. They can’t propose new legislation and send it to a committee on which they don;t sit for consideration If a bill passes committee it can go to the floor for a vote.

            Since we pass a two year budget, not much legislation that costs money gets enacted in the short session year. It wasn’t that long ago that our state legislature met every other year.
            Our elected members are part-time employees draw part time salaries…actual citizen legislators.
            Re: Question #2
            Yes I am Jewish, but this is not a forum for the discussion of religion

          2. A could she have put up legislation last year.

            B it was a rhetorical question. Make you think, though. What else is not being told. 🙂

    1. Tom White,you forgot the ..”.Is there anything else you want us to pass thru Mayor?”..Somewhere Saffan &Live Nation are having a good laugh at Bpt’s expense.

  6. This vote was almost down racial lines, of the 20 City Council members 13 yes of those 12 are members of color council with only Jeanette Herron who is white voted yes. City Council member Eneida Martinez who is a person of color was the one of the 7 City Council members who voted no. Eneida Martinez is the ONLY council person of color who understands of all contracts to be awarded to minority owned businesses with at least 6% going to African American owned business. 6% of $17,000,000 is $900,000 that Hispanics and black businesses are being left out of this process, thank you Eneida for standing up.

      1. Lisa, no political stake, side fight, agenda, or perk. Just a 2+2 comment. The council members could have squeezed a $1.50 ticket increase for the extra funding to improve the Port. If they, the no votes, wanted to, and the yes votes. Everyone is just looking for a piece and against the other getting their piece. Because I can guarantee you, but you know this if those no votes were to vote a project that they were dear to them under the same circumstances the world vote yes and vice versa on the yes votes.

        However, it’s an asset to the Port, How much of an asset is still to be determined. The ballpark and the Blue Fish team were also assets to the Port, too.

        At any rate, we shouldn’t be too much about the split vote over this project, if Mario can get Rosario to campaign for Joe after he fired him from his city job. I’m sure the council will survive. As I said, Port’s you poor just the baby a more dramatic version 🙂


  7. Ron, while it’s against the law to buy people of color anymore, this vote clearly showed the people of Bridgeport that you can still RENT one! The saddest little show in all the world!

  8. So Marcus, Took a cheap shot at Senator Moore which was not necessary. In Sept 2017, City Council was trying to Only bond $2Million for downtown revitalization fund. Bill Coleman asked Council to up that amount to $20Million because the BPT delegation informed them they can get matching state bonded money if it’s $20M. City Council approved $20M and with Senator’s Moore’s help, Bridgeport got an ADDITIONAL $20M towards this Downtown Revitalization Fund from bonding. Subsequently, we got an a Additional $10M from the federal level for a total of $50M that 2 years later OPED has not been using.

    Fast Forward, A rumor started with the administration telling the City Council members that this is not new money they will simply reallocate $4.5M from previously bonded dollars in 2017.

    Now the question for Marcus Brown and his colleagues, If the money is already there and this is just a reallocation of previously funded dollars. Please explain the emergence 5pm meeting yesterday to approve a bonding package that added an additional $4.5 Million for HYA towards FY2021 ??????

    You guys are the worst poker players in the world and we get to watch you on zoom .

    1. If that’s the case then, one can say the 4.5 million came for the state matching fund. So the 4.5 is at no cost to the city. Which makes it only. 7.5. million obligations to the city. That changes the city obligation numbers. So in that sense the city is back to its original deal. A lost for 4.5 state money to the city, shifted to the city own building. Most likely less money developers had to put in. Still, the city could have gotten a better deal to increase if the council wanted it. but all in all that 20 million and 10 million for the fed is a net positive for the city Way to go Bill Coleman. 🙂

      Kelvin speaking of Moore has she addressed any AB legislation concerning the AB abuse in Hartford?

      Again way to go Bill Coleman 🙂


    2. Kelvin
      In any bonding resolution there is language that says the mayor can spend any remaining funds that have been allocated and not spent to any project in the Capital Plan even if the council has not allocated any funding.
      In essence with every bonding allocation the council surrenders to the mayor any allocation of unused funds. This can even be for a project not even started.
      It does not have to be that way. It must be authorized. I tried numerous times to get this changed but bond counsel romanced the City Council and told them a lot of BS.
      Look in the Charter.

      1. In other words, Ganim could have done this without council involvement. And yet he involved them. Why would he?
        Maybe because this is something nefarious about this deal and by involving the council gives the mayor some cover if questions are asked later???

  9. What good does it do to give a minority owned (which includes women) business in Florida a city of Bridgeport contract?
    Aren’t we better off giving Bridgeporters jobs regardless of race than to ship a contract off to Florida?
    Better yet aren’t we better off giving a contract to a Bridgeport owned and operated minority business even if it costs slightly more and keep the money local???

    1. Bob, you said, “aren’t we better off giving a contract to a Bridgeport owned and operated minority business even if it costs slightly more and keep the money local??? ” I challenge those women, blacks and Hispanic City Council members to post on OIB the number and names of ALL of the minority contractors who are listed with the City and the name of those companies that will be working on this project that council just voted for.

  10. There were seven Council members who knew what was going on last night. I believe there were a couple of woman that I go way back with (they know who they are), who knew better, but unfortunately they were hamstrung because there could have been ramifications if they voted with the brave seven. I would think that after they spent a few decades directly involved in Bridgeport politics by now they would have shown some independance. Shame on the two of you that sit in seats across the aisle from where I once served. As a matter a fact, I sent a text to one of them, not to influence her vote, just a generic message. “No response.” She had no problem responding to me when I helped her out with her first run on the Council. Oh well, wisdom and grace doesn’t always accompany age. Kudos to Michael DiFillipo, he showed commitment in what he believed to be the wrong way to handle the dynamics and future of this project. He never said he was against the project, he was looking out for the taxpayers. All seven councilmembers deserve credit for doing what they were elected to do.

    1. Lisa, that’s sad, this council woman wants everybody to think that she’s so independent when you talk to her but she’s all talk because she knows better so those in power know how to rent her vote.

  11. There are many things that don’t smell right about this deal — notwithstanding that any such extra, “unanticipated” expense to the City at this time, as we enter a compound economic DEPRESSION (that of 2008, from which we haven’t recovered in addition to the new, COVID, global DEPRESSION), which will render revenue collections for the City negative, for some time to come.

    To allow ourselves to be knowingly “coerced” into breaking an agreement with a contractor (at our expense), for a (stupid!) project, which he will never be completed, given Sassan’s probable, corporate and personal bankrupt status, is nothing short of “bizarre”. This financial faux pas will cost us dearly in direly-needed state and federal assistance in the months and years to come, as the state and federal government have one more example of money burned by Bridgeport in one of their dirty deals (and on a (stupid! project…)

    All of the people involved in this project and its financing really need to be thoroughly investigated by the FBI. This situation stinks even more than Steal Point I/Conroy.

    But there is just something beyond the ordinary of how this smelly deal was pulled off — even as other area towns are publicly announcing state-mandated measures to provide tax relief for residents, cancelling projects and furloughing city workers, along with pay-cuts and reduced work-weeks, in the wake of the COVID ECONOMIC DEPRESSION…

    Now, we can assume stupidity at the level of the CC, but what about City Hall?! What do we assume about City Hall in this deal?! And what about general messaging and discussion about City Hall by the whole of the CC? Neither cogent nor indictment has been offered by expected sources of such (stress on the word “cogent”…

    Indeed, it’s “low tide” and the East End treatment plant has apparently overflowed — just as the “financing” for the Amphitheater That Will Never Be (how about a SOCCER STADIUM) has been approved…

    GANIM II looking more and more like GANIM I…

  12. Jeff, I would not call the project stupid, It’s an entertainment venue, it’ as fitting with the arena. Corporate America is not beating down the Port’ door. Just look at our Downtown skyline. You’re right, though the original deal seems to be at par at best for the Port, couldn’t even convince the council to get an extra buck for the new infusion of capital, regardless if it was already bonded or not. However, 4.5 million is a far cry from the days of G1 Just ask JML, right Lisa. 🙂

    I’m glad the Stress Factory came to the Port because this is comical. 🙂 BAM. I”M OUT



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