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Video Features City Financial Challenges

November 3rd, 2016 · 11 Comments · City Budget, News and Events

Last Saturday Citizens Working For A Better Bridgeport hosted a forum on Bridgeport’s financial challenges and opportunities at the Bridgeport Public Library. See video above.

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11 Comments so far ↓

  • Ron Mackey

    I would like to hear from someone who DID NOT attend this meeting but has seen this video give their opinion.

  • Lisa Parziale

    Ron I would like to answer your question rather than watch the video. In my opinion, the substance of the forum was accurate and well-addressed by Dave Walker. I admit to being finance-challenged next to someone with his experience and knowledge, but when I concentrated real hard, I understood more than I would have expected, he was that good. I happen to feel honored to have a man of his experience, knowledge and past positions willing to share with us to help us understand that very important area of the City budget. In addition, he has a broad level of expertise in politics. I wish he had a front person to handle the sensitivities of what is expected when interacting with local politics.

    • Ron Mackey

      Lisa, you wrote this about Dave Walker, “he has a broad level of expertise in politics, I wish he had a front person to handle the sensitivities of what is expected when interacting with local politics.” I don’t think he would want or follow someone like you suggested. Let’s not forget, Dave Walker ran for Lieutenant Governor in the Republican primary last year and lost. Lisa, remember I said Republican, so like it or not, right or wrong that is a real hard sell to a Democratic city like Bridgeport. Is this the start of a new election campaign for Walker, hey I don’t know but you know a lot of other voters will think that. Time will tell (JML).

      • Lisa Parziale

        I understand what you’re saying, Ron. I just wanted to express how I felt about Dave Walker, the person. He’s not overly effusive, but if you’re with him awhile, he’s really friendly. I applaud his knowledge and intentions, in his case I wasn’t thinking politically. I feel the group needs a more “politically savvy” intro guy/gal, to better interact with all the local politicians.

        • Ron Mackey

          Lisa, l’ve said before that David Walker is a honorable man who has served our country well. Now, as far as politics and policies …

  • Frank Gyure

    I am going to look at the video since I was not able to be present.It is now 5:28pm 11/4/2016 and will come back with comments.

  • Ron Mackey

    Frank, it has been two days since you said you would come back with comments, well, still waiting.

  • Frank Gyure

    OK, HERE I AM. It’s been three days since this has been posted so it may be old news. I would like to thank CW4BB for posting this video. Unfortunately I could not attend. One critical perspective of this video that is lacking for me is what type of audience it was. First of all, I am NOT an integral member of CW4BB. I attended ONE meeting due to the gracious invitation from JML. As you all well know, JML does yeoman’s work as a Bridgeport Watchdog digging ever deeper into the financials but he is also a great person with a deep sense of humility, inclusivity and he is darn smart. JML and I bumped into each other and he invited me to an (organizational) meeting of CW4BB at Black Rock Library. Discussion and plans for this Burroughs meeting were held at this time. In a sense, it was really the first time CW4BB was attempting a citywide event. If I recall, invitations were sent out to as many community leaders/politicians as possible including the Mayor, all City Council Members, the members of the City’s GA delegation and, I also believe, members of both the Democratic and Republic Town Committees. Due to the fact many were involved in elections, one might have thought anyone seeking election would have gravitated towards any crowd of Bridgeport voters. At the same time, this event was NOT tailored to be soapboxes to all the various candidates. It was tailored for CW4BB to present information to the public and community leaders. A side issue of etiquette has come up and, respectfully to all those who weighed in on that issue, IMHO, too much was made of the etiquette issue and that can be adjusted/refined/improved for future meetings. Unfortunately, some of the comments went beyond the etiquette issue and questioned the validity of CW4BB going forward as a voice in determining the direction of the Bridgeport Community. For anyone who has been involved or planning to get involved in building any citywide coalition or even communication, it simply cannot be overestimated how difficult it is. Nevertheless, Bridgeport remains at financial/economic crossroads and anyone/everyone who has any concern about this community is being called up to the plate to get involved. With the release of the abysmal financial/fiscal information earlier this year (Billion drop in Grand List, continuing tight budget, the fatal increase in the mil rate), CW4BB already had some structure (websites, social media, informed citizens) that showed the POTENTIAL to take on the task of being an alternative voice to what was offered by the Ganim Administration. I would beg any reader here to still have patience, give advice and assist in any way possible and do not turn your back based on one event or the first few major months of the attempt to expand citywide in a much more active role. OKAY, ON TO THE VIDEO AND THE MEETING ITSELF. As I said before, I could not tell the nature of the audience. The presentation I saw on this video had a lot of information, maybe too much. I also get the sense the presentation was more appropriate for some who already have some basic knowledge of “finance talk.” It might have been more appropriate, for example, for members of the City Council (possibly some of them might have understood what was said), members of the City Administration, members of the local business community. I felt it got too “much in the weeds, “too complicated” for the average Bridgeport resident. FAR TOO MUCH went into purely financial info. If CW4BB wants to be successful, they will need to drill down their message and make it accessible and real to the everyday Bridgeporter. Questions such as, “Do You think Bridgeport is moving in the right or wrong direction?” Find out if you are talking to parents who send their children to Bridgeport schools and ask them if they are satisfied with the education their child is getting. Are Bridgeporters proud of Bridgeport, and if not, then why not? Ask people if they are confident they can find jobs in Bridgeport that would pay a livable wage. Is the Government of Bridgeport a “fair” government? Does Bridgeport meet your daily needs? I was very disappointed there was no mention of the state of our schools in the CW4BB meeting. As I write this posting, the Presidential (and some local) Election will be over in a little over 48 hours (THANK GOD!). Bridgeport community leaders must immediately pivot to the City Council Elections in 2017 and open up many avenues of dialog with Bridgeport residents and voters. CW4BB will need to up their game, and more importantly, decide what they really want to be and what are their goals in the next year. There really is not that much time left because decisions need to be made now. I have absolutely no idea if I will be active with CW4BB in any way. That is a mutual decision. But I hope others here give them a little more time and please do not walk away based on these initial forays into Bridgeport community involvement.

    • Ron Mackey

      Frank Gyure, thanks for your reply. Now let me comment on the portion where you talk about the video. Frank, a lot of what you said I wrote to an OIB blogger three days ago and maybe they will join in the dialog.

      CW4BB members get upset with me when I say their main issue is a Black Rock issue and maybe a part of the North End but their base will not expand. Their issues are not wrong but they are not the only issues affecting Bridgeport and they can’t expect other communities to just come on board when they have their problems and CW4BB is not asking those communities how it can help them.

      • Frank Gyure

        Ron Mackey, I would agree with you on that. Speaking only to financial/fiscal issues will not resonate equally throughout Bridgeport.

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