Watchdogs & Whistleblowers Welcome

watchdogs

It’s time to bark in the burg. Led by citizen financial watchdog John Marshall Lee, a forum for discussion, ideas and “barking points” has been launched at Watchdogs Bridgeport, a showcase for city issues. Lee says all fiscal hounds are welcome.

John Marshall Lee
A few years ago, John Marshall Lee wielded a shovel to illustrate the city’s fiscal ditch. At left is city resident David Walker, former U.S. Comptroller General.

Lee has emerged in recent years as a citizen journalist, mining lowly attended City Council committee meetings, budget hearings and city officials for information, a modern era Lieutenant Columbo–just when you thought he was done–returning with another question or observation. He’s a stick in the eye of the political and government establishment. At recent City Council meetings, however, he’s had lots of company from angry taxpayers entering the public puppy pool.

From the Watchdogs website:

Personal Message from the Chief Watchdog:
“Welcome neighbors and taxpayers … those of us who live in or love Bridgeport see our urban history and cultural diversity as something to respect and encourage. WHEN we see value in a person, a property, or a process we act to secure it and protect it. We support community good when we provide a place to celebrate that which is of value and listen to the voices of those who would warn us of danger to our rights, resources and respect. Watchdogs and whistleblowers are specifically welcome, here.”

By joining, you will be able to:
– Post your own discussion topics
– Reply/comment on current postings
– Become a subscriber to topics of interest
– Receive our e-newsletters
– Access research documents and reports directly in our online catalog.

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13 comments

  1. Lennie,
    Thank you for sharing this space with the new site.
    It is OPEN to all interested though we expect topics to group around major City problems issues and concerns.
    We will practice ACCOUNTABILITY as you do for our own processes.
    Write it as simply and directly as you can. TRANSPARENCY of process.
    Keep it HONEST and as factual as possible.
    Speaking truth to power is not an easy task, but these days it is easier than finding a SHERIFF who will pick up on the affront to the people and their resources contained in misbehavior by the elected and appointed. Some will choose, courteously as above, to pass on it. I am hopeful others will see the value of an additional site allowing many voices to become a choir singing TRUTH TO POWER. Time will tell.

  2. I was born, raised and educated in Bridgeport, involved in the political/governmental process for almost 40 years of my life. Despite all this history, I still don’t know how to effectively make known nefarious or unethical acts on behalf of politicians. Your everyday lawbreaker is dealt with by police action, when possible; but, who polices the politicians? So many of us know what’s happening, know it’s factual, yet the approach to exposing these behaviors is reduced to discussion among each other until the next situation occurs. The only time I saw action and results was FBI involvement in the early ’90s that cleaned up certain matters that justified their presence. Politicians are very ingenious, they find a way to do the same unlawful behavior in a way that just about keeps them under the legal radar. JML made an initial suggestion that would expose such people, it may not be the way to go now, but it would behoove us to become ingenious ourselves. There has to be a receiving vehicle where the knowledge of deceit and lawlessness can be channeled and exposed. It could be some people have become so impervious to what is perpetuated administration after administration, they just block it out. That, in my opinion, is called hopelessness. I don’t have an answer or suggestion right now, all I can do for now is take advantage of this blog to share what I know to be the truth. Let’s start here!

    1. Lisa Parziale, you hit it out of the ballpark. HOW DO WE FIGHT HOPELESSNESS? I’ve been doing some “yakking” here on OIB about the need and importance of getting more people in Bridgeport to get involved and get active. Sometimes it’s disappointing. I got involved early on in the fight to stop O&G’s attempt to move their Seaview site to Howard Avenue down by water/Black Rock Harbor etc. I put out a request on some Black Rock FB pages for help with petitions. I got ZERO response. As it was, I then had a family emergency but I am back trying to make a difference. Sometimes it’s discouraging. Sometimes, I am mad as hell.

      1. Frank, don’t get discouraged, it takes people willing to hang in, consistency will eventually bring others who want the same. I’ve been through this before, I already see people I never met, and some of those I go back with who are ready to join forces on different issues, but to the same end. This recent election did not turn out the way it did by accident! If “they” knew how we planned and organized, quietly and efficiently, I doubt they could have convinced McCarthy to walk to his political death, despite his ego. Don’t get discouraged!

  3. Well stated Lisa, with the benefit of years of front-line experience as well as a welcoming and encouraging spirit to those who are newer to these activities.

    Your use of the word “hopelessness” may be very accurate. The honest, swear to God and cross my heart TRUTH, when known by many people and when ignored by those in power can lead to hopelessness where people cease to pay attention to civic affairs except those most close to their secure home; they do not know the structure of the City in which they reside and often cannot recognize the names of those elected to manage their communities or represent their district, especially; and they see no one who cares about their kids enough when they are away from home, and they see no reason to vote!!! It does not make a difference. Wow!!! Is that the face of hopelessness, O mighty Democratic Town Committee? Line A and pizza for all! But not a word about purpose, platform, or direction with priorities. Time will tell.

    1. HOPELESSNESS. That is what we are really fighting. Sometimes it’s called the more politically correct word known as APATHY. But there’s a thin line between apathy and hopelessness. My comments here must mean I still have hope. I hope so!!!

    1. Bubba, why do you think I had my name removed from that transition committee? I took one look at the members and knew it was a sham. It sounded good, but here are few who were asked to be a member, Joe’s cousin Nick Jr. (I like him, but he’s still a relative), Ray Ganim, Joe’s brother, Alma M. who was waiting to start a job with the City, Ken Flatto, who had a job with the City, Ed Adams, on the City payroll, and then there was Tom Mulligan and me. There is no Office of Public Integrity and there was never going to be.

  4. I really don’t think we need yet another online place to bitch and moan. I can barely keep up with all the comments as it is. We got Lennie’s right here and we have numerous Facebook pages including two of my own, Bridgeport In The Know and Black Rock Bitches. Madeline Dennis.

  5. Actually Bepo, as you already admit the current flow of conversation is challenging you, it is well for you to ignore a new site. How you came to assign it as a place “to bitch and moan” I am still trying to determine. But that would be a wrong take-away on your part.
    Rather, it is a place where five major urban issues may be directly addressed, specifically or in general fashion by anyone with such interest but hopefully as time passes by those with levels of knowledge, experience, and research beyond the average to post items, begin discussions, and bring higher levels of info to City governance issues.
    A number of people have been invited to post essays to inform each of us and to raise our level of appreciation for the many activities, groups, and people engaged and ongoing for fairness and justice in our City.
    Thank you again for identifying your two sites for use when I feel the need “to bitch and moan.” Once again you have shared with the community your viewpoint and the way you serve the community you see through a Facebook lens. Time will tell.

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