What a bunch of party poopers. I’m always disappointed when no brawls break out at the Monday Night Fights, aka City Council meeting.
I mean we haven’t had a decent steel cage match since the night Bob “Troll” Walsh was so cranked up that Mayor Bill Finch called him a “buffoon” or something like that. Must be everyone’s in the holiday spirit. Hey, if they’re not breaking heads might as well break out the eggnog.
The tentative contract agreement between hizzoner and the police union saw no council action Monday pending vote from the rank-and-file that was completed Monday night. Union membership approved the proposed contract in a tight vote; a nice victory for the mayor–at least for the first two years that call for zero wage increases. (Any members want to weigh in on this?)
Former mayor–and seasoned lobbyist–Nick Panuzio’s feeling pretty good today. The council approved St. Nick’s Washington lobbying gig for another $48K, with Walsh voting against it.
“We’ve got a lobbyist and his name is Jim Himes,” says Troll of the congressman-elect. Walsh’s point is that with Democrats controlling the White House and Congress how can Nick, who cut his teeth in Republican politics, produce for the city?
I actually think it’s a good idea to keep Nick working for the city. Maybe someday he can land a large enough DC windfall to pay for the 20-year-and-out pension deal he cut with uniformed services before the 1973 election. It was one of the few times in the city’s history that unionized workers actually pumped hard for a Republican for mayor. That scream you just heard came from OIB friend Ron Mackey who I’m sure will set me straight about why 20-and-out was a good deal for the city.
Speaking of a good deal, come join us at the Barnum Museum Tuesday at 5 p.m. for a pre-publication party of my new book Bow Tie Banker, a biography of David Carson, retired chief executive of People’s Bank. Retail copies will not be available until next week, but we’ll give you a sneak preview. Plus, refreshments from the Royal Tea Company. And the museum will be open for tours as well. No cover charge!
If you want to harass me on the radio Tuesday I’ll be a guest on Jim Buchanan’s show on WICC at 11 a.m. Please, no heavy breathing.
News release from Mayor Finch on union vote.
Police Union Approves Contract With City
BRIDGEPORT, CT (December 1, 2008) – Bridgeport Police Union Local 1159 voted 156-141 Monday to ratify its contract with the City.
“This contract is a good thing for the City and for the police union, and will provide the City with significant savings during the next two fiscal years. Their action is a terrific example of how the unions can work together with the City to effect budget savings, especially in the turbulent economic times we are facing,” Mayor Bill Finch said.
Financial highlights of the deal include: zero-percent raises for the next two years, followed by 5.7 percent in year three and 4.8 percent in year four. The raises in years three and four will be implemented in half-year intervals: at 3 percent each July and January in year three, and 2.5 percent each in July and January in year four. Also, take-home vehicles are to be eliminated at the discretion of the police chief; holiday and vacation time payments will not be paid in the current fiscal year; and a rescinding of the planned layoffs of nine police officers.
In addition, to the significant value of zero-percent salary increases for two straight years, the city will save approximately $800,000 in the current budget year.
Also, the City will allow the chief to implement his new personnel deployment plan in order to achieve overtime savings.