Who’ll Replace Bob Curwen On The City Council?

Several names are floating as possible replacements for Bob Curwen who announced Monday night his resignation from the City Council representing the city’s Upper East Side. Curwen must officially submit his resignation to election officials, but that appears to be a formality as pols poise themselves as a replacement.

Several sources say the names out there for consideration include long-time 138th District Leader and city employee Martha Santiago, former City Councilman Mike Marella and even Curwen’s son. Marella, the veteran executive director of the Bridgeport Police Activities League, served on the council for many years. As a member of the council he jump-started the idea for a professional baseball team in the city that became the genesis for the Bridgeport Bluefish.

He has strong relationships with several members of the council as well as Mayor Bill Finch. Marella is apparently attempting to relocate back to the city after moving out several years ago.

Curwen, who served for more than 10 years as co-chair of the council’s budget committee, announced his departure from the council citing family health reasons. His replacement on the budget committee to serve with councilman Angel DePara will be named by City Council President Tom McCarthy. The full council will select Curwen’s replacement.



  1. If the current system for appointing a successor to Bob Curwen includes his District DTC and Chairperson or folks who work for the City and/or currently live out of town, can we expect any change in the level of Council person independence from the executive branch to provide the intended check and balance, careful stewardship of public money, and a willingness to look at trends hitting the City over a period of time to understand what is ailing us rather than wait in response for a nudge from the Mayor’s office and vote YES?

    I have suggested the development of a CITY COUNCIL CODE OF CONDUCT for all who currently hold the seat or aspire to do so. It might include many items, but certainly would include:
    1) the commitment to read the Charter and Ordinances that govern the City today. (Council persons need to see what the rules are and which ones have been ignored or forgotten, before they collaborate to create new ordinances, or review another Charter revision.)
    2) a pledge to open up public communication and information sources (including hearings with responses, material on the City web site and more records available on PDF or other files for electronic download rather than paper from the City Clerk. That’s green).
    3) attention to financial matters because that is a key concern of taxpayers. Awareness that under the current system there are no practical fiscal watchdogs alert and on the job. (For instance, what critical taxpayer initiative did Bob Curwen execute within the past 12 months that puts the City resident net ahead of the previous year? Why would we build a statue to Bob’s years on B&A?)

    Those are a start. You know if we don’t get a more committed set of Council candidates, perhaps we should go back to the old way of governing with an Annual Financial meeting where citizens discuss the proposed budget and vote. It might work especially because of the low vote turnout. It might cause people to become more informed. Technology might be available to clear up absentee ballot confusion, and other electoral hurdles. If the representatives do not knowledgeably represent the people, perhaps the people may need to reform government to represent themselves. Excitement! Time will tell.

      1. yahooy,
        Thanks for sharing your confusion over my writing.
        The point is it probably does not matter WHO as long as there is no change in WHY they come to office (to serve their own limited interest primarily rather than that of the community) and the RESPONSIBILITY and PERSPECTIVE they enter with. The current Council class supports the structural framework. They have not found any issue to dynamically represent their viewpoint or willingness to act on an issue in a different manner from the Finch administration. In that sense when they would seek to act in the broad public interest they have lost the moral compass, the ability to think critically, the expectation of getting full, accurate and timely information on which to base good decisions, and any formal connection to listening to the public through an open hearings process appended to their Council Meeting schedule.

        So yahooy, does it matter WHO is mentioned? Time will tell.

        1. It is my assertion your allegations the current council members are there to “to serve their own limited interest primarily rather than that of the community” is biased, wrong and derogatory.

          1. *** Your assertion would be right for maybe 50% of the council. The other 50% falls somewhere near to the allegations, whether by choice or mere incompetence due to their lack of common sense it would seem. For every good council decision, it seems two bad ones at times tend to follow! There’s no unity among the members to work together towards a goal but rather individual agendas that in the end serves a small group and makes them gullible beholding to the Mayor and admin. in the end. Granted outside the box opinions usually lack inside political info. and facts and can be biased at times but if there were better transparency overall, maybe just maybe many of the critical allegations about the city council would be a lot less, no? *** On The Outside Looking In??? ***

  2. I hope the individual they choose will remove the vote YES signs starting at the Mayor’s house. I wonder if the sign is still up because he had a bet he could get the vote. I must admit I voted yes and then got a lecture from the head of the teachers’ union from Blackham school. In the end my vote didn’t count and it is what it is–now take down the damn sign. There are so many signs–sign pollution. Maybe Richie Paoletto can do it all and doesn’t need a partner. How about Andrew Fardy? He would be a great asset to the Beardsley Park area and a real thorn in the side of Mayor Finch!!!

  3. Since Bob Walsh left the council, it has been way too quiet. Can we have a little controversy please? A little opposition? Some constructive dialogue? Leadership? It seems everyone has become so sycophantic. It is good to have one voice when supporting major proposals but it seems there is just one voice on all issues and that is not good. Can we get a maverick please?


Leave a Reply