Why Can’t We Be Friends? Plus: Judge Underhill Dumps Public Financing, And Mayor’s Storm Warning

Mary-Jane Foster

Rina Bakalar

Dottie Guman

And now Carolanne Curry

These women all supported Bill Finch’s mayoralty in 2007, worked their fannies off, in fact, to help him squeeze out a 270-vote victory over State Rep. Chris Caruso. And, one by one, for one reason or another they are no longer part of the Finch administration or are just plain off the reservation.

What gives?

If you’re Foster, when the mayor called the University of Bridgeport a criminal enterprise out of a mindless obsession with the Unification Church that bailed UB out of financial trouble nearly 20 years ago, it couldn’t have pleased the UB vice president overseeing numerous departments at a university that educates 5,000 students, employs hundreds and has an economic impact on the city of tens of millions of dollars. Stings all that much more after Foster opened up her home to Finch and raised a boatload of cash to help retire the legal bill as a result of Caruso challenging the results of the primary.

If you’re Bakalar, a brilliant grants writer and astute government hand who delivered tens of millions of dollars to the city, being cast aside without input, without consideration for the contributions made to government, it makes you want to go somewhere else. Well, she did.

If you’re Guman, the woman who guided Finch’s political career, who stood up for him when so many said he was a narcissistic loose canon, she couldn’t be happy when the mayor unloaded an expletive-filled rant because she dared to support Mario Testa for party leadership after former party leader John Stafstrom told her to fuck off. Their relationship will never be the same.

The list is much longer than those mentioned above and the latest member of the Finch buyers-remorse brigade is Curry. I do not know why Curry was told on Thursday that she was being terminated from city work. Curry had worked in the government-efficiency CitiStat Program so heralded by Finch. Maybe there was just cause. Maybe not. The Finch administration that had so promised transparency, the best and the brightest, the this and the that, yadda, yadda, yadda, isn’t so forthcoming with information. In fact, Chief of Staff Adam Wood keeps a shoehorn handy just to pry a word from his lips about what’s going on in the building.

This stuff might sound like inside baseball but it goes much deeper to the root cause of why Finch’s mayoralty is a mess: the bizarre decision-making of Finch. And guess what? Based on his track record it ain’t getting any better.

But there’s hope, right? Always hope that the ghost of Finch past can scare him back into logical, mature, pragmatic, honest thinking. Or maybe it’s time for all of us to push harder for … Finch for Connecticut secretary of state! Yeah, fire up the candidate committee. Bill would make a solid SOT. We’ll put Yahooy in charge of issues, Tom Kelly in charge of the bar vote, Bob from BePo communications director, City Hall Smoker field director, Beacon2 to head the delegate count, Sly Salcedo legal counsel, Town Committee as treasurer. Campaign manager? I’m open to suggestions.

Wait, maybe Mary-Jane, Rina, Dottie and Carolanne will join the get-out-the-vote campaign? I must get them on the phone. What do you say? “Hello, hello, hello …”

Click.

Campaign Finance Law Dumped

OIB friend Christine Stuart at Connecticut News Junkie www.ctnewsjunkie.com posted this major item today. Well, here’s a way to save a cool $50 million. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says the state will appeal the ruling.

While he praised the state’s effort to increase public confidence in state elections, a federal judge on Thursday ordered an immediate end to Connecticut’s fledgling public campaign finance system, calling it unconstitutional.

After two years of argument and deliberation, U.S. District Court Judge Stefan Underhill ruled in favor of the Green Party, which argued the system created in 2005 imposed an unfair burden for minor party candidates seeking to qualify for matching campaign funds through a state grant program.

The Citizens Election Program “imposes an unconstitutional, discriminatory burden on minor party candidates’ First Amendment-protected right to political opportunity,” Underhill wrote in his decision.

In the 138-page decision Underhill concluded that the system provided candidates with “windfall levels” of funding for their campaigns, artificially enhanced the strength of the two major parties, made it difficult for minor party candidates to qualify, and discouraged minor party candidates from participating.

Funded by a proceeds from the sale of abandoned property, the state’s public campaign finance system contains between $40 million and $60 million. It has been the target of Republican criticism with respect to their desire to use the money to help solve the state budget crisis.

SuBy response to court ruling

Secretary of the State Strongly Supports Public Financing, Says Jettisoning the Entire System Now Would Cause Chaos for State Candidates

Hartford: Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz today issued this statement reacting to the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Underhill declaring Connecticut’s public campaign financing law unconstitutional.

“This is an unfortunate decision at a very inopportune time for our political system. Many of us in Connecticut worked very hard to enact the nation’s most aggressive clean elections law because we saw the corrosive and corrupting influence of big money in our political system. Through enacting campaign finance reform in Connecticut, we banned contributions from lobbyists and contractors and cleaned up the system. Public financing has worked extremely well so far: in the 2008 election cycle 83% of candidates for State Senate and 74% of candidates for the State House participated in the system. The Citizens’ Election Program awarded grants to 236 candidates: 135 Democrats, 96 Republicans, 3 Independent and 2 Working Families party candidates. That means that instead of campaigning based on who is contributing the most money, candidates can focus on the issues. If there are problems with minor parties getting access to public financing, we can fix those through legislation. We should not, however, throw out the entire clean elections system because of minor party issues. We are already halfway through the 2010 election cycle, and jettisoning the entire public financing system now would cause chaos for candidates for the General Assembly and Constitutional offices next year. It would also allow contributions from lobbyists and contractors back into state campaigns, which is exactly what we don’t want. I am committed to clean elections and public financing, and I believe our system is a model for the entire nation. I for one refuse to let this one ruling overturn all the progress we have made in cleaning up our political procress.”

News release from Mayor Finch

Mayor Urges Caution as Area Prepares for Tropical Storm Danny

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (August 28, 2009) – Mayor Bill Finch urges city residents to exercise caution as Tropical Storm Danny approaches the New England coastline beginning Friday evening through Saturday.

“Current weather reports indicate that the storm should skirt the Connecticut coastline, but significant rainfall may cause street flooding. I urge residents to listen to weather reports, and keep flashlights and batteries handy in case of power outages,” said Mayor Bill Finch.

The City of Bridgeport’s Emergency Operations Center maintains constant communications with the State of Connecticut Emergency Operations Center and other local coastal emergency centers to ensure that if a hurricane were to impact the state, the City of Bridgeport and surrounding towns are prepared.

In case of a public works emergency, such as downed trees, residents can call 211.

See Hurricane Preparedness Tips below.

Before A Hurricane:

· Know your community’s flood and hurricane zones.

· Prepare disaster supply kits and family plans, including a communication plan in the event you are separated.

· Stay tuned to local media for emergency instructions and reports.

· Make sure to contact your insurance provider to find out if your property is covered by flood and hurricane insurance. If you are a renter or a college student living in a dorm we recommend purchasing Renters Insurance to cover any loss or damages.

· Plan a location that you, your family and your pet(s) will go in the event an evacuation is ordered. Remember emergency shelters do not allow pets due to health regulations.

· Bring in all outside furniture or tie it down.

· Board up or tape all windows, if possible.

· Remove all valuables or documents from the basement area and place them in the higher levels of your property.

· Make sure you have enough money, gas in your vehicle and all pertinent medications if ordered to evacuate or shelter in place.

· Make arrangements with your health and medical provider if you or your family has any Special Needs for evacuation options or alternate locations, if evacuation is ordered.

· Emergency evacuation routes, evacuation times and emergency shelter locations will be disseminated to those areas at risk prior to a Hurricane so listen to your local media for emergency instructions and alerts.

During a Hurricane

· Stay indoors if not ordered to evacuate your area or home.

· Do not get fooled by the calm of the wind, it could be the eye of the storm and winds will come again.

· Avoid using the telephone except for emergencies only. This will help keep lines open for others in need of assistance.

· If ask to do so, shut off all utilities for the safety of you, your family and emergency responders.

· Be aware of storm surges. Flooding may develop quickly, so prepare to evacuate if flooding begins to take place in your area.

After a Hurricane
· Local emergency officials will instruct the community if it is safe to reenter your area or home.

· If your area has been damaged, local officials will instruct you and your family on what to do, who to call and where to go.

· If allowed to go back to your home, remove all valuables and assemble a damage assessment of your home and property by taking pictures, video and writing descriptions.

· Contact a family member or friend if your home is unlivable to see if you can stay with them, or assistance will be provided.

What Happened To The Audit?

What’s going on with the comprehensive audit of the Board of Education? Paul Timpanelli, president of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council that is administering the process, provides an update from his Timpanelli Topics column that he e-blasts to business council members:

Although our work has not proceeded on our originally intended calendar, we have made real progress. The first two phases of the work to bring greater financial accountability and transparency, as well as operational efficiencies to the Bridgeport school system, have been completed. On September 15th, after receiving the go-ahead from the Board of Education, we will be advertising for consultant services to enable us to undertake an operational and management scan of the school system. The intention of that phase is to uncover opportunities for increased operational and management efficiencies that might exist. If those are uncovered to any great extent, with the added approval of the Board of Education, we will then proceed to do a full and complete operational and management review of the school system – the first such undertaking not only in Bridgeport but in the entire State of Connecticut.

If we do this well, the Bridgeport school system will be put on the map (we have already been recognized by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the uniqueness of our work here) and the Bridgeport Board of Education will hopefully be able to focus more of their limited resources where it counts – in the classroom where it has a direct impact on improving educational outcomes. That, of course, is the ultimate goal of this work – producing students that are better prepared for succeeding in life and performing in the jobs of the future. If we succeed at this, Bridgeport area businesses will have better employees and greater productivity.

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123 comments

  1. Finch, Nunn, Carroll = out of control, ego-driven tyrants who all have forgotten where they came from and how they got there. It’s a bad time for the world economy and a bad time for people trying to feed their families. My parents scrape by on social security and my dad’s meager pension from his factory, taxes are killing them and medical bills destroy them. The promise of Obama brought hope but the tyrants of Bridgeport are killing that hope. CitiStat was an idea of how to manage the bills but it must have uncovered too many bad things. I heard John Gomes and Carroll didn’t see eye to eye so I’m sure he is next after Curry. Gomes can’t be a Finch person obviously, is he a Caruso backer? Maybe an Ayala guy? Just a shame that these hard-working people are collateral damage in a warped vendetta.

  2. Reading this release from Paul (Flush) Timpanelli, I want to gag. This release is nothing more than Executive BS. Transparency (the new buzzword) this is just so much bullshit. Now they are going to hire a consultant. Just what we need is another consultant.
    Where the hell is the audit? Do I need to spell it out again for Timpanelli? AUDIT, AUDIT, AUDIT!!!
    JUST TELL US, DID THEY WASTE THE MONEY THEY WERE GIVEN?
    Hey Paul it’s simple. They padded their payroll with consultants which in most cases came from the ranks of retired Bridgeport Educators and Administrators.
    Hey Paul it’s simple, the super ordered all departments to spend their budgets before the budget year ran out. If I am not mistaken wasn’t there a $5 million surplus? This will be a model for the country??? That’s a crock of BS. We will be a model when we have a 68% dropout rate???
    Do the freakin’ Audit already. This is not about Bridgeport businesses or anything else. It’s about the wasting of educational funds PERIOD.

  3. I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE. If I had the money I swear I would take out a full page ad in the CT Post every single day until the November 2011 election.

    Carolanne Curry was a hard-working dedicated employee. She came in early every day and stayed late. She put her heart and soul into her job. The problem is that she and John Gomes uncovered lots of waste in Charlie Carroll’s dept including the misuse of take-home cars; foremen hoarding the overtime and Charlie’s complete inadequacy as PF director. And let’s not forget the Lisa (Charlie’s girlfriend) “I don’t make copies” incident.

    Finch and Wood get rid of competent women like Rina and Carol yet they keep Alanna Kabel who is a complete failure. She lost millions in HUD grant money and over 1/2 her staff quit because they simply could not work for her. The latest to leave was Diane T., a competent hard-working woman who could and did run circles around Alanna. Alanna is threatened by anyone smarter than her (which is just about everyone) so she made Diane’s life miserable until she left. Then Alanna appoints Kelly M., a 26-year-old who is completely inexperienced and is more concerned with what people are writing on her Facebook than doing her job. But she kisses Alanna’s ass so she gets the job which includes supervising two depts (Housing and Community Development) and overseeing millions in HUD stimulus money. This is an accident waiting to happen. Can’t wait for the next HUD audit when they ask “so what are Kelly’s qualifications?”

    I only wish that every voter read this blog so that they could see the gross mismanagement of this city. It is a fucking joke.

  4. A quick change of subject. I am very disappointed that a federal judge overturned public campaign financing. From CTnewsjunkie.com

    “While he praised the state’s effort to increase public confidence in state elections, a federal judge on Thursday ordered an immediate end to Connecticut’s fledgling public campaign finance system, calling it unconstitutional.
    After two years of argument and deliberation, U.S. District Court Judge Stefan Underhill ruled in favor of the Green Party, which argued the system created in 2005 imposed an unfair burden for minor party candidates seeking to qualify for matching campaign funds through a state grant program.
    The Citizens Election Program “imposes an unconstitutional, discriminatory burden on minor party candidates’ First Amendment-protected right to political opportunity,” Underhill wrote in his decision.
    In the 138-page decision Underhill concluded that the system provided candidates with “windfall levels” of funding for their campaigns, artificially enhanced the strength of the two major parties, made it difficult for minor party candidates to qualify, and discouraged minor party candidates from participating.
    Funded by a proceeds from the sale of abandoned property, the state’s public campaign finance system contains between $40 million and $60 million. It has been the target of Republican criticism with respect to their desire to use the money to help solve the state budget crisis.”

    I can’t figure out why this would be a party issue. Last election we had many fewer open seats. Open seats are an affront to the democratic process. I would have never been able to run had it not been for public campaign finance, neither would several of my friends. Without it, incumbents stay entrenched and special interests rule the day. No one would be able to buy a vote for $100.00. I agree there were some flaws but it was better overall; I hope there is an appeal to the second circuit. Or it goes back to the legislature to tweak the language so that it addresses some of the judge’s concerns.

    1. I for one do not want my taxes spent on these political campaigns. In these hard economic times the money wasted on these campaigns could be better spent on those that need it. I cite the home heating oil assistance program for example.
      What these campaign welfare programs did was give money to many politicians who were already rolling in dough. In your case maybe you needed to have more fundraisers. Maybe you should not have run. Campaigns were waged for many years without this added handout.
      The campaign that my partner and I are involved in while the area is not as large as yours we do have 4,000 plus voters. To date we have spent under $800 and have been in contact one way or another with all 4,000. We have campaign signs and will have passed out literature twice before election day. It can be done.

    2. So MCAT, how many incumbents lost as a result of public financing compared to years without public financing?
      If you have a state rep who has been in office for 10 years and has established an identity through previous campaigns and he is running against someone who has little name recognition don’t you think if they both spend the same amount of money then the incumbent has a huge advantage???
      This is not a minor flaw, this is a major waste of taxpayers money.
      I asked one of the chief proponents of this legislation why aren’t incumbents given less money to offset this difference or why aren’t incumbents penalized for their franking privileges or why doesn’t the state put an end to taxpayer financed constituent mailings and advertisements and his response was that we need to get the votes from the incumbents to get it passed.
      This is just do-good legislation that strengthens the incumbents with taxpayer dollars.

  5. I can’t say that I am surprised by any of the moves made by the current administration. I am certainly disappointed but by no means surprised. Finch and his inner circle are political animals with a strictly political agenda. I have seen no evidence of their ability or desire to actually govern this city through these difficult times. The problem is quite evident … the line between politics and government is gone in this city. As a result, we have incompetent department heads leading unmotivated workers who deliver substandard services to an uneducated populis. This is allowed to go on so long as those in charge toe the party line and don’t question the powers that be. Until we can actually find and elect a qualified candidate who has the desire to lead and GOVERN nothing will change. We need a leader in city hall who will surround himself with qualified and competent professionals rather than political survivors and party loyalists. We don’t need a politician … we need a leader … we so desperately need a LEADER.
    I often wonder if things will ever change for the better here in the Park City. Have the politics and lack of good government created such a disheartened apathetic citizenry? Or has the citizenry, through the apathy, allowed politics to trump government? Kind of like a chicken or the egg type thing … either way it’s a damn shame.

    1. park city fan

      The problem with our leaders is that they are chickenshit.
      They think that they are serving us a limited-edition egg.
      Too bad, we are getting laid more than once.

  6. johnb // Aug 25, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Finch proves this theory in spades. I don’t know if PT Barnum would laugh or cry. Finch got sold a bill of goods that he had to start campaigning for re-election the first day in office. He was proud of the fact that he hired his campaign manager to be Chief of Staff to guarantee his coffers would be full and his political contacts would be shored up in four years. What a crock of shit. Wood knows nothing about how to be a manager or an administrator. He is too arrogant and young to know that when you push hard on people they too push back hard, except for the weakest ones. They say yes to your face and screw you behind your back. Team building, making a big umbrella, listening to your elders and more experienced people was not a concept Wood got and he sold Finch on that. Too bad Finch is so insecure and unsure of himself he couldn’t see Wood didn’t know what the hell he was doing. Either that or Wood knew all his dirt. Now Finch is the man City Hall loves to hate. This thing with Jacobs is going to be the final nail in his coffin, the civil servants see this as an assault against them and he is going to lose in Court. Any attempts to reach out to the DTC, if he is, is out of desperation. Finch’s first mistake was to think that being Mayor made him titular head of the Democratic Party. Problem is that half the DTC didn’t think so, and he screwed his friends in the process. I don’t think Wood or Finch gets that once you screw somebody they never completely trust you or forgive you … unless of course there is something in it for them. If Wood really cared about Finch he would resign, ’cause god knows that Finch doesn’t understand why he should fire Wood. Run your office for the good of the people, let political operatives run your campaign not your office. Well Finch only did win by 270 votes and he didn’t so much win as Caruso lost and Finch had 3 times the money. Would somebody please tell Finch that he has to get people to like him and his staff? NOBODY likes his staff.

  7. To the above-mentioned women who feverishly fought for Finch and thought Caruso was that bad.

    Be careful of what you wish for! Finch is the Master of the Kama Sutra. He didn’t even kiss you!

  8. TC, I respectfully submit that you can’t do that in a state race or when you are trying to defeat a firmly entrenched incumbent. I am running for Town Council as well and I will not spend more than $1,000.00 and my seat is town wide. There is no way I could have run a state rep. race that way. As it was we didn’t have the money we needed to defeat the incumbent. Public financing is clean and no one is going to buy a candidate for $100.00. Municipal races are not governed by public financing. Are you happy with the state of fundraising in Bridgeport? You say maybe I shouldn’t have run … well that would have happened all over. It doesn’t give money to wealthy candidates … it levels the playing field so that less wealthy candidates can run. Or are you suggesting that poorer people should not run? Holding fundraisers takes organization and money. I’d be interested to see what Sly has to say about this. Everyone gets the same amount and one candidate cannot outspend the other.

    1. I am suggesting that if you want to run and you have the right message you can win. Don’t insult me by saying that I am suggesting that poorer people should not run. Look, we have sent candidates to the State Senate and to the state legislature who were not rich and in some cases were poor and we did it without state funding.
      MCAT while this is a blog for free ideas have you noticed that we have a few critical things going on in Bridgeport and public funding of candidates is not one of the issues we are presently facing?

      1. TC you insult me by saying my stance on one issue precludes me from being concerned with the myriad of troubles facing our state. My comment regarding financial ability was an extreme statement to make a point not a personal insult, you took my comments and made them personal. Further, the public financing was decided by a court not the legislature. This issue will not even be discussed by Hartford at this point. It is more than likely that this decision will be appealed. Also, the statute was considered unconstitutional. Anytime a court overturns the legislature on a constitutional issue is cause for concern and further analysis of the issue by the legislature. At the very least for the purpose of more precise drafting in the future. You judged this decision on its end not its means. The opinion deserves more than myopic non-legal reasons as to how the outcome was determined. Further, the money allocated to public financing was already budgeted and will most likely remain dedicated until the appeals process is finished. I don’t see how my opinion is keeping people from medical care or lower taxes. I believe OIB has covered many state issues before; I daresay Lennie would not take issue discussing a broad range of topics.

  9. GOSH!!!

    Nobody seems to realize that public funds are simply not available to fund political aspirants. While the concept has much merit, to fund this program would require taking funds from other programs such as public protection, education etc.

    GOLLY!!!

  10. Park City Fan is looking for a qualified candidate who has a desire to lead and GOVERN. He is looking for a LEADER. What we have is a political animal who survived our election process and found himself due to Charter changes of the past two decades with the tools and authority of a strong Mayoral office. With a half billion dollar budget and a City “bankruptcy” within recent memory, there is no enduring Board or Commission to help steer the financial ship of state, evaluate purchases and results, and serve as a taxpayer conscience for dollars spent because the Charter revision eliminated any such entity.
    Ironically, the City Council, the representative legislative body, is presided over by the Mayor and for a variety of reasons has neither the resources nor the vision to offer a clear alternative that pushes back at Mayoral excesses. (And when knowledgeable and experienced Council members are un-appointed from serving on the Budget committee of that body, what do you say?)
    Citizens may reasonably point to opportunities to serve on Boards and Commissions. Well the Mayor is ultimately responsible for most appointments to these bodies although the Council has a role in confirming, as does Ethics Board, etc. But is there any pattern of rejection of such nominees by the Council for any reason in recent memory?
    Well, sports fans, take a look at the Boards and Commissions as currently staffed on the City web site. Many are operating at less than full strength and most are kept at current strength only by using the language that “members will continue to serve (beyond their terms) until replacements are appointed” or some such. Lesson #1: The Civil Service Commission has five members as called for and none are beyond their current term. Give Mayor Finch an A on that one. Wonder why this group got such Class A attention?
    Lesson #2: A certain land use board, critical to economic development, has too few members to elect a chairperson and to fully share the historic task of creating regulations and Zoning Map to serve the community as envisioned in the new Master Plan. However, instead of letting experienced and competent members continue through with this “task for a decade” and/or let members stay in place until suitable replacements were appointed, the Mayor advanced candidates of questionable provenance who were approved, and the process is still incomplete. Why did a conscious competent Leader need to leave the land use party so early?
    Lesson #3: If I don’t pay my taxes on time, what happens? If my parking meter runs out of time, do I get a ticket and a fine? If I try to get into Seaside Park with last year’s sticker, do they tell me to get current authorization? I am out of time in all three cases, right? So, why can’t this Mayor (and Bridgeport has suffered from this excuse through too many terms) fill all offices through new or reappointments as necessary with citizen-taxpayers who especially do not work for the City, commit to learning their Board role and work for the community at large? Is this too big a task? Or would it limit his power in some way? That would be progress and perhaps create some potential LEADERS in the future!!! Look at the listings yourself. Why do some listed members continue as members when their terms expired in 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008???
    If 95% of “success in life comes from showing up, on time, dressed to play” perhaps we can encourage showing up and producing value for those with questionable jobs; ask the Mayor to use the same clock that taxpayers are expected to respect (with interest and maybe penalties if you are tardy); and begin to describe what experience, character and intelligence you look for in a LEADER. If we keep the end in mind, maybe the voice of the body politic can mean something.

  11. MCAT
    I agree with you 100%. This ruling from Judge Underhill is a huge disappointment for CT politics, in my opinion.
    What are the people from the Green Party thinking? I need to call Cliff Thornton right NOW!!! Cliff, what’s the idiotic idea behind this effort? This sets all the little guys back 100 years!!!
    Without the State’s Public Financing program, I would have never ever considered taking on the challenge to “offer” myself as an alternative “new Democrat” to the entrenched Bridgeport “DTC machine”. This decision just reinforces the stranglehold of the major parties and makes it worse for minority candidates/minority parties, like the Green Party, to get out of the starting block … with the campaign finance program, at least, it leveled the financial playing field … in the case of the 130th State Rep district last year, you could be confident that the three candidates (three amigos?) had the same amount of money to spend. You took out one of the key elements that often sets an imbalance of elections: money. Second and most important, it took away the undue influence of large contributors on the candidates. Big oil money, big insurance money, big telecom money, big unions, big pharma, big hollywood, and so on. Third, it allowed candidates to focus on the issues rather than spending more than 90% of their time fundraising (schmoozing contributors) and less than 10% on the issues.
    For yahooy: yes, this is another funding issue decision … to fund the Public Financing program, you have to take money from elsewhere, but in the end, as in life, you have to make choices. You fund books, or police horses. You fund public financing or you live with the consequences of the political influence of large financial contributors on your candidates. But, let the people decide!!!
    For Town Committee: I’ve been a silent admirer of yours and Ann Barney (and all the other candidates, like me, who have tried to take on the DTC in our own way) for months now … I salute and envy your ability to run your campaign on less than $800.00 of your own money. For City Council elections, you could be setting a new standard for Bridgeport. However, as MCAT said, if you move to the state level, it could be a different ballgame. But I’m always open to seeing/learning new ideas and new challenges.

  12. For all those interested in seeing the stranglehold of the democratic party machine loosened (forget trying to kill it), here’s something to ponder:

    Loosening the stranglehold is the bottom-line result. Let the “renegades” (Caruso, Fabrizi, Ganim, Ayala, Lopez, et al.) who can sell their vision and ideas seek the GOP nomination for mayor. That party is toast in this town and its leaders (huh) might jump at the chance to put a big dent in the “donkey machine” by endorsing a renegade Democrat who would share some of the power from board appointments with the outside party.

  13. Thank you Sly, somehow I thought we would be of the same mind here.

    Yahooy, don’t think that I didn’t get your subtle and probably friendly dig. But it doesn’t bother me that you think me a cockeyed optimist. I could be (and have been) cynical, negative and a malcontent, but what’s the point? Please don’t confuse an optimistic person with someone who is uninformed, naive or unrealistic. Winston Churchill said, “For myself I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use being anything else.” He also said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” No gosh or golly about him. Just because I encounter an unfortunate or unpleasant situation, it doesn’t mean that I would give up if I really wanted it. It just means that I would work harder for an outcome I prefer. However, that being said there are times when you have no control over the outcome, but you do have control over what you do. If you look at bad situations as an opportunity to take a path not otherwise taken, it is the best outcome. If you really knew me you’d know I have a great capacity to be cynical and sarcastic. More often than not, I just choose to be grateful for the water that is in the glass. I can’t wait to hear what form of Pollyanna you are going to sling at me next. 🙂

    1. All of my “digs” in your regard are done so in the most friendly and respectful manner. Sooner or later you are going to take a stand of which I approve.

  14. What is wrong with Bridgeport politics in general and the local Democratic Party Committee in particular is that, quite simply, the city’s–and the party’s–leadership has lost sight of the party’s ideology. That ideology doesn’t really exist anymore; it has been replaced by shared goals and ideals. The city’s contemporary leadership, both elected and self-appointed, has failed the people of the city of Bridgeport, failed to follow the course of the Democratic Party to which they claim to represent. Have they advocated for those of us that have no advocate? Have they sought to reduce or even end poverty in the city of Bridgeport? “Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society,” to quote Ted Kennedy. All are primarily concerned with power and re-election; a few are obsessed with it.
    The Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee is on the way out. For an organization that is allegedly part of a national political party that advocates an agenda that emphasizes strong economic growth the DTC has shown an appalling lack of concern for the welfare of the city’s residents, actively stifling investment.
    Remember the Black Rock Art Center? That was the art center operated by Joe “snake oil, anyone?” Celli’s ‘nonprofit’ group, International Performing Arts. Mr. Celli was revealed to be a crook, a crook that thought he could pull a fast one on the officials of Bridgeport, a city with a certain reputation of its own for dirty dealing. (Did the door hit your ass on the way out, Joe?) Now the building, city property for nearly ten years, is vacant. With all the fanfare that can be mustered with a press release, Mayor Bill Finch said: “This is another step in my administration’s goal to dispose of excess city-owned property to the private sector, which will, in turn, create opportunities for new jobs and boost our tax revenue.” Oh, it’ll create new opportunities all right. The only question is, for whom? How long before any and all potential developers are discouraged by the shakedown artists, the DTC regulars that demand fealty and financial tribute for the privilege of purchasing and rehabilitating a rundown bank building in another down-at-the-heels former industrial town?

  15. Grin Reaper, the better comparison would be to look at unchallenged seats. I know there were fewer challenged incumbents in ’08 than ’06. While winning is a big part of running, there is something bigger–the democratic process. Giving people a choice, holding incumbents accountable and making candidates responsive to the needs of their constituents is an even greater purpose. Otherwise the people with the money make the rules.

    1. I cannot disagree more. My taxes should not be going for a civics lesson for adult voters.
      The way you hold incumbents more responsive is by knocking them out every once in a while not by using government funds to run paper lions.
      TC is right. There are far better uses of taxpayers money than this right now.

      1. It wouldn’t be the first time someone disagreed with me and it won’t be the last. I officially agree to disagree so as to not take anymore valuable OIB space that TC needs. 🙂

        As a wise person said to me once: That’s why they line up the horses and make them run around the track. Everybody has a different opinion.

    2. Voters can and do respond to the greater purpose of holding candidates accountable for their actions and making them responsive to the needs of the people. The Democratic Town Committee will feel the wrathful discontent of the voters (hopefully) sooner rather than later.

      The demographics of the city are changing. A large influx of Latinos from all over the Spanish-speaking world now call Bridgeport home. The majority of these people are here legally, in spite of the all-too-common misperception among the bigoted that any Spanish-speaking person is an illegal immigrant. There are also many immigrants from India, Pakistan, and other nations in southern Asia; all of them go through the process to get here legally.

      These are sizable blocs of voters that participated in the electoral process of their home countries. They don’t view the process with apathy; they view it as an obligation. (The key word in the first sentence of the paragraph is BLOC.) The district leaders of the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee haven’t made much, if any, effort to reach out to the immigrant communities, relying instead on the same pool of voters that has kept them in power for the past twenty-five years or so. Those voters are old and getting older; retirements to Florida or Arizona, or dying of old age removes their names from the voter’s registration list. The exceptions are the drug addicts and alcoholics that died prematurely of overdoses and cirrhosis of the liver, respectively. Mortality does not necessarily make them ineligible to vote in Bridgeport; someone will file an absentee ballot in their name.

  16. Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change.

    1. “Our future may lie beyond our vision, but it is not completely beyond our control. It is the shaping impulse of America that neither fate nor nature nor the irresistible tides of history, but the work of our own hands, matched to reason and principle, that will determine our destiny. There is pride in that, even arrogance, but there is also experience and truth. In any event, it is the only way we can live.”

  17. *** The BOE Admin has been fighting a complete certified operational audit for years by claiming to be in favor & when the actual time comes, claiming some type of reason for not being able to comply with said agreement. The BRBC agreements with the city & BOE were nothing more than good P/R & smoke & mirrors on an issue that’s been talked about for years yet no action has yet to happen. Why if there’s nothing to hide & maybe something to gain in favor??? ***

  18. Yo,
    Mojo, if it is that simple and easy, why doesn’t the city agree to do the same thing on their side of the budget???
    What’s good for the goose should be good for the gander but as soon as that question is raised the city says, we don’t need one. We have already eliminated all of our waste.
    So then why did they push Gomes to the side when he kept finding waste? You are no longer on the B & A Committee. You don’t need to repeat everything Curwen and Sherwood say.

  19. *** And as was stated some time ago, yet to happen “after the new fiscal year” is the jobs & dept. closings before Xmas. Also, the downsizing of certain depts & realignment of others! Out with the old & in with some new, here & there. Besides who’s going to remember 2 yrs. from “2009” anyway, same Dems. will still be in power per Bpt’s. voters. It’s all academic & the nature of things as always. ***

  20. State To Appeal Campaign Finance Law Ruling

    Richard Blumenthal
    Laws Associated Press

    11:19 a.m. EDT, August 28, 2009

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says he will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that the state’s public campaign finance law is unconstitutional because it discriminates against minor party political candidates.

    Judge Stefan Underhill ruled Thursday that a part of the law that provides a voluntary public financing scheme for candidates for statewide offices and state lawmakers puts an unconstitutional burden on minor party candidates’ First Amendment right to political opportunity.

    Blumenthal says he will seek a stay of the ruling so that the program can continue operating.

    The Green and Libertarian parties and others sued the state, arguing the law makes it difficult for minor party candidates to meet the criteria for getting public funds for their campaigns.

  21. Riddle me this; what does the Finch and hurricane Danny have in common?
    A lot of wind and threats but no actions to speak of.
    The crack PR machine sends out a press hit that starts off with “Current weather reports indicate that the storm should skirt the Connecticut coastline, but significant rainfall may cause street flooding. I urge residents to listen to weather reports, and keep flashlights and batteries handy in case of power outages,” said Mayor Bill Finch.
    And proceeds to tell the public what to do during the hurricane and then after. I guess no one (staff included) bothers to read the nonsense that they send out!

    1. Every weather station says that we won’t be affected by the hurricane. We’re just getting heavy rain. Finch & Co. obviously cut and pasted this from somewhere without reading it. Flood insurance? It takes at least 30 days for flood insurance to take effect. You can’t call and get flood insurance when a hurricane is pending. What is wrong with these people? I often wonder if Fabrizi ex-press aide Caryn Kaufman is reading this stuff. I’m sure she is laughing her ass off. The gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

  22. Riddle me this Part II, more tidbits from the Finch PR machine.
    Here is some advice in the Press Release to Bridgeport Residents:
    If you are a renter or a college student living in a dorm we recommend purchasing Renters Insurance to cover any loss or damages. (Where does this fall under we recommend you pay your taxes or we will haul your car away?)
    Make sure you have enough money, gas in your vehicle and all pertinent medications (see note above).
    Local emergency officials will instruct the community if it is safe to reenter your area or home (you are the local emergency officials dumb-ass).
    Do not get fooled by the calm of the wind, it could be the eye of the storm and winds will come again (do not get fooled by the hot air coming out of the mayor’s office; they really don’t care.)
    Thanks for all of the helpful advice Bill.

  23. Dick Blumenthal to appeal federal court public financing decision!!!
    Isn’t that precious.
    Has Dick said if he is opting in on the public trough if he runs for a constitutional office next year? Hmmm.
    Dick decides to waste our money challenging this ruling so that Dick and friends can get more of our money next year to run for office. Isn’t that special!

  24. Mojo you idiot, the city does not have a real audit done every year. They have some outside CPA firm do an audit to make sure that the books balance and that revenues were applied properly. No one looks at waste and inefficiency. In fact, when you were on the B & A committee, you eliminated the entire internal audit department to make sure that no one was really looking at the books. All the power was given to OPM and Tom Sherwood. C’mon Mojo, don’t tell me you forgot about that? You are part of the problem. It’s because of political lemmings like you that we are where we are today.

    1. *** Gee I didn’t know I had the juice to eliminate something like an internal audit without the city council B&A committee’s vote, then the entire council. As well as the okay of the Admin. in power @ the time! You’re really painting a very interesting picture there Kathy! ***

    2. *** You spend a lot of time complaining & watching others while on the job; what 20 yrs. now? And blogging while @ work as well, are you worth the city check you collect? For what, smoking, joking, complaining & under the impression that no one knows who C.H.S. is? You’re in for a big surprise there wrinkles! ***

  25. So Carolanne is leaving CitiStat and John Gomes has been moved to a secluded area of the Annex with no phones or computer and now no assistant. Is the writing on the wall? Is Gomes next?

    There is no accountability anymore. The Civil Service Commission has been compromised and CitiStat is on its way out. Batten down the hatches, fellow employees; it is going to get worse before it gets better.

    1. I agree. Finch could have looked like a hero here. All he had to do was let Gomes do his job and implement his recommendations. He would have saved a lot of money and rid the city of some political waste. Finch would have been mayor forever and left a true legacy but instead … well you know.

        1. Mojo why do you try to guess who CHS is? It is only a guess and it is not correct. Stop getting people who have nothing to do with CHS’s comments in trouble. It is childish and irresponsible of you. I know you trash CHS because it makes you look good to Charlie Carroll since he gets slammed by CHS a lot. You want Charlie to think you are on his side since you need him for seasonal employment, I get it–really I understand but please stop accusing people and trying to out them especially when you are WRONG. If you worked inside City Hall and were really a person of the people you would know that most of what CHS says is right on the money. CHS is very accurate with many of his reports. I know sometimes he gets personal but so do you. It’s a blog.

          1. *** Why so interested in C.H.S.’ I.D. & she drew first blood long ago not being able to disagree on a blogged opinion without disrespecting others. I only give it back double, as well as to others so they can read & feel for themselves how foolish they sound while hiding behind their website mask. In a real-life scenario, they would not have the heart nor balls to say in person some of the nasty disrespectful things they blog on OIB. And it’s time that a G.P. message is sent to show that Bpt is really not that big & actions speak much louder than words! In ending, C.H.S. has blogged many true things that happen @ city hall in which I’ve agreed but @ the same time, she’s repeated nothing but rumors that have had no facts to back them up. People who really know nothing about the day-to-day operations can be easily fooled by some of her blogs. ***

          1. *** B.M. just comes out of the jungle to defend C.H.S.’s honor & protect the darkside web I.D.? *** It’s better than a D/C comic along with a small bottle of coke & a bag of Frito’s corn chips! *** In ending, the summer 90 days checkpoint job paid half by a grant & half by the city is a temp. job that I’ve worked @ for 3-yrs. now before Mr. Carrol’s move to Parks & Rec. or Pub. Facilities in general. Again you blog insults & rumors just out of spineless anger & disgruntled feelings towards your job, city workers & your unhappy personal life! You really need to step into the light again and become a day walker, get out of the darkness! ***

  26. Thanks for the support, B.M.; Mojo has to kiss Charlie’s ass so that he can keep that big checkpoint job.

    I blog the truth always. Most city employees share my views. And I NEVER blog at work or from a city computer. I’m not that stupid. I’m on my own time on my personal computer and free to speak/write the truth as I see it. This is the worst administration ever. Employee morale and productivity is the worst it’s ever been. The number of nasty, incompetent, unqualified managers is the worst it’s ever been. Most would agree with me.

  27. We have had 2 years of this Finch incompetence. We have seen the ranks of career civil servants decimated by this administration only to be replaced by kiss-ass relatives and friends of the high and mighty of this administration.
    We have not had ONE, that’s right, not ONE Democrat speak out against what is going on and where this city is heading.
    Leaders or future leaders in this party are nonexistent. Future candidates for mayor??? If you are afraid to jump into this fray and protect the citizens and the career employees then you don’t deserve to be mayor so do us a favor and stay in the background like you are doing now. Don’t come out 6 months before the election and tell us what you are going to do; THAT’S TOO LATE.
    City Hall smoker keep on giving us information that we otherwise would not have received.

  28. TC–Mayor’s office is in a state of paranoia right now wondering who is going to primary Finch. That person shouldn’t tip his/her hat too soon. It gives them more time to prepare. Better to quietly shore up support and money first.

    CHS–you are pretty much dead on.

    MOJO–is out in left field with a six-fingered glove.

    This is an administration where if you challenge Charles in Charge, Adam the boy wonder, or nun of this or that, you get thrown out of the nest, nest and all.

    CT Post – where is your investigative journalism? You’re being shown up by a blog. No wonder you are on the way out.

    I don’t know whether to feel sorry for Finch and his psychological inability to make a decision and always making promises he has no intention of keeping or rage at him for letting himself being led around by the nose, spooking occasionally and foaming at the mouth. He’ll also say anything, anytime, no matter how untrue to get past an unpleasant moment. Then he runs to the boy wonder, or C in C or the flying nun to be the bad guys or leave them to clean up the mess. They can be the ones to blame like it was in the Senate with 35 other guys to pass the buck. Finch is over unless he shows some original thought, sincerity and leadership ASAP. The problem with a figurehead mayor who looks the part but needs to be controlled (think Bush with Rove, Cheney et al.) is that fighting breaks out among the puppetmasters and that is all the administration can deal with; fighting to control the Mayor, keeping the cone of silence over City Hall and not running the City. Our next Mayor should be someone who can walk the walk and talk the talk, not a Pinocchio with strings and a long nose.

  29. I don’t create lies or spread rumors, I report the facts. The statement that Charlie is not, by any stretch of the imagination, qualified for his job is FACT. The statement that Lisa is not qualified for her job, refuses to perform even the most basis of tasks (like making copies) and is making over $65k because she is Charlie’s girlfriend is FACT. The statement that Alanna has destroyed the Grants and CDBG offices, mismanaged and lost grant dollars and that over 1/2 her staff quit because they simply could not work for her is FACT. The statement that John Gomes and Carolanne Curry did a tremendous job uncovering waste and inefficiencies in PF and were smacked down because Charlie didn’t want to be exposed is FACT. The statement that longtime qualified, dedicated employees have been eliminated so that political employees can be hired is FACT. The statement that this is the worst administration ever with the worst managers and that employee morale and productivity is the lowest ever is a SAD SAD FACT.

    1. *** See, you said all that, which is your opinion & didn’t swear, call people names or disrespect anyone doing it! That wasn’t so hard was it? To get one’s message or opinion across, one need not be nor blog like a complete negative A-hole! *** And for Johnb, for your information, I ran on the ticket & supported Caruso in his last bid for Mayor so I’m quite aware of many of the negative changes, etc. that have taken place @ city hall. However, those of which I am not, I don’t believe in jumping on the blog bandwagon ’til it’s proven fact, not just rumor or negative opinions from disgruntled employees. There is a difference you know & sometimes you just have to have a bit of patience and wait for the truth to surface in time. It’s easy to second-guess from left field after all the information is @ hand, after the fact!

        1. *** And in blogging, I said it was a rumor as well, so get it right! *** Besides it was answered & that was the end of it. So your reply doesn’t hold water B/M or whatever your real website name is! Stop pretending! ***

  30. John: I agree with most of what you have stated above. I understand tipping your hand too early and in most cases that would be true.
    This city has never in my memory seen a group of politicians so screwed up. That goes from the council to all the appointed positions. The council is an ineffective group of handwringers and yes people. The only ones that have shown a little courage have been Lyons, Paniccia & Walsh, the rest should be ashamed of themselves.
    My comments about a person stepping forward early is that the people of Bridgeport need to know this person and know that he/she is a fighter.
    Example lets look at State Rep Ayala. He is well known in his district and well known in the Hispanic community but he is not well known city wide. Just ask your neighbor who he is. I am not picking on Ayala just using him as an example.
    This blog has mentioned Bruce Hubler. Well who is he? What does he stand for? What does he bring to the table? Trying to get that info out 6 months before an election is near impossible.

    1. *** Then how much time is needed to bring what’s needed to the table? How about if the elective position is only 2 yrs. long; what can a real dedicated politician accomplish in that time before it’s time to bring what’s needed back to the table again for reelection? Along with the names you mentioned that have shown courage so far, didn’t the other Dems get picked by the same DTC as well; 3 out of 20 Dems doing the job, not good odds when you think about it! Also, same group endorsed Finch correct, how’d your 9 members vote when endorsing the Mayor? *** Funny how politics & things change in time when things are going your way, then “who threw that wrench”? ***

  31. President Obama gave a great speech; Teddy was the soul of our party. Health Care needs to be passed now; many people in the Hispanic community lack health care and I am one of them. Thanks Teddy for standing up for the little immigrants like me and my family. I am prouder then ever to be a Democrat.

  32. *** Life is short & what you make it. Spend too much time dwelling in the past & you’re bound to repeat it, good or bad! *** An evil eye sees nothing but “darkness” & in time becomes “blind” to the light it really seeks! ***

  33. For the record, during the last budget go-round I attempted to have CitiStat report directly to Finch. This way there would be no doubt as to whether or not the program had the full support of the mayor’s office and thereby allow Gomes full reign of rooting out inefficiencies. Needless to say the measure failed paving the way for Gomes to fail. Finch didn’t want this to happen because then he wouldn’t have been able to do what he just did.

  34. Mojo, you are wrong with your comments about the city and its audit and CHS is right on the money.
    Every year the city has a financial audit of its books done by an outside audit firm. It is not an operational audit.
    This review is so shallow that there were no major write-ups about the lack of financial controls during and after Ganim was robbing the city blind.
    There are no write-ups today even though OPM has totally ignored both charter and ordinances when it comes to budget control and transfers.
    The city has gone years without any meaningful budget transfers coming before the council and overspend on any account that they care to.
    I tell every member of the budget committee that they should be embarrassed that they spend a month and a half putting together a budget that the city ignores the day after it is passed. They then repeat the Fabrizi mantra that they are not responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city.
    Bring on the Financial Review Board and force the city to live by its own rules.

    1. *** Then basically Bob I’m wrong in calling it an operational budget! But for the life of me, I can’t remember me doing away with a city internal audit in which C.H.S. claims I did, singlehandedly I might add without any input from the rest of the council? Please reply, thanks! ***

      1. I don’t remember the specifics and, truthfully, whether Mojo was co-chairing B & A at the time or not but the council did vote to disband the internal audit dept. People were laid off and were moved into other depts. Mojo, you did not do this singlehandedly but I believe you were on the council at the time.

        1. *** There you go, now it’s I don’t remember the specifics? You see what I mean about unproven rumors for the sake of merely trying to make a person look bad on the website & in general? My point exactly on two sides to a story & somewhere in the middle you may find the truth! ***

      2. Dear Mojo,
        Thanks for admitting your error in confusing the routine Annual financial audit done for the City with an “operational audit” that is apparently the last or third step facing the Board of Education operations at this time. An annual audit merely confirms that the numbers put out by the City have been verified in the audit process. Blum Shapiro who performed the 2008 audit did send a letter along (management discussion and analysis on pages 3 through 15) that is not a required part of the basic financial statement but is supplementary information required by the accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America. Do you know that it reveals for the first time that the City has an Actuarial Accrued Liability of $874,662,000 for Post Employment Benefits other than Pension (OPEB)? And that for the last reporting period the obligation was over $47,000,000 but the City paid only $29,605,000 thus falling behind $17,000,000 without a peep mentioned about that? And if you go to page 64 in the audit dealing with OPEB, you even find an error in that the City reports the liability as $874,662 rather than $874,662,000!!! How and when do you pay for those 000s??? Does anyone wish to ask the Director of Finance about the missing 000s, much less how they will be funded going forward???
        So don’t worry about distant history too much. You were not the only Council person to remove checks and balances from City governance and you did not do that alone, of course.
        But are you reading the 2008 audit? What does it mean to you? And what does it mean to your current Council person? Why not recommend that the Council person hire a municipal financial specialist as a consultant so that they may come up to speed with the trends that are going on including this huge unfunded liability, including the severe increase in the City fund balance, etc. Not knowing is one thing but not employing competent professional assistance is something else. Let’s encourage our representatives into a more responsible posture. Perhaps if they held public info meetings it might smoke out more info faster from the dudes in the throne room?

        1. *** Thanks for helping in clearing up my memory with the annual financial audit; however if I remember correctly the annual final report did mention ways in which the city might strenghthen its financial clout so to speak & streamline some wasteful spending though not really specific in its outline. Also Beacon2, I do not have the 2008 report, I was just going on past memory from 2007 more or less, and my relationship with my district representatives & council is a “no contact” type of thing! They don’t seem to be too interested or have something else they feel is of more importance; again, I’m guessing? The left hand does not seem to know what the right hand is doing! ***

  35. Here is another FACT about Charlie: under Ganim, Charlie was an electrician in the BOE and was about to be fired for insubordination. Out of respect for the Carroll family, Ganim created a new job for Charlie, “Barnum Festival liaison.” Charlie served in this capacity until Fabrizi became mayor. That’s when Charlie, a mediocre electrician with a bad temper and no formal education, began his climb up the municipal ladder. He was threatened by Gomes and Curry as they are intelligent, educated people who saw the mess that PF is in. Rather than be a team player and hear them out, he bullied them out of PF. Maybe Carolanne will speak openly once she is gone. I’m sure she has a lot to say.

    1. Charlie Carroll is a bully, egomaniac and has been on a power trip ever since Fabrizi promoted him. He has a few people including Finch, McCarthy and Wood who think he is Mr. Wonderful. He is disliked by just about everyone in City government and he is considered a joke in the community.

  36. As far as I recall about the Internal Audit Department, it was only at best one person who never really got into this type of work.
    In major corporations internal audit is used to compliment the outside auditors in order to keep the cost down. The city of Bridgeport never did this. Joe J was internal audit in name only. Even when he wasn’t thrown into other jobs on a short-term or longer-term basis, he never truly functioned as an independent internal auditor. And even the work that he did that was close to this function; when he did it his findings should have been made to the council which never happened.
    So Mojo you are correct in saying that you did not singlehandedly disband IA. The administration was always at the forefront in doing so and always told the council that the auditor could do other work to enhance city revenues.

  37. As to a real Internal Audit department, the city should adopt the model that the state uses. Appoint one Republican and one Democrat auditor and have them work together highlighting problems that they uncover and issuing their own responses the the financial audits and other audits performed by CPA firms. But to do this properly it would probably require a charter change to ensure their independence.

  38. This Charlie thing is a bit confusing. Friends in the BOE tell me that they are interviewing for a new boss to replace some doctor who was there for a couple years. When I ask what the position is they say it’s basically the same job that Carroll has but his is in Public Facilities. The BOE person has to have all these degrees but Carroll has to have no education and wasn’t even a good electrician?

      1. As an outsider who has friends who are administrators and teachers in the BOE, and can only go by what I hear and read, I make this assumption. Mayor Finch was a nice guy, a party dude, who was taking one for the team by taking this job so Caruso wouldn’t get it. Once he got in there his head swelled to huge proportions and kissed the ring of the Don of Madison Ave and gave this Charlie a cushy job to kiss his ring too. Am I right so far??? lol Now everyone who helped Finch get where he is is on the outs and everyone who used to know and be friends with blue-collar Charlie have been long forgotten, still right? These seem like mean and vindictive men who belong on Wall St, not in Bridgeport destroying lives.

  39. I’m serious about Carolanne. Maybe she or someone close to her can clue us in to some of CitiStat’s findings and recommendations in PF. Finch terminated her employment. She doesn’t owe him a thing.

  40. Here is one example of Public Facilities and how inefficient they are. While campaigning with Ann one of our voters asked if we could help them get a second city garbage can. They stated that on many occasions the city won’t pick up their non-city issued cans.
    No big deal RIGHT? WRONG!!!
    Ann and I went to public facilities and asked for a second city-issued garbage can. We explained why and where it was going. (Now I already know that they have loads of these garbage cans in storage.)
    We were told we would be contacted by someone in the sanitation department and would be questioned on the need for this extra can. Well 5 weeks later we are still waiting.
    The point is why all the BS to get a garbage can? The person that was to contact us has nothing better to do.
    Maybe it’s crap like this that Gomes and crew uncovered.

    1. John Marsilio and George Estrada must be sick to their stomachs watching this idiot run their old department. They did a good job with what they had to work with.

  41. Riddle me this: who is more to blame for the mess that the city is in, Finch or Fabrizi?
    Corrupted you make it seem like this is all Finch’s doing but John Fabrizi is as much to blame as anyone.
    Remember it was the Fabulous One who changed the Civil Service rules, made unaffiliated workers union members, gave out huge raises; all to take care of his friends. And it is his friends that everyone is complaining about.
    It was the Fabulous One who made Charlie Chief of Staff, then promoted him to CAO, then demoted him to Chief of Staff again and yet Charlie gets a raise for all of this.
    It was the Fabulous one that got an illegally constituted Parks Board to appoint Charlie Parks Director in order to make sure Charlie could max out his pension and not worry about getting fired.
    And it was the Fabulous One who lied to Finch about how great his department heads were and convinced Finch to basically reappoint all of them (some with demotions in hand) who are continuing to screw up the city and the budget today. So it all started with John Fabrizi and his eagerness to saddle the taxpayers with incompetent people who cannot be easily replaced. And it was John Fabrizi who set in motion the eventual canning of Ralph Jacobs by giving him so much power over personnel matters that Finch was left stripped of many appointments.
    Yes Finch has screwed up too. He kept too many incompetents around. He promoted Charlie to PF Director and let him stay at Parks and Rec so that Charlie gets a raise, adds to his pension and if he screws up he can just go back to P & R.
    It is a total mess created by Fabrizi, made worse by Finch and embraced and affirmed by City Attorney Mark Anastasi. A total corrupted misuse of city personnel practices. And we are left footing the bill.

    1. Grin, you are so right. Finch kept them all: Carroll, Feeney, Sherwood, Alanna Kabel, Mark Anastasi. When we look at the problems in the city, these names keep coming up again and again.

      1. Add to this the FACT that he made Larry Osborne permanent Labor Relations Director, a man with no credentials whatsoever. He hires Nunn who never even made an attempt to do his job and Wood who acts like a miniature Hitler. Not ONE good appointment. NOT ONE.

  42. The City that I was once so proud of is now becoming a big disappoinment to me and many of my neighbors. It is due to the mismanagement of our current administration. There is no transparency. The only council member I trust to let us know the truth is Bob Walsh.
    Positions are being filled secretly in both city halls. Friends of Finch get raises when others who make less money are made to take furloughs. I feel so bad for the dedicated hard-working honest employees. It must get you sick to see all of this corruption going on and our tax money going to this nonsense.

  43. Funny lately on this blog how the 3 amigos (Fabrizi, CC, and newest amigo McBride) keep coming up. All good friends and all would put a knife in Finchie’s back as soon as he closes his eyes. I know Bush was dumb to what Cheney did, can Finch be another Bush?

  44. More food for thought. Ganim tried and succeeded in controlling the BOE and its money; with Marsilio and Sullivan in strategic places seems like Finch is trying to do the same by having his people in Civil Service and on the board in the BOE. Once the dictatorship is installed, in a year they will turn their backs on Finch and the next mayor will have all the control. Guess who they want to be the next mayor?

  45. I would like to add a few names to Lennie’s list of women who have been let go or dismissed by the present administration: In addition to these women listed by Lennie:
    Mary-Jane Foster, Rina Bakalar, Dottie Guman, Carolanne Curry; you can add Nancy Hadley, Michelle Mount & Pat Fardy. I am sure there are others that I can’t remember.
    It seems that this administration is afraid of strong well-educated women. They are afraid of women who will speak up. These gutless wonders we have running the city can’t deal with smart, strong, opinionated women. I have never seen such bloodletting.
    If I were mayor I would hire every one of them back. The city lost out when these women left.
    Not one council person raised hell about this in fact most echoed the same bullshit. these women were to strong and too opinionated. They did not kiss the ring. Think of some of the replacements: Eversley, Gail Soltis, Kabel just to name a few.

    1. T.C. here are a few more who were forced out or left of their own accord because they couldn’t take the bullshit:

      Rebekah H. – grantswriter
      Christina K. – grantswriter
      Kathy H. – Housing
      Ada F. – CDBG
      Aisha D. – CDBG
      Diane T. – CDBG

      These were all smart, outspoken women. Alanna got rid of them because she could not control them. Finch never once inquired as to why all these women were leaving.

    2. Just a clarification Town Committee, Bakalar left on her own. Finch was surprised but she saw the team he was lining up and felt it would be a frustrating 4 years. She had other opportunities so she moved on. You are right though they have no respect for talented people and especially women. If Finch were smart he would have gotten rid of more people and treated others better … Kabel is a disaster. She kisses Finch, Nunn, Carroll and Feeney’s asses and treats her staff like shit. She throws her own staff under the bus for her mismanagement. She has no clue what she is doing but she talks a good game. I have heard that HUD is watching more closely than she knows. She kisses up to HUD too and tries to convince them that all the mismanagement is her incompetent staff. Problem now is she has put her own people in and things got worse. She had half of her own hires leave too. She is very, very insecure and only in the job due to who she knows and her kiss-ass personality that makes the guys feel good. Very sad.

  46. Finally the Post did an article about the termination of Ralph Jacobs. Seems that the City hired two outside attorneys to get rid of him. How much did that cost? Will these outside attorneys also represent the City in the lawsuit? If Ralph sues the commissioners personally, which he should, does the City hire more attorneys to represent them as well?

  47. City Hall Smoker: You can bet your as- that the city will hire outside council when Jacobs rightfully sues. I mean look at what we have in the city attorney’s office; Mark Anastasi who is good at making up shit as he goes along (that does not work in an actual courtroom). You have Liskov who is busy selling city real estate and tax liens. Then you have Greg Conti who can’t stay awake.
    This damn administration keeps crying poormouth but they have no problem finding money for lawyers when they want to screw someone. Find money to do work on the city or its infra structure? That’s impossible, we are broke. I have not read or seen any comments from any politician elected to a Bridgeport Office other than Walsh. Even Lyons and Paniccia are quiet.

  48. I wonder if Finch remembered that Carolanne was involved in a major way with the transition committees. She knew how she was supposed to steer the opinions of these committees, including a reform government committee who interviewed Jacobs to determine what to do with Civil Service. That committee also had Rosa Correa on it and the result was to develop a better interview process. I wonder whatever happened to that report or if Carolanne or Rosa will have comments on that.

  49. It seems that Gomes may have landed on his feet with this latest purge. Sources say he will be in charge of the Blight Program and one other department that will be combined with the Blight Program. I don’t know which other department is involved. This ought to make Coble real unhappy.

  50. Say what you want to say about Finch but he is still popular in certain neighborhoods. I am pretty sure if Finch went into PT and told our residents to vote no to the Ref question they would. If there is one place I know for sure the Ref question will not pass it is at Longfellow and that is if Finch campaigns here like he always does.

    town committee it is one thing to talk to all the voters but it is another thing to get them out to vote.

  51. donj; I agree and we are well aware of that but before you can get them out to vote for you they have to know what you stand for.
    In talking to people in the district Ann and I were able to get a number of people who left the Democrat party and went independent to rejoin the party for this election. If we did not speak to these people we would have lost their votes. If you don’t speak to people how do you address their concerns?

  52. town committee I agree with your statement also but you cannot take anything for granted. I’m not sure what turnout means in your race because higher turnout at Longfellow always means the endorsed candidate wins even though Kelley was endorsed but Finch is very popular here. Thomas Hooker seems to be more anti-Finch and more anti-the Democratic machine. Is JFK the same way?

  53. donj,
    The 2007 Primary Results were as follows

    Hooker
    Curwen       235
    Paoletto     225
    Giaquinto    200
    Narolewski   182
    
    JFK
    Curwen       182
    Paoletto     192
    Giaquinto    183
    Narolewski   178
    
    TOTALS
    Curwen       444
    Paoletto     441
    Giaquinto    394
    Narolewski   371
  54. donj: Curwen and Paoletto both live in the Hooker district. The biggest surprise in the vote totals was the fact Giaquinto and his running mate really did not campaign, had no signs and did not do the basics that need to be done yet they almost won. Interesting!!!

  55. Wow are you serious no signs no campaigning something tells me Paoletto and Curwen are in for a big surprise at 8pm on primary night!!!!!!!!! Do you think the turnout will hit 800 since the mayor is not running?

  56. Without a top office on the line I would say that 500-600 people give or take may vote in this primary. Figuring that with a mayoral primary just over 800 voted.

  57. For the record–In the 2007 primary, Narolewski worked his butt off. Andy was not the most experienced candidate but he was a hard worker and a great guy.

    BTW–Good luck TC. We don’t always agree, but I believe you and your running mate will be good for the 138th and good for Bpt as a whole.

  58. John: Thank You. If (and I have no reason to doubt what you say) Narolewski worked hard I never met him during the campaign or at the polls. In either case he did have a good run at it.

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