Why No Signature?

Monday night the Bridgeport City Council voted to blowtorch the Bridgeport Port Authority.

Why hasn’t Mayor Bill Finch announced (as of Wednesday night) that he’ll sign the ordinance into law? He wants to make sure that decision doesn’t come back to ax him in the ass. Specifically what revenues/grant money could the city lose as a result of folding the port authority? Also, the city will inherit responsibility for a whole set of functions–maintenance, security, fee collecting, personnel, ferry concerns–that had come under the authority of the quasi city agency.

Supporters of dissolution say those functions can easily be absorbed by the city.

The mayor’s office has been in discussions with the governor’s office to figure out a better way to handle the issue without dissolving the port authority. For instance, a gubernatorial veto of the state legislation that caused the port authority storm. Finch wants to exhaust those options before putting pen to paper. But the clock is ticking.

The whole irony of dissolving the port authority? The agency was designed, in part, to keep functions of the port out of the hands of the City Council that created it 16 years ago. One less layer of bureaucracy.

But Executive Director Joe Riccio went largely unscrutinized for years, and became the focal point for killing the port authority when he used lobbyist Jay Malcynsky (also the city’s lobbyist) to wire state legislation (without approval of his board) that prohibited abolishing a port authority without consent of the state Department of Transportation.

Riccio was suspended Monday by the port authority board with pay. (The joke in City Hall has been I want to be Joe! He makes about $120k a year.) But a meeting is now scheduled to take place by the port authority board on Friday at 3 p.m. to further review his employment future, and try to make sense of its fragile future. The port authority is still alive so could the board blow him out for cause? His employment contract runs out October 2010.

That would satisfy the anger from those who felt blindsided by Riccio’s actions. But ultimate control of the port still remains the unanswered question. Who has control?

Party With Cougar Rodgerson Tonight


6-10pm on Baldwin Plaza: Fairfield Avenue and Broad Street. Bring drinks and meat

Jenny Lind Tonight

On Thursday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m., the Barnum Festival will present a concert at Playhouse on the Green featuring the American winner of the 61st Annual Jenny Lind soprano competition, Ashley Harrington of Long Island City NY and the winner of the Swedish Jenny Lind competition Eva-Lotta Ohlsson. In 1949, a competition was started to find vocal artists in both Sweden and America who were most representative of P.T. Barnum’s Jenny Lind. Each year this concert marks the only time that the two winners perform, with their talented accompanists, at the same location. This Barnum Festival event is sponsored by Elizabeth M. Pfriem and The Norden Club.
What: Jenny Lind Musical Evening Concert – Hear two Swedish Nightingales The Only Classical Music Event of the Barnum Festival!

Where: Playhouse on the Green, 177 State Street , Bridgeport , CT 06604
For directions to the theater please call 203-345-4800 or visit www.playhouseonthegreen.org
When: Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 7:30 p.m.

Who: Anyone interested in vocal music and supporting The Barnum Festival

Cost: $25.00 per person. Each ticket includes admission to a special “Meet the Jennys” reception that will occur immediately following the concert, and a two for one price discount coupon to visit The Barnum Museum anytime this year.

For tickets call: 203-367-8495 or toll free 866-867-8495 or at: www.barnumfestival.com
Tickets will also be available at the door.





  1. Lennie,

    Veteran lobbyists know better than to get caught between clients and Jay Malcynsky has been doing this for a long time. He wouldn’t have pushed the amendment without knowing that the City (a bigger and more important client) knew about it. In fact, looking back at the Mayor’s comments, Finch has never said that he didn’t know about it, just that he didn’t “support” or “advocate” it. What’s the story Mayor?

    In theory I don’t like the legislation. City decisions should be left to the City. But watching these clowns (the Council, Riccio, Finch and our legislators), there is clearly a need for adult supervision. Nobody in the City is providing it. Maybe it has to come from the State.

  2. Enough already with PA comments.

    You start with a council that creates the PA and ratifies its commissioners. The commissioners let the director do pretty much as he pleases. New administration comes in and doesn’t like the director. Commissioners appear lifeless and straddle the fence. Director finally goes too far and is given time off with pay while everyone tries to come to an agreement that is good for the city (ha), but in reality will make no one look all that bad.

    Solution: Finch needs to sign the legislation and make the city the PA. He can then hire another crony to be the “port czar”, reporting to lackey Nunn.

    What this city is lacking is politicians with ethics. In the ideal world the PA would stay independent, and new commissioners would be appointed who took a proactive role in governing and hired someone who is a professional and not a renegade. But we are a city of little ethical value so the debate will continue.

  3. As long as we have politicians on the council who work for the city we will never move forward. Anyone who thinks these people are not worried about their jobs when they vote against an administration’s plan or proposal is sadly mistaken.
    Union stewards are protected from layoffs and undue harassment. Why not extend this to city workers elected to office? Constitutionally they are allowed to seek elected office and when they win they become administration targets.Take away the threat of layoffs and demotion and then maybe, just maybe we will have politicians with a backbone.
    The other answer to this problem is to run candidates against these people and beat them at the ballot box. So far there are only 3 people seeking this alternative.

  4. *** Time heals all political wounds too! *** By the way, is there a “Barnum Festival Parade” this year? I know there’s fireworks as usual, & some type of music entertainment @ the band shell earlier in the evening before the fireworks being directed by Mayor Finch’s son? He’s into some type of entertainment business which he went to school for in N.Y.C. *** I hope the weather holds & the kid puts on a good successful event in the Park City! The parks needs to be used much more in the late spring, summer & early fall for events that will please everyone, young & old! *** Good Luck little Finch! ***

    1. Mojo
      You are right. As I am an employee of the Board of Education, I technically work for the city. However, my day-to-day activities are not subject to the political wheeling and dealings of the political world. Additionally, my job cannot be politically threatened.

      1. *** Don’t be so sure, teacher transfers to unwanted sites have been known to happen. Example, a council member who was most of the time very critical of the B.O.E. & the lack of agreement to an operational audit year after year. Also @ budget time would claim that “$” mismanagement was part of their problem as well. A special position was made that did not previously exist for this member on the B.O.E. by Supt. Ramos. Overnight the member became pro-B.O.E. towards any & everything they asked for, more or less! *** Never say never! ***

        1. Mojo
          I hear you. As per my contract, I could be transferred. I can only be transferred to a position for which I am certified to teach. I don’t believe there is an unwanted site should that ever happen to me. I have no desire, nor do I have the appropriate credentials to ever be more than just a teacher!

          1. *** How about a made-up position that doesn’t require you to teach, just make more “$” with nothing to do with contracts either? However, you’ll never know just how well or not you’ll do as a council person ’til you give it a try. *** Good Luck to you! ***

  5. GRIN: Yes. She works for the Board of Education and is a tenured teacher. She is free of the administration threats and intimidation tactics that take place here on occasion.

    1. *** Another city employee regardless how you slice it! *** Well so far new petition candidates looking to run, 1 city employee, 1/2 tenured (D.T.C.) city employee, & 1 retired (D.T.C.) member ex-city employee. *** Big difference from the usual candidates in Bpt! *** Forget about it! ***

  6. *** On the signature? *** Did anyone really expect a quick response from the Capts. Deck! *** Neither see, hear, nor speak anything that can be assumed or decoded as to what side of the fence, the undercover “Deep Throat” Admin. is really on? *** Silence is Golden! *** Hey Tyrone, hang the gone fishing sign on my office door, will ya! ***

  7. I’m sorry but I kind of find this whole thing amusing (unless they actually disband the PA). Riccio pulled a typical back-door City Council move on the City Council. Maybe I don’t understand, but is Riccio only guilty of secretly trying to protect himself from a City Council (Curwen) who was mad they didn’t have control over the PA? I’m not saying he should have done it, but come on, that’s funny.

    1. *** Again who is the council liaison assigned to the P/A that’s supposed to keep the membership up to date on important items on the board’s monthly agenda? *** HELLO! *** Hell, what’s it matter now anyway! *** After this is all done with, I hope someone with “$” experience, political savvy, business ties, management type skills, and bull balls, becomes the new director of the P/A. Someone like Mr. Curwen if possible? ***

  8. Hey Len, how about a break now and then from the inside baseball politics? Give the hacks and flunkies on the DTC a day off and focus on what most taxpayers are more interested in: city services, or the lack thereof, for our ridiculously high taxes.

    TC noted a week or so ago that the city’s looking like a dump. After a trip through my old East Side neighborhood to the actual dump last weekend I have to agree: garbage, abandoned cars and dilapidated buildings everywhere you look. Reminds me of when you pal Bucci was mayor.

    Take a ride down State Street, Atlantic Street or Stratford Avenue and the litter’s a foot deep in front of many properties. Admittedly we have a high percentage of homegrown slobs in Bridgeport, as well as those who drive down from the ‘burbs to dump on us, but there are laws against littering and illegal dumping that are not being enforced. When’s the last time a cop wrote someone a ticket for littering or confiscated a truck for illegal dumping?

    How about reviving your old “Clean it Up!” feature from The Bridgeport Light and highlighting some of the lowlights every week on OIB. I volunteer to supply the first installment.

    Not to get too crazy, but maybe the greenest mayor ever will pay attention and even do something about it.

    1. I’m all for it. The Clean It Up feature Bob refers to was a weekly highlight in the Bridgeport Light, a community pub from (yikes) 20 years ago. We had a lot of fun with it taking on all community dumpers. When we spotted a pile of garbage we ran a photo of it including mention of the guilty party or property owner. Most of the time it got cleaned up.

      So if you see a Mount Trashmore or anything that should be cleaned, feel free to snap a photo, send it to me with some info and we’ll run it under the header Clean It Up!!!

      Sometimes you can shame the bastards into cleaning it up.

  9. Speaking of clean it up, when is Phil Kuchma going to be cited for the blight he created on Fairfield Ave.? Yeah yeah I know … he’s a victim of the economy. So are the people being booted for owing small sums of money. I give great kudos to the businesses that have opened on “the entertainment block” and have frequented them all. But imagine how much better it could have been if the park were left alone and Phil built his condo haven up a block. Can’t he find some connections to get these units built and get the theater open? The diamond in the rough still looks like shit.

    1. *** Mr. Kuchma has no trash abandoned @ his construction sites! Unless you’re referring to his unfinished site developments which are @ a standstill right now! Just like many other development sites that are going through the same issues. Relax, Mr. Kuchma will take care of his business; now what have you done lately for Bpt. besides complain about solid hardworking Bpt. businessmen? *** Take a chill pill with a glass of wine & pretend you’ve got all the answers to all of Bpts. problems, then wake up & go to sleep! ***

  10. Forgive writing. It is a long post on my BlackBerry.

    Reaper any way you look at it … If you get caught with your pants down it isn’t good. Someday I will write a book. Willie chute the Door is wide open. I’d run for it were I you. ANYWAY

    I hiked 3 miles in and around the Grand Canyon alone today. My son didn’t feel well and napped for while. It was a bit cloudy but breaks of sun created heavenly ‘Jesus’ lights glinting off millions of years of rock layers a mile deep. I could only hear the rush of wind. To say a scene like that clears your head would be an understatement. Doing the right thing has new dimensions in my mind. I can honestly say I feel at peace. It is hard to feel ill against anyone when you are happy with yourself.

    1. You know what’s worse than getting caught with your pants down? Getting caught on a couch gobbling someone’s johnson.

      At least that’s what Claire Mastromonico says about her ex-husband Bill.


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