A Game Of Chicken? Plus, Guber Money Matters, But It’s Not The Only Thing, And Fedele’s Boughton Fountain

More than 70 layoff slips for city teachers are poised and ready to go. Sucks to lose your job. But when you’re a BOE official stuck with a flatline budget there’s not much choice if the teachers’ union isn’t willing to negotiate concessions.

Is this a game of chicken? Don’t think so. Look for more layoffs if the union doesn’t step up. And it appears Roosevelt School in the South End and and Dunbar School in the East End will close as well. Lots of great stories to tell in the public schools, resilient kids, dedicated teachers, administrators that inspire. Be nice if the union and school board can figure this out. Don’t count on it.

Money, Money, Money

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti has a meaningful story to tell Republican primary voters weighing their choice for governor. Hard to tell it with no money. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton also has an engaging story to tell GOP voters. He too is money challenged. If Boughton had even a half million to spend he’d be dangerous, and in the thick of the GOP primary battle with Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele and businessman Tom Foley. Instead, Boughton has joined Fedele as his running mate? Will definitely add a spark to Fedele’s campaign heading into the convention this weekend.

Municipal chief executives frame strong arguments for gubernatorial election. They know the practicalities of governing, balancing budgets, holding down taxes, negotiating union contracts, providing services.

Dogged by a federal investigation that has led to the conviction of a Shelton developer but no smoking gun against himself, Lauretti is aching to get into the gubernatorial game. He says he’ll petition his way on to the ballot. If Lauretti was a man of wealth, or had a mega donor base–he has neither–he’d be a player. Public financing? Forget it. Too late. And so far only one gubernatorial candidate, Democrat Dan Malloy, has qualified for the painstaking public infusion. He’s expected to receive an initial $1.2 million shortly after this weekend’s party convention where he’s the favorite to capture the endorsement. From there it’s a 10-week spending blast against his largely self-financed opponent businessman Ned Lamont.

It’s not always about the money. If you have some money, a powerful message and an organization, you can cut through the static. (But when you have no money … yikes.) Example, Malloy will not spend as much as Lamont who’s independently wealthy. He doesn’t need as much. If it were just about money Ross Perot would be president and Lamont U.S. senator. Lamont will head into the convention weekend with a polling lead by virtue of his spending advantage. If Malloy walks away with the endorsement he’ll receive a nice free media blast. Both will have plenty of money to spend. Then it becomes a case of message and organization. What message appeals to Dem voters in a low-turnout primary? Lamont will say I’m a businessman who’s created jobs, vote for me. Malloy will say I’m prepared to be chief executive. I’ve balanced budgets, cut taxes, attracted development.

It’s gonna be some fight.

From Michael Fedele:

Lt. Governor Michael Fedele Selects Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton as Running Mate

Lieutenant Governor Mike Fedele announced today that he has selected Mayor Mark Boughton of Danbury to be his Republican running mate in the 2010 campaign for Governor. Fedele and Boughton announced the ticket this morning on the north steps of the State Capitol, promising a strong and experienced leadership team who will guide Connecticut with common sense and a shared passion for an efficient, effective and affordable government.

Boughton, a five-term mayor, has a long and distinguished record in public service and is a passionate advocate for high quality education. A former high school teacher and Danbury native, Boughton served three years as a State Representative for the 138th District, where he served on the Education and Environment committees.

As mayor of his hometown, Boughton’s “People over Politics” approach has led the city in a bi-partisan manner, allowing for a number of successful initiatives, including downtown revitalization, infrastructure improvement and building livable neighborhoods.

“This is an outstanding opportunity and honor to work alongside Mike Fedele, a man of great character and integrity,” Boughton said. “Without question, our next governor must be an individual who will have the courage to make bold moves to lead Connecticut away from the status quo of big, costly government. Mike Fedele and I share the same vision and commitment and together, we will bring unmatched experience to Hartford.”

Lieutenant Governor Fedele called Boughton the “complete package” in a running mate.

“Mark Boughton will be a strong, effective partner in my administration,” Lieutenant Governor Fedele said. “He brings a record of success as the chief executive of one of Connecticut’s largest cities and his experience will resonant deeply with cities and towns that simply cannot afford one more unfunded mandate. Mark Boughton clearly understands that. This is a team who will always represent the taxpayer at the table. We know who pays the bills and we have the experience to deliver a state government that is affordable, efficient and compassionate.”

In just the last week, Fedele has been endorsed by former 4th District Congressman Chris Shays, House Republican Leader Larry Cafero, Mayor John Harkins of Stratford and two former chairmen of the Connecticut Republican Party: Chris DePino, the former State Representative from New Haven, and George D. Gallo of Middletown.

Hop In Your Step

Downtown Bridgeport was hip and hopping Saturday Night. The Fresh Fest hip-hop concert at the arena had streets streaming with folks. We ran into OIB friend Milton Johnson, one of Bridgeport’s finest, who’s poised for the GOP nomination to challenge State Senator Ed Gomes. We attended the 60th birthday bash of Mary-Jane Foster, co-founder of the Bridgeport Bluefish and an executive at the University of Bridgeport, at the newly renovated Arcade, a commercial/housing gem on Main Street across from the Holiday Inn. Nice job by developer Eric Anderson. What a sweet space.

Let’s Eat Out

From Mayor Finch:

Mayor Finch to Kick Off What’s Cooking in Bridgeport Restaurant and Entertainment Week

WHAT: Mayor Bill Finch and What’s Cooking in Bridgeport coordinators from the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s Leadership Greater Bridgeport program will celebrate the start of the first What’s Cooking in Bridgeport, a week-long entertainment and restaurant week throughout the city of Bridgeport, on Monday, May 17 at 6 p.m.

WHEN: Monday, May 17 at 6 p.m.

WHERE: Ralph ‘n’ Rich’s, 815 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT

ABOUT: What’s Cooking in Bridgeport is a week long event showcasing the unique range of dining and entertainment options across the Park City. Throughout the week, 40 restaurants and 6 entertainment venues are offering special promotions, providing a great opportunity for people across the region to enjoy food and fun in Connecticut’s largest city.

What’s Cooking in Bridgeport is a collaboration between members of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s Leadership Greater Bridgeport program and the City of Bridgeport. Sponsors include TD Bank, The United Illuminating Company, Greater Bridgeport Transit and Lamar Outdoor Advertising.

To take advantage of What’s Cooking in Bridgeport specials and track updates on participating restaurants and venues online, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Bridgeport-CT/Whats-Cooking-in-Bridgeport/287627640737 or email whatscooking.bpt@gmail.com.



  1. “Lamont will head into the convention weekend with a polling lead by virtue of his spending advantage.”

    What spending advantage? Lamont had a polling lead over Malloy before Ned even opened up his exploratory campaign, and as of the mid-April finance reports, Malloy had outspent Lamont by $200,000.

    Maybe he’ll have more of a polling lead on account of recent spending, but he’s sitting on a polling lead because he’s just more popular with Democrats to begin with.

    If you’re getting spin like that, though, the next Q-poll (rumored to be in the next couple days) is probably going to be pretty spicy.

    1. Marlys, what has Malloy spent on television? Zero. What has Ned spent? Ned has a lead because he’s better known. Being mayor of Stamford is a black media hole. DeStefano had a nice lead over Malloy four years ago at this time and Malloy almost closed the gap. I’ll be surprised if Ned doesn’t have at least a 15-point lead over Malloy in the next Q Poll. It will probably be over 20. Are you telling me this Dem primary won’t be competitive?

  2. As the convention nears these are donj endorsements. Merrick Alpert for Sen (I like Blummy but want a fresh face), Lamont for gov, Moore for state senate, Sueb for AG, Denise Merrill for sec of state, for Comptroller I have no clue but I know I will not be voting for Kevin Lembo!!! The candidates I just endorsed will get my vote. I’m donj and I approve this message.

  3. will enable me to be re-electeeeeeed … Obama I 100% disagree with you endorsing Specter but I know the politics of it. Specter says will enable me to be re-electeeeeeed every time I see it I laugh this has to be the best political commercial ever!!! Go Sestak!!! Go Sestak!!!

  4. Could it be the laying off of teachers is just because of the drop in enrollment? These 2 schools Roosevelt & Dunbar are not the only schools with low enrollment. Could it be Hall School and Edison School which have classrooms with fewer than 20 kids are the next to close?
    What amazes me is just a few weeks ago Dunbar was named as one of the schools that was going to get a $4million makeover. Is anyone watching the store? How do you go from a $4 million makeover to closing?

  5. *** Not into state “Pep” rallys (conventions) just a lot of P/R & future smoke&mirrors & false hopes in general. *** Seeing is believing for the B.O.E. who have always “thumbed their noses” come city budget time! Unfortunately, experience sometimes is a good teacher but in the end, its the kids that may suffer, and that “stinks!” ***

  6. Mojo You are 100% right the kids suffer when the BOE does not do its job. The kids are suffering big time in Bridgeport with a dropout rate of 62%-68%. This is a subject that no one in power wants to address. The elected officials have nothing of substance to say and the BOE officials just ignore it. It’s hard to believe but 20 out of 30 kids in kindergarten today will not complete high school unless something is done.
    How do we address the problem here in Bridgeport? We have officials who want to spend $4 Million on remodeling a school they now say will close. They did not know this months ago?
    I have not seen one damned thing on how the dropout rate is going to be addressed. BTW how are the test scores at Edison & Hall where the class sizes are super-small? I am willing to bet they are no better than the schools with full enrollment. What does that tell us?

  7. donj – maybe this will help:

    On Monday, May 17, 2010 at 1 pm in front of the Old Town Hall at 611 Old Post Road in Fairfield, my good friend, First Selectman Ken Flatto, Democrat, will announce his candidacy for State Comptroller.

    With encouragement from various leaders and officials from around the State, First Selectman Flatto will seek this important state position which he sees as a “natural fit” and especially crucial at a time when the State faces economic stress and budget deficits.

    Flatto, the only candidate with a career CPA along with Comptroller and CFO/CEO background, brings over 20 years of financial experience in the private and public sectors plus his 11 years as Town leader. As a five-term First Selectman, Ken has served Fairfield as the second longest serving town chief executive officer in its history, overseeing one of the State’s larger municipal budgets of approximately one-quarter billion dollars, the First Selectman has managed Fairfield’s AAA financial rating and Fairfield’s top “quality of life” ranking. During his tenure as Fairfield First Selectman, Fairfield has been ranked best town in Connecticut by Connecticut Magazine and achieved a top ten “best place to live in the nation” from CNN/Money Magazine. Flatto was co-featured as a model municipal executive with a fiscally strong management skill in a GASB magazine article in 2007. Flatto is married, with four children ages 17 to 23.

    Flatto is a standout among challengers in his career breadth and governmental accounting knowledge. In addition to his service to Fairfield, Flatto served as Comptroller and CFO for Orangetown, New York and Deputy Controller and interim Controller for Yonkers, New York in the 1990s, in addition to service as staff for a State Financial Control Board. Mr. Flatto also served as the Controller for the renowned Natural Resources Defense Council in the 1980s, a national environmental organization, and Ken began his career at Touche Ross & Company CPAs. Flatto attained an MBA from Cornell University and graduated from Lehigh University undergraduate. For more information about Ken’s record as First Selectman, please go to www .fairfieldfirstselectman.com.

    First Selectman Flatto states, “Our State needs a ready-to-go Comptroller with strong fiscal skills and background, with absolute integrity, to help Connecticut residents and communities overcome these tough economic times and I know I fit this mold perfectly. I love my job here in Fairfield and am honored to serve as First Selectman and feel that I could utilize all my experience balancing budgets and managing finances at the State level to help all of Connecticut the way I am helping Fairfield thrive.”

    Democrats from around the state will attend the Democratic convention in Hartford on Saturday, May 22, 2010 to consider candidates to run for state-wide office this year, including State Comptroller.

  8. The Leadership Greater Bridgeport program through the BRBC is a truly phenomenal program. More business leaders in the community should participate!

  9. The world is just getting crazier by the day. Here’s the first thing that confuses me …

    They are going to fire 144 Bridgeport teachers, firing kid crossing guards, but the Board of Ed is deciding if the head of schools will get a $10,000 raise?

    I think it’s this Thursday the BOEE meets to decide how high to raise the school chief’s salary? The minimum is 3.5 percent. In a vote 6 to 2, the board voted “satisfactory” which means Dr. Ramos gets at least another year.

    Now here’s another thing I don’t get. We are closing schools in Bridgeport while building them in Afghanistan and Iraq. Why are those kids more important?

    Tomorrow we show pictures of Roosevelt School in the South End and Dunbar School on Park Ave.

    Any now, finally, speaking of the Middle East and Bridgeport, which are now linked. Let me say this. It seems media does not connect the dots. I thought they said we are “fighting them in Afghanistan so we will be safe at home”?

    Even if we create a paradise for those people in the Middle East, it’s foolish to think attempts would stop. Corruption and infiltration endlessly work against even our best efforts.

    Tomorrow’s show:
    8pm Crisis in Education in Bridgeport

    8:30pm Fairfield University professor and PhD discuss the war in Afghanistan. We will show actual raw war footage from the frontlines.

  10. Jon Kantrowitz thanks so much and actually I like Ken Flatto a lot he runs his town well I have always said if I move out of Bpt I would love to live in Fairfield. He has my vote as of now.

  11. I am supporting Kevin Lembo and so is Nancy Wyman. Nancy endorsed Kevin with good reasons. For seven years, he served as assistant state comptroller to Nancy Wyman and worked on maintaining and increasing the Rainy Day Fund, health insurance for municipalities, nonprofits and small businesses, and implementing Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP).
    As State Healthcare Advocate, he has the courage and integrity to stand with patients and their families to fight insurance company denials. I know personally he has helped many families and will be the most effective and experienced comptroller of all the candidates.

  12. Lake Forest Guy, I read what you write, but I don’t know what you mean.
    The BRBC leader Patrick Timpanelli makes over $100,000.00 per year, is given a free SUV, qualifies for a pension and liberal paid vacation time and other stuff. Who pays for this stuff; is it the city of Bridgeport? or Monroe taxes, where he lives?
    Another thing I do not know or understand is What does he do?
    Could that money be better spent on say a few teachers?

    1. Is this guy any relation to Paul Timpanelli, the brbc chief who lives in Trumbull and receives compensation from dues-paying members? Oh, brother Black Rockin.

  13. Anna:
    Patrick is the real given name of Paul Timpanelli.
    $100,000.00/year. Another Bpt success story about someone who is from out of town; in other words my taxes are out of sight and out of town!


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