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 email@example.com.