Any City Council Members Vulnerable?

McCarthy, Brannelly
City Council President Tom McCarthy and Black Rock Councilwoman Sue Brannelly are popular in their respective districts. What council members are vulnerable? Photo is from the annual Freezin' For A Reason plunge to help city charities.

Former City Councilman big “Mojo” Ralph Mojica, a regular OIB contributor, announced in a post he’s seriously considering running for his old legislative seat that includes the South End, Downtown and West End. We are entering a sleepy municipal election cycle that includes seats for City Council and Board of Education in 2013. The mayor has a four-year term. The council two-year terms. What council members are in trouble?

“Trouble” is relative. Depends on the opposition. Mojica, for one, has an independent streak that doesn’t always sit well with District Leader Mitch Robles. Mojica served on the council during the John Fabrizi mayoral years and was defeated in a primary supporting State Rep. Chris Caruso’s 2007 primary challenge against Bill Finch. This district is currently represented by Denese Taylor-Moye, resident of Marina Village, and a vacancy waiting to be filled by the council as a result of the resignation of Leticia Colon who serves on the Board of Education.

The 137th District that covers the heavily Latino East Side is one place to watch, the land of Lydia Martinez, the city’s queen of absentee ballots. When it comes to politics the East Side is a delightful soap opera, kiss one day, fight the next, kiss and make up again. Ya just never know when the smooch of political death is coming. Lydia and State Rep. Andres Ayala had fought for years, but Lydia (at the party convention, at least) pledged her support for Andres for State Senate, a seat he won knocking out incumbent Ed Gomes. Andres’ cousin Christina Ayala won his State House seat that had been occupied by Lydia prior to Andre.

Tito Ayala, Christina’s papa, won control of the East Side in a district town committee primary last year. This helps big time when endorsing candidates for district office. Will Lydia have a primary?

Several council members such as Council President Tom McCarthy and Black Rock Councilwomen Sue Brannelly supported the November ballot question in which voters rejected mayoral appointment of school board seats. Doesn’t mean they’re vulnerable to “stripping voter rights.” Both are active in their respective neighborhoods, providing strong constituent services. Presidential elections are a different world from local council battles where a premium is placed on direct knowledge of council members.

Bob Curwen, veteran councilman from the Upper East Side, has been quiet lately. He rankled operatives of Mayor Bill Finch, supporters of Andres Ayala, by casting the deciding vote at last May’s Democratic Party convention that gave the endorsement to former State Senator Ernie Newton seeking his old seat. Apparently this was payback by Curwen against Ayala who defeated him for council president nine years ago. Talk about a long memory! City pols don’t keep score, do they?

East End council members Andre Baker and James Holloway worked actively against the ballot question.

Incumbent City Council members, all Democrats, are listed below. Primaries will take place next September.

City Council members

130th District, Marty McCarthy, Sue Brannelly

131th District, Dense Taylor-Moye (plus vacancy to fill Leticia Colon spot)

132th District, John Olson, Evette Brantley

133th District Tom McCarthy, Howard Austin

134th District, Michelle Lyons, AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia

135th District, Warren Blunt, Richard Bonney

136th District, Angel DePara, Carlos Silva

137th District, Lydia Martinez, Manny Ayala

138th District, Richard Paoletto, Bob Curwen

139th District, James Holloway, Andre Baker



  1. I was shocked to hear Susan Brannelly deliver a false statement on her ROBO CALL, that a YES VOTE on the new City Charter would help renovate and build new schools, when in fact Mayor John Fabrizi secured those school funds back in his administration. It’s time for a change in the 130th.

    1. John Marshall Lee is the kind of leader needed as City Councilman in the 130th. It’s too bad he feels he doesn’t have the time. In fact, this is the only thing I’ve ever heard come out of his mouth that made me say to myself: That’s bullshit. We all know JML spends more time and energy analyzing the city’s financial condition, than half of the current council body ever have. I say John Marshal Lee and Carmen Lopez for City Council in the 130th.
      I’d team up with Mojo in district 131, moving a block or two away won’t be a problem. You have room in a closet or hallway, Mojo? BTW Mojo, the replacement to the vacant seat is planned for the first council meeting in 2013, I hear. Americo Santiago, Michelle Retamar, Banta and Town Committee Members are jockeying for the spot. Retamar is not biting Americo’s bait. He has put her in a tight spot with his tampering of campaign reports.

      On the November 26 OIB topic “Could Education Reform Return In 2013 Sleepy Election Cycle?” I commented if 14 council seats are challenged and supported by the BOE candidates as well as ‘TEAM NO,’ the Democratic machine will be faced with the biggest political threat ever. I didn’t mention the 14 seats but here they are: All seats with the exception of the 136, 138, 139. That scream you just heard was from the Fardy household. I agree with Lennie’s take on the position Bob Curwen is in. However, it’s a fact under Andres Ayala’s tenure as Council President the City was left in such a deep mess hundreds of people lost their jobs and the taxpayers were left holding the bag–an empty one. If Andres deserved getting elected as State Representative and now State Senator, surely Bob Curwen should stay. I know Andy Fardy will say: They both are pieces of shit. I can’t present a strong enough defense on that argument. I also posted the link to the November 26 OIB topic on my Facebook page and stated: “It’s time to wake up the Sleeping Giant.”

      1. Sorry Joel, no screaming coming from the Fardy household. We have all changed party affiliation to unaffiliated. I will work for any candidate who is running against any of the entrenched 19 members of the council. I support only one, ANDRE BAKER. The other 19 are Finch toadies.

    2. I was approached to vote in favor of the charter revision. The pitch was Working Families want to close Black Rock School even though funds have bee secured to renovate the building. That makes about as much sense as tits on a boar. Why would they want to close the school after obtaining the jing to spruce up the building?

  2. It does not strike me any Council people with the exception of Andre Baker were with the people on the recent Education vote. It may be time for them to go if they are so out of touch with the people.

  3. Other than Andre Baker, the council members have supported every Finch budget. They voted in favor of holding the status quo when it came to the BOE budget. That means there was not an increase in the BOE budget for five years. While the cost of heating oil and gas have gone up along with teacher contract obligations along with other cost of living items, the education budget stayed the same. The only way the bills got paid was by taking money meant to go towards the kids and their education.
    These same council people for the past two years voted for a total of 120 ghost positions to the tune of $9-10 million. No one knows where that money went.
    There has never been a vote of the council in the past five years against ANYTHING Finch has submitted to the council.
    Go to some of the committee meetings and you would swear the council people had terminal dumbass.

  4. Bridgeporteur,
    I believe Jim Holloway was present at one or more NO meetings and spoke against taking the vote away from the people in a forceful way. There may have been one or two others who faded into the gray.
    Now would be a good time to ask them where they stood on the issue and why. Perhaps Lennie could offer a prize to the one whose story seems “most revisionist” of the actual story that played out over the past couple months.
    City Council has a budget to parse. (Read the article on Sikorsky Airport in the CT Post. Sandy will be yet another reason causing loss of revenues. But what adjustments does Airport manager Ricci make to cut his overhead while service and revenues are down? That is a financially analytical question that should be heard from City Council members, no?)
    Will the revaluation process take place? Will the WPCA negotiations with Trumbull bear fruit? And will the City be able to honor its pledges to school budget balancing fully? And will OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE and TRANSPARENT process in educational governance lead to higher level dialogue and public information in the City? Time will tell.

  5. Do not forget, along with her “FinchYES” vote, Brannelly voted YES to the TAX INCREASE! And we all know how well taxes have improved Bridgeport growth and development.

  6. Hey Mojo … Haven’t seen you at a meeting in Easton for a while. Come by the next meeting, let’s chat!

    BTW Joel, I don’t remember seeing Andy call anyone a P.O.S. so I don’t think he’d appreciate you putting words in his mouth. He might disagree with a lot of things, but he has enough class not to talk like that; and personally, I’d appreciate if you didn’t either.

    1. Hey Brick, let’s not pretend as if people–elected officials in particular–in Easton or Bridgeport are so classy as to not use language that is offensive to people. Did you read the language on the ballot question for example? Had you read between the bricks of the language, you would have read exactly what they think of Bridgeport voters. Andy Fardy and just about all OIB posters have called others P.O.S. at one time or another. Go to the OIB archives and read between the bricks of many comments and you should notice what most of us have been saying is we have a P.O.S. problem in Connecticut. My OIB goal has always been to try to help those Prisoners of Stupidity escape and read between that brick wall that has been quietly built around them. Thank you for providing us with another example of how certain people from the suburbs think they have more class than others. OIB is not a church.

      1. *** Let’s be nice now, that’s a fellow brother of mine from Easton! And I must apologize for not attending any past church meetings in Easton. “CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?” ***

  7. No–apparent–anti-organization movement developed thus far in a sustained way. All will be quiet until after Jan. 1 anyway. Could be some fascinating conversation (that we will sadly never hear) of Bad Will over the holidays in selected kitchens.

    After seeing the ‘new model’ of campaigning for mayor fall short (I think Mary-Jane Foster ran a good challenge for mayor with short preparation), I wonder if the ‘old-fashioned’ way of building up an organization city-wide to challenge the existing organization is the best way to go.

    My experience on the Bridgeport political personality is based on two-year mayoral terms. Extrapolating that to four-year terms, I’m guessing a Democratic challenge to Mayor Bill would have to get going by February-March 2013 to saw off his legs on the City Council next November to take Finch on in 2015.

    Someone is going to have to want that lousy job pretty bad.

  8. It goes without saying Marty “Firetruck Pizza Dude” McCarthy is vulnerable. Sue Brannelly is much more active in the community, sponsoring the proposed ordinance that limits where adult-oriented businesses (strip joints, whorehouses disguised as “spas”) could operate. McCarthy attempted to water it down and still voted against it in committee. Good job, Marty. I’m sure the parents of small children really appreciate the fact you would continue to allow massage parlors in Black Rock.

    1. Bridgeport Kid: Did McCarthy ever pay the back taxes he owed the city on one of his vehicles? Last I heard which was about two years ago he was in court fighting his tax bill.

      1. It doesn’t matter. He’s been cultivating enemies lately. If he is still in delinquency on his property taxes, that will come up during next year’s campaign.

  9. *** They’re all vulnerable if only voting citizens would bother to get involved and become much more interested in the 5 W’s concerning their neighborhoods, no? ***

  10. Bob: Term limits are the only answer that will break the stranglehold on Bridgeport politics. My two council people have at least 10 years on the council and basically have done little or nothing for the people in their district. They are actually part of the problem. They vote on just about everything the mayors have put before them. In one case the councilmen works for the city and in the other case the council person’s wife works for the city.
    The only way we get a new council person is if council person decides not to run for reelection. These council jobs seem to be a lifetime appointment, in the meantime Bridgeporters are stuck with poor representation and people who really don’t care.
    The big question is why didn’t charter revision suggest term limits?


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