Can You Spare A Few Votes? Plus: Mayoral Appointments, And Do It Downtown

Politics and personalities can be a big pain in the ass. All you have to do is look at Mayor Bill Finch’s relationship with the City Council.

The Connecticut Post has caught up to a story that OIB has been following for a few months–selection of bond counsel that advises the city on a variety of financial matters. Pullman & Comley, the law firm that employs former party chairman John Stafstrom occupies that position. Finch wants to reward Stafstrom for helping his election last year. Pullman also happens to be qualified to do the work.

Finch created a selection process for the work solely as cover to avoid criticism that he’s keeping in place someone that raised a boatload of dough for him. The process didn’t make any sense to me. If Stafstrom’s firm is already there and you want status quo, just let things be. But as we know the mayor is smart and I’m stupid, so now Finch is wasting a lot of time trying to deliver the firm because the council wants to seek approval of the bond counsel hiring. City Attorney Mark Anastasi says the city charter and state statute gives him broad authority to hire outside law firms. Opponents to that position such as Councilman Bob Walsh say that only applies to civil litigation and not an entity that provides advisory consultation on financial issues.

Anyhoo, the missing piece to the Post story is what role City Council President Tom McCarthy plays in this issue. Finch alone cannot deliver the votes to prevent the council from intruding on this issue because his relationship isn’t strong enough with the legislative body. The mayor is lucky to have three or four votes on any one issue. He needs McCarthy to make it work. McCarthy and Stafstrom haven’t been warm and fuzzy since McCarthy threw his support to Mario Testa, instead of Stafstrom, for Democratic Party leadership in March. My sense is McCarthy, a lawyer, believes Anastasi’s on the side of the angels, and probably won’t make a big deal out of it.

Testa has reached out to Finch in the past couple of weeks, and Finch has done the same. The day after OIB did a Pol Pod interview with the town chairman, who didn’t exactly give the mayor a ringing endorsement, Mario was escorted to the mayor’s office for a meeting with Finch. The mayor wasn’t pleased with what Mario had to say in the interview. Finch has asked Testa to raise money to help retire his legal debt from the court action State Rep. Chris Caruso brought following his primary loss to Finch last year. And Testa showed up at the ceremony last week in which the mayor honored his gracious dad, a World War II veteran, to highlight the need to raise money for a war memorial downtown.

Testa has a lot of support on the council so Finch will make life a lot easier for himself if he has McCarthy on his side. And it’s also easier for McCarthy if Mario and the mayor aren’t fighting.

Hey, it was good to see Democratic State Senate candidate Anthony Musto banter with OIB posters the other day. It can be intimidating for candidates to jump into exchanges knowing a verbal salvo may be forthcoming but Musto did a nice job. Check out his campaign website, under construction,

Just two weeks left until Tsunami Tuesday primary day. Let the predictions fly.

Finch Announces Appointments

Mayor Finch announced two key appointments today, Charlie Carroll to head Public Facilities and John Gomes to lead the CitiStat Program. I wonder where this leaves Brian Williams, the long-time deputy CAO. See mayoral press release below:

Mayor Bill Finch today named Charles M. Carroll, currently the director of parks and recreation, as Bridgeport’s newest director of public facilities; and John Gomes, a former executive at Nestle, USA, as the first director of Bridgeport’s CitiStat program.

Carroll, a lifelong Bridgeport resident, will fill the vacant position public facilities director position effective immediately.

Gomes, whose primary residence has been in Bridgeport since 1981 when he emigrated from Cape Verde, will head the much heralded CitiStat program designed to make each city department accountable for their actions in order to save money while improving their services for Bridgeport residents and taxpayers.

“I’m very pleased with both these appointments,” said Mayor Finch. “Charlie Carroll is definitely the right person to direct the Public Facilities Department. He not only understands the workings of city government well, he also knows our streets, parks and public buildings, all of which he will be responsible for. He has proven successes in the Parks Department and has demonstrated he can manage and mobilize his employees. And John’s experience in the private sector will prove very valuable as we strive to save the city and its’ taxpayers money while improving customer service through CitiStat.”

Carroll has been parks and recreation director for a year, following a four-year tenure as the chief administrative officer and chief of staff for then-Mayor John M. Fabrizi. In his new position as public facilities director, Carroll will continue to oversee the Parks and Recreation Department, which reports to the Department of Public Facilities.

The Parks Director position will remain unfilled due to budget constraints. Steve Hladun a Parks Special Projects Coordinator and Andy Valeri a Parks Manager will assume additional responsibilities. In public Facilities Bobby Kennedy will move into the Deputy Director of Public Facilities position. Ted Grabarz will also continue his work in Public Facilities overseeing the Mayor’s municipal consolidation and sustainability efforts. John Cottell will return to his previous position as Utilities Director in Public Facilities.

Gomes, who will also have the title of Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, is a product of Bridgeport Public Schools. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut in 1993, and a master’s degree in international business from Southern New Hampshire State University in 1997. He began working for Nestle following graduation from UConn and received several promotions that led to his selection as team leader for sales in the five boroughs of New York City. In 2002 he became an entrepreneur, creating JG Restaurant, LLC, with a focus on real estate acquisition and restaurant development in Bridgeport.

CitiStat is a program used in Baltimore, MD.; Providence, R.I.; New York City; and Somerville, MA, to make city government more accountable and improve services while simultaneously saving tax dollars.

Hey, this is a hoot, Bird Man and Keeley on the same page. Who says Birdie is supporting Auden? A press release from Do It Downtown. Check out the banner head above or click refresh until it pops up.

Mayor Finch and Downtown Special Services District Promote “Do It Downtown” Marketing Campaign

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch joined with the Downtown Special Services District (DSSD) today to champion the restaurants, attractions and retailers in the city’s central business district that are featured in a new marketing campaign, “Do It Downtown.” The $20,000 campaign, which is funded by the Downtown Special Services District, encourages the public to take advantage of all the new and existing establishments in downtown Bridgeport.

“It’s time for us to let the region in on one of the best kept secrets around – good things are happening in downtown Bridgeport,” stated Finch. “We have something for everyone – whether it’s family-friendly entertainment, sports, museums, theater, live music, or great dining. There’s plenty of parking, it’s easy to walk from one venue to another, and most importantly, it’s safe. I guarantee that if you come downtown, you’ll have a good time and you’ll come back again.”

The campaign, which launched in early July, has been well received by visitors throughout Fairfield and New Have counties. Elements of the campaign include 10,000 pocket-sized map and guides and a radio, billboard, and print advertising campaign, with support from media sponsors the Fairfield Weekly, STAR 99.9, and Lamar Advertising. In addition, a Web site,, features audio and video promotions as well as a downloadable version of the map and calendar, and a MySpace page has been created,

The ‘Do It Downtown’ campaign captures the spirit and excitement of the best of downtown Bridgeport,” explained Robert Keeley, executive director, DSSD. “We want to encourage visitors of all ages to rediscover all that our emerging downtown has to offer.”

Attractions participating in the promotion include: The Arena at Harbor Yard, Barnum Museum, Bridgeport Bluefish, City Lights Gallery, Downtown Cabaret Theatre, Housatonic Museum of Art, Klein Memorial Auditorium, Playhouse on the Green, and Two Boots of Bridgeport. Also contributing to the downtown schedule of events are the Black Rock Art Center, which sponsors the Summer Sounds of the World August concert series, and the Gathering of the Vibes, taking place at Seaside Park July 31 – August 3, 2008.

Restaurants participating in the campaign include: (full service): Avery’s Bar & Grill, Café Roma, Carmelina’s, Joseph’s Steakhouse, Metric Bar & Grill, Miss Thelma’s, Parc 1070, Ralph ‘n’ Rich’s, Roberto’s Restaurant, State Street Bistro, and Two Boots; (pubs, delis, and fast food): Avalon Café, Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins, Flowers and Flour, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Krazy Joe’s Café, McDonald’s, Murphy’s Law, Take time Café, The Grand Deli, Quizno’s, and Subway.

The campaign was conceived and implemented by Caryn S. Kaufman, strategic communications consultant, and Rowena White, principal, White Light Advertising.



  1. I disagree with the fact that Mark Anastasi and/or Bill Finch gets to pick the bond council. There is a lot of money involved here. Shouldn’t this contract go out to BID? What other than political payback makes this an automatic award to Stafstrom and his law firm? If we are truly going to move forward and ween ourselves off of the good old boy political payback then this contract should go out to bid.
    I urge ALL of the council people to hold fast and insist that this contract go out to bid.
    Mark Anastasi’s ruling that this does not need to be put out to bid is suspect at best. His performance (thru his wife) during the TC elections shows that he is not impartial and that he can be manipulated by political threats.

  2. Is Bill Finch committed to move forward and ween the city from the good old boy political payback system? If Mark Anastasi “selects” Pullman Comely, there can be no other conclusion except quid pro quo. Maybe Anastasi has been around too long. Having Pullman Comely manage Bridgeport’s bond issues while Stafstrom maintains prominence in city politics places the firm’s independence into question. This is truly a conflict of interest that the state bar should review.

  3. Anastasi may be reading the statute correctly. He is an attorney, after all. Bob Walsh may think he knows, but he’s probably just reading into it what he wants to see.

    BTW, I heard Joe Celli invented the limbo by sneaking into pay toilets.

  4. It may be cronyism, but maintianing the status quo is not necessarily a bad thing. Stafstrom’s firm has been handling the bonding for the city for quite some time. It does look as if Mario is more interested in settling scores than letting the people’s business get done.

  5. Well, I wonder if Anastasi and Co. will have to use Pullman and Comley for the rumored $hit storm brewing in the Fire Department. I have been told that the City decided to change the agreed-upon weights of an exam after the fact because the scores as they stood didn’t garner the proper “demographic”.

    No matter what side you stand on that issue, it’ll cost all of us in the end…

  6. BTW,
    Allowing Don Mario to have so much influence in Bridgeport politics is a bad thing. Petty feuds like this prevent the city council from doing real good works for the city.

  7. There is a lot to be said about replacing the current firm with a totally new group. Complacency costs. Fresh ideas always reap reductions in costs. The bond management has been a cash cow for Pullman Comely for a long time. Stafstrom certainly has influenced that. I wonder how well regarded a partner Stafstrom would be if Pullman Comely wasn’t the city’s bond counsel. Another thing I would like to know is how much each Pullman Comely partner contributes to candidates for Bridgeport public office.

  8. Tsunami Tuesday will be the first step on the Yellow Brick Road to the glue factory for Bob “what cellphone ban?” Keeley. His political career is coming to an end. There goes his $35,000.00 annual legislator’s salary, and then his $65,000.00 annual salary for his no-show job at DSSD. And let’s not forget all of the kickbacks, er, “consulting fees” he’s been getting as chairman of the bonding committee. Guess ol’ Bob’ll have to get a REAL job, like the rest of us. Eh bien, C’est la Vie!

  9. Much has been written about Pullman and Comley, and John Stafstrom’s cozy relationship with Bridgeport politics. Yahooy brings up some interesting questions regarding gifting to candidates in Bridgeport. Last time I checked there is nothing wrong or illegal about this. On the State level if you have a State contract these practices are not allowed. This law should also be enacted on the local level.

    My problem with the bidding process is the following. Many times RFP’s are written specifically to give the chosen one the inside straight. Many times the contract looks good based on the bid price. The problem is the small print that never gets read until after the contract gets awarded. Many times the “extras” cost far and above what the next closest bidder could have been. A straight fee bid is a better way to go. This means a firm can’t have the meter running everytime they go to a meeting or pick up the phone. I’m all for business going to local companies. However, if it costs us more because of a political reward I’m against it. I also feel this is a contract for service and outside the normal purview of the City Attorney’s office. Does the City Attorney’s office put all outside legal services out to a RFP process. I doubt it.

  10. Very quiet here today. Not a peep from Joe “I’ll get the volunteers to do it for free” Celli. Maybe Keeley told him to shut his cake hole. If I were running for office and an asshole like Celli was “endorsing” my candidacy, I’d tell him to leave town until after the elections–for health reasons. He should leave town anyway. Who needs an asshole like that, a man (and I’m using the term loosely) that resorts to crude sexual metaphors and childish insults when he hears something he doesn’t like. Oh yeah, that’s a guy I want in my corner. Ol’ Joe is running scared: when Keeley loses the primary he won’t have a “friend” in politics. (Word around the campfire is that Keeley would submit proposed bills to secure bonding money for Celli’s “nonprofit” arts organization. He did this to placate Celli, who was always harping on Keeley to get him some money. Keeley would tell his associates and collegues in the legislature to not vote on the proposed bills. How ’bout that? Ol’ Joe thought he had a State Representative in his pocket, and Keeley was playing him for the fool that he truly is. The irony is just too delicious.)

  11. Now to another subject.

    John from Black Rock brought a good point yesterday regarding a “McCarthyism” theme about Keeley. Listen I can poke fun with the best of them.

    This isn’t about fun. These are scurillious charges and spew vitriol. I challenge Yahooy, Pat Crossin,The Bridgeport Kid and BobBlackRock to cite one case against Bob Keeley. This innuendo just isn’t cutting it. Auden has been portrayed as a “smart” lawyer. If she is so “smart” then how come her supporters have not been able to cite one charge against Keeley?

    There is a great internet vehicle called “Google”. Google Keeley and see what comes up regarding ethical misconduct. Nada! Put up or Shut up!! You are only further hurting your candidate who is already smarting from her negative campaign.

    The Bridgeport Kid
    Thanks for the Thanks and I hope you will enjoy the Grolsch. I don’t want you to drown your sorrows though after the Keeley win!! Cheers!!!

  12. I need some yummy in my tummy and can’t decide where to feast in Bridgeport today. Thanks Kid for the recommendation last week for the high colonic. It really cleaned me out.

    Majority Leader Donovan’s marauders really put the feed bag on at the New Colony Diner on Saturday. The Oracle of Omaha Steaks told them it used to be called the Main Line Diner. I said it was because all the political addicts used to shoot up the maple syrup with their pancakes to get their political fix. They thought it must have been called at one time the Old Colony Diner. I told them that was an old wives’ tale. The House Dems and the Ted’s Steamed Cheeseburgers crowd from Meriden must have really been carbed up. They hit the streets and carved up the district like a Thanskgiving Turkey in support of Keeley. They have put the carcass on ice and are saving it to make some Matzo Ball Soup for Grogins the day after the primary. She’s gotta lot of schmaltz.

    Oy Vey Maria!
    Keely has an ad going in the Jewish Ledger saying:
    “Please Vote For Bob Keeley! He’s A Very Nice Goy!!”

    I’m off to Two Boots to kick some ass.

  13. Keeley is not my candidate. Not now, not ever.

    Ask the candidate to publish a list of all of the “Honoraria”, aka consulting fees, he has received from non-profits for grant writing prior to and since he has assumed his chair responsibilities. Then it would be easy to compare that list to the list of all awards his committee has given out. Real easy. Wouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to prepare.

    Seems like a relatively easy task that would alleviate further questions as to the man’s practices. Can’t seem to get the man to answer.

    You know, if it were one or two of us asking these questions, it would probably be run of the mill political bullshit. But this allegation that he has received consulting fees from the very groups that he has provided monetary awards is of widespread concern by a large group of people in Bridgeport including Democrats. Keeley’s relationship with Celli has been a major question when you see that so much money has been infused into a project that has seen little or no success. Therein lies the rub.

    Don’t worry, your boy will win the primary and general election. If there are two rotten apples at the bottom of the barrel, you try to pick the one with the least amount of worms. Grogins simply is not of the caliber to represent us in the house. Nor is Keeley for that matter.

  14. Just because Keeley doesn’t turn up on Google in relation to an ethics violation search does not mean he hasn’t ever been unethical. That just means he hasn’t been caught. As far the information I have about his no-show job, taking kickbacks for approving bonding issues, etc.; I get this information from reliable sources. If I know about it, chances are about 100% that the federal authorities know it as well.

  15. yahooy,
    Hate to rub you the wrong way. No State bonding monies have ever been allocated to the BRAC. I thought you more responsible than to be buying into the Kool-Aid Crowd.

    Actually the Grogins campaign is running a very similar one-trick pony campaign that Caruso ran. These are the same people who were with Finch and rightfully criticized the Caruso camp. Corruption wasn’t the issue against Finch. Incompetence should have been the issue against Bill. And now they are the same Architects and Political General Contractors who delivered Finch.

    You better than anyone knows Figures don’t Lie but Liars Figure!

    You don’t give up a position like bonding to supplant that person with someone who will be on the bottom rung of the legislative ladder.

    Voters are going with the full-figured guy. They’re just not buying into the Grogins campaign of innuendo by Miss Information.

  16. Looks like Yahooy and I are on the same page. I just disagree with him that Keeley will win the primary. Celli’s relationship with a number of elected officials and their wives and/or significant others (stand up, Carmen Colon) have been of concern to a large number of people for some time. Now that the this mayor wants to kick Celli and his dog-and-pony art center out on its collective ass, people are questioning, ever more loudly, how this smooth-talking snake oil salesman ever got his sleazy ass so ingratiated with the elected wheels in this town.

    I predict that Keeley’s relationship with Joe “snake oil” Celli will cost him the primary. Donna Curren had a cozy relationship with ol’ Joe; it cost her a seat on the city council.

  17. Over $1 million was paid out in outside legal services last year. And that is in expenses. No one could tell me at budget time how much more was paid out in capital funds and no one could figure out how much more Mark Anastasi gave away to consultants, experts, appraisers and assistants. All based on the sole discretion of the City Attorney.
    This is the type of abuse that needs to be stopped in the city. But you can be sure that Mayor Finch isn’t man enough to do it.

  18. The Bridgeport Kid

    I really do like you. However as President Reagan once said to then President Jimmy Carter in 1980: “There you go again”

    Donna Curran was the highest vote getter at Black Rock School even outpolling the Popular Democrat Sue Brannelly. Donna got beat over at Longfellow with big numbers and still only lost by 23 or 24 votes with a weak Republican mayoral candidate. I see she has a Keeley sign on her house. Could be a sign of the times to come.

  19. At the Contracts Committee meeting; Bob Curwen, Howard Austin and Carlos Silva were all absent. Council President McCarthy sat in on the meeting and voted with Colon and Crowe to table the resolution.
    Does that answer your question, Lennie?

  20. Keeley has secured (or “procured”) funds for Celli’s IPA before, usually through DSSD. As Celli doesn’t like to spend IPA funds on anything and the free concerts are staffed almost entirely by volunteers, where’s the money going? Celli also has a history of hiring goods and services, paying for them via check, and then calling the bank to stop payment. Show me the money, Joe.

    This is Bridgeport; the politicians here have a history of corruption that is second only to Waterbury. It’s a safe assumption that the FBI and the Department of Justice is still poking around. The stain of corruption reached the Governor’s mansion; it will creep into the state capitol building.

  21. Tom how are you doing. I think Donna’s vote on Steel Point is what did her in. She made a mistake with her vote. When she saw that her vote meant nothing she should have abstained or voted with the majority.
    The moment she voted no the Robo calls started and at the polls flyers were handed out describing her vote. Thus the loss. She should have voted for or abstained so that she could have lived to fight another day.

  22. Keeley was observed removing Grogins’ signs from a resident’s lawn on Park Avenue and replacing them with his own signs. That looks like the act of a desperate man, don’t you think?

    It’s amazing how many people have cellphone cameras these days . . .

  23. Wondering,
    “She made a mistake with her vote.” Who are you kidding?
    “When she saw that her vote meant nothing she should have abstained or voted with the majority.” Obviously you know nothing about the City Council rules. You are compelled to vote Yea or Nay when voting on a committee report. You are only supposed to abstain when there is a conflict of interest.
    It is cowardly advice like yours which is the biggest problem in this city.
    Your advice is not do what you believe is right or wrong but go along with the majority and maybe no one will notice.
    As always you leave me wondering.

  24. Who picks bond counsel? Another petty way to spend taxpayer dollars. Why not have legal forward 2 or 3 firms that they determine to be qualified to the council and let the council enter into the contract? Mark’s hands are clean because we know who one of the firms will be, and Stafstrom can’t cry if he loses out because he didn’t play with the council’s balls (oops).

  25. Colon, Crowe, and McCarthy are the smart ones on the council, obviously. This is a silly resolution. Why are Mario Testa and his puppets on the City Council wasting the people’s time with this shit? It falls within the mayor’s purview to appoint legal counsel for bonding matters. Mario is trying to do an end run around the city’s charter.

  26. I hear John Gomes has a deli-up on the Red Rooster Deli River Project. Steve and Andy are good guys. Williams got hosed. Charlie’s pension just went up another $300.00 a month.

    Speaking of Chocolate. I saw that Dave Bosco of the Ovaltine Union was out with Auden and her Hershey Kiss-Off’s over at Stafstrom’s on Saturday Morning. Murphy and Stafstrom were observed walking Black Rock on Sunday. They started melting when it began to rain on their parade.

    Hey Verizon Kid! Can you “Hear Me Now?” Good!!
    Schools are getting ready to come back. Better go out and get your Buster Brown’s and your Page Boy haircut.

  27. Up Yours Bridgeport,
    It’s interesting that all you have to say comes out in the form of lame putdowns. Obviously your man Keeley doesn’t have much going for himself (especially if he’s “endorsed” by a professional con man such as yourself). Speaking of putting someone’s ass out on the street: I saw your wife applying for a job at Chateau Spa the other day. She’ll fit right in. You will be needing the money too, since Keeley is about to lose his no-show job at DSSD.

  28. Grin Here you go again. This was a full council vote and she had every right to abstain. When this vote was taken the next day was election day. Her competition was sitting there waiting for a no vote. They used that vote to beat her you dumb ass.
    Curran spoke long and well about how she felt about this project so anyone in attendance knew she was against the project. You don’t give your enemies a stick to beat you with the day before the election.
    It’s not a case of going along with the majority it’s a case of survival. Her vote meant nothing as it relates to the end result. Her vote was the difference in winning and losing an election.

  29. Bridgeport event:

    On Tuesday July 29th, Democratic nominee for Congress Jim Himes will be joined by Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, and State Comptroller Nancy Wyman in Bridgeport for a joint press conference to discuss the need for change in Congress in November.

    The press conference will take place on McLevy Green, Corner of Main and State Street, Bridgeport, at 1pm. In case of rain, Himes campaign headquarters on Broad Street across from McClevy Hall, Bridgeport.

  30. Congratulations to the City and DSSD on finally implementing a plan that was written as part of a First Night proposal and spinoff promo 3 or 4 years ago. “Do It Downtown!” Sounds kind of familiar to me!!!

    I guess they forgot to mention that OIB is a sponsor too.

  31. Yahooy writes: “Keeley is not my candidate. Not now, not ever.”

    I hate to burst your bubble. That “Love Shack” that you and Anna occupy over at The Liberty Rock isn’t even in Keeley’s district. You could always dump Anna and move in with The Bridgeport Kid.

    Yahooy and The Bridgeport Kid. “Perfect Together!!”

  32. Lennie:

    I got word from 2 different sources who have told me that last Thurday July 24, Two (2) men wearing suits paid a visit to the Parks Department and were asking questions about Parks dept. equipment. I was told they asked about the weedwhackers to a new truck at the Parks Department. It sounds as if a Federal probe is in progress. Heard anything about this visit Lennie?

  33. Joel – now why would you think feds are interested in weedwhackers? Was someone trying to smoke them? Get real. By the way – John Gomes from Red rooster deli is a great guy and he’ll do a good job – good choice!

  34. Yahooy,

    With all due respect to you and other bloggers, it wasn’t my intention to insult you by remarks made to Bill Hicks. I have never threatened an act of violence against him, nor is it my intent. My beef with him is his extremely offensive remarks toward a lot of people on the OIG blog. Free speech is one thing; however when remarks become disgusting and obtrusive, I like others here do take offense. It turns people off from wanting to voice intelligent comments and/or opnions on topics concerning Bridgeport. Again my apologies to you and other worthwhile bloggers.

  35. Hey Joel, welcome back. How’s that sweet new baby?

    I agree with Yahooy’s posting last night. This site is not the place for threats of violence. It is a place for people to speak freely about topics of interest whether or NOT they want to give their real names. And people should not be berated or threatened for using a fake name by others who also use a fake name!!! Frankly I enjoy reading Bill Hicks’ entries. He has a lot of inside info and is very clever. On the other hand, Trailblazer and LBMST (what does that stand for, anyway?) are just ignorant. They have nothing to offer anyone. Stay away from them, Bill, and keep on writing.

  36. Question regarding outside counsel:

    The City just contracted with Ryan & Ryan, a lawfirm out of New Haven, to negotiate the union contracts. I have heard two rumors . One is that they’re getting paid $500/hour and another that they’re getting paid $200/hour. I don’t think this was ever contracted out. The work was always done by the Labor Relations Director. So as a City employee and a Bpt taxpayer, my question is this…why can’t Labor Relations do the negotiating; how were Ryan & Ryan selected; where is this in the budget; and how much is this going to cost us?

  37. Keeley’s voter base is eroding. Tsunami Tuesday will bear this out. Have you seen his campaign propaganda? There’s Keeley, arms crossed in front of an immense beer gut, hair askew, perpetual case of gin blossoms on his ugly puss. The guy looks like he buys his shirts from Omar The Tent Maker. All he can claim is that he “cares about” Bridgeport. Can’t take credit for actually DOING ANYTHING. Unless you consider throwing DSSD funds to International Performing Arts, the sleazy “nonprofit” organization occupying the city-owned building at 2838 Fairfield Avenue in Black Rock, to be an “accomplishment.” I’m sure he got free tickets to hear No World Improvisation, that merry band of professional noise makers. And what about that no-show job he holds at DSSD? $65,000.00 a year in taxpayers’ money going to Keeley so he can claim some form of legitimate income. As chairman of the bonding committee, he’s demonstrated time and time again that he’s a hired gun, services available to the highest bidder. Lots of state grants going to the ‘burbs for soccer fields, historic districts, and other pork-barrel projects. What about Bridgeport? In all the rush to collect “consulting fees” for helping to write grant applications to the very committee he chairs, Keeley forgot all about the city he was elected to represent. He tried to take credit for securing $500,000.00 for Ellsworth Field, but that money hasn’t been released. It’s still sitting in the bonding bank, collecting interest.

    Hey, Celli. The only word I have to say to you is “ouch.” You haven’t said anything in support of Bob Keeley, certainly nothing of any substance.

  38. Yahooy, in his infinite wisdom, mentioned last night that the last time there was so much chatter about a corrupt politician from Bridgeport, it was Ganim. He ended up in jail. Keeley’s probably praying his ass off that the feds don’t go to Joe Celli first. Ol’ Joe would sell out his mother to avoid an indictment.

  39. Who needs lights at the Black Rock field, not the neighbors who would have to listen to a bunch of racket late into the night.
    I think it would be better to shine a light on the Black Rock non Art center and its Voodoo leader Celli.
    Close It.
    Put it on the tax rolls.

  40. Mr. Walsh: All you have to do is write an FOI requesting the list of purchase orders that were paid using the capital account you are inquiring about. That would give you the vendor information and that would tell you where the money is spent.

    The issue of the bond counsel is NOT about the Mario/Stafstrom ordeal (at least not to a bpt taxpayer). The issue is the “transparent government” that we’ve all been promised). This just doesn’t look right to have Staftrom’s Office as is looks very political and suspicious. Attention council members — Please DO THE RIGHT THING!

  41. Hey One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest?
    Nurse Ratchett is looking for you. They’re playing your song. It’s time for your 8:30 p.m. meds. “Put it in the Basket Chief!” We’ll be having our annual fishing trip for the OIB asylum members on August 13th. Rain! or Shine!!

  42. While I applaud anything to get people downtown and spending money, spending $20,000 on a “marketing plan” called “Do It Downtown” isn’t exactly the promotion we need. Who exacly goes to a website called “Do It”? The establishment of a website does not constitute a great plan of getting people downtown. How about using the $20,000 on cleaning something up, or installing a few more garbage recepticles. See, people will go downtown when they feel comfortible and see the value in going downtown. Viewing a mere website or listing of restaurants isn’t going to do that. Look at other cities like Providence and see what they have done to recreate their downtowns. Now, perhaps if we had an active director of the DSSD, rather than a no-show guy who merely doles out media contracts, we would already be witnessing people heading downtown.

  43. Tom, you are a nice guy. I don’t understand one bit how you can support Keeley. As a taxpayer, I am demanding more accountability from my elected officials. I am demanding more accountability in Hartford and I am demanding new ideas. Us taxpayers cannot continue to suffer from the inability of our legislature to, in fact, legislate. This state is in real trouble. We need to have a legislature more concerned with solving problems and attracting new, quality businesses, as opposed to running for re-election for the 20th time. Mr. Keeley has failed us. It is time for us to pull him out of office. What can he possibly do in the future that he has been unable to do in the rest of his 24 years in office. Enough.

  44. I ask and I ask and no one ever answers. What in Grogins’ political record of service would lead me or anyone else to conclude she would have the politcal clout and savvy to deliver for her district and the city of Bpt. as a whole?

    Please, just this one time, refrain from the Keeley bashing and tell something positive and concrete about Grogins’ past service as a City Council person or as President of the Bpt BOE that the Bpt Kid as recently spoken so highly of.

  45. BobBlackRock

    Right back at you. Keeley in his position with bonding has, can and will continue to help Bridgeport. It takes years to develop relationships in politics and government to get to a leadership position. We need real economic development projects proposed by the Mayor so that our legislators can try to garner funds from the state. Also it is very challenging to do these things when the suburbs out vote the urban agenda all the time.

    If Keeley is so bad then why did the Governor just approve the bonding for the August 4th meeting to give Keeley’s district and our neighborhood the money for the 7-11 Firehouse. Sorry we will just have to agree to disagree.

    Your argument of trying to blame Keeley for downtown development also doesn’t hold any water for me. Keeley was the one who tried to derail the waterfront juvey jail downtown. The way you turn around downtown is by getting companies to come and bring their businesses downtown. I’ve seen all the architectural drawings and blueprints, studies, false starts, and bank closings over the years. You grow your tax base with jobs. Then housing will follow. Mike Freimuth is a great guy and he is a hero in Stamford. How come Joe Torre was a bum and then became a winner and is losing again. If you have the horses you win the races otherwise you wipe up the rear.

    I’m not even going to go there regarding Audie.

  46. Honestly guys I dont like Auden or Keeley. But what I have been reading about Auden is making me less want to vote for her…reason I have heard she is representing those 2 guys. She did nothing on the boe. All of this is making me want to go vote for Keeley. But as of today I am not sure who will get my vote at Black Rock school. All of my family who lives in the north end will be voting for Keeley at Central.

  47. donj – I respect your opinion and would never presume to tell you how to vote. However, from what you’ve just posted I would just like to say that your family members who vote at Central are very astute and seem to have very good political judgement.

    Good night to all.

  48. Grapevine news says the #2 guys @ the Park & Rec’s. office in the black suits were trying to buy Gathering of the Vibes tickets. They heard that if you’re a Bpt. resident and on the town committee you could buy a ticket @ half price! Rumor has it, the story was made up on WICC by Jim Buchanon on his Talk of the Town show, per info. from the Mayor? But it may be possible that if you’re running for some type of political office; you might get 10% off, tax deductable of course?


    ‘Keeley is not my candidate. Not now, not ever.’

    ‘Ask the candidate to publish a list of all of the “Honoraria”, aka consulting fees, he has received from non-profits for grant writing prior to and since he has assumed his chair responsibilities. Then it would be easy to compare that list to the list of all awards his committee has given out. Real easy. Wouldn’t take more than a couple of hours to prepare.’

  50. Dear Lennie, and Only in Bridgeport Readers,

    We’d like to extend sincere and thanks and appreciation for your positive support of “Do It Downtown!”

    We are thrilled to inform you that prior to the Press Release, over 5,000 people had visited the website. Since the Release the site has now been visited over 8,600 times.
    The most downloaded and printed page is the map guide. Which is great! Newcomers to Bridgeport want to know how to get around town, and where the restaurants and attractions are!

    We hope that you’ll continue to spread the positive word about good things happening in Bridgeport.
    Thank you!
    Lennie~ Keep up the good work!

  51. Free Shakespeare at the Connecticut Beardsley Zoo.
    Bring your own lawn chair or blanket along with a food basket. It’s a free (donations accepted) outdoors event on the peaCitykitty, I mean Peacock Pavillion. There is always Plenty of free parking (No security) and early arrivals can get a great viewing spot. For more info go to: www

  52. donj – I guess we have to pick from lesser of two evils, and that pretty much is what we’re gonna end up with. We have no other options, which is really pretty sad. At this point, I am trying to figure out who is worse, but it won’t be easy getting rid of Keeley. Even if Auden wins, what can she do better than what he’s done for the city? Nothing I can think of.

  53. Bobby Kennedy Deputy Director of P.F.D.? When are the Taxpayers ever going to get a break in this City? Mr. Kennedy should go back where he came from 23 years ago. The Sewerage Treatment Plant. After all, he is the biggest piece of shit in all of P.F.D. Just ask anyone who has worked with him. He should also take his kiss-ass brown-nosed buddy, Paul Albuquerque with him!

  54. Though Bob Walsh is sort of the council watchdog, he is still not a lawyer by any means. Which means that city attorney Anastasi is right 98% of the times on legislation matters. However, having the authority to pick the city’s bond council is one thing the city attorney’s office should be able to do but the last final legislation decision to ratify that appointment should come from the city council. This would “hopefully” control any political conflicts of interest with the city. So in the interests of fair play, Mr. Walsh has a valid issue! But then again, Mayor Finch would never let politics come into play with city business, would he???


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