City Councilman Andre Baker No Faker–Political Plans For The Voice Of Opposition?

Andre Baker
City Councilman Andre Baker

To government reformers, Andre Baker is viewed as a sturdy, if lonely, voice on the City Council. Sometimes so lonely he’s one dissident voice among 20 Democratic council members. But as he tells OIB, “I sleep well at night.” It was Baker who cast the one vote against approving funds for what became a $400,000 driveway for radioactive developer Manny Moutinho’s Lordship mansion, billed as an airport safety project. Not only did Moutinho receive a new dubious driveway, he also did the work. Nice country. Baker’s no vote is looking pretty good right now as city officials scramble to explain what happened. The controversy has led to the suspension of Airport Manager John Ricci (who had a long-known business relationship with Moutinho) with pay until it’s all sorted out.

When Bob “Troll” Walsh, the long-time resident curmudgeon, retired from the council a few years ago it left Baker as the consistent voice of opposition to the initiatives of Mayor Bill Finch’s administration. Baker has challenged city spending, budget proposals, growing debt obligations and a variety of municipal contracts. He has said no to pay raises for discretionary appointees of the mayor. He opposed the mayor’s latest budget.

In 2011 Baker supported Mary-Jane Foster for mayor in the Democratic primary working his constituent base at the Dunbar voting precinct in the East End, a traditional party establishment vote where the mayor figured to do well. It was pretty much Andre Baker and former State Senator Ernie Newton against the world in the East End in support of Mary-Jane Foster. They managed to keep the precinct within a few dozen votes.

Baker owns and operates Baker-Isaac Funeral Services on Stratford Avenue in the East End. He also owns a funeral home in Norwalk. Compassion is the hallmark of a funeral provider. When you talk to Baker that certainly comes across. He has a soothing, easy way about him, even when he opposes from his council seat. Baker has spent years providing comfort to city residents. He knows a lot of people. So what are his plans? Right now he plans on seeking reelection to his council seat. How about a run for Board of Education this year? He smiles and says he hasn’t ruled that out.

And who knows, in two years is the mayoral cycle. Meanwhile Baker will continue to be a dissident voice to the political establishment putting up the good fight.

You know what they say about messin’ with funeral directors. They’ll always get you in the end.



  1. Andre Baker is one those few individual who you can’t push around or threaten with a primary. He is a man of his word who votes for what is best for the taxpayers and the party. In the very near future I wish he would run for either mayor, state senate or state representative in his district.

  2. Andre is a really good guy. Thoughtful, sincere, good listener. A real asset. He’s clearly antsy and weary of being the only person on the Council not to have drunk the kool-aid of this administration. Even if their threats are empty it wears you down. He’d be a great choice for the Board of Education.

    1. TwoForOne,
      I agree fully. Andre needs some competent and constructive company on the Council and a number of us are committed to making that happen. He would also be good on the BOE and possibly other spots.

  3. *** Just imagine if Baker were not so busy with his funeral businesses and had time to research more council matters! He may not always make the right decisions when voting on Mayor agenda items, etc. due to playing devil’s advocate at times but his heart is in the right place. The council needs more members like Baker who are not so quick to drink the city government kool-aid and accept the “we’ll get back to you” with more info to your questions excuses! Time to deal with more “transparency” and “facts” especially if it’s so important in getting city business done on time, no? *** SHAKE & BAKER IT, BABY! ***

  4. Andre,
    Bridgeport taxpayers should give you an award for asking questions that are frequent and focused on bringing out details folks would wish to know. I doubt anyone other than you is paying attention to the number of times you look for backup information and are told “we can get that for you.” To the extent you do receive that info and it does not become part of the public record, the public is not well served.

    But I will guess in too many cases, the info is not provided to you. Why don’t you keep a listing of requests by date, committee meeting, subject matter and why you requested a specific type of information? The CT Post might be interested in knowing how frequently you receive an answer.

    You have also shown courage in voting NO to issues where you believe you do not have adequate background info. This is clear in the “Airport driveway” matter now before the public. As a businessman you are accustomed to getting most of the facts before making a decision, one way or another. Comprehensive information that can be relied on seems too often to be in short supply and rapid votes are requested far too often. Your style is providing evidence of the failure of the administration to educate, to inform and to provide adequate time for Council reflection and deliberation. That same rush also prevents the public’s ability to understand many issues because of the time lapse between a meeting and minutes. More should be expected. Time will tell.


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