Driveway To Manny’s Mansion Tops Among Stories For May/June 2013

Manny's mansion
Manny’s mansion caused a stir. Image courtesy Morgan Kaolian.

We learned in June in a story published by the Connecticut Post, the city paid controversial developer Manny Moutinho $400,000 to improve his own Stratford waterfront property as part of an airport safety project. There’s still gravel to unravel in this story. Other headliners from May and June:

Feds charge man with delivering hand grenade concealed in a coffee cup to police.

In a rare unanimous decision the school board votes no to a proposal for a Montessori-style charter school at the former Whittier School in the West End.

Photographer extraordinaire Wayne Raztenberger passes away.

Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust celebrates groundbreaking of newest development at 570 State Street.

City’s Adult and Alternative Education Department issues 197 diplomas to high school dropouts who made a decision to “drop back in” overcoming numerous challenges such as teen pregnancy, disciplinary issues, substance abuse, health problems and caring for loved ones.

Andy Fardy, retired Bridgeport firefighter, and John Marshall Lee, co-founders of Budget Oversight Bridgeport, share their second commentary installment examining the complex world of city pension plans.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awards the City of Bridgeport’s Lead Free Families Program with a grant worth $2,499,960 to protect children and families from the hazards of lead-based paint and from other home health and safety hazards.

Steve Krauchick, who runs the online news site Doing It Local, has a run-in with a Connecticut State Police officer called to the grounds of Wonderland of Ice near Beardsley Park for what Krauchick writes was the discovery of a human jawbone.

Trying to better understand folks existing on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), U.S. Senator Chris Murphy lives on a food stamp budget of $4.80 per day or $1.60 per meal that is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Two Metro North trains collide in the city’s West End leading to multiple injuries.

The City Council Monday approves a budget with a modest tax increase in an election year.

Governor Dan Malloy announces grant funding for several city development projects.

Retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez shares a by line with Jonathan Pelto in an examination of property issues and potential conflicts of interest involving Board of Education President Ken Moales.

Developer Phil Kuchma partners with University of Bridgeport design school.

Man bites cop’s face in hospital.

Residents rail against tax increase at public hearing.

Janet Gomes, wife of one-time 2011 mayoral candidate John Gomes, wins the Parent Advisory Election.

Mayor Finch inflexible toward University of Bridgeport gymnastics national champions.

Former City Councilman Bob “Troll” Walsh writes he will actively campaign against State Senator Anthony Musto if Musto does not support the state legislative bill that would bar city employees from serving on the City Council.

Fitch, the New York-based global rating agency, affirms city’s general obligation bonds at an A rating, but also issues a warning: “annual pension and internal service fund obligations continue to be underfunded which if not addressed, could lead to a rating downgrade.”

A state judge rules in favor of Bridgeport resident and retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez who asserted in a lawsuit that Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas lacked the proper legal qualifications to serve. (Footnote: judge overturned on appeal.)

Gov. Malloy signs into law a measure insisting that German-born aviator and Bridgeport resident Gustave Whitehead flew in 1901, two years before Wilbur and Orville Wright lifted off from Kitty Hawk NC.

Popular Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, whose desire for a gubernatorial run in 2010 was derailed by a federal corruption probe into his administration, says he’ll seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2014.

Javier Colon headlines Barnum Festival parade.

Former State Rep. Chris Caruso drops 60 pounds.

The Sopranos’ James Gandolfini dies, snake scene at Beardsley Zoo a classic.

Connecticut Post breaks story of city paying a radioactive developer to install a taxpayer-financed $400,000 driveway/roadway to his own waterfront mansion in Stratford as part of a municipally owned airport improvement project.

Retired city firefighter Andy Fardy, in an OIB commentary, takes a hose to city budget director Tom Sherwood, claiming the city’s money man controls more than city purse strings.

City Councilman Andre Baker tells OIB he’s considering a run for Board of Education with five school board seats up for grabs in November.

OIB party at Bijou Theatre features showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Former City Councilman Tom White, in an OIB commentary, writes Connecticut Post reporters did the work members of the city’s legislative body are supposed to do, serve as a check on the executive branch for the dubious $400,000 driveway leading to Manny’s Mansion, instead of claiming they were left in the dark.

Airport Manager John Ricci suspended with pay pending a city investigation into his business relationship with Bridgeport-based developer Manny Moutinho following news of a controversial $400,000 gravel driveway leading to his Lordship mansion as part of a municipal airport safety improvement. Ricci says officials knew about relationship.

Wheelabrator Bridgeport, the waste-to-energy facility in Bridgeport’s West End serving 25 municipalities in three Connecticut counties, celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Mayor Bill Finch named president of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, the advocacy group that charges fees to member cities and towns to lobby legislative interests in Hartford.

The cash-strapped state considers a proposal to install slot machines in three Connecticut parimutuel facilities, including Bridgeport’s Winners Shoreline Star that features wagering and live simulcasting of greyhound, thoroughbred and harness racing from all over North America, as well as jai-alai from Florida.

Toothless tiger Ethics Commission gums David Walker’s ethics complaint.

Controversial developer Manny Moutinho bids low, bills high, taxpayers get soaked.

Black Rockers celebrate neighborhood.

Governor Malloy signs into law a bill that allows residents without immigration documents the ability to obtain a driver’s license.

City Attorney Mark Anastasi pokes an editorial stick in the eye of the Connecticut Post claiming the newspaper’s assertions regarding a $400,000 driveway at the Stratford home of a Bridgeport-based developer were “skewed to reflect the narrative of an alleged unscrupulous deal between the city government and a local developer.”

State Senator Anthony Musto, in minority, supports photo release of slaughtered Sandy Hook kids. Governor says families have a right to grieve in private.

Tokyo Spa sayonara, neighborhood cooperation shuts down illegal massage parlor.

City seeks bids to demolish East Side eyesore for possible train station.

Highlighting a report by Cummings Associates as evidence of the additional revenue expanded gaming would bring in at three Connecticut parimutuel facilities including one in Bridgeport, State Senator Andres Ayala among Democratic legislators calling for thousands of new slot machines.

Republicans throw stones at gravel driveway.



  1. As 2013 draws to a close I await a call from the City Attorney’s office to see more specific multi-year accounting for City Council stipends.

    Much of the request for written information regarding stipends has been ignored or cast aside in my six-month pursuit, but we have learned:
    1) More than one Council person has exceeded the $9,000 seeming limit for a Council person in a fiscal period. How is that possible if we look at STIPENDS as reimbursement?
    2) There is evidence at least one Council person left the Council with an EXCESS “REIMBURSEMENT.” Did the City recover this amount ever?
    3) How does the new ‘debit card’ system deal with appropriateness of expense? Who authorizes the debit card payment which seems to be simultaneous funding, rather than reimbursement, as regulations previously have indicated?
    4) Some Council persons have used some amounts of the annual stipend to perform charitable tasks in the City. Is this being accommodated through the debit card system? Or is there another way of spending the stipend for this purpose that has been adopted in the form of a payment under the Legislative Budget under “Other Expenses?” Where is the authorization and support for this?
    5) For years funds flowing through CITY COUNCIL STIPENDS Line Item have been accounted as either ‘taxable’ or ‘non-taxable’ to the Council person. I have asked for the tax reporting status of such taxable flows in terms of 1099 forms. It seems the flows are reported in another form. Curious? Yes. Time will tell.

  2. The cash-strapped state considers a proposal to install slot machines in three Connecticut parimutuel facilities, including Bridgeport’s Winners Shoreline Star that features wagering and live simulcasting of greyhound, thoroughbred and harness racing from all over North America, as well as jai-alai from Florida.

    Something better be done like NJ on-line gaming or poker. This state has no financial positive prospects and no financial seers. If this state either by present politicians or future, does not do financial forethought, we will go the way of Detroit.


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