For Mario, Another Term, Political Peace And A Well-Placed Rumor About An Adversary

Mario Testa, at lectern, with Mayor Joe Ganim, receives another two years

If the Coronavirus is good for anyone it’s probably misanthropes who steer away from elected officials. That wasn’t the case Wednesday night when Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa received another two years as leader by acclamation of the party faithful. Ah, political peace in the ‘Port.

Testa’s nomination was backed by 136 District Leader Wanda Geter-Pataky, one of the more popular figures in city politics. Wanda was also chosen unanimously to serve as vice chair.

Wanda Geter-Pataky declares her support for Mario Testa.

The chairman was in a mischievous mood at his Madison Avenue restaurant.

“I want to thank all the City Council members for cutting their vacation short,” jabbing members of the legislative body who also serve on the 90-member DTC, for returning from Washington following the taxpayer-paid National League of Cities Conference.

Testa sparked a roar from the crowd.

Testa’s nomination was so matter-of-fact that the chairman, in need of fun, planted a diabolical rumor to the political channels that spread like a brush fire: his antithesis, City Council member Maria Pereira, would be named his vice chair.

Mayor Joe Ganim addresses Democratic insiders.

Zoooooom! The gasps during the day ricocheted across district lines. It can’t be!

“We have to have a little fun,” said the chairman, with an impish grin, standing off to the side of his restaurant hall just a minute from the acclamation vote. “I said John Ricci is promoting Maria Pereira for vice chair. That’s all it took.”

The chairman referenced Ricci, the departed director of Public Facilities, who’s Pereira’s lifeline to political gossip. Collectively Ricci and Pereira are the National Enquirer on steroids. And everyone in the room knew it.

Wanna spread a cool rumor? Tell Ricci. He’ll tell Pereira. It will take on a life of its own.

Can’t wait for the next one.



  1. It;s amazing/sickening that everyone sits there,listening to Mario talk like he’s the exhalted ruler.Afraid to dare go against him,fearing he won’t endorse them in Nov.They all sit there,socializing,patting themselves on the back,etc etc,while our City deteriorates.Not one of them would dare risk angering Joe/Mario by asking about the $300,000 he is stealing from the city,paying lawyers in an attempt to get his friends out of trouble now that the Feds are asking questions.They should all be ashamed of themselves.

  2. Only in Bridgeport where there is a faint demonstration of a two-party political system such that the political leader of the majority party the DTC is so secure that humor is the “offering of the day” while the other party goes public about a Lincoln Day Dinner 6-7 weeks away. Perhaps two party system means something different?
    On the national level as Bernie Sanders fights on for the progressive members of the party, although his calls for getting more folks to the party and more young folks to the polls have not born great evidence in recent state primary/caucus functions, former VP Joe Biden remains standing, perhaps a little stunned by the recent turn of events that finds much support for an empathic, experienced and honest candidate whose messaging runs wide and real across the electorate.
    Is there such division under the surface in Bridgeport? Is it waiting for the forces of right and justice finally complete a look at the underside, the revealing money side of Bridgeport governance, that remains secret or at least out of sight to too many? Time will tell.

    1. JML, you missed the bigger picture with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, when Rep. James Clyburn spoke and endorse Biden that jumped started black voters and especially older black females to come out to vote for Biden because of the respect that Rep Clyburn has earn. Blacks are progressive on social issues and Biden has his problems from the past with blacks but the fact that Obama selected him because he more moderate and s white male. I don’t care for Joe Biden but what good is it to run Sanders or any of the other Democrats against 45, because even if they got elected the Democrats wouldn’t win the Senate and they would give up the house and what have they gain, they wouldn’t be able to pass anything. Well, that’s the same in Bridgeport, its not about being a liberal, conservative, moderate or progressive but who can beat Joe Ganim, you don’t need to really like the candidate or their policies, the bigger issue is to get Ganim out of office the same as getting 45 out of office. Bridgeport has no type of coalition to vote Ganim and Mario Testa out. Being progressive like a President Sanders is one thing but the Republicans will bring up Sanders speaking about Fidel Castro and that would give the Republicans the House and Senate.

  3. I find it quite hilarious that these “council members” get an all expense paid vacation to a city council picnic to learn something but still return incompetent. Yet, they’re the first to complain the city doesn’t have money for schools and public safety. Circus that place is.

  4. Jo, Maybe the facts can be interpreted a little differently. To be accurate the budget has allowed for $9,000 ANNUALLY per fiscal year per Council member to cover expenses incurred with their role as Council persons. That is $180,000. How many attend? Not all. How many attend more than one of these conferences per year? A few. How many put whatever they learn at formal sessions into a report or letter or some form of citizen communication to show a benefit to those who paid for their expenses? Still asking for examples like Trish Swain from 132 four years ago, or more recently Peter Spain but definitely not a significant minority.
    I have never called a Council member incompetent, but I have asked many questions about what they believe, know, see, are purposed for, etc.. But I can agree with Jo that they return in such similar manner to that observed when they left for the conference that it is fair to say the conference had no demonstrated effect for the benefit of the citizen taxpayer left at home on the Council member. Why spend funds that are already limited resources in our poor urban community without purpose and without communicating?

    Why are stipends not open to citizen review on the City site daily? What is so private about public tax dollars spent from the City Finance office for unreviewed reimbursements that actually offer the money on a debit card before any person other than the Council member reviews the item spending? Where is the taxpayer benefit from stipends as currently provided by Ordinance and differently administered by Finance Office? Time will tell.

  5. Ron
    How can you be a big fan of Wanda’s when it’s rumored that she is the biggest AB abuser of the lot of them?
    You can’t like her but dislike what she does with AB’s.

    1. In the Bible are frequently interpreted as referring to the unforgivable sin:

      Matthew 12:30-32: “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, any sin and blasphemy can be forgiven. But blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

      Mark 3:28-30: 28 Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: 29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation. 30 – Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.

      Luke 12:8-10: “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.”

    2. Bob, I’ve known the Geter family my whole life, the Geter family is a very large family, I knew Geters when I was young kid in PT Barnum Apartments, also in Father Panik Viillage. As a kid Stanley Geter was hero, he the greatest all round ballplayer that I ever seen and also a gentleman his entire life. As for Wanda, I’ve NEVER heard or more importantly ever read that she did illegal with AB’s. Bob, you said, “Wanda’s when it’s rumored that she is the biggest AB abuser of the lot of them,” the key word here is, “rumored.” Rich Augustynowicz, said, “Are you saying that you don’t mind or care that she abuses and commits a crime -(sin)- in obtaining illegal absentee ballots because you have something in common with her and are willing to forgive her for the illegal/sinful indiscretions?” Rich is making accusation against Wanda with NOTHING to backup his statement. Bob, Wanda, like other in the Geter family are like family just like I’ve said about Ernie Newton, Ernie is like that play cousin, we might disagree on somethings but I like Ernie and I will watch his back especially if people lie on him. Bob, for you I included a little something about Stanley Geter.

      “Bridgeport Athletic Association names Outstanding Athlete honorees”
      Published 11:27 pm EDT, Saturday, March 30, 2013

      The Greater Bridgeport Athletic Association (Old Timers) will present Outstanding Athletic Awards to John Bruzas (Fred Reichert Award), Stanley Geter (William G. Mosseau) and Tom Penders (Perry Pilotti).

      Stanley Geter:
      Geter also played in the first year (1949) of the Bridgeport Original Little League and its state championship all-star team that finished third in the World Series in Williamsport, Pa. After moving to Stratford, Geter made the most of his time at SHS as a four-year letterman in basketball and baseball, earning the reputation as one of the school’s finest athletes in both sports. A deadly outside shooter, he averaged 10 ppg as a sophomore, 15.6 ppg (eight assists) as a junior when he earned All-District accolades. The North Paraders went 20-0 in the regular season that year and were ranked No. 2 in the state only to lose to eventual champion Hartford Public in the first round. During his senior year, SHS went 15-4, he averaged a league-leading 20.1 ppg and was named first-team All-District and All-State.

      In baseball, Geter began his career at first base and then played third in 1953 before moving to shortstop in 1954-55. A .300-plus hitter with power, he earned All-District honors his last two years. He was invited to tryout camps with the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals before he opted to attend Shaw University in North Carolina but had to leave after one year because of medical reasons. That’s when he returned home and played many successful seasons with the Stratford Merchants in the Senior City League. Geter continued playing YMCA and recreation league basketball and softball while working for over 30 years at Casco, Jenkins Valve and Avco Lycoming, participating in numerous state, regional and national tournaments. He also played on the talented Mt. Aerie Baptist Church basketball team.

  6. Pardon me but I’m missing something in your answer to Bob. Are you saying that you don’t mind or care that she abuses and commits a crime -(sin)- in obtaining illegal absentee ballots because you have something in common with her and are willing to forgive her for the illegal/sinful indiscretions?
    Or are you planning on establishing a storefront somewhere called the church of “what’s happening now”?!!
    If you are planning the storefront you can approach Defilippo and he’ll guide you through the zoning board process in case someone is against your location. Also if that’s the plan don’t forget to personally excuse Maria P. for the things that she has done that have not met with your satisfaction and also all those who should have done more,……., for Moore. -And if course my sarcastic and facetious rants!!!!!!

  7. Well Ron my answer then is of course that I would still love them, however, if they did something wrong they would have to face the music. I’m not an enabler and I don’t believe in rewarding bad behavior. Nor am I in favor of making excuses for people who find themselves in such situations. So if it is true that she has abused the system regarding absentee ballots, then Mario has rewarded her hasn’t he?
    You know what they say, ‘if you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem’

    1. Rich, I have no problem with what you just wrote but you can’t accuse Wanda for a crime that she didn’t commit, Wanda is one of best at getting AB, she’s friendly, very sociable and well known now if she done something then it needs to be reported to the proper authorities but until you owe Wanda an apology for saying that committed a crime.

    1. Why?: because she is and has been the only person in a public position that speaks out against what she (and we) believe to be inadequacy, malfeasance, and perceived corruption in Bridgeport’s government.


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