For Your Review: The Mind-Numbing Municipal Budget (Good Luck)

Attention pencil pushers, bean counters, accountants, couch potatoes plopping laptops in your laps: gaze at Mayor Joe Ganim’s proposed spending plan now in the hands of the City Council’s Budget & Appropriations Committee.

See budget here.

Ganim’s no-tax-increase $628 million budget includes a number of revenue assumptions from the state, not unusual considering the state budget does not wrap up until after the municipal plan is in place.

How the pie is carved up.

Do Jane Q. Voters parse this stuff? Of course not considering they want things simplified: did you raise my taxes? Is my garbage picked up? Parks and libraries open? Police response when I make a call? Is my kid safe in schools? Remind me of new amenities: restaurants, new businesses, things useful. And, please, fix the friggin’ potholes ‘cuz one just gobbled up my smart car.

But, but, but this being an election year, Ganim opponents will certainly, as they should, drive a wedge into some aspect of this plan be it education, public safety, debt burden, no funds to rescue pigeons from hungry falcons atop the M&T Bank building.

Yes, I’ve witnessed the leftover bones.



  1. Gomes and bones almost rhyme. From atop the M&T Bank building this blogger can see Gomes’ fingerprints all over this budget. Anywhere you see cost cuts, revenue enhancements or improved efficiency, his impact shows. There could be more.
    I wonder if my viewpoint is accurate. The ax man sometimes gets axed
    Did Ganim steal the Gomes-designed budget?

  2. Let’s begin with this info graphic.

    It’s quite misleading as far as proportions of local tax dollars as a percent of the education and public safety budget are concerned concerned.

    When you take out the state and federal education grants (passes through the city budget) out of the equation and look at local tax percentages you will find that less than 17% of local tax dollars go to education, while a whopping 41.5% of local tax dollars goes to public safety.

    It is not only problematic on a percentage basis but also on a proportion basis in the raw number increase to the various departments. Before we begin note that BPS has about double the employees than the entire city payroll. This budget truly shows you where education ranks in the current Mayor’s eyes.

    The Public Safety Department has 785 employees and is receiving an increase of nearly 6 million dollars, three times as much as Bridgeport Public Schools!

    The public facilities department has 215 employees and is getting a nearly 4 million increase. Nearly double the increase of Bridgeport public Schools.

    The General Government with 166 employees is getting 2,642,609 increase. $642,000 more than BPS.

    So if the aforementioned departments were held to the increase that BPS students and staff were there would be at least an extra $6.6 million local tax dollars for education. That would bring us to 8.6 million dollars if Joe Ganim and the city council would value education as much as these other departments. For the last four years of Ganim’s, (and many on the city council) the percentage of the budget given to Education has been shrinking on a percentage basis while public safety percentage has increased.

    Question for Mayoral Candidates Gomes, Moore, and Daniels. Would you be willing to flip these numbers upside down so that the city’s largest department receives the largest increase?

  3. Now let’s move on to “Bridgeport Promise”

    As many may recall that last year the children of Bridgeport got caught up in a political power struggle between the City Council and the Mayor. the mayor promised to effect a $500k line item transfer. To date this has not happened. I have yet to heat anyone raise the issue at a city council meeting (in all fairness, my board responsibilities don’t allow for live viewing and somehow the City is unable to livestream and record their meetings)

    Now on to Bridgeport Broken Promise, er, I mean Bridgeport Promise! Oddly enough the Mayor’s proposed funding for Bridgeport Promise is the exact amount of his Broken Promise to the children and staff in Bridgeport Public Schools, $500k!

    Even more concerning about this election year gimmick is where this money resides in the budget. THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR! That leads to several questions.

    Who will administer these funds?

    Will scholarships be parsed out to political supporters?

    Will there be proper financial controls to prevent sticky fingers?

    Why would the administration even think it’s a good idea to start funding college before it even fully funds pre k-12 education?

  4. Perhaps Port’s pie chart on its budgets can be viewed from other perspectives ways. Though misleading might be subjective. What would a pie chart that represented the city budget look like if it was FLIPPED and only state taxes were represented?

    However, are we forgetting the definition of EQUITY? 🙂

    Though give you some points on employees aspect. It would be “interesting” to see what’s in that “sausage-making”’ budget line items in public safety and police facility. 🙂

    Though if you can just get the state to kick that just 1% more of the total BBOE budget to 72.1% to 73.1% I would believe that 5x for that broken promise. but I would check with JML on that numbers.

    P.S. Good luck with that 500k promise on the city end though, Pencil Box. 🙂


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