Foster Challenges Finch’s Pension Payment Delay

Democratic mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster says Mayor Bill Finch has his head in the sand when it comes to the city’s budget challenges. The mayor has delayed millions in city pension payments to avoid an election-year tax increase. Finch has appealed to the Connecticut Legislature to approve breathing room on pension payments in the hope of a stock market turnaround that would bolster pension fund investment.

Foster is urging state legislators to examine closely before acting. From Foster:

Bridgeport businesswoman and social action advocate Mary-Jane Foster, who is running for mayor, is sounding the alarm on Bridgeport’s looming budget crisis and is calling upon the leadership of Connecticut’s House and Senate to take steps requiring Bridgeport to develop a responsible plan to meet its pension obligations. With the end of the legislative session approaching, Mayor Finch is working feverishly to quietly push approval of his request to further delay contributions to the City’s pension fund. At the same time, the Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) and the Comeback America Initiative (CAI) last week issued a “Financial State of the City” that determined “Bridgeport is in a precarious financial position because it is $1.4 billion short of the funds necessary to pay the City’s commitments as they come due.”

“An independent review of the City’s finances confirms that Mayor Finch has completely mismanaged the budget, putting Bridgeport in serious financial jeopardy,” states Foster. “Rather than deal with the problem, Mayor Finch hides his head in the sand and claims he’s balanced the budget, while at the same time pushing for another pension payment deferment. In the interest of good government, I urge the State legislature to put a responsible plan of action in place with clear requirements and timelines for meeting our financial obligations and unmistakable consequences for failing to do so.”

In April, Ms. Foster wrote a letter to President Pro Tempore Williams and Speaker Donovan calling attention to the problem and offering specific recommendations for addressing the issue. A copy of Ms. Foster’s letter follows along with the IFTA/CAI press release and their “Financial State of Bridgeport” report.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the original May 26, 2011 press release issued by the Institute for Truth in Accounting and the Comeback America Initiative.

True Bridgeport, Ct. Financial Burden is $1.4 Billion

Institute Issues Bridgeport’s “Financial State of the City”

Chicago, (May 26, 2011) – Today the Institute for Truth in Accounting and the Comeback America Initiative released Bridgeport, Connecticut’s “Financial State of the City.” After an intensive review of the city’s 2010 audited financial report and actuarial reports, the Institute determined that, like many cities, Bridgeport is in a precarious financial position, because it is $1.4 billion short of the funds necessary to pay the city’s commitments as they come due. Each household’s* share of this financial burden equals $27,100.

The Charter of the City of Bridgeport mandates a balanced budget. “If Bridgeport’s past Mayor and City Council had truly balanced the city’s budget, no financial burden would exist,” said Sheila Weinberg, founder and CEO of the Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA). She continued, “A city budget is not balanced if current costs, including those for employees’ retirement benefits, are pushed into the future.”

While Bridgeport reported total assets of $1.2 billion, the Institute’s review of the city’s 2010 financial report revealed that more than $944 million of these assets cannot be easily converted to cash to pay city bills. These assets consist of capital assets, including infrastructure, buildings and land; and certain assets, the use of which is restricted by law or contract. As a result the city has only $229 million of assets available to pay $1.6 billion of current and future bills. Most notably, the City does not have the funds needed to pay for almost $1.4 billion of city’s obligations as they come due.

Many of the obligations relate to city employees’ pension and retirement healthcare benefits. Years of over-promising retirement benefits, while not setting aside sufficient assets to cover them, have resulted in the city’s retirement systems being underfunded by $1.1 billion. The retiree health care programs alone involve between $800-$900 million in unfunded obligations.

While the Institute for Truth in Accounting has issued a “Financial State of the State” for almost all fifty states, Bridgeport is the first “Financial State of the City” that has been released. This report was prepared at the request of the Hon. David M. Walker, Founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative (CAI) and former Comptroller General of the United States who is a Bridgeport, CT resident.

In response to this report, Mr. Walker said, “Like many states and municipalities, Bridgeport faces serious unfunded retirement obligations that need to be addressed. The time has come to bring the design and funding of these plans into the sunshine. Municipal workers deserve decent retirement plans but such plans should be comparable to those offered by other major employers. Efforts also need to be taken to prevent abuses of the system, including the disability provisions of these plans.”

The Bridgeport “Financial State of the City,” available at and provides this accounting by outlining the financial situation of the city, including unfunded liabilities to the city’s retirement systems. Additional information on Comeback America Initiative (CAI) can be found at

*The number of households is based on the estimated number of occupied units according to U.S. census data.

About the Institute for Truth in Accounting

The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) is dedicated to promoting honest, accurate, and transparent accounting at all levels of government and business. As a non-partisan, non-profit organization, the IFTA works to expose accounting deficiencies while promoting better, more accessible delivery of accurate government financial data-and, in turn, providing a foundation for more informed public policy. The IFTA provides its expertise to develop more effective accounting standards and deliver accurate government financial information to policymakers, opinion leaders, and citizens, so they can all work for a more secure financial future.

About CAI

The Comeback America Initiative (CAI) is a Bridgeport, CT based non-profit organization that promotes fiscal responsibility and sustainability by engaging the public and assisting key policymakers on a non-partisan basis in order to achieve solutions to America’s fiscal imbalances. CAI’s goal is to foster a national discussion around the themes in the book “Comeback America,” with an emphasis on various specific policy, operational and political reforms to put government on a more prudent, sustainable and accountable fiscal path. The organization’s primary focus is federal fiscal issues; however, it will also highlight the larger national fiscal challenge and engage in certain reform initiatives in selected states (e.g., Connecticut) and cities (e.g., Bridgeport, CT).

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a copy of the April 7, 2011 correspondence Mary-Jane Foster sent to Senators Williams and Donovan with copies to the list of recipients below. 

Mary-Jane Foster
40 Anchorage Drive
Bridgeport, CT 06605

April 7, 2011

The Honorable Donald E. Williams, Jr.
President Pro Tempore
Room 3300
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

The Honorable Christopher Donovan
Speaker of the House
Room 4100
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

Dear Sirs:

The City of Bridgeport is poised to again seek the State’s approval to forestall making required contributions to the City’s pension fund, rumored to be the original $20 million deferred two years ago plus an unspecified additional liability. However, if the State continues to allow the City to put off its legal and moral responsibility, without any consequences, the City will never come to grips with this situation.

Governor Malloy quickly assessed the financial crisis facing the State of Connecticut and proposed a plan to deal with the issues, which requires shared responsibilities among all stakeholders. The City of Bridgeport has yet to recognize its own financial crisis and therefore, to date, has not developed a plan for addressing the very real and significant fiscal issues it faces.

If the State legislature again approves a waiver of Bridgeport’s contribution to its pension fund, I respectfully request that certain requirements be placed upon the City and there be serious consequences if the City fails to abide by them. Specifically, I recommend that the City be required to perform the following:

1) Submit to the State’s OPM Director a detailed plan with how and when the City plans to meet its obligations. This must lay out a timeframe for meeting its financial obligations on an ongoing basis as well as making good on prior obligations that have not been met. This plan would require the OPM Director’s approval.

2) Submit to the State’s OPM Director a detailed plan to reestablish a financially prudent fund balance. As part of this plan, the city must layout a policy on front-loaded structured contracts and / or PILOTs that assure a significant portion of these funds go to the fund balance and not be used to finance daily operations until the balance and pension obligations are met.

3) Commit to avoid any deficit spending, whether planned or unintentional, which would further erode the City’s fund balance.

4) Agree that failure to abide by the above or failure to live up to any actions agreed to in the above will result in the State’s implementation a mandated financial review board.

The actions that I have laid out are aggressive and carry serious implications but the current City administration has failed time and time again to acknowledge its financial responsibilities and to live up to its contractual obligations with the City employees.

The State must draw the line now and require a responsible plan of action from the City if Bridgeport is again looking for the State’s permission to put off a significant monetary obligation.



  1. I’m getting a bad feeling here. It almost seems like the retired cops and firemen are supporting Foster to protect their pensions. Everyone else realizes covering the cost will be absorbed by us. The extravagant pensions procured through the union negotiations at fat prosperity is not the reality of today. I dare tcor Ron Mackey to divulge their monthly dividends. Anyone would kill for that kind of pension we will be paying for.

    1. Ronin,
      I think you are jumping to conclusions. Mayor Finch and his closest advisers know where they want to spend taxpayer money (local, State provided ECS and Federal grants). And they have not cared to address or fund Pension Plan A or OPEB in any meaningful manner, therefore slipping further away from currently funding obligations.

      It is not fair to pursue individual retirees and ask about retirement income today, without also looking back 20, 30 or 40 years ago and looking at total compensation package at that time. Who negotiated the contracts? Were they our heroes or goats? As a matter of fact when the current fire and police contracts negotiations have been reported this year, did Mayor Finch or any of his advisers comment upon the Pension Plan A income beneficiaries getting an increase in their benefits as a consequence? How much additional annual funding to Pension Plan A is required now going into the future?

      I will recall what Bridgeport native Walt Kelly, creator of Pogo, once said: We have met the enemy and he is us!

      What Mary-Jane has done is to call the City’s secret activities to the attention of those in the State who will be handling current legislation, including our local delegation. What a shame if they were to vote on an omnibus bill this month having language requested by Finch to “study the problem some additional years” and not know about it. The taxpayers will pay for these past negotiations, it is true. But, perhaps a thinner municipal government, with employees, those elected and City volunteers better trained in public financing and workplace efficiencies, and without the parade of “bread and circuses” so easily sponsored by the current administration will lessen the waste of City dollars and curtail a significant expansion of property taxation.

      Finally as MJ has pointed out, the neglect of pensions, retiree healthcare benefit funding, the raping of the City unrestricted fund balance is not a one-year or even a one-term thing. It is the result of the policy of the Mario Machine to spend money on the public things that make people feel good, provide City jobs to patrons who turn out the votes without regard to worker competency, and to provide favorable access to political donors and ignore commentary from all others.

      It seems to have been a successful long-term strategic policy. Perhaps the wheels are coming off the wagon though. The issues that have been ignored, the people who have been shut outside, and the high cost of legal and settlements over employment issues are growing opposition voices in number and resolve. September and November are approaching …

      1. Ronin,
        That was way off base. Cops & fireman risk their lives to protect assholes like you every day. God bless them, they are worth their weight in gold, not what we pay them in pension. Sure, their pensions were negotiated when BPT was prosperous and it was deemed reasonable at that time. Now we are in a different economy. Does Finch have the authority to deny them their benefits?

    2. MJF you’ve been Snookered!

      Ronin your on the money,

      I believe we have somewhere between 900 to one thousand retirees on Pension Plan A, at a yearly cost of $20 million when funded on the backs of City taxpayers. Maybe a handfull of those retirees live in the City. Nevertheless they earned their extravagant pension plan through blood, sweat & tears, as Mr. tc proudly points out. Most people would love to have Pension Plan A.
      But for MJF to make a campaign promise to restore funding for Pension Plan A tells me she will raise my taxes through the roof next year.
      Or will she renegotiate a new Pension Plan A while holding costs down? I’m very sorry for MJF, but rule #1 in politics, never promise anything you can’t deliver.

      MJF, you’ve been snookered!

      1. Cupcake; Just once I wish you would get your facts straight. There are 686 retirees including widows in Plan A. Sure most people would like to have pension Plan A but don’t want to pay the price.
        What are you talking about when you say you feel sorry for MJF because she promised things she can’t deliver? Jesus, get a clue. She is pointing out the Finch administration is not funding its obligations which they one day must do. No matter who the mayor is they have to fund Plan A.
        BTW Plan A CANNOT be renegotiated, it’s against the law. Please think before you write.

      2. Public Unions, the Economy, and What’s at Stake for Companies Now
        Source: AccountingWEB

        May 4, 2011

        By Richard D. Alaniz

        It’s a story that’s playing out across the country–cash-strapped governments are scrambling to balance their budgets while hamstrung by the contracts of current and retired public union workers. The situation has led to demonstrations, legislators fleeing their states, and harsh words from both sides. Full article www

        1. Dear CCH69,
          Have you bothered to look at the Comprehensive Annual Financial Review – 2010 since it came out in February? About 134 pages and it is the Notes after the financial statements, specifically Notes 11 and 12 that I am curious about your reading and comprehension. The posters on this blog are really focused in on BRIDGEPORT. Perhaps if you escape the “outer space” mental state of the other day, return through our national and State issues and post something thoughtful and provocative, you may yet gain some respectful responses.

          There is no doubt no one wishes to pay one cent more in taxes. There is also no doubt (because of past legislative decisions, committing us to specific obligations not initially or substantially funded) we (the working or retired taxpayer with earned income or retirement income plans that survive the volatility of various markets) will be paying more in taxes. Just so, but we also should be asking harder questions of those elected. We should be expecting greater accountability and transparency. And Finch & Company is not doing that.

          So CCH69, having read your posts for about two weeks now with nary a comment about frequently mentioned financial issues, how and what say you about Bridgeport’s current governance? What pleases you? Discourages you? Requires change? Have any answers?

        2. Cupcakehore69,
          Thanks for that posting, it was very informative. We all must realize that during lean times nothing is sacred. The unions & pensioners are under attack and had better realize that. Other cities & states are challenging these plans in court. It is ignorant to think BPT will not do the same thing. These pensioners are sitting on their hands thinking they are protected. Nothing is sacred or written in stone.

  2. The police and fire pensions are slightly better than some … mostly because police and firemen don’t pay into Social Security like the masses, and the difference may be measured thusly … not to mention the danger and life threatening situations they have encountered … so, you like Finch better ‘n Foster? That’s seems hard to defend.

  3. Ronin: My pension is a matter of public record, go look it up. I have supported MJF long before this pension problem came to light. I along with BEACON2 and a few others who were members of BOB brought the pension issue to light. We attended 95% of the budget hearings and spent countless hours reviewing documents. We also sent out a myriad of FOI requests as it relates to this subject.
    Did I do this to protect my pension? NO, you see my pension is protected by State and Federal law.
    No one including myself and others were aware of the depth of this problem until we started digging into it. The easy thing would have been to ignore it, not mention it and no one would have been the wiser. That was not done.
    Why is it so hard for people to believe there are people out there who actually give a shit about this city and its residents?
    Hey Ronin if I could I would drag your ass down a burning hallway crawling on your stomach with heat and fire around you while you try and reach a trapped citizen. I would like to take you on a call where you are dodging gunshots while responding to a fire. I would also like you to see what it’s like to go home after putting a family into body bags because they died in a fire. I can tell you every fatal fire I went to and it’s been 40 years since I joined the BFD. In 23 years on the job eight of my friends died in the line of duty. You can have my pension, pay the price I and others like me paid to get it.
    I love this city and its residents, that’s why I am active now in BOB. I want all of us to have a safe and prosperous life. Spending the hours I now spend researching the budget and its faults is a labor of love for this city.
    There are two good candidates out there. I chose to support MJF, not to save my pension but to save the city.

  4. Let’s not lose sight of what we are fighting for here. Sure some City employees enjoy a decent pension. If you work 35 years with an average high salary of $50,000 @ 2% a year, your annual pension would be $35,000. Keep in mind City employees do NOT pay into social security. Even if they worked another job and paid into SS enough quarters to collect, they would be penalized 50% because of their City pension.

    The fight is over the City’s refusal to adequately fund the pensions. The problem is with Finch–not the hard-working City employee who devotes 1/2 of his/her life to the city of Bridgeport and is just trying to survive.

    The fight is with the Finch appointees with the take-home cars. The value of the take-home cars is added to their income and thereby increases their pensions. Since you vest in the pension at 5 years, all these assholes need is another year of the Finch administration and they too will be collecting a City pension. Take Andy Nunn for an example. Average salary $120,000 (estimated including the take-home car) x 5 years @ 2% = $12,000/year or $1,000 a month. Not bad for someone who does absolutely nothing.

    Let’s not lose sight of our fight, folks.

  5. Speaking of “take home” cars here is some of what I posted yesterday … In the Police department alone there are about 30 cars that go home every night. Most to the valley. You are correct about the husband and wife. Worst is they handle personnel needs in those cars like shopping or dinners. The Chief drives an Escalade all the way to Newtown every day and night. What does that get? 10 miles to the gallon? When does he move to Bridgeport? Hear he isn’t because he hasn’t really ever been a cop and is scared. I hear a lady cop drives a car home to Shelton or Seymour and has no real job. Don’t know what that means, but come on! Do these cops claim these perks on their taxes? Doubt it. Good job, Mayor Gomes!

  6. Also, my buddy is a cop. The things he tells me he sees or does on a nightly basis are unbelievable. I am amazed people choose to put their lives on the line for such little pay and tiny pensions. They deserve their pensions. Finchy, fund the pensions and then lose the election!

  7. B2 is correct. To use his phrase, the city is “kicking the can” on unfunded liabilities to a future date to avoid payments–and tax increases–now.

    These pension liabilities would be met if the city did the financially prudent thing to finance pension agreements that were made long before Bill Finch ever thought of becoming mayor.

    That is the issue here. You can argue about take-home cars and whatever, and that is fine, but the real financial whopper for Bridgeport–and some other places–is what to do with the liability of pension obligations.

    The Finch administration is attempting to juke past the payments. It is hard to blame them because of a rotten economy. But they are not doing it, apparently, and don’t have a plan for dealing with it. (This doesn’t make them so unique nationally either.)

    This is not as sexy as a take-home SUV. I suppose more elections are won on the SUV, but the killer to the city–after the election of course–will be figuring out obligations like pensions in the future.

  8. Jim,
    Thank you for weighing in on the issue: funding of Pension Plan A as provided by the plan actuary (rather than the relief negotiated for three years, and now attempting to be extended by Mayor Finch).

    The City has made contributions as the State has required for three years totaling about $14 Million to Plan A. The City could have paid about $40-42 Million total as the actuary minimum called for. (Not that this contribution was going to guarantee the fund would never run out. Because retirees are taking out $32 Million per year.)

    But the difference between what they negotiated with the State and desire to continue apparently, and what Segal & Company was requiring could have easily been provided by better questioning of all City budget accounts. It’s only 5% more. It’s not the end of the world. Or it’s only 5% less in so many City accounts that are still padded for inefficient administration.

  9. Ronin, firefighters and cops have no say so (voice) as to how and where the pension fund money is invested. If the fund is mismanaged and it loses money, why blame the likes of Ron or tc? It’s time to look for other investment firms to handle the pension fund. There are plenty of funds and investment firms with records of success in a bad economy.

  10. Can anyone tell me why it’s called “Pension Obligation” if the city is not obligated to pay into the fund on schedule? If the city has the option to request permission to delay payment into the fund, is it really an obligation? Sounds more like a negotiable obligation.

  11. Thank you, Joel. A few things I would like to repeat. First, Jim Callahan point is on target, “These pension liabilities would be met if the city did the financially prudent thing to finance pension agreements that were made long before Bill Finch ever thought of becoming mayor.” Pension Plan A retirees paid 8% of their pay towards their pension every week and that money was placed in the City’s General Fund and never invested. Maybe I’m missing something here but how is that the fault of Pension Plan A retirees?

    Second, the funding issue for Pension Plan A, BEACON2 points to the answer, The City could have paid about $40-42 Million total as the actuary minimum called for.

  12. Whoa–it wasn’t my intent to piss off everybody. I moved to Black Rock from Norwalk just recently and don’t know all the ropes yet. I have two uncles who are cops and a brother who is a fireman.They are entitled to everything they can get. I have the greatest respect for both professions. My point was can we afford to keep promises made under past economic projections?

  13. city hall smoker, is this for real or a joke: “The value of the take-home cars is added to their income and thereby increases their pensions.”

    1. As a taxpayer I would like the City of Bridgeport to revisit Pension Plan A, and to renegotiate Plan A or any other overstuffed Pension plan that our forefathers gave away.
      Plan A is supporting a total of 700 people at a rate of $20 Million a year.
      Is it fair when this City can’t afford it? Is it fair to 140,000-plus taxpayers?
      I think not, MJF.
      After three years of not being funded maybe it’s time to go to court?
      Let’s put it on the table and see. Instead of kicking that can down the road, let’s open it.

      1. While I agree we should be funding the pension/OPEB obligations, keep in mind that absent offsetting cost savings elsewhere our taxes are going to increase–there was a time when these benefits were initially negotiated where “pay as you go” was the acceptable accounting–so it was easy for yesterday’s politician to promise today without the tax increase–today we are paying for the retirement benefits of prior workforce and retirement benefits of current workforce–that’s pretty much why private industry got rid of defined benefit pension plans–and post retirement health benefits as well.

        So unless MJF and Gomes know where the fat is buried, their request to eliminate deferral of payment is going to result in a possible significant tax increase.

        What are other urban areas doing–Hartford and New Haven and Waterbury–suburbs don’t have the burden around their necks like urban areas do.

        State law never should have allowed these unfunded promises–and the state is no better utilizing deferrals.

      2. Cupcake: Again I am going to tell you. The city cannot reopen pension plan A for renegotiation. It’s against the law. What the city did was negotiate changes in the fire and police pensions, they come under pension plan B for new employees hired after 1981. This is a funded pension system. The city just recently negotiated a contract with the fire union that places their pension under the state pension system to which they will pay the state 12%-18%. I will say this one last time, they can not renegotiate Plan A.

  14. Ronin, town committee addressed your concern already. It seems like you want a legal contract that was made to those who have retired to be broken.

    1. Ron Mackey–I don’t want your rights fucked with any more than you do. You earned them and are entitled to these benefits. All I’m saying is the city is looking at cutting corners. The city is violating current contracts looking for concessions. For the past three years they have fucked you, not me. Your unions should attack this problem in federal court now. “I see a bad moon arisin’.”

  15. Common Good & Ronin, what happened to the 8% of our pay that was taken out of our pay for all of the years that we worked? Let us start there, then work our way forward.

    1. Ron Mackey–they fucked you. I could not be more in your corner. You all had better realize you are under attack. Your unions need to get their asses into federal court. Go to YouTube “I see a bad moon arising.” I am deadly serious.

  16. Take a look at all the golden handshakes/Provisional Appointments that were made by the current fire chief and his predecessors given to their buddies. This is where the inflated pensions are an issue. It’s been a revolving door of inflated pensions and they use it to benefit the chosen few. These individuals didn’t have to take an exam, but retired at the higher paying rank. From chiefs all the way down the line. Go to civil service and ask for a list of provisional pensioned individuals and see for yourself. David Dunn, Jack Colligan, Civil Service Commission, Fire Commission and the Mayor’s Office have been involved with this inflated golden handshake process for years. Don’t forget their wives get 50% of the inflated pensions when the pensioned individual dies.

  17. To several posters … some answers to questions you have asked above:
    *”Pension Obligation” are two words that appear before the word Bonds. In the year 2000 this City undertook a way of funding the previously pay-as-you go Pension Plan A by borrowing $350 Million (more or less) and dumping it into Plan A to provide about 80% of the then funding needs for that plan comprised of public safety employees, police and fire hired no later than 1981 (or 1984, depending on which City history you read). There is a moral or contractual obligation to those employees or their widows to fund the benefits, currently running at $32 Million per year. But IN ADDITION to the above incomes currently being paid from the approximately $150 Million left invested (plus any returns and less any losses), we have a 30-year OBLIGATION with 19 years to go at a rate averaging $30 Million per year which the City is paying and also owe minimum funding to Plan A to extend the life of the plan of approximately $18 to 22 Million per year.
    * CCH69–What do fairness and going to court have to do with this? How about doing a serious review of the Annual Budget that was not performed this year or last year by the City Council? Ask your Council persons about the Pension Obligation Bond and how much it costs us and where the funds are found in the budget? (I will be surprised if more than 2 or 3 out of the 20 can point out line items ‘53201 in the Police and Fire budgets.) Then ask them what the story is about Pension Plan A and State of CT SB9-09 that addresses the City’s funding trickle to Plan A? Did they receive and then read the Segal & Company actuarial report?
    * And about the “silence of the Union representatives” I do not have a clue. Unless they have been so complicit with the City negotiators that they aren’t making any complaints while the dollars roll in. By the way, for some reason I have not yet discovered, the union representatives have no position on the Plan A Pension Board. How did that happen? But Police and Fire representatives are Board members of the Plan B Fire and Plan B Police pension boards that are funded by workers and Bridgeport and whose funding approximates 75 to 80% of necessary funding. No big underfunding in these cases. What does that tell you?
    * To Anna and tc and a few others … BRAVO!!! There is much room in the City budget for reasonable cuts with which to fund much of these obligations. Hard-working City employees attempting to provide required services in the most efficient manner possible are to be applauded and supported for they are an important part of “quality of life” issues in the City!!! Unfortunately not all City expenditures are budgeted for those folks, right? Why don’t all of you begin pointing out additional targets of opportunity for savings and efficiencies beyond take-home cars and gas, funding vacant positions, department budgets that are not scrutinized by Budget and Appropriations, etc. Insider knowledge is needed to flesh out more of these targets of opportunity. They make our tax dollars paid to the City more valuable when they are directed to accomplishing real City needs and/or promises. A look at how bonds and tax anticipation notes have been used to provide current cash today to Finch, but streams of future payments to property tax owners is another area for focused study as well as legal expenses and settlement costs, etc., etc., etc., Let’s stay on task and do the necessary reading, thinking, dialogue with City Council members. We should be angry about the mismanagement of City finances. And if your Council person tells you they trust the ones making the decisions, you will have a profound understanding of why we are where we are today. OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, and TRANSPARENT are not practiced in City governance today.

  18. Amazing to me it has now become fashionable to blame public-sector employees for the financial quagmire most municipalities are in. These men and women are simply doing the jobs they were hired to do and for the most part (police & fire) doing jobs most of us are unwilling to do. Their pensions and post-employment benefits were part of the deal when they signed on for the job and probably helped to make these very dangerous professions more desirable. Instead of being vilified, these brave men and women should be applauded for their efforts.
    If the city of Bridgeport had been doing the right thing all along with the employees’ weekly contributions perhaps the city would be in a better position to honor its obligation. Instead of laying blame at the feet of employees who have held up their end maybe we should look to our elected officials and demand real answers. Remove the political hacks, take-home cars, outside legal counsel, and see what it adds up to. I am certain that would be good start towards meeting their obligations in regard to plan A funding … assuming they do the right thing with the savings.

  19. Sounds like the fix was in …

    BRIDGEPORT — Mike Kelly, of New Rochelle, N.Y., believed the Bluefish had already reached the three-million mark in attendance. He had previously received an email that led him to believe the team was to reach the milestone in the series opener against the Somerset Patriots on Tuesday night.

    That was not the case. And Wednesday morning, Kelly and his 10-year-old son, Owen, became a part of history. Kelly was honored as the three-millionth fan at Harbor Yard.

    The Bridgeport Bluefish give a lifetime pass to a fan from New Rochelle NY.


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