Ganim Pledges Bucks For New Bassick High School, Sidewalks And South End Gateway

From city Communications Director Av Harris:

Mayor Joe Ganim today announced that he has submitted a five-year, $178 Million dollar capital plan to the Bridgeport city council outlining many infrastructure improvements for which the city will seek to bond between now and fiscal year 2021. The capital plan includes more than $50 million in school construction and improvements including more than $26 Million for the construction of the new Bassick High School in fiscal year 2018. Also among Mayor Ganim’s priorities are more than $15 million in economic development initiatives such as the Gateway to the South End development involving the University of Bridgeport. There is also $1,000,000 to help repair the P.T. Barnum Museum, still severely damaged from a 2010 tornado.

“This five-year capital plan represents the priorities my administration sees for infrastructure improvements for Bridgeport in the near future,” said Mayor Ganim. “We have many roads, bridges and sidewalks in need of repair as well as schools that need renovation and rebuilding. But we also are using this opportunity to be visionary about what we want Bridgeport to look like in the next 10-20 years, including how we want to develop our waterfront and South End in partnership with the University of Bridgeport. I look forward to working with the city council on making these dreams a reality for our citizens.”

Among the infrastructure improvement projects for the city are more than $8,000,000 in funds to rebuild and repair city sidewalks and streetscapes. One of the smaller items on the list of Mayor Ganim’s priorities is $25,000 in funding for a study looking into the consolidation and building of a new, unified public safety complex which would include the headquarters for police, fire and emergency communications. This building would replace the current, aging public safety facilities. A complete listing of the five-year capital plan is attached to the end of this release.



  1. Much to the delight of Bridgeport’s hyperactive bond counsel, Mayor Ganim is employing a borrow and buy strategy as opposed to a tax and spend policy.
    I wish him the best, but it’s like trying to melt an iceberg with a hair dryer.

  2. I’m not a bright man and I don’t own much. Are you telling us you’re going to borrow $178 million for city projects? I’m not going to ask who or what contractors are going to financially benefit from the $178 million. I don’t own a home but I know people who do and had to borrow money to purchase it. They end up paying at least times the principal. I don’t know the bond market and what it costs to borrow this money but I do know it comes at a price. I hope this $178 million doesn’t cost Bridgeport homeowners, who are burdened with the responsibility of paying Bridgeport’s debts. It’s bad enough because of political childish games Bridgeport politics are playing is costing taxpayers over half a million dollars a year for two “CHIEFS.” I’mn ever going to entertain the top pay salary list that was published in OIB.
    I lean more right than left, however I do believe in a proper governmental entity that support businesses and assist in the providing the citizen element to protect and enhancing the quality of life for them. There are many elements needed to protect and enhance the quality of life. It starts with the family unity and moral fabric, which the government had done a horrible job on. Alone with their financial aspect where they pick and choose on the nature of privilege is also damaging to protection and the quality of life for many. The same can be said for businesses. What Bridgeport needs are more decent paying jobs not more financial burden (debt). When government and businesses makes a half billion dollar investment to creates 20 permanent jobs in a poverty stricken urban city that doesn’t provide a service that is basically available for free with the proper investment and doesn’t provide any jobs for its residents, simultaneously depriving its residents of tens of thousands of decent paying jobs with benefits and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue to the state and city, it is a sin (take that to the bank).
    There’s a balance that is needed between government and businesses. Like heath care. Heath care is not a privilege or right in a moral society. What make me laugh are people who say because of the status of their job description they are not privilege enough to earn a decent pay or benefit. Because what they’re really saying is, “I don’t care if you or your child gets sick and suffers or even dies because you don’t have health insurance. As long as me or my child has access to a doctor (side Bar, the treatment well that’s a whole form of terrorism not as dramatic and booming but a terrorist attack nonetheless as ISIS. Not all terrorists have beards and say praise God). Being a mailman is not a difficult job. You walk and look at address and drop it off. The same can be said for a city bus driver etc. These jobs are not difficult jobs yet they receive decent pay and benefits. Flipping burgers is not a difficult job, one can make the argument it’s more exerting than the latter. At the end of the day 40 hours is 40 hours. That doesn’t change no matter what job you hold. (When I worked at Foxwoods one of my colleagues was born with no arms. Opening a door was difficult for him. I still don’t know how he went to the restroom. That’s a whole other beast.) If businesses say they can’t afford to give health benefit to their employees then there is a flaw in the system.
    Since Joe invoked God in his campaign when he made his apology, and the moral fabric of the family unity is almost non-existent because everybody is banging everybody, I’ll cap it off with this. If AIDS was what it was portrayed to be in the media in the same manner as Donald Trump is a qualified candidate for US Presidency that controls our nuclear arsenal, humans would have banged themselves into extinction. While the breakdown in the family unit many no longer be a sin. Like this $178 million loan being taken on the backs of Bridgeport residents to repay it and was created to enhance the possessions of others. The devil too works hard for its possession (souls). There will be no more apologies, Joe. Thank you for this forum. I’m not a bright person however I am fair. BAM! I AM OUT! Good luck people.

  3. My recommendation to the city is not to bond for anything unless there is direct leverage for two years. If bonding is necessary to get matching state or federal funds then go for it. Otherwise take some time off.
    One of the comments from the bond agency that downgraded the city’s outlook mentioned the bonded debt we are carrying. So take a time out. Regroup. Reprioritize.
    Who is supposed to be guiding the City Council on these matters? The administration. They are the ones looking to borrow. They are not going to stop us for our own good.
    The bond counsel? He will tell you that’s not my job.
    The City Council financial adviser? Oh that’s right, we don’t have one.

    1. Bob Walsh, as you said, who is supposed to be guiding the City Council on these matters? The administration. There is a separation of power with administration and the legislative body the City Council but the council has budget to hire an expert to look after taxpayers as the council decides if what the administration has submitted is right instead of this go along to get along without the administration putting up a candidate in a primary against them for voting against the administration.

  4. Perhaps more people need to attend the Budget and Appropriation meetings. More people need to read the CAFR and understand the material, maybe? When the monthly financial report comes out, in better form than previously, people need to be able to get it on the City website, right? When you are at a B&A meeting or other CC committee meeting, if you have a question, raise your hand to be recognized for a comment or a question.

    The worst that can happen is you will be told you cannot speak during the meeting but they will talk to you afterwards. Do they want your comments on the public record? NO. But if you pay your taxes and are otherwise a good citizen why should you not be recognized? It is not because there are too many folks keeping track of things and holding up meetings with irrelevance, IMO.

    Tom McCarthy seems to have a fear that CC committee meetings will turn into open two-minute sessions such as the BOE offers. Would the CT Post interview him and ask for his full opinion? I am not in a position to do him justice. But then he has done more than a couple things that have cost the City money unnecessarily. Is he afraid those items will be raised and read into the record? Why did he initiate and carry out the sacking of the only legislative assistant to the Council on expense saving grounds while advocating for the hiring of a far less ambitious City employee who contributes nothing to Council today? Will Tom McCarthy write a book with the subject: WHAT I KNOW ABOUT MUNICIPAL LABOR NEGOTIATIONS, THE BRIDGEPORT STORY? Tom, I want a signed copy of the first printing, please. The story line, comedy or tragedy? Time will tell.

    1. I have a question about Thomas McCarthy. Is it possible he is doing the bidding of whomever his master is at any given time? Previously it was Bill Finch but he seems to have struck a Faustian deal with his new master, Joe Ganim. The big picture, seems to me, we have never seen the development of the City/Common Council as the truly independent legislative body that has TRULY equal power to the Executive (MAYOR) and which would bring us to better governance in the City of Bridgeport. As for McCarthy, it would seem appropriate to read HAMLET (who after all was only a Prince) or should we read KING LEAR (who really was in charge)? Lol … how did we get from bonding to Shakespeare? Perchance the issues of governance are, in many ways, the same in Shakespeare’s England as they are in the Bridgeport of 2016.

  5. Mayor Ganim should be given credit for submitting a capital budget in a timely manner. However, given the fiscal issues facing the city, it does seem to be more of a wish list than a plan. Will the Council step up and make the tough choices?

  6. A repeat message, timely but out of tune as you suggest. How will the Council ever get an idea there are actually tough choices out there? No one has schooled them from the Council. If Tom McCarthy has been “educating” them, what will he teach? Fear of angry taxpayers? Keep a stiff upper lip while smiling for the camera? The City is between a rock and a hard place and leadership is not to be seen or credibly heard.

    Go to the Charter and you will likely understand it is time for the Mayor to be working on the Capital Budget. What concerns me is he:
    1) had a spokesperson deliver “his” five year plan,
    2) did not “solicit” comments from the public or yet hold a meeting on the Capital Budget as the Charter states,
    3) uses $178 Million over five years without saying where we are today on the completion of projects under five-year plans of the past five years.

    He has been Mayor before, and has forgotten more about being Mayor than most people know today. If he is future- and taxpayer-focused, why does he cut corners on the OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT and HONEST values that were trumpeted during the campaign? Time will tell.


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