Ganim Stresses Teamwork In Transition Task Force Announcement

Ganim transition team
Ganim with transition team chairs Neil Salonen, Alma Maya and Charlie Stallworth at library.

Mayor-elect Joe Ganim on Monday unveiled his 75-member transition team at the Bridgeport Public Library that includes a cross section from government, political, business community and professional services led by chairs University of Bridgeport President Neil Salonen, outgoing Town Clerk Alma Maya and State Rep. Charlie Stallworth. The transition team includes several committees scheduled to present a written report “which will summarize city issues within their charge and offer an array of policy recommendations” for a formal public presentation by the end of January.

“We have so much work to do in many areas of governance in Bridgeport and I am very proud of the team we have assembled to help set forth a new direction for our city,” Ganim said in a statement. “The greatest work that is done for the public good is accomplished by a team, and no mayor can accomplish anything alone. This transition task force comprises some of the best minds in our city, and is a group of dedicated men and women from different backgrounds who have each worked hard to improve our quality of life. Bridgeport’s transition team is both broad and diverse, and will be thorough in its work. We will also be inclusive, transparent and free from conflicts of interest–that is the tone I am setting for my administration.”

Each transition team member is expected to fill out a questionnaire that requires recusal from “any matter or discussion which involves a cause, matter, or proceeding” involving a monetary or business interest.

Ganim says members of the public can still be placed on the transition task force by submitting a cover letter and/or resume to: Mayor-elect Joe Ganim Transition Task Force, 12 Hudson Street, Bridgeport CT 06606 (or email to Submissions from citizens should indicate area of employment interest or job. Resumes shall be reviewed by transition officials.

Transition team committees and members follow:

Transition Committees:

• Community and Neighborhood Services

o Review and summarize issues affecting and impacting neighborhoods, residents, and underserved communities; Recommend various policies and ideas to improve the community and to enhance quality of life.

o Members:
· Dr. Ralph Ford, Chair (East End community leader)
· Jose Ortiz, Co – Chair, Pres. Hispanic Health Group
· John Paul Esteves, Disability Resource Network
· Rev. Janene Hawkins, Walters Memorial Zion Church
· >Rep. Jack Hennessy, Chair, Bridgeport State Delegation
· Rosalie Christy, Trumbull Gardens activist/tutor
· Gil Hernandez, Jr, community leader
· Rev. Mary McBride-Lee, Councilmember 135th
· Milta Feliciano, City Councilmember
· Shaquana Shaw, P. T. Barnum tenant leader
· Elizabeth Torres, Dir. Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust
· Maria Valle, GBAPP and community activist

• Economic Development and Small Business

o Review and summarize current economic development projects and issues facing the small business sector and job creation; Recommend policies to improve the business climate, enhance ongoing projects, and to encourage new and additional job growth and development.

o Members:

· Rina Bakalar – Committee Co – Chair, consultant United Way
· Mickey Herbert – Committee Co-Chair, Herbert Consulting
· Stephanie Barnes, Pres-elect, Greater Ffld Board of Realtors
· Jim Carbone, The Plastics Factory
· Richard Carraro, West End Bus Assn
· Peter Carroll, Fairfield County Bus Trades
· John Cotter, Nutmeg Adjusters
· Randy Fescoe, PEP-Lacey Manufacturing
· Barbara Gonzalez, Beyond Homecare Staffing
· Brandon Hall, Forstone Capital
· Tyisha Toms, Esq., Co – Chair, Attorney

• Education and Youth

o Review and summarize issues facing youth and the public education system; Recommend how government can partner and assist to make improvements in education and youth programs.

o Members:

· Scott Hughes, Committee Chair, City Librarian
· Dr. John Petillo – Committee Co – Chair, Pres, Sacred Heart U
· Donna Andrade, Educator/Teacher
· Dennis Bradley, BOE member elect
· Dr. Paul Broadie, Pres. Housatonic CC
· Mary Cameron, community activist
· Lissette Colon. Education specialist
· Bob Hastead, City Councilman
· Terrance O’Connor, ED Sheehan Center
· Christina Miranda, In School Susp Officer
· Mary Pat Healy, Exec. Director – Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition
· Dan Shamas, Esq.

• Government Accountability and Transparency

o Review and summarize city government ethics policies, Freedom of Information laws and other open government practices; Recommend improvements to ensure accountability
and transparency.

o Members:

· Edward Adams – Committee Chair, retired FBI
· Lisa Parziale, Committee Co – Chair, former City Council President
· Charlie Coviello, activist/former Mayoral candidate
· Ray Ganim, Esq. Ganim & Associates
· Nick Khamarji, Jr., New Engalnd Insurance
· Raul Laffitte, Dir. of Transportation BOE
· Michael Luzzi, Esq. Dolan & Luzzi
· Eneida Martinez, Councilmember
· Rev. Willaim McCullough, Rusell Temple
· Tom Mulligan, Esq. McNamara & Kenny
· Pastor Courtney Williams, Refuge Temple Church

• Government Operations and Financial Policies

o Review and summarize government activities, management, human resources practices, organizational structure, and resource allocations; Recommend efficiencies, process improvements, cost-savings, and restructuring possibilities.

o Members:

· John Gomes – Committee Chair, small business owner
· Shante Hanks, Committee Co- Chair, aide Rep. Jim Himes
· Joseph Carbone, CEO Workplace Inc
· Charlie Carroll, Bridgeport Parks Director
· Christine Gonzalez, Partner, Blum Shapiro
· Jack Daley, Daley Construction
· Juan Hernandez, businessman & Justice of the Peace
· Timothy Hodges, VP Gov Relations, Peoples Bk
· Bruce Hubler, former VP Dun & Bradstreet
· Michelle Lyons, City Council Member
· Glenn Marshall, former state Labor Commissioner
· Valerie Sorrentino, former Pres, LIUNA Unit

• Public Safety and Emergency Services

o Review and summarize issues facing public safety and emergency related services; Recommend approach and policies that could prevent and reduce crime and enhance neighborhood safety.

o Members:

· Steve Nelson – Committee Chair, Sheriff-elect
· Wilbur Chapman – Committee Co-Chair, former Police Chief
· Lisa Anderson, Bgport BOE Spcl Ed
· Hector Diaz, former State Rep
· David Dobbs, VP Firefighters IAFF Local 834
· Jeff Kohut, community activist/consultant
· Rev. Martha Melvin, Deliverance Kingdom Church
· Chuck Paris, Pres. Bridgeport Police Unit# 1159
· Neil Guilford, Trumbull Gardens/ NCC
· Pablo Jimenez, P.J. Garden Exchange
· Rep. Ezequiel Santiago, State Representative
· Sheila Vego, Firefighter engineer

o Ex-Officio Transition Liaisons:

· Kenneth Flatto
· R. Christopher Meyer
· John Ricci
· Rowena White

Timeline and schedule for the work of the Bridgeport city transition task force:

· November 17 – 24, 2015: Various Committee organizational meetings.
· November 25, 2015 – January 8, 2016: Each Committee shall hold at least three additional meetings, including sessions open to the public to obtain public input on all issues before such Committees.
· January 11 – 30, 2016: Each Committee shall formulate a report for formal public presentation to the Mayor by February 1, 2016.



  1. A lot of political hacks who go back to his first administration. A lot of people who don’t know squat and have done squat for the city. However there are a lot of bright people on this panel who should benefit Bridgeport.
    Sorry I did not see JML on this list. There is no one on this list who knows the budget like JML. Government Operations and Financial Policies, what a joke. So they own a business, big deal.

  2. Wilbur Chapman–Committee Co-Chair, former Police Chief
    Chuck Paris, Pres. Bridgeport Police Unit# 1159
    Here is the list with people with public safety experience. The firefighters understand firefighting but are not trained in administration and fire safety. Good people but not trained. The rest I excluded are window dressing.

  3. I noticed on the Education and Youth committee you have as Members:

    Scott Hughes, Committee Chair, City Librarian
    Donna Andrade, Educator/Teacher
    Dennis Bradley, BOE member elect
    Lissette Colon. Education specialist
    Bob Hastead, City Councilman

    but no Maria P. What up with that? I thought Maria was one of Ganim’s major peeps.

    1. Bob, Joe Ganim is still looking for individuals who want to serve on the transition team. I just heard this on News 12 and they suggested you go to their website. I am certain Maria P. was not snubbed as she is a huge Ganim supporter. Perhaps she is excited about focusing on BOE issues. You however should not feel bad. It looks like a Foster supporter, Jack Hennessy was chosen. Do you feel bad because Charlie Coviello was chosen in your place? He is more likable than you. 🙂 I am personally very pleased with the Economic Development and small business group. Nice mix of very talented individuals.

      Just a reminder–Tuesday Fundraiser at Bijou. Ben Vereen and Richard Gere film. United Way. Cocktails at 5, film at 7.

      Wed. 6pm Steelpointe, Bass Pro grand opening! Bridgeport will never be the same!

        1. It is a big deal. It will be absolutely packed and very exciting. Welfare people will be there and enjoy it also. It is a happening and a historical moment in Bridgeport and it belongs to Mayor Finch and the people of the tri-state area who will absolutely love it!

  4. Bob, this grouping and all others were mostly political moves to build the base. How many out-of-towners are on this list, if any? Maria, JML and others don’t fit his plan as both are independent thinkers and doers. Bob, you and I know this is nothing more than a dog and pony show.

    1. Fayerweather Friend,
      I was out of town and working for PwC in DC when this was announced. I am focusing on federal and state issues. For example, I testified in Congress on Defense Department transformation on 11/17 and was just appointed to the Connecticut Competitiveness Council. Stay tuned for more information in the future. For the record, no Ganim people asked me to be involved with his transition team.

  5. What a shit show! How many of these individuals truly care about the residents of Bridgeport? They’re in it for themselves and power. Things will never change in Bridgeport.

  6. Pablo Jimenez. PJ Nursery in Trumbull? Fabrizi’s brother-in-law. The guy who made a ton of money on no-bid contacts? And he is sitting on Public Safety and Emergency Services?
    Something is going on there.

    1. Bob Walsh, you know now that you mention it I’ve haven’t heard a word from either the newly elected City Clerk or Town Clerk who were on Mayor Bill Finch’s election slate. Most people don’t even know who they are. Who are they and what are their plans to improve their office?

      1. Don Clemons will not speak up, never has, never will. BTW how will he collect his pension and a full-time city paycheck? That is not allowed under the rules of Bridgeport.

        1. Andy, Mayor Finch allowed Fire Chief Rooney and Police Chief Gaudett to retire and to draw their pension and then he hired them both with a five-year contract to be the fire chief and police chief and the City Council said nothing about double dipping.

  7. Transition team, my ass!

    Ring! Ring!
    Joe Ganim: Hello!

    JF: Hello Joe, its Jim Fox!

    JG: Oh hello Jim, what’s going on?

    JF: When I heard you were picking a transition team, the first thing that came to my mine was you were going Caitlyn Jenner on us!

    JG: Oh, I get it! What can I do for you, Jim?

    JF: I was hoping to get on your transition team. You may not know this but I have sat on a lot of boards and commissions in my day, over 20 years of service in my lifetime, on TPZ, Conservation Commission, as well as Affordable Housing Committee, Historic Civic Center advisory committee, ran for 1st selectmen in the Town of Fairfield, RTM, District Leader, just to name a few things on my resume.

    JG: Well Jim, I was thinking, ah! ah! I see you more on our transportation team.

    JF: Oh! Like the new Railroad Station project?

    JG: No, more like a water transportation team.

    JF: Oh, like the relocation of the Port Jeff Ferry project? You must have heard I have my skipper’s license from the USA Coast guard.

    JG: Not exactly, but you’re getting warmer, I was thinking more like operating one of those Finch water taxi’s. It’s seasonal work you know, Jim.

    JF: Operating a flucking Finch water taxi boat??? That’s where you see me, Joe??? Who the fluck takes a Water Taxi ride in the middle of winter? Oh! I can just see myself giving Bill Finch a ride in the dead of winter over to Pleasure Beach every day! Finch holding his brown paper bag lunch and fishing pole, and me freezing my flucking balls off, while Finch keeps telling me to look back over my shoulder at the new Bridgeport skyline over and over again!

    Joe, Bruce Caitlyn Jenner would have never done this to her transition team!!!

    1. I get the impression Jim Fox is actually upset. I am sorry about that as you were a strong Ganim supporter. But you know Jim, you didn’t deliver Black Rock and you didn’t deliver 40,000. Your only claim to fame is assaulting me on a regular basis and now Ganim will have my full support after he is sworn in and you will play the miserable anti-Ganim guy for four years.

      Ganim is overwhelmed. Do not take it as a snub. He will have a need for your expertise on a commission so stop insulting Caitlyn Jenner. Go to the News 12 website. They are looking for more people to join the transition team.

      1. Stevie, you wish! I’m still Joe Ganim’s biggest supporter on this blog.
        Joe will need all the help he can get to turn this city back to greatness, and I’ll be part of that!
        But I’ll keep on insulting you for the next four years, I hope!
        Now crawl back under your rock Stevie, and have a nice sleep.

  8. Ring, Ring.

    JF: Hello.

    CJ: Is this Jimfox?

    JF: Yes; who is this?

    CJ: This is Caitlyn Jenner.

    JF: What can I do for you?

    CJ: Go f$%k yourself. I have enough issues I’m dealing with. As you can see I’m very confused. Keep me out of Bridgeport’s crazy politics. What did I ever do to you?

  9. I will do my best to contribute to the transition committee I’m assigned to. To all my friends and fellow bloggers, I had no knowledge or input with the composition of this team. My guess is Joe had less to do with the makeup of the committees than the “Ex-Officio Transition Liaisons” whatever that means. With the exception of Chris Myer, I don’t see the relevance of the other three. Oh well!

  10. It’s not personal. It’s the business of building up a city that needs all the help it can get. This list smacks of putting political favors at the forefront of the decision making process. This is what many were hoping not to see right out of the gate; yet here it is. Troubling.

    1. It is not clear to me how a list of people, invited and accepting of a 3-4 session opportunity to offer viewpoint, opinion, relevant facts, etc. is an indication of “political favoritism.” Perhaps you will explain your concept. As others have commented, how many of their ideas and recommendations will see daylight in the new regime within two years? Isn’t this City famous for ignoring output from Urban Land Institute, Mayor’s Advisory Committee, and other broader focused but more powerful bodies? Look at the reports, the track record is out there, still. Expecting change? Time will tell.

  11. This “Transition Team” does have some credible, appropriate members, unfortunately the fluff outnumber the substance. I know Joe has the wrong people working with him on this endeavor, and don’t even try to blame Mario. But when you take into consideration he was isolated by so many, from the Governor on down, his support came from those who were able to look beyond the obvious and support the candidate they felt was most qualified. With that said, those who are interested in serving in this administration, if they are qualified, and when possible live in Bridgeport, should be considered first. It’s been that way since the beginning of time so let’s get off that. Many of you, and you know who you are, enjoyed the same consideration in prior administrations. While I was never a member of a transition team, I’m aware every mayor has one. I’m disappointed with the makeup of this one, but I don’t blame Joe, he just doesn’t have the pick of the litter assisting him on his. Not to worry, it will be over in a few weeks, and 90% of the suggestions will never see the light of day. I believe Mayor-elect Ganim will be the best Mayor we have seen in too long, I only hope he learned the importance of having experienced advisers around him. In my opinion he’s the brightest and the best, this just isn’t a good start.

    1. Lisa, I’m not so sure. First, this is an awfully large “team.” As anyone who’s been in business knows, the bigger a “team” is, the more it bogs down with going off on tangents, the harder it is to reach any forms of consensus, and the less the “team” accomplishes.

      If the goal was to look super inclusive and pay off political favors, without having to be encumbered by a whole lot of recommendations, this is an excellent maneuver.

  12. Oh please Lisa, he has had a mob around him for a very long time. This list of 75 is way too much. Noting that JML is not on the list speaks volumes. Tell me why the president of SHU is on the transition team. That university has been a nightmare for people living nearby and they don’t care. How does this guy relate to Bridgeport other than being a hemorrhoid?

  13. As I look deeper into who is on the list I see a number of Finch people who are there, especially a number of females, which leads me to believe some people are just being placed without any checking and they don’t bring anything to the table.

  14. Sheila Vega on the transition team, ain’t that a bitch. She was at a meeting as a representative of the fire dept and told the mayor how good it was the City was using CPAT. We told Finch if he listened to her ignorant ass, that would be the last time they hired women for the fire service.

    Well he did and for the first time in 35 years no women were hired by the Bridgeport Fire Department. Even though she never had to endure CPAT as a hiring tool she was now advocating its use for new hires. She’s a piece of crap and I don’t understand why Joe would utilize her for anything other than being the poster child of indifference. Joe, you fucked up with that choice. Bridgeport deserves better than that sorry ass.

  15. Charlie Carroll and Glenn Marshal on the “team?”

    No one in the history of Bridgeport has done less and made more money than Charlie, and he supported Finch up until around 9:00 on primary night then reverse-sucked his way over to Ganim.

  16. Very disappointed with the makeup of this team.
    Joe had the opportunity to do something different and be someone different.
    But instead he fell back to the same old, same old.
    He found a spot for Charlie Coviello but couldn’t for Dave Daniels.
    He added Charlie Carroll but apparently did not think of adding George Estrada.
    He placed former councilman Bob Halstead but not former councilman Rick Torres.
    He could have been inclusive, seeking different points of view and far greater variety but instead stuck with the same old names.
    For those who felt Ganim 2 offered great opportunities, myself not included, should be extremely disappointed it definitely did not go far enough.

    1. Bob Walsh, I agree with your selection of Dave Daniels, George Estrada and Rick Torres, also I would add John Marshall Lee and Andy Fardy. I don’t have to agree with their views but I believe all these people would do what’s best for Bridgeport. Bob, maybe Joe has bigger plans for those whom I mentioned in this post. Time will tell (JML).

  17. To Ed Adams and Lisa Parziale, in the interest of true transparency can we start with the town in which these members live and the company for which they work and what town that is in?

  18. Bob, Ron Mackey would have been and ideal choice for Public Safety and Emergency Services. He is a lifetime resident, extremely knowledgeable about public safety and a retired lieutenant for the Bridgeport Fire Department. Ron had spent the last forty years fighting to make the fire department inclusive and without question no one has done it better.

    There is no one in the history of the Bridgeport Fire Department who has helped more people become firefighters or helped those on the job reach elevated rank within the fire service. As I looked over every individual on this team, there is no one, without a doubt, on said team who would/could bring the expertise Ron Mackey has to offer.

  19. Joe Ganim is Joe Ganim, why did anyone think anything would be different? He really learned one thing while away and that was to go from a good bullshit artist to an excellent bullshit artist.

  20. The transition team is and should be made up of people the incoming Mayor trusts. These should all be supporters of HIS from either the primary or general election. The fact some of those chosen supported other candidates should be looked at as a bonus and an opportunity for them to have input. Those of you who have maligned him from every direction will continue to do so, that’s a given. When reading through the packet, it explains there will be public forums for those who feel they should have input to come and do so, I can’t remember when this type of inclusion was part of the process. I believe it wise to wait until after this process is completed to find fault.

  21. No one has ever had this much to prove before. There is no comparison to this election in Bridgeport’s history, that is apples to apples. The transition team should have broken barriers and challenged perceptions. It should have been a promise of renewal and change. It should have matched Ganim’s campaign strategy. It should have been a precursor of things to come. And that it may be.

  22. Hector,
    The transition team need not be loyalist. They should be innovative people coming to the table with new and different ways to do things. They need not be Ganim supporters. They will only serve for two months.
    If all they are, are Ganim supporters who are going to do what they are told then we don’t need a transition team.
    The transition team can also set the tone for a new administration but I fear this administration is tone deaf.

    1. Bob, I respectfully disagree. The onus is on Joe, those who are chosen should be respected enough for Joe to take their recommendations, analyze them and ultimately make HIS decision as to what initiatives he will embrace. Again, Joe Ganim putting aside personal feelings and choosing some of those who predicted Bridgeport would be shunned if he were elected, should be commended and not attacked.

  23. *** Looks like Joe’s hitting the Mayor’s position on his feet running! Let’s hope this transition team will be taken seriously by the new admin. and are also able to reach out into the community and get their assessment on the important problems that have been overlooked by the prior admin in Bpt neighborhoods. Many times these district community groups just focus on their personal needs and wants, and not so much on the district needs as a whole. *** GOOD LUCK! ***


Leave a Reply