Giannotti Positions For City Council Run, McCarthy Not Sure About Reelection

Michael Giannotti

Former journalist Michael Giannotti volunteered for Mayor Joe Ganim’s 2015 comeback campaign, accepted a city position as public safety spokesperson at $63,500, then left abruptly after a few weeks as his relationship with Ganim unraveled. Now a Ganim critic, Giannotti says he’s pondering a run for City Council in the 130th District that includes Black Rock and the West End.

Giannotti, a former scribe for the Connecticut Post, is no stranger to serving as a spokesperson in government. He had that role in the last year of John Fabrizi’s mayoralty. Giannotti believed he deserved the top spokesperson position for the administration after he stepped up as a volunteer when Ganim needed to rebuild public credibility. Ganim tapped for the position veteran media relations professional Av Harris, now Ganim’s chief legislative liaison in Hartford.

The job of public safety spokesperson, currently a vacant position, is to place the brightest face possible on police, fire and emergency services while being forthcoming about the good, bad and ugly of daily occurrences. Giannotti aired on his Facebook page the difficulty he had fielding all the media calls about the murders, shootings, stabbings, etc. He says he found himself being a newsman again, something he did not want at age 61. He was also resentful for not being named city communications director.

Bottom line is Ganim and Giannotti were not personality fits. Giannotti is emotional and passionate. Ganim is stoic. He does not like drama. Giannotti, who is decent and caring, can get amped up. Ganim thinks Giannotti sweats the small stuff. Giannotti argues Ganim is failing at the bigger picture.

So Giannotti says he’s seriously thinking about a City Council run. Scott Burns and Katie Bukovsky are the Democratic incumbents in the district.

Meanwhile, City Council President Tom McCarthy, who’s busy with his duties serving as grand marshal for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day parade, says he’s not made up his mind about seeking another two-year term in his North End district. First elected to the council in 2001, McCarthy’s in his 10th year as head of the legislative body.

After hammering out a severance package about a year ago McCarthy left city service as deputy director of Labor Relations. He challenged Democratic State Senator Marilyn Moore in a primary but was soundly defeated, losing even in his own council district. Still, council primaries are different animals and it’s conceivable McCarthy can win reelection, depending on the strength of the opposition. Former State Rep. Bob Keeley is making noise about building coalitions for City Council challenges, perhaps even himself a candidate.

All 20 seats for city council are up for election this year.



    1. OMG, Mike you would be a benefit to the City if you served on the CC. I know quite a bit about what constitutes a knowledgeable, dedicated council member, and you’re it. I mean no disrespect to the sitting representatives of the 130th district, however, I know you and what you bring. Call me!!!

  1. Allow me to go off-topic, seeing as today is the last day of “Black History Month,” here is something we all should try to do.

    “The measure of man”

    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others. In dangerous valleys and hazardous pathways, he will lift some bruised and beaten brother to a higher and more noble life.

    King, Martin Luther, Jr.

      1. There are other groups whose FIRST priority is to make a Better Bridgeport. What’s even more encouraging about these nascent groups is they are younger, they are looking at living in Bridgeport for years, and their main reason is not just being anti-Ganim or anti-Testa. They bring a fresh new voice to Bridgeport. I LIKE THEM.

        1. Frank, what I know of you I like, admire and respect. We have to stop criticizing and judging knowledgeable individuals who are willing to step up to bring experience and the willingness to do the hard, tedious work involved in being an effective Council member. You know as well as I we need change on that Council, maybe it’s something you might want to consider since you do so much work not only in the 130th, but the City. I don’t know you well, but what I hear and witness from you is admirable. There will be more possibilities in other districts willing to challenge incumbents. The ones I know of are conflict-free, experienced and with a good grasp of City issues. Let time work its magic. If it were up to Testa, he’d fight like hell to keep the status quo, so let’s watch the landscape. I don’t get the impression the Mayor has any desire to interfere with Council races. That’s a good start. Mario can go to heck, we have to work toward a change.

          1. Lisa Parziale, we all need to talk and get together and the nfind the best way forward. I look forward to seeing and talking to you. Otherwise, ALL is good.

  2. Ron: That’s the ’60s-based social thinking that made that decade a defining part of our heritage. The Vietnam War and domestic strife notwithstanding, idealistically it will always be one of the high points in our history, as well as one of the low points, because it took martyrdom to give it meaning and momentum. Excellent quote with which to close Black History Month (and as a lead-in to tonight’s presidential address to Congress).

  3. Jeff, I was a teenager in the US Air Force when Dr. King was killed and 1968 was one of most socially evolved that America has ever seen in modern times. Martin Luther King Jr’s voice and moral leadership were heard around the world. It was a time when college students put their education on hold for a greater good to protest injustices. That moral compass has been lost, we are now in the “me” generation, what’s for me and my four and no more.

  4. Frank, we will get together. There are many individuals willing to step forward to make the effort to shake up a Council body that has been ineffective for too long. When Finch was Mayor, he did everything possible to woo and make them feel important so they would follow and vote for his agenda. I don’t see that this time. Testa is the one to watch, not Ganim. The measure of an elected official is what they do, and how they act when they take an oath and take their seat. I know how much you have done, you are present and vocal; there are others like you and they’re ready to take the plunge. When I took my Council seat I had no prior experience for the job, but I went forward with a willingness to learn, serve, and be independent and fair. Let’s keep an open mind, and if comfortable be willing to assist in our areas of expertise. If it doesn’t work out, at least an effort was made.


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