Gotta Get Out More, Plus: State Unions Step Up, And Mayor At UConn

I confess, I must do a better job marketing OIB to city decision makers.

When I called East End City Councilman Andre Baker the other day to ask why he wanted to blowtorch entire city departments such as the Chief Administrative Office and CitiStat Program, he responded, “Who are you?”

“Lennie Grimaldi, host of the daily webzine Only In Bridgeport.”

“Never heard of it, or you.”

“Well, I think some of your peers on the council (paging Bob Walsh, paging Evette Brantley, paging Jim Holloway, paging Tom McCarthy and Michelle Lyons, AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia, Sue Brannelly, Carlos Silva, Angel DePara, Danny Martinez, Bob Curwen, Rich Paoletto, and a few others) may have heard of me.”

“I haven’t. Okay, well, what do you want?”

(Jesus, this means I must be a real reporter again.) “Tell me about your cost-cutting measures as a member of the budget committee.”

“Oh, that, okay …”

Geez, I mean, when I call Bob Walsh it’s “Hey, Troll, why are you being such a pain in the ass to Finch?” The Troll is immediately off to the races. I know, I must have a cocktail with Baker’s partner on the council Jim Holloway. Yo, Jimmy, Testo’s tonight?

I wonder if Mayor Bill Finch remembers me? Hey, Bill. Bill? Bill!!!

Speaking of hizzoner, I love it when pols find a little religion because it’s the politically perfect thing to do. Bill Finch has always been suspicious of religion, and with good reason. Ask him about his faith privately and Birdman will flip the bird to no one in particular and everyone in general. His attitude toward religion is not malicious, just indifferent. Church was never a state of mind, nor a stated affiliation for him.

But now that he’s mayor, Bill Finch takes communion at funerals, genuflects to the collective clergy, praises Bishop Lori, and participates in National Prayer Day. Gotta keep up appearances, don’t we?

And it doesn’t hurt to make friends, irrespective of your deepest feelings, with spiritual leaders of voters. See Finch news release below:

Mayor Finch, Bridgeport Clergy Commemorate National Prayer Day

Mayor Bill Finch today was joined by Christian, Jewish and Islamic clergy from around Bridgeport, observing National Day of Prayer in the City Council Chambers in City Hall.

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance inviting people of all faiths to come together to pray for our nation. This special day was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The declaration was amended in 1988 by both houses of Congress and signed by President Ronald Reagan, setting a permanent date for the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday of the month of May each year.

“In these challenging and stressful times, a prayerful spirit gives us strength and courage and faith in our nation, we particularly pray for the brave members of our Armed Forces and their families. We pray for their safety, for the recovery of the wounded, for the remembrance of those who have died, and for the peace we all seek,” Mayor Finch said during the ceremony.

Among those who participated were:
· Rev. Dr. C.L. Stallworth of East End Baptist Church

· Bishop T. Walter Plummer of the Full Gospel Church of God and Christ

· City Council President Thomas C. McCarthy

· Rev. Simon Castillio and Marilus Velez of Good Shepherd Christian Church

· Rabbi Israel Stein of Congregation Rodolph Shalom Temple

· Imam Nasif Muhammad of Al-Aziz Islamic Center

· Rev. David B. Smith of Pivot Ministries

· Rev. Lourdes Quiñones of Iglesia Cristiana Renacer, Inc.

· Rev. Michael Hawkins of Greater Christian Fellowship Church , and

· Father Francesco Carraro, Parochial Vicar of St. Raphael Parish.

News release from state employee bargaining unit

Public Service Workers Cast Overwhelming Majority of Votes in Support of $700 million in State Savings

Hartford, Conn. – The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) announced today that public service workers voted by a 3 to 1 margin in favor of the agreement that was negotiated between SEBAC and the Rell Administration.

Lead union negotiator Dan Livingston said that the public service workers, by working with the administration in good faith, made a major contribution toward solving the state’s budget crisis. “As in any negotiation, both sides had to give a little in order to reach an agreement that was fair and that would win the support of the working families who comprise SEBAC’s membership,” he said. “This was not an easy process, but our members saw the need to protect public services for the people of this state and wanted to be part of the solution. At the same time, we hope we’ve provided an example so that others who can really afford to help — Connecticut’s wealthiest residents, and its largest corporations — will come forward and do their part as well.”

By supporting the agreement, public service workers will save the state three quarters of a billion dollars over the next two years. “In order to reach the level of savings the Governor requested, we had to agree to wage freezes, furlough days and changes to our health care plans,” said Patrice Peterson who works as a school teacher for the Department of Developmental Services. “While it was not an easy decision to make, I feel a responsibility to the people I serve to make sure that the services they rely on remain in place.”

“I know that we are doing the right thing,” said Steve Rief, a state trooper in the Department of Public Safety. “We’ve been called upon to do our part and we’ve stepped up with very specific – and significant – savings for Connecticut. I am proud of the statement that my colleagues have made by passing this agreement so decisively.”

The thirteen SEBAC unions, with a total of 50,000 individual workers, have been voting over the past two weeks, each following their individual voting procedures. On Friday morning, the official vote tallies became available, showing the vast majority of unionized state workers supporting the agreement.

The SEBAC agreement next goes the Connecticut Legislature for a vote.


SEBAC serves to unite approximately 50,000 Connecticut State public service workers to address issues of common concern. To learn more about the coalition’s campaign for a fair budget and a livable state with great public services, visit

The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition’s (SEBAC) member unions are:
• AFT Connecticut
• American Association of University Professors – Connecticut State University
• American Association of University Professors – UCONN
• American Federation of State, County, & Municipal Employees – Council 4
• Congress of Connecticut Community Colleges/SEIU Local 1973
• Connecticut Association of Prosecutors
• Connecticut Employees Union Independent/SEIU Local 511
• Connecticut Federations of School Administrators Local 61
• Connecticut State Police Union
• CSEA SEIU Local 2001
• International Brotherhood of Police Officers/SEIU Local 731
• New England Healthcare Employees Union, District 1199/SEIU
• Protective Services Employees Coalition/IAFF-IUPA

News release from Mayor Finch

Mayor to Deliver Commencement Address at the University of Connecticut’s School of Agriculture and Natural Resources

BRIDGEPORT (May 8, 2009) – Mayor Bill Finch tomorrow will have the honor of being the commencement speaker for the University of Connecticut’s School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, 30 years after his own graduation from UConn in 1979.

Mayor Finch was selected because of his, “extensive service and dedication to public service,” according to the letter inviting him to present the Commencement Address.

WHO: Mayor Bill Finch

WHAT: Commencement Address for the University of Connecticut ‘s School of Agriculture and Natural Resources

WHERE: Gampel Pavilion on the Storrs campus of the University of Connecticut

WHEN: Saturday, May 9, 6 p.m.



    1. From Tuesday’s post:

      Baker told OIB he wants to eliminate the office of Chief Administrative Officer Andy Nunn, the government-efficiency CitiStat program, and one of two deputy director positions in Public Facilities. That, he says, would save a cool $1 million or so.

      What gives? Baker said he wants the mayor to spread around the financial pain to mayoral discretionary appointments in light of city unions stepping up to the plate to provide serious wage and benefit concessions to balance the budget. Budget committee members would also like to knock off another mil from the 39 mils proposed in the mayor’s spending package.

      Baker argues that responsibilities in the CAO’s office can be absorbed by the mayor’s immediate inner-office staff.

  1. It seem that Councilmen Curwen and others are hell bent on raising the business tax in Bridgeport. I would think that there are other ways to cut the budget and reduce taxes. Driving business out of Bridgeport or having employees eliminated because of this tax seems like a bad idea.
    Whatever happened to a few of the council’s ideas to cut costs? Let me remind them:
    1. Eliminate the Port Authority. alleged savings $1,000,000
    2. Eliminate the WPCA as it is now established. Savings???
    Why has the talk died down as it relates to eliminating positions in the mayors office and to the mayors staff?
    Eliminate CitiStat? Eliminate top-heavy supervisory positions in Public Facilities.
    Placing a tax on already overburdened businesses in Bridgeport is going to hurt more than it is going to help. Stop & Think for ONCE.

  2. *** 5% is really not enough of a tax increase to drive away business in Bpt. and residents of Bpt. already pay enough in taxes in general. Many of these BRBC members that own a business in Bpt. pay minimum wages to their employees & live in the subs are the first ones to complain about any type of increases in general. What else do they actually do, or contribute to for the city or community they’re located in besides paying their property taxes & supplying some min. wage jobs? Most human services, hospitals or schools & churches, etc. are in Bpt. The services Bpt. provides on a daily basis to the subs. is usually free! *** I agree there are some cost cuts that still can be made across the board, but the entire council has to come together for those, in the name of actually cutting the budget and not bending to political pressures! But that never happens so they’re left with other unreasonable measures that always seem to come back and bite the city in the derby, next budget season! *** Forget about it! ***

  3. Brother Finch done and got hisself some religion. He put aside his drunkin’, carousin’, cheatin’, adultrin’ ways and found the light. Amen brother. He just like my brother George W. saw old Beelzebul callin’ at the gates and he high-tailed back to the road of the Lord. The Lord told Mr. Bill that he was the chosen one, anointed by the power of heav’n and the office of the Registra’. I have seen Brother Finch on his knees witnessin’ and praisin’ the Lord, yellin’ “Oh God,” “Oh God.” He is tellin’ all the good folks that he will give them their $600 when he’s in the Office of the Mayor. He’s got good God-fearin’ people out spreadin’ the word that all you have to do is open your checkbook and the good brother will fight on the Lord’s side. He renounced those heathen sinners who buy their power with lots more than Judas’ 15 pieces of silver. He’s given jobs to the poor, feeding the hungry and gonna fire them bottom-feeders who drain the money out the City’s very veins.–And if all that ain’t the God’s honest truth, then my name isn’t Rev. Love.

  4. Mojo what about the mom & pop businesses that abound in this city?
    Are you sure that the jobs you are talking about are minimum wage? I would be willing to bet that the majority of business owners in the city do not belong to the BRBC. Let’s not forget the the state is also looking to increase the taxes on business. They have increased the workman’s comp fees, licensing fees along with a bunch of other fees.
    This is the most heavily taxed state in the country.
    I don’t feel the council has done enough to trim the budget and have left many sacred cows alone. Just a thought.

    1. *** Read the blog slower next time, “BRBC members” that have a business in Bpt. & live in the subs. are your biggest complainers out of most of your Bpt. businesses in general. Also were the biggest complainers a few years back about increasing the min. wage! And as I blogged, if the B & A committee does not step up to the plate and make all the needed cuts across the board regardless of political pressure, then a 5% Business increase is exactly what is going to happen! If you intend to be a good councilman then you must realize that no matter what you do or don’t do, you’ll never please everyone! You do your homework, listen to the pros & cons on the item & district voters, then make your decision and stand by it. It always looks easy after the fact & standing on the outside looking in! ***

  5. #1 Rell secured an agreement with the unions that will effectively save the state hundreds of millions of dollars over the next two years. This agreement was not a DEFERRAL as is Dick Head Finch’s agreement with the cops. Rell laid it out. We do not have the money to satisfy union demands and we are not likely to have the money any time soon. “… if the union members want to keep their jobs, then this agreement is necessary.” Bravo, Mrs. Rell, Bravo. How come she could put together an agreement like this and Finch could not? The answer is clear. Finch simply does not have the leadership ability nor the intellectual capacity to effect such an arrangement.

    #2 *** Mojica has got to be the dumbest son of a bitch in the universe. Ralph, try to give some modicum of thought to the largess of brain farts that emanate from your alleged brain. A 5% tax on ANY business in this town will never enhance the growth we need to return to prosperity. ***

    Has anyone noticed that we have not had a major business entity announce plans to establish in Bridgeport in the past several years? WHY? They are probably afraid that the shitheads who run this town will make reckless decisions that cost businesses dearly. Why come here when you can cross the river and have far less cost as you struggle to make a go of it?

    These Madison Avenue Goombas think that they can tax the constituency over and over to cover costs. I haven’t seen one iota of initiative to generate new revenue sources in an very long time.

    You know what? I can’t remember the name of the new Economic Development Director shithead hired after he screwed up Providence and got run out of town. That’s a real shame!

    1. *** Never said it did, just mentioned the fact that if passed, 5% would not really be a big hit for the business community, nor reach the intended “$” goal the city is looking for! So to put it in words you might understand “Peckerwood”; 1. BRBC biggest complainer, 2. B&A must find other unpopular political cuts instead, 3. 15% business tax increase would be more in line to reach city “$” goal though unpopular. If it’s going to have a negative effect in general, why settle for 5%? Either do it right or leave it alone! *** And for someone who may not even live in Bpt. anymore, your blogs seem like you’re either under the influence & really think your all that & a bag of chips! Or a lonely old maytag, used & abused that’s still in the closet and has no real personal life but your P/C. But it’s not entirely your fault for being such a creep hiding behind a website ID! Some of the blame though hard to swallow, is also your parent’s fault for bringing you into this cruel world, mentally & physically naked from birth ’til “D-day”! But “cheer up”, even though it sucks to be you, you’re a genius in your own mind & eyes. Just remember to keep the lights on so you can see yourself in all those mirrors in your room! Well ’til we ever meet, here’s looking @ you “Peckerwood”! ***

  6. yahooy is a mental midget with a single digit IQ–“3” is the number that comes to my mind. In one single post he dissed Mojo, The Mayor and Donald Eversley (he’s an equal opportunity disser, he even disses those whose name he can’t remember).

    If OIB were a zoo, yahooy would be a monkey in a cage doing what monkeys do best.

    C’mon yahooy, let’s have a showdown. You pick the contest and I’ll outperform you in a challenge of your design. We can use OIB to monitor the results.

    Let the facts be submitted to a candid world.

    Just to break even, tip of the hat to Mojo, The Mayor and Donald Eversley.

  7. I noticed neither of you pedantical putanos never bothered to address the issues I raised. Instead you demean my sexuality, my intelligence and my upbringing. Real deep thinkers you two are. You want a challenge LE? Try a polysyllabic response as to why our shithead mayor chooses to continually tax the constituency instead of finding new revenue sources. I’ll give you a hint … he’s too stupid to know any other way. No wonder you and Mofo are enamored with the prick. You’re cut from the same cloth. ***

    1. *** Only in your world “Squirrel” can anything you blog sound nothing but nutty! You’re the “real deep thinker” on this forum, so deep that if alive today, Nostradamus would probably “BITCH-SLAP” you, to bring you back from the dead! *** You drew first blood “Peckerwood” so don’t cry now! ***

  8. So what ever happened to the elderly man that was suing the city because the Senior center had him arrested, and Testa’s girlfriend called her son who is a Bpt cop? Also is Finch gonna ever go across the street to see what she is up to during “working” hours?

  9. Dark City: If anything had happened I am sure that we would have been told right away. My guess is that the story is BS and was posted by one of the people loyal to a certain Black Rock TC boss. Let’s not forget there is a lady looking to take over that job.

    1. No the case is true, I just never heard about it in the post, though that is not surprising. I heard from several eyewitnesses it is true.

  10. Throughout history, Mayors have taxed their constituencies because it’s unwise and sometimes illegal to tax neighboring constituencies. Bridgeport’s mayor is always looking for new revenue sources. The search never stops.

    I’m not “enamored” with The Mayor, I’m just surprised I’m the only person here who supports the mayor of The Park City (this is a pro-Bridgeport blog, right?). But considering Lennie’s past (and present) connection to him, bloggers can declare open season on him with impunity. I’m here to provide resistance.

    State unions are easier to bully than police unions. Also, Finch was first.

    I do not understand how I demeaned your sexuality, intelligence or upbringing. That was never my intention. I have no reason to think you were raised by monkeys.

    1. “Bridgeport’s mayor is always looking for new revenue sources. The search never stops.”

      This I believe to be true. Unfortunately, Mayor Pissant has repeatedly limited the scope of his search to the wallets of the citizenry. This method of covering costs takes no brains at all. That’s good because the dickhead and his crew don’t have any. Neither do you LE. You are a real dumb ass.

      There has been absolutely no business entities that have moved into the city since he has become mayor. There weren’t a lot moving in when fat-ass Johnny the Nose ran things too. Doesn’t it seem that the Madison Avenue Lunch Bunch hasn’t got a clue as to how to rejuvenate our dead city?

  11. Open your eyes, yahooy. Businesses don’t move to the city–they start here. You just don’t hear about them because you’re too busy complaining. Here’s the method they use: O.P.I.C.s or One Person Internet Companies. Businesses are starting here at a record pace, all of which is easy to prove!

    Bridgeport isn’t a dead city. It’s just going through the steps that precede rejuvenation. Consequently, I encourage you to reinvigorate yourself.

  12. Local Eyes: I have no problem supporting the mayor when and if he is right. Please don’t give the police union a lot of credit. The mayor presented them and other city unions with deferred raises. Gov. Rell told the state unions there was no money and they would have to forgo raises for 2 years or face large layoffs.
    Come 2011 how do you expect to pay for the city union raises? The police will be getting 11% for 2011 & 2012.
    What happened was a flawed negotiation tactic by the Finch Administration and Labor relations office.

  13. *** Just pre-fight web nonsense as usual by yahooy the spineless talker, non-walker that hides in the shadows whenever he’s in town. The other putos have been chilling, especially the one whose ID is 50% known but has to be confirmed first before being unmasked! And a blog or two from some of the pretenders & Bpt. fortunetellers making for a typical OIB “Mother’s Day” weekend! *** Forget about it! ***

  14. Mojo; Take it easy, this is supposed to be an exchange of ideas and opinions not a tough-guy contest. You have great ideas but get off on these tangents. I don’t understand why. Calling people whores and such is stepping into the gutter. Is that necessary? Just Wondering.

    1. *** Wondering–I only diss those that draw first blood over simple opinions & if you’ve been paying attention, you wouldn’t be telling me to take it easy or protecting these spineless scum? I’ve dealt with these behind-the-scenes-type talkers & tellers that smile in your face & pretend in person to be friendly. You say you don’t understand why; well it’s simple, where I come from it’s called “RESPECT”! When you come into & leave this world, you have & take nothing. And regardless of your family, religion, job & personal wealth, etc. all you can hopefully wish that’s remembered is your memory. And in those memories of you, if you were considered a respectful good man also worthy of respect from family & others, then in life you carried yourself as a man! I respect those that respect me, period. So, it’s got nothing to do with stepping into the gutter, but more like getting rid of the trash! ***


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