It’s Gonna Get Nasty, Plus: Mr. Greed Philip Sherringham, And Russo’s Repeal Pledge

Did some poking around the past few days about finances of the Board of Education and it’s not pretty.

It may be a few weeks but look for a nasty fight between the BOE and unions for the teachers and administrators. AFSCME which represents most of the little people education workers has a history of stepping up to help. Not so for the teachers and administrators unions. The BOE is looking at flatline budgets the next two years. Cannot get there without union givebacks from folks that occupy most of the jobs.

City teachers are an admirable bunch. The difference between a Harding High teacher and one at Joel Barlow in Redding is culture shock. But if they don’t step up, look for more than 100 layoffs and school closings. It’s that tight. Mayor Bill Finch has told the BOE you’re not getting any more this year than last. And I’m gonna guess the City Council will probably go along with him. Yes, the BOE has requested more than the $215 million it will spend this budget year, but to receive more means a tax increase and hizzoner doesn’t want that. Health care increases alone each year represents millions. Unions will be forced to step up or step back. Municipal workers in general are no longer a political force. So many live in the ‘burbs.

Phil Shares With Phil

Philip Sherringham, whose frosted glass skyscraper entry and disdain for Connecticut’s largest city underscores his isle of greed, earned a cool $3 million for running the largest state-based bank. Too bad he couldn’t locate City Hall without a limo to show him the way, too bad he doesn’t give a crap about a bank history that made tons of moolah while sharing it with its host city, too bad his board members don’t challenge him about embracing the legacy of Sam Hawley, Nick Goodpseed, David Carson and Jim Biggs. Lennie, we can’t take him on. Nah, they’re making too much money as well.

Talk to folks current and past that worked for Sherringham and they’ll say he doesn’t give a shit about anything except making money, and he’s poising the bank for a move out of Bridgeport, not now, or next year, but perhaps in a few years, such is the bank’s New England presence. That’s why the first floor of Bridgeport Center has been fitted up for office space. “Screw Bridgeport, who cares. I drive in to Bridgeport and drive out.” Wouldn’t it be nice, as a gesture of good will, that the sports complex in Bridgeport’s South End proclaim: People’s United Park, People’s United Arena. Greedy, greedy, greedy.

From the Hartford Courant

The president and chief executive of Bridgeport-based People’s United Financial Inc. received a compensation package worth $3.1 million in 2009, plus stock options, in a year when the bank’s net profits fell more than 25 percent.

Philip R. Sherringham’s compensation package rose 3 percent over 2008, according to the shareholder proxy.

Sherringham, 56, saw his salary rise 5 percent, to $835,385, and his annual grant of restricted stock was 2 percent higher, valued at $644,962. His cash bonus fell 5 percent to $1,363,715.

Sherringham did not exercise any stock options in 2009.

Besides his compensation package, Sherringham was granted stock options now valued at $338,000.

The ultimate value of the options as well as the restricted stock will depend on whether the bank’s stock rises or falls over time.

In 2009, net profits fell primarily because the bank has conservatively invested roughly $2.5 billion of the capital it raised in the “second-step” conversion in 2007.

People’s United, one of the largest Connecticut-based banks, is under pressure from investors to spend more of that capital to make acquisitions to continue building its franchise.

Russo Pledges Health Bill Repeal, News Release:


‘I will sponsor and support legislation to repeal it’

Fairfield, CT – 4th District Congressional Candidate Rob Russo today signed and submitted the “REPEAL IT! Pledge” created by Club for Growth ( The pledge is designed to put elected officials and candidates on record with their intention to support repealing the TRILLION dollar health care disaster passed by Congress on Sunday.

“When I am in Congress, the first thing I will do is introduce legislation to repeal this bill and replace it with something that will actually lower the cost of health insurance,” said Russo. We need to open up state lines to open up competition, allow for small business pooling and we must reform the medical malpractice system to get defense attorneys out of the exam room.”

Polls leading up to the vote on Sunday indicated wide disapproval for the legislation in Connecticut and around the country. Today, Rasmussen released a new poll that indicates 55% of Americans favor the repeal of this legislation. Rob Russo joins with the majority of Americans in supporting its repeal and pledging to do so in writing.

Russo has been calling on his fellow citizens of the 4th District to face Congressman Himes and ask him to explain why he voted against the will of the people. Congressman Himes and his colleagues are coming home next week for Spring District Work Period–a scheduled break from Washington intended to give constituents direct access to their elected officials. Just yesterday, Russo released a letter calling on members of the public to contact the Congressman’s office and ask for his public schedule in the district so they may have to opportunity to speak with him.

“As a member of the United States House of Representative, he has an obligation to face his constituents, explain his actions and hear what we expect from him next. It is his duty to represent our interests, it is our duty to question those who Represent us. Call Congressman Himes’ office and request his public schedule for Spring District Work Period-then show up and ask him to explain why he ignored the will of the people. You can reach Congressman Himes’ office by calling (866) 453-0028 or you can email him at I know that you are angry at their abuse of power and blatant disregard for the will of the people, but please be respectful. This is not a confrontation, but your right as a American to question your Representative.” -Russo Letter to Constituents, 3/24/10

So far, no public schedule for Congressman Jim Himes Spring District Work Period, scheduled to begin this weekend, has been released.

From Jim Himes:

Himes Helps Pass Bill to Expand Disaster Relief, Hire Summer Workers in Urban Communities

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) helped pass legislation yesterday that provides funding for disaster relief, summer jobs, and small business programs. The largest portion of this money, $5.1 billion, will go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help states recover from disasters, such as the storms Connecticut experienced earlier this month. Local and federal officials will soon determine if Connecticut will be eligible to receive this assistance.

“The bill provides the type of investment and assistance we need to be able to count on when disasters— economic, natural, or otherwise—strike,” said Himes. “I am eager for FEMA to complete their evaluation so the residents of Connecticut’s Fourth District can soon see this funding at work to manage the aftermath of the recent storms and to train young people for jobs in the growing clean energy sector.”

This legislation supplements funding for a Labor Department initiative that provides grants to states for job training programs aimed at teenagers and young adults. This bill supports 300,000 summer jobs for people ages 16-24 through programs like Bridgeport’s Conservation Corps. This program trains youth between the ages of 18 and 24 to develop and promote energy conservation and efficiency programs in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods.

“This funding will allow the Conservation Corps, and the City’s award-winning after-school Lighthouse program, to continue their valuable work within the City during the summer months,” said Mayor Bill Finch. “We’re very appreciative of the efforts of our Congressional delegation, especially Congressman Himes, in getting this legislation passed.”

The measure also provides $20 million for fee reductions and eliminations under the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan program and the 504 program, and for the cost of guaranteed loans for qualifying small businesses. It permits $40 million of the funds provided in the FY 2010 omnibus appropriations law to be available for this program and extends the termination date for the loans through April 30.

Transfer Station Hours, From Mayor Finch

Transfer Station Summer Hours Announced

Saturday Hours Extended

The city’s Public Works Department has announced that summer hours are now in effect at the Transfer Station. Please note: Saturday hours have been extended to 2:30 p.m. The hours are as follows: Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Bridgeport residents only are allowed to use the transfer station and residents must follow the rules and regulations listed below. Small business owners and haulers may use the transfer station Monday through Friday, but they must have either a business permit, or hauler’s permit to use the facility. For more information regarding permits/licenses, contact (203) 576-7123, or visit Rm. 223 at City Hall, 45 Lyon Terrace.

Following rules and regulations apply:

• Household refuse only

• Must have a Bridgeport license and registration, or a permit

• No toxic or hazardous liquids or waste

• Wood, brush or metal over four-feet long will not be accepted

• All metal must be separated from other refuse

• All small debris, lawn refuse, etc., must be bagged, tied or boxed

• No more than 2 tires per load will be accepted

• Wooden doors and mattresses must be cut in half

• Sheetrock, shingles, or remodeling and demolition materials will not be accepted

• Brush must be less than four feet in length and tied in bundles, or loose and covered

• People living outside the city owning a house in Bridgeport must show proof of ownership of said premises, e.g.: an updated tax bill or deed. Utility bills will not be accepted.

• Haulers, small business owners and monitored residents are prohibited on Saturday

• All loads must be covered and secured

• Rude or abusive conduct will not be tolerated

According to Director of Public Facilities Charles Carroll, the weigh master has complete authority to dictate rules and regulations and has the right to refuse any non-conforming loads.

For more information, call the transfer station at 203.576.7725, or Tony DePrimo, Transfer Station Supervisor at 203.576.7751.

The Gallery at Black Rock

The gallery is lucky to have Robin Gilmore Jopp attending the gallery in Black Rock for the next 3 Saturdays.

Robin will be in from 11 until 5:30 and available to answer questions and talk about her stunning work on display in the gallery.

It is also the last day to come see the Industrial Strength show on 51 Crescent Avenue in Bridgeport’s East Side. The Crescent Avenue space is open from 12 until 4 pm

The City is about to lose one of our most beloved old factories, the GE building on Boston Avenue.

Come see E Fitz’s Ode to GE on display in the show.

If you haven’t had a chance to see either show make it a double feature tomorrow.

*April 3rd we will be hosting a jewelry making Demonstration with Robin at 2:30 pm



  1. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my friend (and I really do consider him a friend) Rob Russo. He has reminded me how even heretofore “moderate” Republicans are going to conduct their 2010 campaigns.

    My wife and I will be sending our checks to the Democratic House and Senate reelection committees right after breakfast today.

    1. What JfBR means is this:

      He’d rather support the re-election efforts of the incumbent than give an advancing contender a chance. He’s got his mind made up. Party takes precedence over personality and blogging precedes breakfast. This blog gave him the chance to diss a genuine candidate for Congress before he had his eggs & toast.

      So much for friendship, he was just being polite.

      1. No, what he means is issues take precedence over personality. Connecticut isn’t Alabama, and if Russo’s going to act against his one-time constituents’ interests, then the power of being “a nice guy” isn’t going to turn into votes or support.

        1. JfBR’s entitled to his opinion. I was replying to his flagrant sarcasm. The term for that is b-l-o-g-g-i-n-g and it’s encouraged around here. His comment to Russo is called taunting and it’s illegal in The NFL not on OIB.

  2. If Russo as a “moderate” Republican is so terrible, what do you call a “moderate” Democrat like Himes?

    After making his fortune at Goldman Sucks peddling paper, Jimmy moves to Greenwich to do good deeds for all of us who can’t take care of ourselves.

    In his first term, he voted for the Stimulus bill (also known as Keep Public Sector Employees Working Bill), Cap & Trade, and lastly this abomination of a healthcare bill.

    And he’s the tone of moderation … Enjoy your breakfast JfBR.

  3. You’re right! The mayor asks the Unions to bend over and AFSCME asks for how long and what position would you like! They need to know when to draw the line! But as any member will tell you, they only look out for themselves.

  4. I am laughing my ass off about Russo thinking anyone would even notice a bill by a freshman minority Congressman. Health care is here to stay, just like social security. Get used to it R’s you lost. Once people feel the benefits of being insured, insuring your kids until 26, not being canceled or refused for pre-existing conditions, rebates for senior prescriptions, less crowded ER’s or cut off after a cap amount or getting sick, you will never ever get rid of it. I am sick of the selfish whining. I think denying health care is like condemning people to die because they are poor. The R’s have proven themselves the party of no. There were many R amendments and concepts in that bill but they couldn’t see past the tea and crumpets.

  5. Is Russo serious? Repeal??? Like Obama said to the Republicans on Tuesday he said bring it on! Obama poll numbers are surging high now and Russo has the nerve to talk about repeal when CT agrees with health care??? Russo, that might be a good argument for you to win the primary but come November forget about it your hateful party will not be winning at all. Thank God I did not vote for Russo in November and I do not plan on ever voting for this guy. You want to talk about out of touch Russo is the meaning of out of touch. John from Black Rock I agree. I can’t wait to go to the polls and vote Democrat this year again. Republicans have become the party of the teabaggers and hateful people.

  6. *** BOE unions are not giving anything back so the School Admin. can “spend & mismanage” the money that’s saved, just like the present city-side government is doing. Teachers will have to be laid off, etc. to send a clear-cut message to the unions & employees to get some type of cooperation. And they should also include Admin. staff layoffs as well but that would be unlikely. *** Russo hasn’t won the election yet to be boasting about legislation for a health-care repeal which couldn’t happen ’til “2013” even if the Republicans became the majority party in the near future! He should stick with local state politics first, even though he has high hopes & the local medical community’s money behind him. Another Palin “tea-party” anti-Obama Republican, crying about the leftover problems from 8 years of Republican government and Bush & why Obama hasn’t fixed the problems yet in his 13 months as President! *** Last but not least, what else would we expect from an out-of-town executive banker with a name like Sherringham? And these are the type of people & businesses in general the government stimulus bailed out! *** FORGETABOUTIT ***

  7. OIB Rumor Mill:

    Bridgeport is declared “the Alabama of Connecticut” and thegrackle is named first governor of the newly-formed sovereign territory.

  8. The USA has a $12 trillion debt which reduces the impact and effectiveness of the current stimulus program. Local Eyes favors any/all additional stimulus programs designed to change, advance, retrain or redirect our resources.

  9. Memo to Rob Russo: You need to get your ideas in order. While I am no real supporter of the Health Care bill there are good things in that bill along with a lot of bad things.
    Concentrate on the bad things in the bill such as forcing people to buy the insurance whether they want it or not; student loan payoffs; fines for people who don’t buy insurance; insurance for part-time workers and the list is long.
    Mr. Russo as a new congressmen you will have squat to say and you won’t be filing any major legislation. Look at Himes he had to be a water carrier for Pelosi.
    Tell the people what you really can or hope to accomplish and stop trying to tell us what major things you are going to do which you and I know are BS.

    1. TC, you said that forcing people to buy insurance was one of the bad things about the healthcare bill.

      Please help me to understand your position:

      1. Do you think it’s a bad thing for people to be forced to buy automobile liability insurance? How is healthcare different?

      2. If someone doesn’t buy healthcare insurance, what care do you think they are then entitled to at no cost to them? Who do you think should pay for their care?

      A libertarian might say that a person would be free to forego healthcare insurance, but would then be on their own when they showed up at the ER. Can’t pay, no insurance, no care.

      A socialist might say that no one needs to buy healthcare insurance, and all healthcare would be funded out of taxes. Of course, the tax rates in countries that do this are somewhat high.

  10. Booty Where in the constitution does it say that congress has the right to mandate that people buy insurance? It doesn’t. People meaning all the people are not forced to buy insurance, if you don’t drive or own a car you don’t need to buy liability insurance. What are they going to mandate and make law next? Are they going to say I can’t eat anything that could be harmful and if I do I will be fined?
    This health insurance you will be forced to buy is not going to pay for all your medical bills there will be high deductibles that go with the basic policy. We will still be picking up the tab for this also.
    How do you force and fine a person on unemployment and no other income to buy insurance? BTW there will be people not covered by this bill illegals and such.
    I still think people with no insurance will still be covered in emergency rooms after all we are still a humane country.

    1. TC, so you are espousing the “head in the sand” approach?

      Today, we “force and fine a person on unemployment and no other income” if we catch them driving without a license or in an unregistered vehicle or if they don’t have car insurance. If your issue is how are poor people going to pay, then address that issue. Maybe you’d like to establish a subsidy for them?

      You approve of the current system of treating people with a sore throat at the ER? What’s your plan for when that ER shuts its doors because it can’t pay its bills?

      Costs are spiraling out of control because we are delivering healthcare in perhaps the most inefficient way possible.

      Come on tc, take a position. Are you a libertarian? A socialist?

      If you take the position of bending over and sticking your head in the sand (let’s see, how can I say this delicately …), don’t be surprised when someone comes up behind you and takes advantage of the position and your inattention.

    2. The Constitution also doesn’t say anything about the draft. Health insurance, at least, clearly is interstate commerce.

      Those who are unemployed–or employed but earn under 133% of the poverty level–will be covered under Medicaid. If the cost of insurance will be over a certain percent of your income (either 8% or 9.5%, if I remember it right), then you will not have to pay a fine if you opt out.

  11. *** Enforcement of the average Joe or small business not having health-care ins. will be like issuing tickets in a public park for littering or not following the pooper-scooper laws, minimal @ least. Also, when patients end up @ the E/R with life-threatening problems without H/C who pays for it now (hello)? It’s all academic, health-care will be available to all with better reasonable prices and like anything else,”you get what you pay for!” You want a Roads Royce type ins. or a pre-owned V/W Rabbit policy? In time the US may be able to compare to the #1 universal health-care place in the world, “SINGAPORE!” Where more & more Americans today go to save on expensive major surgery. So people need to chill & be a little more patient, ’cause what major bills in US history didn’t have minor changes along the way to make them better? It’s amazing how the Republicans are trying to obstruct more & more possible solutions, thus adding more issues to the problems! The Big “O” needs to forget about trying to do things in a more bipartisan political way ’cause the other side is not listening! *** They lost okay, get over it, re-group and make some key changes in the party movement, push voter registrations, work harder towards solutions, do something besides just complaining about taxes @ tea parties! ***

  12. If I recall correctly the Republicans were in power for eight years and six of those years the Republicans were in control of the House and Senate and Bush as President perhaps someone can show me the Health Care Reform Bill they passed and put into law with all those great Republican ideas.

    Imagine if it were now President McCain and Vice President Palin in charge, just imagine.

  13. Booty you keep equating the health care bill to driving and having a drivers license. Apples & Oranges. That person on unemployment driving with no license is breaking the law. If that same person does not drive a car and takes the bus no one is going to fine him.
    I have taken a position on health care I was against it but since it’s the law of the land I have to obey it and choose to look at things on a case-by-case basis.
    Poor people are not going to pay for this insurance how can they? They are barely able to exist now. They will still go to the emergency rooms.
    In Connecticut we have Medicade, the Husky program and welfare that covers medical yet we have people that choose not to do the paperwork in order to qualify. It will be the same with this health insurance bill.
    BTW when and where is the last time an emergency room closed?
    Booty are you saying if you don’t agree with this entire bill you are a radical or libertarian? Maybe it is you who has their head in the sand and is blindly following the Washington Mantra. In that case you must be careful because as you say it could be a real PIA.
    Ron show me the health care bill under Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter & Clinton.
    Anna I have reading glasses and can read and while what you say is true it still does not give them the right to force people to buy health insurance.
    MCAT I am going to be nice and leave your comment alone.

  14. *** There you go, another example of Republican complaining but seldom part of the overall solution. Brings to mind an old J/B song called, “Talking loud & saying nothing!” ***

    1. Mojo’s on fire! He’s got that fist-pumping, foot-stomping, earth-quaking THING GOING ON and people everywhere understand he knows the score.

      His song goes like this: (you can sing along if you like) … I’m talking loud because I got something to say.

      YAY-YUH, BAY-bee.

  15. You go Mojo you have great points!!! Props to the big O and shame to the little r Russo. Like a user said this is not Alabama Russo!!! You can be nice all you want but your agenda is out of touch with me.

  16. Amazing how my critics have not read what’s available in the bill. Did you read the part where there will be no tax breaks for companies that offer prescription rider for retirees? Did you read where AT&T will have to pay $100 million in new taxes for these retirement plans? Did you read where AT&T is talking of eliminating retirees prescription plan? Did you read where Caterpillar states it will cost them over $100 million in new healthcare costs and has put on hold plans to bring back laid-off workers? Did you read where Medicare advantage will be eliminated? Did you read where there will be large cuts in Medicare? Did you read where Congressman Henry Waxman wants to call any company like the two listed above before congress?
    I guess if you are a company and speak out about this bill you get to go before congress. What’s next, jail time if you disagree?

    1. So you’d prefer Congress ignore those critical of the bill? Or would you just find it more convenient for conservative critics of healthcare reform to be able to make claims up out of whole cloth?

  17. *** Most of the critics have been Republicans, however 34 house Dems in point, do have problems & questions concerning some of the points you have made T/C and more, not just political motives alone. It’s obvious this was a “get your foot in the door” type bill & take it from there! The bill, as time goes on, will need amendment-type tweaking to improve the things that don’t work or weren’t thought of @ the time. But it’s a giant step in the right direction towards a big health problem in America that’s getting worse. Like many major political life-changing things, it takes time to adjust & tell if in fact it was for the better sake of the public interest. Only “time will tell!” ***

  18. Grin: Boy you are not kidding I am old. Health Bill just gives me a topic to blog about. I don’t lose sleep over it but it’s fun to talk about. In fact if congress had talked more about the bill maybe we would have a better bill.
    Maybe we would have reduced prescription costs. Maybe we would be able to buy health insurance across state lines and maybe even tort reform who knows.
    You already know the answer to your question.

        1. Donj what debates took place as it relates to this bill? None. The bill was put together behind closed doors. Even the senators and congress people did not know what was in this bill and just now they are starting to understand it. Example: Obama stated kids with pre-existing conditions will see relief immediately. Not true that portion takes effect 2014. He also said the donut hole on senior prescriptions will be closed this year not true that happens on a limited basis in 2014. Just 2 examples of people in power not understanding what is in the bill.

  19. Riddle me this, what do you want?
    A better bill or a bitter pill?
    If you want lower prescription costs, just go back to the old days and ban the advertising of prescription meds. The drug manufacturers spent millions to create a demand and then overcharged based on that.
    I thought the bill did include health insurance exchanges which in some ways allow for crossing state lines.
    And even I can support at least some form of mandatory mediation prior to filing lawsuits as part of process reform.
    But maybe they did what they could/had to do and will now let some of the improvements work their way in.

  20. I can’t riddle squat but I do know that deals were cut with the Pharmaceutical companies and with the insurance companies prior to the passage of this bill. There are no reductions in prescription drugs.
    I believe the lawsuits are about the mandatory requirement for purchasing health care insurance.
    BTW the only riddle I know starts out There once was a man from Nantucket …


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